Beyond Gift Cards: Holiday Marketing For Health Clubs, Yoga Studios and Wellness Centers

There’s more to holiday marketing than gift cards and gift certificates for health clubs, yoga studios and wellness centers! Use these ten tips in your email marketing and print promotions for the holiday season:

1) Grab bags

holiday / Christmas gift boxFor example, health clubs and gyms can package 20 energy bars with a total retail value of $50 and sell the entire assortment for $15 — a 70% savings. What’s the catch? No one gets to pick the flavors — it’s a surprise!
This offer is especially effective if you have lots of small-dollar items, items with approaching expiration dates, or items that will be replaced by newer versions, flavors, colors, etc. in the near future. You can often position this kind of offer as a great stocking-stuffer.

2) Wrap it up!

Health and wellness businesses nearly always overlook this one.

Even a gift card, class card or gift certificate from your yoga studio can be wrapped attractively.

And just because it’s a card doesn’t mean you’re limited to presenting it an envelope. That envelope could and should go inside an attractively wrapped box or basket.

You can offer gift wrapping for free, you can charge for it, or you can invite the Girl Scouts or another charity to do it in exchange for $5 donations.

3) Guilt-free shopping

Nearly everyone likes to know that their purchase will do good for someone else.

In your promotions for family fitness programs, let folks you’re making a donation to a particular charity for every dollar spent.

You may donate a dollar for every customer on Monday, or you may donate 2% of all sales in December. Or use the donation to incent purchase of a particular product or amount.

4) Twice is better

Don’t send your marketing emails just once. Generally, send around Thanksgiving — either the week before or the week right after — and again in mid-December.

If you send a monthly newsletter, mention your holiday promos there, too.

5) Upsell

Create upsell opportunities by combining multiple products and services for a single price.

For example, offer a “monthly smoothie club” card for free when someone buys a new membership or renews their membership to your wellness center.

Or, offer a package that combines a class card with a yoga prop or workout clothes. Set the package price below what they’d pay individually and point out the dollar savings in your promotion.

Another approach: create an on-the-fly program by combining several different services and selling them for a single combined price.  Example: personal training + membership in your triathlon training group + a discount on all food products plus a discount on wetsuits at a local tri shop all adds up to a product called something like “The Triathlete’s Dream Gift.”

6) Gift baskets

We’ve seen some really boring gift baskets. You know, the world has enough soap and shower gel from Bath & Body Works to last a lifetime.

Get creative! Offer baskets tailored to your health and wellness clients.

One of our clients crafted a beautiful basket for a vegetarian gift recipient with a vegetarian cookbook, restaurant gift certificates to a locally famous vegetarian diner, a few pieces of organic fruit plus some fair-trade chocolate bars, and a cute locally-made scarf. Oh, and three months worth of yoga and nutrition classes!

Charming, unique, and quite profitable.

7) BOGOs

At the holidays, we’re huge fans of BOGOs — “buy one, get one free” offers.

Position it either as “one for you, one for a gift” or “two gifts for the price of one”.

It’s also effective to market it as “you + your spouse/partner/girlfriend/child/etc.”

8) Categorize gifts by recipient

Do the thinking for your customers. When you create your marketing promotion, categorize your products for likely recipients.

Otherwise, people may think “Oh, I don’t know anyone who would want a health club gift certificate for Christmas.”

Well, that may be true — but they might well know someone that likes to eat healthy, and would love to get a stocking full of those energy bars we mentioned above. And they may well have a spouse or partner who travels and would get a kick out of a set of FitDeck cards.

So in your promotions, create a category called “Gifts For Travelers”, and stick the FitDeck cards in there.

Common categories: gifts for people who like to eat healthy, people who care about the environment, moms, travelers, fitness enthusiasts, gardeners, cooks, golfers, teenagers, sports nuts.

9) Pictures sell

Look for opportunities to display your products and services in your marketing emails and promotional flyers.

Remember our energy bar grab bag example? Get a cheapo felt Christmas stocking at Walmart or Michaels hobby stores, take off the price tag, and stuff the energy bars in it.

Take a digital picture to use in your marketing email. Put the stuffed stocking on your counter.

10) Productize it!

Instead of offering only general-purpose gift cards or gift certificates, market those same gift certificates in predetermined amounts as products tailored for specific customer interests.

For example, if your clinic provides massage, instead of simply saying “Hey, we’ve got gift certificates”, offer a his-n-hers massage package, or a pack of prenatal massage coupons. Or package several sessions together as “The Ultimate Gift For Your Favorite Fitness Nut”.

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Leslie Nolen, Radial's president, is the nationally-known expert on the art and science of selling health and wellness.

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