Signing up new members for fitness classes can be a challenge since sales can stagnate, especially with a limited market. But, as a business like any other, you need to grow your membership rates. Non-peak classes, or those that aren’t as popular due to the time they are held, may be the key to boosting membership and reducing churn. Instead of overlooking them when you explain membership benefits, highlight their positives and watch your membership grow.

Here are five tips for signing up new members with non-peak classes.

1. Point out that non-peak classes are less crowded.

Beginners especially will appreciate the fact that non-peak classes are less crowded. They can enjoy a smaller class with less pressure and get one-on-one attention from the instructor. Even those who enjoy regular workouts often prefer a less crowded environment where they can stay focused on their goals. Also, the gym itself is likely to be less crowded during non-peak hours, so members have access to other amenities, as well as closer parking and equipment availability.

2. Test out new workout routines during non-peak hours.

One of the best ways to maintain your membership rates and draw in new members is by offering variety. If there’s a new workout routine getting a lot of attention – i.e., zumba, tai chi, pilates – you should be the first to offer it. Instead of rearranging your current class schedule, offer the new program during non-peak hours. If people love it, you can begin integrating additional classes into the schedule.

3. Bring in some of your finest instructors.

It’s not just the type of class that members care about but who will be teaching it. Instructors are integral to your fitness club, and the rapports they develop with members leads to lower retention rates. If you want to increase sign-ups during non-peak times, place your best instructors in these classes. New members will look forward to having A+ instructors to work with in a less crowded environment.

4. Start a referral or bring-a-friend program.

A great way to boost membership without losing time or money is by offering a referral or bring-a-friend program. In fact, member referrals are still the biggest source of new memberships in the industry. Not only is the person getting a recommendation from a friend, but also they get to experience the gym for themselves. Allow current members to bring a friend into one non-peak class for free.

5. Offer a free non-peak class to new members.

To get new people into your gym, offer a free one-day pass. Include a non-peak class of their choice, which is a great approach since the person will be able to see what your gym has to offer in a smaller and less crowded environment. If you keep good instructors in these classes and offer fun workout routines, you’ll be putting your best foot forward, too. Don’t hesitate to offer an incentive for those who sign up for a membership that day.

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