How to Promote Cross-Selling and Upselling to Increase Your Gym Revenue

Jul 30, 2022 - 5 min read
Ways to boost fitness studios revenue

Do you think you’re an expert in growing your revenue? Once you have members on your freemium or any other packages you need to understand how to up and cross-sell.

This form of marketing is known as precision marketing and is critical for increasing the Customer Lifetime Value of your clients. Fortunately, it’s also pretty easy. Like most things in today’s world, there are no hidden secrets.

It’s simply a combination of doing the right things in repeat. We’re going to look at precision marketing focusing around upsells and cross-sells of your other packages.

Upselling vs. Cross-Selling, or Both?

Before we start diving into the key factors of successful fitness sales techniques and strategies, we want to make sure that you know the difference between Upselling and Cross-selling. That’s the first step if we want to sell gym memberships at a higher rate!

  • What is upselling?

Upselling is the process of strategically providing your gym members with upgrades, or add-ons that improve their original membership. You can upsell gym memberships by enriching members’ experiences with features they can’t get anywhere else.

  • How is cross-selling different?

Cross-selling differs from upselling because it offers a different product or service to compliment the original membership.

There are three key factors to running a successful up and cross-sell strategy; Visibility, Urgency, and Easiness. Easiness is the most straightforward, and we already spoke about it when discussing funnels in this article .

Every additional step you have for a client to make a purchase, the more sales you will lose. This might seem obvious and easy to avoid, and it can be - but it’s a critical issue when it comes to membership sales.

  • Visibility

Visibility, known as Reach in marketing circles, asks the question “How many people see your promotion?” In precision marketing, it’s often discussed as a percentage of your total clients. If you have 100 clients and run a promotion that is seen by 34, then your reach is 34% (34 / 100.) Simple, isn’t it?

But how do you achieve a reach of 100%? It’s the million-dollar question posed by marketers the world ‘round. The simple answer is that you first need to have 100% engagement on whatever marketing channel you’re using. For example, if you’re using email to run your promotions - are 100% of your clients opening all of your emails? If you’re using Social Media, are 100% of clients checking your accounts?

The most common answer is simply a straight “no”. This means you can’t get 100% reach on those channels. So, is 100% possible? Perhaps, however, it requires you to blend your promotions with your other, higher-value content.

For example, you might have 100% open rates of emails that included your clients’ workouts. Of course, they always open those emails, they know that it’s high-value content! As such, you should append (or prepend) your promotions in those emails, not send them separately.

The takeaway here is that to run a successful precision marketing campaign, you need to blend your marketing channels with your content delivery channels. However, you ensure that your clients are receiving the content that they’re paying for (workouts, progress tracking, meal plans, etc.) you need to leverage those channels to share your promotions too to increase membership sales.

The second element of 100% reach is duration. Sure, you might have 100% engagement on your emails over the course of 10 days, but that’s not much use if your promotion will only run for 5 days.

As such, you need to ensure that your promotion is:

  1. Visible for the same timeframe it takes to achieve 100% engagement;
  2. Valid for that timeframe too.
  • Urgency

Someone deciding the purchase isn’t the same as them deciding to purchase now. And in order to ensure consistent cash flow and growth, the faster people purchase after the decision has been made the better.

You’re already familiar with all of the fitness sales techniques to create urgency, as you have either used them in your gym or studio or seen them used by others. The most obvious is ensuring that your promotions actually convey value and have a deadline. That is, someone taking advantage of the promotion now will benefit them greater than if they waited.

In the same vein, don’t run the same promotion too frequently. If you run the same month-long discount month after month indefinitely, it’s not a promotion or a discount. It’s a new price. Fortunately, with all of the add-ons and upsells available, building a 12-month promotion calendar shouldn’t be too difficult.

Just make sure that each month is different enough from the last so that it encourages clients to act now.

  • Ease of Use

Now that we’ve discussed Visibility and Urgency we can return to easiness. The first rule of sales is “Make it easy for people to buy from you.” The more difficult it is, the more people who won’t buy. And fitness sales techniques rely on this especially.

This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how often it’s violated. Imagine getting an email notification on your cellphone of a promotion - it sounds great, so you click the link to buy, but the website isn’t mobile-friendly, so you have to go to your desktop. On your desktop, you have to add it to a digital shopping cart even though it’s the only thing you want, and then despite being a paying member already you have to reenter your credit card because it’s not saved on file.

All of these steps mean people who wanted to buy won’t because you made it too difficult for them. The time between seeing a promotion and completing a purchase should be as minimal as possible, involve as few platforms as possible, and require as few clicks as possible. That was you ensure more membership sales!

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Melania Armento

Melania is a SEO specialist at Virtuagym, one of the leading innovators in the digital health and fitness industry. With 6+ years experience in marketing, she loves fitness, ranking keywords with high monthly search volume, as well as taking advantages of long summer days and warm weather.