This is the first of two posts from Daxko Engage Implementation Specialist Emily Vonbartheld talking about engaging January joins.
“January Joins” are within sight. Open the floodgates and watch as new members pour in after the sudden realization that, maybe, they shouldn’t have eaten all of that pecan pie over the holidays. It is time for us to re-focus on those excited new members and determine how we can better serve them as they’re trying to meet their goals.
Stop right there. Their goals. Do you know what their goals are? Gabriel, for example, says he wants to run a 5K by the end of the year. Why? What is his motivation to run a 5K? What are his expectations for how a gym, recreation center, YMCA, or JCC will help him accomplish his goals? How will we actually meet Gabriel’s expectations? To be able to answer all of these questions, we need to ask meaningful questions. There are a plethora of different reasons that an individual joins a health/wellness organization. Maybe they’re interested in losing 20 pounds before swimsuit season. Maybe they’re interested in becoming more of a vested member in a fitness community. Maybe they just want a reason to leave the house and make friends. Regardless of the reason, staff must be able to identify, track, and respond to members’ goals. We have to listen to what members are really looking for and be systematic about the approach.
There are a couple of places to focus in on to increase engagement and help January Joins achieve their goals. First, in your operations system, when registering a new member, it is crucial to mark the individual’s interests. This way, you can keep them up to date about what is going on in the facility relevant to their interests. This doesn’t have to feel clunky, either. When registering the new unit, simply hand over a card containing potential interests and have them check off boxes that they would like to learn more about. For example, if Gabriel checks that he is interested in sports, this information can be used to send him targeted emails about upcoming sport registrations in an effort to help motivate him and plant roots within the organization.
Want to read more? Our second part of this post is available here with next steps to engaging with new members in the new year!