As the new year approaches, people are starting to think about how they will combat the effects of the rich foods and lack of exercise that accompany the holidays. A blank slate of New Year’s resolutions loom on the horizon, and people are ready to take back control of their health. It’s the perfect opportunity to engage with a very interested audience at just the right time.
But with holiday marketing campaigns bursting out of every inch of advertising space, how do you help your business overcome the holiday noise and get noticed by the people who need your services? Creativity and a personal connection are the keys.
Here are 9 promotion ideas to help you connect with your audience and get more business this holiday season:
1. Cross-promote with related businesses
People who are looking for personal training or nutrition coaching services may also be looking for other professional services or health-related products. Team up with other local businesses to set up co-marketing campaigns to promote both of your companies. Customers will love the value and ease of a bundled deal, and you’ll reach a much larger audience than you would have by running a solo campaign.
If you haven’t already, cross-promoting your business is a great way to begin building your email marketing list. You’ll be able to connect with an established community of people who already have something in common with your business. If you already have an email list, you can bolster your relationship and increase your value as a partner by featuring the other business in your emails. You can also think about requiring people to opt-in to your email list to participate in the campaign.
2. Embrace the holiday spirit
Think about the most effective holiday campaigns you’ve seen. They generally evoke emotion and convey the holiday spirit of sharing and goodwill. Or they might acknowledge the hustle and bustle of the season using humor.
You might find inspiration by infusing your gym or office with holiday decorations, candles, or lights — whatever elicits the holiday spirit in you and your staff. Then start brainstorming what the holidays mean to you as a wellness professional and tie that into your promotions. For example, it is no secret that exercise combats stress. You might run a promotion for a free yoga or kickboxing class on Christmas Eve to help people prepare for the last bout of chaos of the busy holiday season.
3. Make shopping simple
Over 60% of consumers say they would like to receive a gift card during the holiday season. They give the recipient the freedom to tailor their gift, and it’s an easy way for shoppers to hit everyone on their list without spending hours picking out gifts online or in a packed store.
If you don’t already offer online gift cards, start today. Advertise gift card specials in your social media posts and email newsletters. Place them around your business, including on your counter tops and near the entrance. Not only will you benefit from the up-front sale, but you’ll also gain potential new customers who will return to your business after they use their initial gift card.
4. Market to your existing customers
Your clients already know and trust you. They believe in the value of your services, or they wouldn’t be customers. Offer your current clientele special promotions or pricing on gift cards, personal training packages, or nutritional coaching. They may choose to purchase packages for themselves, ensuring a greater lifetime customer value, or they may give the promotional items as gifts, which means more long-term business and a bigger customer base for you.
5. Send text message promotions
On average, customers only open 17% of the marketing emails they receive. Compare that to the 98% of text messages that customers open and read. Text message marketing is a powerful tool — especially during the holidays. If you have a list of customers who have already opted in to receive messages from you (and they must opt-in to comply with FCC regulations), then you already have a captive audience for your holiday promotions.
Think about the last time you stood in a long checkout line. You likely pulled out your phone and started browsing through your messages. It’s the ideal time for your clients to see a “Save 20% on gift cards” message from you. They’re already frustrated from standing in line and ready to finish their shopping lists.
You can try one of these 10 apps to make communication easier with your clients beyond the holidays.
6. Offer a corporate promotion
Better health aids corporations almost as much as it does individuals. When employees are healthier, they are happier and often more productive. They call in sick less often. Even medical benefit costs can decrease over time.
Reach out to the human resources departments of businesses in your local area. Offer a discount on group training or nutritional coaching for employees. You might even put together a package that the employer can offer as an extra Christmas gift to employees at a holiday party or as an end-of-year thank you.
7. Give something away
One of the best ways to attract new customers is to offer them something for free before they ever pay you a dime. The holidays are the perfect time to stand out as one of the few businesses that want to give something to consumers instead of just taking their money. Whether it’s a holiday meal plan, a free personal training visit, or a free exercise class, make it a no-strings-attached offer. You’ll surprise and delight your audience, and they will be far more likely to trust and remember you when they need health and wellness services.
8. Create a challenge
A weight loss or healthy eating challenge fits perfectly into the holiday season as a way for consumers to start planning for their New Year’s resolutions and post-holiday reset. Once you’ve built the rules and framework for your challenge, advertise it to your current customers and offer a discount (or freebie) if they get friends and family to sign up. Sweeten the deal with a prize for the winning team or individual at the end of the challenge. Your customers will feel good about having a plan in place for the new year, and you’ll gain exposure to potential new clients.
9. Host an open house
You’ve decorated from floor to ceiling. You have the perfect holiday playlist. Time to open your doors and invite your customers and prospects to get to know your business and your employees. Host an open house for people to tour your facility or get information about the programs you offer. Include healthy food and drinks, so busy shoppers will be enticed to come in and take a break from the frantic pace of holiday shopping. You might offer pictures with Santa or free mini-massages. The key is to get people through your door so they experience your hospitality and learn about the services you offer.
Ready to start your holiday promotions?
If you haven’t begun your holiday marketing strategy yet, it’s not too late. As a first step, write down your top goals and objectives for the holiday season and map each campaign directly back to those goals.
If you want to find new clients, start with promotions that drive word-of-mouth and encourage your current clients to refer friends and family. If your primary goal is increased sales, your campaigns should focus on discounts, buy-one-get-one type offers, and incentives to up-sell and cross-sell your current clients.
As you try a new promotion or campaign, remember to measure its effectiveness and capture results (positive and negative). You’ll already have a head-start on where to focus your efforts for next year.
If you’re a personal trainer, you can also try these 25 personal training marketing ideas to get more clients.