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With the new year upon us, it's time to start thinking about the types of promotions you want to use to bring current and new members to your gym. Health club operators have a variety of ways to use the holidays to capitalize on the New Year's resolution rush. Consider these five promotions you can implement to capitalize on the member rush and convert prospects to join your gym.

Leverage social media and short-message-service (SMS) texting as if your business depends on it. It's a given these days in marketing to use social media to promote your gym, but make sure you are using your most popular social networks for advertising as well. Facebook and Instagram are great visually inspired mediums to advertise gym specials throughout the holidays and into the subsequent months. In addition, encourage those folks sitting on the sofa recovering from the holidays' coma by texting them to not be derailed from a workout. Promote your members and prospects to stay in shape beyond the holidays. Keep these types of gym promotions running before, during and after the holidays for maximum results.

Consider customized post-holiday-inspired classes. Many people falter on their diets and exercise habits during the holidays because it's easy to indulge in delicious food prepared by family and friends. Whether it's the company holiday party, vacations or not paying attention to what they eat, it's easy to fall off the wagon. Consider customized post-holiday-inspired workout classes designed around "earning your meal," especially to get current members back on track and encourage new members to build new healthy workout habits. Another approach would be cardio classes that focus on the core. Classes such as Holiday Gut Check or Holiday Belly Burner would certainly get people's attention and prove to be beneficial.

Hand out guest passes like candy. Start handing out guest passes to your members to give to their family and friends. If you're hosting any community events, hand out guest passes and collect their information when they arrive at the club to add to your marketing list. Furthermore, use guest passes to bring potential new members in and show them everything your gym has to offer. You can also leverage those prospects with a referral program. With automated online marketing programs, you can bring an exponential number of prospects into your club. Lastly, make your guest pass more valuable through an incentive, such as throwing in a personal training session. Follow up with pass recipients after the holidays with continued motivation and to keep up with scheduled workouts.

Host winter and spring weight-loss challenges. Hosting seasonal weight-loss challenges encourages everyone at your gym to stay in shape during the holidays and continue into the next year. A holiday weight-loss challenge will inspire your current members, and a New Year's weight-loss challenge is a great way to capture new members. Incentivize memberships with a contract that includes a reward if they meet their weight-loss goal. This could include an additional free month to their gym membership.

Encourage family and friends to give gift cards. Gym gift cards that can be applied toward memberships, classes and personal training are like the gift that keeps on giving. Let your members know they can "buy the gift of fitness" for their friends and family. These holiday gift cards can be one of the best point-of-sale revenue generators for your club during the holidays, while getting potential new members in the door.

Jump on the resolution rush and ramp up your holiday workout classes. Prepare those incentives and rewards as part of your New Year's marketing efforts. This is the time of year when more people will have down time and be on social media, as well as texting. Take advantage of this time by running gym promotions into the new year for the best results in bringing in current and prospective members.

BIO

Stephen Wilson is the manager of marketing at ASF Payment Solutions. As a veteran of marketing communications, he has served as director of creative services at an advertising and public relations agency focusing on branding and strategic communications. Wilson has worked in a variety of industries and concentrated on health and wellness for a number of years. His work on national marketing and advertising campaigns has earned him many accreditations and awards. ASF is an innovator in payment processing and gym management software including ACH, credit cards, point of sale and scheduling. Visit www.asfpaymentsolutions.com for more information on its products and services.