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Published: 02 February 2017

The Secret of New Year Health Campaigns

So here we are one month into 2017 and all talk in the media of New Year’s resolutions has long since disappeared, almost as fast as some people’s intentions to pursue a change in lifestyle for the new year!

In the health club industry, it has been a long held belief that January is the key month to sign up new members as people are desperate to commit to a “new year, new you” healthy lifestyle mission.

But how real is the January boom in membership?

Here at Mosaic we have done some research and come up with some pretty interesting results. Here are the headlines for you:

  • February beats January for sales

It’s close but if you take sales across our health clubs over the last 2 years then we have sold 187 more memberships in February than January and there are 3 less days in the month. It seems the new year rush has a bit of a delay or may be the “resolution thing” is not the main driver.

  • January sales are above average for the year but not by much

If sales were evenly spread in every month that each month would achieve just over 8% of the annual sales. Our January sales were 9% of the total annual sales in 2016 and 10% in 2015. It’s up but not significantly compared to the rest of the year.

  • September sales almost match January

We think health club membership sales are far more driven by the long nights than new year resolutions. Our sales in September are only fractionally less than January. Over the last two years we have only averaged 24 sales a month less in September compared with January. Indeed, gym usage (different we realise to membership sales) spikes upwards when the clocks change in the autumn and the nights get darker. It seems that the winter is a greater trigger for incentivising people to join the gym than any new year resolutions.

  • Don’t just measure sales!

One obvious point made by the media every January is that don’t sign up to annual contracts as you will soon stop going. Here at Mosaic we think that is good advice and we never force members to sign up to annual contracts. Why should we force someone to keep paying for a service they no longer want? However, what is important is to have a strategy to keep members working out. One of the key performance indicators we measure is the % of members who leave within 3 months of joining. Research would suggest that if people regularly exercise, or pursue any activity for that matter, for 12 weeks, this will become habit forming and more likely to be adhered to going forward. At Mosaic operated Clubs there are less than 5% of our members who cancel in the first 3 months of joining. We work hard to achieve this.

So based on our experience here are our 3 top tips for a successful new year health campaign:

  1. Don’t just run the campaign for January – keep it going through February too
  2. Don’t make the offer too attractive financially as you will only reduce your yield. People are looking to join so focus your offer around service benefits and upselling rather than price reduction
  3. Think about how you induct the new members into the Club and exercise specifically. If you keep them motivated, you will keep them as members.

Published: 02 February 2017