How to increase membership for your pools?
Summer is almost here. Pool companies, aquatic centers, swim clubs, swim schools, and HOAs are gearing up to reopen their swimming pools. Renovation efforts, sanitization, maintenance, safety compliance, and so many other things are on the checklist. Not to mention, all other pool facilities will be doing the same and more.
What if your pool facility does not get the seasonal surge? How to attract more customers to your pool than the other clubs in the community? What else could you do to keep your pools running and growing? What is that one thing that will help you in retaining your old clients and fill up every slot in your business calendars?
Well, it's a steady Membership System!
If you do not already have one, we are sure you need one for that consistent cash flow!
Here's the right mix of steps to boost participation and pump up membership for your pools not only this summer but next as well!
Create Swim Programs
A safe and well-running community pool is not only great for revenue generation but also a matter of considerable civic pride. Creating diverse aquatic programs, therefore, makes your facility attractive and inclusive. Try to learn more about your pool users' current profiles based on gender, age, family groups, athletes, non-athletes, recreational swimmers, and any other demographics that need to be catered to. It will help to customize your swim programs better. It indeed opens the gates of your aquatic facility to people of all ages and abilities, in solo or groups, current customers, and potential ones as well. Learn about your current pool users, say what percentage of users come under competitive programs, recreation, instruction, or therapy programs. Analyze your pool visitors' frequency- daily, weekly, monthly, or once in a while. This data is crucial in understanding how many people are willing to pay more, stay longer, etc., and create better membership plans.
The basic idea behind creating diverse swim programs is to enhance participation. Community pools are great places to hang out and meet new people. As a pool owner, you could organize events and workshops where like-minded people can come in and interact. Hence innovative membership programs are another way towards that goal. Say creating cost-effective membership schemes for kids to use pools during their summer break or group membership for after-school swimming lessons. You could further club swim classes based on age groups, say- high-school groups or college groups. Your swim club could also offer special memberships on beginner swim lessons for adults and kids at different slots. Or go ahead with a membership program for special training for competitive swimmers, triathlete training, diving lessons, scuba, training for championships, survival swimming, life safety skills, and other aquatic activities.
Another way to make memberships work is effective and convenient scheduling. It would help if you created a possibility for your members to flexibly schedule their pool time according to their convenience. It is something that your members would want to have as a part of their membership program. For a specific swim class or trainer that is popular among groups, you should increase the number of times you offer his/her class so that different members get a chance to drop in as they like. Smart scheduling also makes it convenient for families and groups to have fun summertime together!
Memberships help you create a community of customers closer to your brand by giving them access to specific services and offers that are not available to all. Hence easy access to your pool services should be your top priority. The booking and registration process is central to this. Use an intuitive booking platform like Omnify for your pool facility so that visitors/members can conveniently book their classes and programs. For a maximum chance of participation, it is critical that your pool facility appears right on the map that they are searching for. Hence, using a robust booking system is a must!
How to add that extra perk to your current offerings? 'Discount benefits' is the answer! It is one of the significant benefits of having a membership. Invite your pool members to try a new swim program at discounted rates or offer sample classes and free trials. Discounts and free trials help your customers to get a better understanding of all that your club offers. Hence enticing them for a membership plan becomes easy. Another way to offer discounts is based on demography- say special deals for kids, pregnant women, or elderly groups.
After an adequate analysis, if your club finds out that your pool visitors are students or relatively younger groups, you could make 'affordable memberships' for them. Affordability is not just about pricing it low but the selection of classes, time-slots, packages. Say you can club one free class with your membership program, discounted membership for high-school competitive swimmers, etc. The idea is to retain young visitors who are interested in your services. Omnify's in-built membership management solution helps create any number of membership types, passes with differential pricing, and more. Besides, auto-recurring billing makes life easier and revenues predictable.
To know more about Omnify’s differential pricing for members, Read here about Omnify’s Member Benefits V2 feature.
One Membership across Services
While pools may open for a season, gyms and fitness activities/memberships continue throughout the year. For a club that offers both these services, you could club one membership program across your services. Offer 'Gym+Pool' membership packages or pair any multiple services together in one membership. You could also add a 'Parent+Kid' membership program, so there is no waiting for a parent while his/her kid is taking a beginner's swim class. The parent can go for a quick run on the treadmill with all the time in hand. These membership ideas will undoubtedly give your members a hassle-free experience, feel welcoming, and refer your club to a friend who probably has just a gym membership across the street. After sweating it out at the gym, a clean pool for that refreshing dive sounds lit, doesn't it?
Increase awareness on opening your pools
Last but not least, announcing your pool opening is crucial. When you are opening your pools after a long break, after you go through all the maintenance work to make pool time welcoming and sustainable for all, it is crucial that you spread the word right, as well! Use fliers, posters, email campaigns, social media, etc., aligning well to your demographics. Let people know about the safety measures your club has undertaken, Covid-19 guidelines that have been followed, date of opening, discounts, if any, etc. You obviously expect many older customers and newer ones too, so the right marketing strategy will help you go a long way.
Still, if you are opening a new pool facility and are unsure of your community's wants, always be proactive in conducting surveys via emails, phone calls, or social media. Put the word out about your offerings, membership, and safety guidelines.
Membership programs are a great way to re-engage and get returning customers. More often, it is easier to retain your existing pool customers as you have already won them over with your services. Their word of mouth about your facility and services is of high value to you even in converting newer visitors into members. Your existing pool customers are gold. So member retention is crucial for any community pool. Think about tossing a rewards or referral program for your regular members and frequent visitors. It works as a token of appreciation, and who knows, you might just land up a new membership!
Ultimately, it's all about your pool offerings, your infrastructure, ease of access, the convenience of visitors, discounts, and lots of member benefits that will certainly assure you a good number of pool visitors this summer and next!