New Movers, New Beginnings: A Guide for Health Clubs to Attract New Members

February 20, 2024by Larisa Bedgood0

In the highly competitive fitness industry, attracting and retaining members is a top priority for fitness clubs. One highly effective strategy is targeting new movers. 

When individuals relocate to a new area, they often seek out local fitness options as part of their lifestyle adjustment. By recognizing the potential of this unique demographic and tailoring marketing efforts specifically to new movers, fitness clubs can tap into a valuable and untapped market segment.

Understanding the Impact of New Movers

New movers represent a unique and receptive audience for health clubs. According to U.S. Census data, the total number of Americans who moved in 2023 was 25.6 million, meaning a wealth of potential new gym members.

According to industry research:

  • New movers are 3 times more likely to try a new fitness studio or gym compared to established residents
  • 31% of of movers said that finding a good gym was a top priority when moving to a new area
  • 68% of gym members say that proximity to home or work is the most important factor when choosing a gym

This presents a substantial opportunity for fitness centers to tap into a pool of individuals actively seeking new services in their relocated community.

Data-Driven Personalization for Fitness Success

According to a study by McKinsey, businesses that use data-driven personalization can increase their marketing ROI by 15-20%. Tailor your offerings, promotional messages, and engagement strategies to align with the preferences and needs of new movers.

Targeted Local Ads

Harness the potential of targeted local ads to maximize your fitness center’s visibility. Research shows that 46% of Google searches are for local businesses, and search types like “near me” and “close by” have grown by 900% in recent years.

Utilize platforms like Google Ads and social media advertising to precisely target new movers in your local area, promoting exclusive offers or trial memberships to entice them to your facility.

Direct Mail Campaigns with Interactive Elements

Research shows that 82% of new movers who receive direct mail from businesses find it helpful for discovering local services and products in their new area.

Direct mail is a great tool for providing valuable information to movers as they seek out local fitness options in their new neighborhood. 

Additionally, 44% of new movers say they save direct mail offers received during their move for future use, demonstrating the lasting impact of direct mail during the moving process.  Direct mail has a lasting impact on movers, with a significant percentage saving offers for later use, indicating its influence beyond the immediate move.

Consider enhancing your direct mail campaigns by incorporating QR codes or personalized URLs to seamlessly blend the physical and digital realms, making your fitness center stand out.

Engaging Social Media Storytelling

Leverage social media platforms to share success stories, testimonials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses at your fitness center, creating an engaging narrative that resonates with the experiences of new movers. Social media should be a part of every fitness club’s marketing strategy.

This is also a highly effective way to reach Millennials and Gen-Z.  According to IHRSA’s Global Report, Gen Z and Millennials comprise over 80% of the fitness market.


Customer Testimonials as Social Proof

Encourage satisfied customers, especially those who are recent movers, to share their positive fitness experiences. 

Showcase these testimonials in your marketing materials to provide real-life examples of how your fitness center has positively impacted the lives of new movers.

Email Marketing for Ongoing Engagement

Email is an incredibly cost effective channel, generating an average of $42 for every $1 spent. Email marketing is a great channel to deliver personalized and compelling messages directly to the inboxes of potential customers.

Use this channel to extend a warm welcome to new residents, offering them exclusive promotions, trial memberships, or special incentives as part of their relocation journey.

By crafting relevant and appealing content, fitness centers can showcase their state-of-the-art facilities, fitness classes, and amenities, all designed to meet the specific needs and preferences of these newcomers. 

Additionally, email enables ongoing communication, keeping new movers informed about class schedules, fitness tips, and community events, fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging them to become long-term members.

This proactive approach not only boosts customer acquisition but also establishes a strong foundation for building lasting relationships with this valuable demographic.

Incorporating mover marketing strategies into your fitness center’s outreach can significantly impact your ability to attract and retain new customers.

By understanding the unique needs of new movers and implementing personalized, data-driven campaigns, health clubs can create a lasting impression, positioning themselves as essential partners in the wellness journeys of individuals navigating the move.

For more information and ideas to help you fuel your marketing customer acquisition programs, contact Welcome Wagon

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