By Katie Zacharkiw, Special AFS Contributor

Increasing revenue is a constant business goal for every gym owner. When sales are slow, there are strategies that you can use to get your clients back in the buying mood. One of those strategies is discounting your products and services.

Although it seems counterintuitive, you can actually make money this way. Keep reading to find out more about discount strategies and how you can use them to increase revenue at your fitness business.

Why do Discounts Work?

People are motivated by urgency, and that’s exactly what discounts create. Shoppers don’t want to miss out on the limited-time “deal” so they make the decision to buy now. Even a small amount of money saved will make the shopper feel happy.

Gym owners can use this strategy to increase sales of retail items, classes, memberships, or anything else. And it pays off in the long run–selling a discounted membership now may lead to years of consistent income from a loyal client.

Common Types of Discounts for the Fitness Industry

Specific discounts vary widely based on the industry and each individual business. Within the fitness industry, you’ll commonly see three types: retail discounts, class discounts, and membership discounts. 

Retail Discounts 

Retail may not be the most profitable area of your business, but it’s a great way to bring in some additional income while pleasing your clients at the same time. Branded swag appeals to your happy, loyal clients who enjoy spending time at your facility. But sometimes you may have trouble getting a certain item to sell, or you just need to move inventory, and that’s where discounts can help.

How much to discount the item you’re trying to sell depends on the specifics of your business. Check out this article from Shopify for some great information on pricing strategies for retail discounting.

Class Discounts

Retail discounts help you move inventory, but class discounts have real potential to increase revenue over time. Reducing the price on a class lowers the barrier of entry for new clients who have been on the fence about trying out your business. If you can lure them through the door with a discount, all you need to do is wow them to convert them into a full-time member.  

Membership Discounts

Membership discounts might get some new people in the door, but they are most appealing to your existing clients who aren’t members already? The people who have been regularly attending classes will be the most likely to purchase a full membership because they already know that they like your business enough to keep coming back.

If the cost was stopping them from signing up before, a discount might be just the thing to get them to act.


How to Market your Discounts

Running a discount isn’t as easy as just slashing the price of an item or service. You also have to market it so people are aware of the deal. Here are a few strategies to help market your discounts to clients and prospects:

Focus on Benefits to the Client

Your clients may like your business, but they like themselves a whole lot more. When marketing a discount–or really when you’re marketing anything–focus on what the benefit is to the client. Let clients clearly know what they’re getting and how much they’re saving.

Make the Discount Feel Special

You want your clients to get excited about whatever it is you’re trying to sell. One way to do this is to make the discount feel particularly special. Achieve this by tying the discount to a holiday, anniversary, or another special occasion. You might also make the discount special through exclusivity. For example, the discount might apply to only full members, or only to the client when it’s their birthday.

Create Urgency

A proven method of getting consumers to buy a product is creating a sense of urgency. People will feel the urge to buy the product now if they know there is a limited time to take advantage of the deal. Phrases like “Only 2 days left!” and “Get it before it’s gone!” are sure to get the attention of your clients.

Target the Right Clients

Discounts are most effective when you target the right customers. Prospects and inactive clients will be most interested in single or bulk class deals. Existing clients will get excited for membership deals, members-only perks, and retail discounts. Whenever you're marketing anything about your business, discount-related or not, make sure you’re talking to the people who will want to hear about it.

How else do you use discounts to make money at your gym? Let us know in the comments!


More from this author:

How to Improve Staff Retention at Your Gym or Studio

6 Ways to Boost Attendance Rates at Your Gym Using Local SEO


Katie Zacharkiw is the Content Marketing Manager at Pike13, a scheduling software company located in Seattle, WA. She has more than seven years of experience in content strategy and marketing

Join the Conversation!