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The Power of Free: Your Fitness Studio’s Best Offer

Mike Arce

Mike Arce

Fitness studios run promotions all the time to incentivize people to buy their service. But how do you know which offer will be the most effective for your fitness studio? We’ve worked with 2,000+ fitness studios, 50+ franchises, and one offer proves over and over to be the most effective: one free week.

This is called “The Power of FREE.” It’s one of the most effective marketing tactics for tons of businesses out there. Here’s how and why it works…

The Psychology of FREE

Take a moment to think about a time when you received a free offer. Maybe it was “free shipping” on an online purchase. Or, a coupon for a “free appetizer” with the purchase of an entree. Maybe it was a “buy one, get one” (BOGO) free deal.

How did that offer make you feel? It probably made you feel good. In fact, that offer was most likely the incentive you needed to spend money at that business (when otherwise wouldn’t).

Ice Cream Is The Perfect Example

People love the word “free.” When days like “National Ice Cream Day” (it’s the 3rd Sunday in July, in case you’re wondering…) come around, ice cream businesses give away free products. Even though a scoop of ice cream usually only costs a couple of dollars, people wait in long lines to get it for $0.00.

Wouldn’t it be easier to go on a different day when it’s less crowded and pay a couple bucks? But people go out of their way to get ice cream on a day when it’s more crowded than usual. Why? Because of the power of free.

When we look at it from the perspective of a potential paying member for your fitness studio, it’s easy to see why the one free week offer performs the best. They can test out your studio with no commitment and see if it’s the right fit for them. I talk about this with our Agency Director in this video:

Proof of FREE

It’s not difficult to find cases that support the power of free. Dan Ariely did a popular study on this: “Zero as a special price: The true value of free products.” He talks about it in his book, Predictably Irrational as well.

In his study, participants had the option to choose from two kinds of chocolates:

  1. Lindt Lindor truffle for 15 cents, or
  2. Hershey’s Kiss for 1 cent

If you’ve ever bought these chocolates at a store, you know that the truffles are bigger and usually sell for $1 each. The Kisses, on the other hand, are smaller and valued at about 10 cents.

Each participant was told that they could buy one chocolate. Since participants got a better value on the truffle, it’s no surprise that 73% of people chose to buy it. Only 27% chose the Hershey’s kiss.

Then, the study’s organizers raised the pricing by 1 cent. So the Lindor truffles cost 16 cents and the Hershey’s Kisses cost 2 cents each. The results were the same.

Then, The Results Flipped

Next, they dropped the price by one cent. So the truffles were 14 cents and the Kisses were free. The results almost completely flipped! 31% of people chose the truffle while 69% of people chose the Kiss!

Even though it was a better deal to get the Lindor truffle, the majority of people went for the free chocolate. That’s the power of free.

Next, let’s look at a case study of a fitness studio that we promoted a free week offer for.

A yoga studio we work with launched a marketing campaign that offered a free week pass. Within the first 25 hours, they had 63 leads. And in just one month, they ended up with 475 leads!

The cost per click (CPC) was $00.86, which means they spent $408 in Facebook advertising for those leads. That’s less than $1 per person!

free offer #2

You can read more about this yoga studio’s marketing campaign and results here.

Promoting FREE

So now that you understand just how effective the free week offer is, let’s take a look at the best way to promote it! That way you can start generating excited leads like people waiting outside an ice cream shop.

We create a campaign for each of our fitness studios that starts with a Facebook ad. The ad promotes the free week offer and includes a custom video that shows a workout class, the inside of the studio, team members, etc.

Here’s an example of what that looks like:

free offer #1

This campaign brought in 41 new paying members in just 2 months. And, you can see exactly what went into the campaign here.

When people click the ad, they’re taken to a landing page. On that landing page, they can enter their name, email address, and phone number to redeem the offer. After they fill out the form, they’re considered a lead, and the studio owners get an alert so they can follow up. The potential member sees a thank you page and receives an auto-response email.

There’s a lot more that goes into each campaign, but those are the main components of a free week offer promoted through a Facebook ad.

If You Refuse The Power Of FREE…

As you can tell, we’re big believers in the free week offer. We’ve seen it get tons of leads and paying members for countless studios, and we’re confident it’ll do the same for you.

But if you still don’t believe us, you can check out some of our best paid offers. It’s not that they don’t work – they do. But we’ve had the most success with the free week offer. We usually run these paid offers depending on the individual fitness studio and what their needs are.

If you need an effective way to market your fitness studio, test the free week offer. Or any one of these other best performing offers for fitness studios:

best performing fitness studio offers cheat sheet (1)

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