Depending on your member-based business, you're going to have a target demographic in terms of age. Most of our clients tend to target young adults to seniors, although it really depends in the industry and location you are in. Whereas many young adults are looking to join gyms, dance studios, spin classes, etc, many seniors may not register without a little motivation. Here are some of our best tips to attract and retain older students:
Events That Work for the Age of Your Desired Members
Depending on the actual age range you want to connect with, you can host events at your school that appeal to different age groups. You can have a seniors' open house where they can come and see how fitness will help people their age stay healthy and happy. Different community centres, local pubs and the like are great places to reach out to this demographic as well. Consider also hosting events designed to have older members invite their friends
"Fitness and exercise are very important for older members. It's important to inspire and motivate them." Photo by Nathan Pfau
Age Appropriate Promotions
There are a number of promotions your school could run, in order to attract new students, from cross-promotions with other businesses that many seniors frequent, to community centres and assisted living facilities. Farmers Markets are one that many don't think about but, by promoting at one, you can reach a very wide range of age groups who are aligned with many of your school's teachings, especially around health and nutrition.
Create Your Class Selection Wisely
Depending on what your specific classes teach, you may have to create a selection of classes appropriate to seniors. Not all yoga, pilates or spin classes will be appropriate for a senior, just as some weight training and other gym-based routines may not be. By having a wide range of classes – and appropriate teachers who understand the context of these special classes – you'll be able to attract a wider range of ages into to school, allowing to help it grow and become more diverse.
Don’t Forget About Parents and Grandparentsy
Many of your students will have parents and extended family that could benefit from joining your classes, studio or gym. Run promotional campaigns that are referral based – even a family discount might work. Make sure that, when you do have events, you encourage your students to bring not only friends but family as well.