The Power of Free: Your Fitness Studio’s Offer

Businesses run promotions all the time as an incentive to get people to buy their product or service. But how do you know which offer will be the most effective for your fitness studio?

We’ve worked with hundreds of fitness studios and gyms through our Fit FLAVER program, and there’s one offer that has proved time after time to be the most effective: one free week.

This is called the power of FREE, and it’s one of the most effective marketing tactics for tons of businesses out there. Here’s how and why it works.

PSYCHOLOGY OF FREE

Take a moment to think about a time when you received a free offer. It could’ve been free shipping on an online purchase, a coupon for a free appetizer with the purchase of an entree, or a buy one, get one free deal.

How did that offer make you feel? It probably made you feel good, and that offer might have been enough of an incentive to spend money at the business when you wouldn’t have otherwise.

People love the word “free.” When there’s days like “National Ice Cream Day” (it’s the 3rd Sunday in July, in case you’re wondering…), places that serve ice cream often give it away for free. 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, all 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 free week offer has been proven time after time to perform 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 fulfillment manager 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.

In this study, participants had the option to choose from two kinds of chocolates – a Lindt Lindor truffle for 15 cents or a Hershey’s Kiss for 1 cent. If you’ve ever bought these chocolates at the store, you know that the truffles are bigger and usually sell for $1 each, while Kisses are 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, while 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.

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

Even though it would have been 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 worked 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!

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, take a look at the best way to promote it so that you get leads.

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:

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 where 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 that they can follow up. The potential client sees a thank you page and receives an auto-response email.

There’s a lot that goes into a campaign, but the main component is the free week offer that’s 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. And for more tips like these, join the Loud Rumor newsletter family to get more strategies delivered straight to your inbox!

Mike Arce

Mike Arce is the CEO and founder of Loud Rumor, a lead generation company for fitness studios and independent gyms that supports their customers with sales training and techniques to grow and scale.

Mike has spoken for companies like Infusionsoft, the Better Business Bureau, ASBA, and Local First – all on the topic of Local Business Internet Marketing. He has a passion for local businesses and helping them grow. You can get fresh, updated tips from Mike here.