Case Study: NJ Gym Uses Loyalty Program to Increase Sales from Existing Members

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Merchant: Gold’s Gym of Jersey City
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
Vendors: flok
Bottom Line: Loyalty programs increase awareness and demand for services that customers can purchase in addition to their monthly membership fees.

When consumers commit to joining a gym and paying a fixed rate each month, they’re indirectly confirming their loyalty to the business. But after years of working with clients at Gold’s Gym of Jersey City, sales manager Mauricio Calmet noticed that a secondary loyalty market exists, one that’s rarely tapped by businesses once they’ve signed customers up for yearlong contracts or memberships.

“If you buy a membership, you are contributing towards our first line of business, our main focus. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that it fulfills our secondary areas of focus — juice bar, cooler drinks, and even personal training,” says Calmet. “[Adding a loyalty program] allowed us to realize that our loyal members are indeed the ones who are satisfying both business ends.”

For the past year, Calmet has been using a customer loyalty and engagement program powered by flok to increase demand and awareness for his gym’s second line of business: add-on purchases, like drinks from the juice bar or personal training services that go beyond what clients pay for their monthly memberships. Gym members are incentivized to join the program with rewards like free guest passes, happy hour discounts, early notifications when new classes are added or cancelled, and free access to Wi-Fi during workouts. New sign-ups also get a coupon for a free protein shake when they download the mobile app that goes along with the loyalty program.

“Flok’s beacon recognizes [when] clients haven’t been around, and it automatically sends a push notification to them letting them know that we missed them, and in return for them coming back, they get a 20 percent coupon toward their next juice bar purchase,” Calmet says.

From a business standpoint, Calmet’s goals with the loyalty program are to generate more customer referrals and retain customers for longer. Happy members don’t cancel their memberships, he says, and the loyalty program provides the business with plenty of ways to boost those customer satisfaction rates.

Since launching the program a little over a year ago, Calmet has been able to get 30 percent of current gym members on board. He’s also seen an increase in repeat business at the juice bar, which was a problem the gym faced in the past.

“We take into consideration that some generations may not use the application, and some that aren’t tech-savvy just may not understand why it’s important to have,” he says. “Our staff does a great job at aiding each member with downloading [the mobile app] and using it.”

Integrations with social media have helped boost referral rates as well. Loyalty program members are automatically reminded to link their Facebook accounts to the gym’s mobile app, and the gym’s Instagram and Facebook pages are constantly shown on the landing page for the gym’s loyalty program. The gym also uses coupons as an incentive for Facebook referrals and mobile app check-ins. These social media integrations were a key component in why Calmet decided to work with flok, vs. any of the company’s competitors in the crowded loyalty marketplace.

“A member takes a picture, and it automatically uploads to our Facebook fan page,” Calmet says. “We absolutely love that.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.