Apps are often seen by leisure operators as predominantly a tool for customers to make bookings and can be under-utilised or reviewed and updated too infrequently. Why not use the new year as an opportunity to refresh and maximise your app?  

Here are five top tips to get you started!  

  1. Audit your existing app 

    The end of the year is a perfect time to review your app performance over the last 12 months. It’s also a great time to set some targets for the next 12 months in terms of downloads and usage and then compare the results at the same time next year to see if your marketing activity has had a positive impact. 

    By using the ‘reports’ tab on the left, you can view a range of stats – from the number of active users to module opens. The ‘app hits by module’ report allows you to identify which modules/tiles are being opened by your app users the most and might highlight some out-of-date or underused tiles – these tiles could then be replaced with new tiles that are more beneficial to the customer. Class bookings notoriously have the highest hits, but there might be some other modules that are used more frequently than you thought, or less frequently. If you find there are underused modules, then consider how you promote the use of these modules further before removing or changing it – for example, you may wish to consider push notifications to that tile and review your app design to increase the module opens. 

    It’s also a good time to review the design of your app to see if any content is out-of-date or if any design elements need a refresh. Check that your app is on-brand, consistent and accessible.  

  2. Create a ‘New Year’ splash screen to promote your offers and content 

    If your app provider package includes a sub-navigation module, why not consider a ‘splash screen’ to promote your January offers, news and events? See it as a welcome screen to welcome members into the new year, using both retention-focussed content that would appeal to existing members such as promoting community events, gym challenges or informative content such as New Year workout ideas, as well as using promotional-focussed content that might help to convert or upsell your pay-as-you-go customers through showcasing new year offers or incentives.  

    This splash screen can be linked from your home screen using a tile or promotional banner and will act as a similar way to a campaign landing page on your website, but with no requirement for the user to leave the app. The key to this is ensuring that both members and non-members would get value from the campaign or content you are promoting, if both audiences use your app. 

  3. New year, new content 

    Content marketing should be a part of all leisure operator’s marketing strategy. Content marketing involves using content to attract, engage and retain an audience by sharing relevant and valuable content such as blog articles, downloadables, videos, or other media. This approach establishes expertise, promotes brand awareness, and, after time, can prompt action to be taken such as a purchase. 

    If your app has a content hub such as a tile that links to articles or videos within the app, why not add in some New Year content that will inspire your members to start reaching their fitness goals with you? This content can help with member retention as well as brand positioning if you demonstrate enough value as your members will see you as their ‘go to’ experts in fitness! Use your staff to help produce the content as they are the experts in their fields, for example personal trainers, fitness instructors or nutritionists. Perhaps you could offer an incentive or thank you gift to the staff in return.  

  4. Add a customer experience survey 

    Why not add a banner which links to a customer survey to gain insight into a particular business area or topic? For example, to gain feedback on your membership and facilities, to find out which new classes or activities your members would like on the timetable in the new year, or to gain insight into customer behaviors – perhaps you’d like to find out the main reasons why your members struggle when it comes to maintaining a fitness routine, or areas that you could provide more support on? If you offer an incentive for customers to complete the survey, you are more likely to receive a higher response rate. 

  5. Promote app downloads!  

    January and February are the strongest months for membership sales and leisure providers should capitalise on this by encouraging all new joiners, as well as existing members, to download the app and switch on their notifications to stay up to date. The best way to promote your app to new members is upon sign up (if in person) and to include a link to download the app within your welcome email communications.  

For more information on how to promote your app download our guide here.

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