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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Retention - reward schemes: Activity = reward

Are physical, tangible rewards the best way to get members to stick to their exercise routines? Katherine Selby reports on the growing category of activity reward schemes

By Katherine Selby | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 4
Pay back time: Rewards must be desirable and worth making the extra effort for / shutterstock
Pay back time: Rewards must be desirable and worth making the extra effort for / shutterstock

Motivation is a tricky business. What gets one person out of bed and into the gym, or setting their alarm to book an exercise class, will not get the next person moving.

But what if you actually reward people for being active – not just a pat on the back, or a reliance on long-term weight loss or fitness goals to keep people motivated, but an immediate, tangible, material reward?

Different people will of course be motivated by different rewards. Some will respond to monetary incentives (discounts), others to material items (freebies). Some will be motivated more by quick wins – a ‘little and often’ approach – while others will save up reward points for bigger items like three months’ free gym membership or even a free wearable.

The trick is to offer a range of rewards to motivate different personality types.

But provided the right rewards are on offer – and the activity levels needed to earn them are realistic – rewards can be used very effectively in goal-setting.

Offer a desirable reward that’s worth making the extra effort for – and ideally allow members to track progress, so they can see how close they are to securing it – and watch as people instinctively step up the effort to reach a reward that has come within reach, boosting their activity further. The sense of achievement is wonderful – and addictive. Which is good news for all concerned as the new goal is set, the next reward established and the effort redoubled…

Unsurprisingly then, exercise-related reward schemes are growing in popularity, with many combining sophisticated software platforms and clever technology to deliver truly personalised programmes. We look at some of the main players in the market.

PERK UP!

Scheme: Perkville

Fresh from the US, reward scheme Perkville is gaining ground in the UK and looking to build its position as a leading member retention and referral programme. Participating clubs typically enjoy a 30–40 per cent Perkville registration rate among members, with 30 per cent likely to refer a friend and a similar percentage staying up to 45 days longer than non-Perkville members.

“We’re currently in 2,200 locations across 25 countries, with several million registered club members actively using the system,” says Marty Regan, sales director at Perkville.

“We launched in 2010 and set out to integrate with club management software to automate the member loyalty programme for club operators and members. Our system rewards members for things like checking in to the club, making purchases, posting on social media, referring friends and more besides.

“We entered the UK market in August 2014, launching the Perkville Rewards System with Xercise4Less. Within five months, 2,036 members sent referral emails to 12,595 friends and 517 new members signed up to Xercise4Less.”

“Perkville has been a massive driver in improving our holistic membership experience,” confirms Joe Hall, head of customer engagement for Xercise4Less. “Not only has it increased customer loyalty, but it has also driven our ancillary revenue and maximised our engagement with members on social media. It’s been a game changer for us.

“Over 4,000 members have joined in the last year as a direct referral from the Perkville platform. We’ve also seen thousands of free PT sessions redeemed, leading to an increased use of our personal trainers.”

Rewards typically include free passes for friends, PT sessions, free memberships and discounts with preferred suppliers – so long as these discounts are better than those that can be found elsewhere online.

“The benefits of Perkville are three-fold,” adds Regan. “Firstly, members are retained by earning points for each visit to the club, so they come more often and stay longer. Secondly, our referral component drives members to refer friends for bonus points. And thirdly, our members post on social media about their experience, which drives more content on both Facebook and Twitter.”

It all adds up: Regular gym visits can bring great rewards, such as free cinema tickets / shutterstock
It all adds up: Regular gym visits can bring great rewards, such as free cinema tickets / shutterstock
Free PT is a popular reward at Xercise4Less
Free PT is a popular reward at Xercise4Less
"Within five months of launching Perkville at Xercise4Less, 2,036 members sent referral emails and 517 new members signed up" - Marty Regan, Sales Director, Perkville

BOUNTY HUNTER

Scheme: bounts

Bounts is an increasingly familiar name in the UK market, with around three million members and a consistently high ranking on the UK App Store. 

Launched in 2011, the exercise reward tracking app allows members to receive reward points – or ‘bounts’ – for taking part in physical activity. The app links to activity trackers such as Fitbit, Runkeeper and MapMyFitness to keep a log of exercise done; web-enabled gym equipment such as Precor, Life Fitness and Technogym can also be connected, so activity done on this equipment counts towards your bounts tally. The bounts reward points can then be redeemed as vouchers for things like the cinema, food outlets and sports stores. 

Two recent studies from bounts make a good case for clubs to engage in reward schemes: they show people are twice as likely to keep using their gym membership for 12 months or more when they belong to bounts. Furthermore, bounts has been shown to motivate totally inactive people: in one programme, 85 per cent of its users referred by GPs and deemed by the GP to be inactive completed a 12-week exercise plan, compared to only 25 per cent of people who weren’t signed up to bounts – making this a great tool to help keep new members on track in those critical first few months.

“bounts is very rewarding for users, while operators gain valuable insight into their members’ patterns of behaviour both inside and outside of the club, their venue dwell times, activity choices and durations,” says Danny Woods, retention manager at blunts.

“We can personalise the programme by sending bespoke, in-app messages to members’ mobiles on behalf of the organisation. These might offer discounts, offers within venues – reduced tennis court fees, for example – or promote products such as PT sessions.

“We have a number of operators using bounts – organisations as diverse as the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Everyone Active, Cancer Research UK and the RFU.

“Meanwhile, Gladstone Health & Leisure integrates bounts into its existing membership software and online booking systems. It can be used to promote quieter times – for example, offering extra points for attendance during quieter days/times – or to drive interest in specific classes.”

Equipment such as Precor can be connected to bounts
Equipment such as Precor can be connected to bounts
"85 per cent of bounts users referred by GPs completed a 12-week exercise plan, versus only 25 per cent of people who weren’t signed up to blunts" - Danny Woods, Retention Manager, bounts

IN FINE FETTLE

Scheme: Fettle

Fettle is the latest programme to enter the fitness industry following a successful pilot with CrossFit in the UK. “We put our money where our mouth is,” says Brent Kelly, Fettle CEO. “We believe that healthy behaviour deserves healthy rewards, so we’ve put together a top-class package of perks and treats – from free coffee and cinema tickets to heavily discounted gym memberships and fitness equipment – to keep our customers happy and productive.

“As a pioneer in the health protection industry, we’re using the latest digital technology to incentivise and reward our members for making healthy choices. Our unique Active Credits system is a total game-changer: activity converts to credits which can be cashed in against the cost of a gym membership or fitness equipment, meaning we keep our members healthy, protected and rewarded – whatever their fitness preference.

“CrossFit members love Fettle: 76 CrossFit sites signed up within two months, and we had 70 individuals wanting to sign up on Facebook on the day it launched. To date, over 1,300 CrossFit members have cashed in more than £600,000-worth of rewards through Fettle.

“Now we’re seeing health club members taking an active interest in their own exercise – checking their heart rate, being conscious of what they’re doing between exercise sessions, and generally being more aware of the positive impact their activity is having on their health.”

“When I first heard about Fettle, I wondered where the catch was,” says Chris Templeman, director at CrossFit Clitheroe – the first CrossFit club to register. “With 15 years’ experience in the fitness industry, I’ve seen some gimmicky incentives. But Fettle is a great programme that rewards people for being active and healthy.”

"To date, over 1,300 CrossFit members have cashed in more than £600,000-worth of rewards through Fettle" - Brent Kelly, Fettle CEO

ACTIVITY-SPECIFIC

Schemes: Running Heroes & Bitwalking

While Perkville, bounts and Fettle have a broad spectrum approach, rewarding most forms of movement and activity, there are other ‘points for exercise’ schemes that operate at an activity-specific level.

One of these, Running Heroes, harnesses the myriad running apps and converts the tracked miles into reward points. “You simply connect your running app to Running Heroes, enjoy your run and see your effort converted into points for some well-deserved rewards in the form of exciting and exclusive offers from our partners,” says Quentin Auberger, UK country manager.

“With around 200 brands linked to Running Heroes – such as Nike, adidas, Reebok, Saucony, Mizuno, Brooks, ASICS and New Balance, as well as Holiday Inn, Spotify, Uber, Jabra, Ultimate Ears and Gousto – there really is something for everyone.

“Running Heroes has 250,000 members worldwide, and since we launched in the UK in June 2015, 25,000 people have signed up in that market. The average run is around five miles, and the average running time per week around two hours. Cumulatively, Running Heroes members have covered a combined distance the equivalent of running around the globe more than four times.”

He continues: “We’ll be introducing new functionalities very shortly to make the platform more social. That will include a Session tool to find running mates by creating your own session online, a Community tool to find and add friends, and a Forum to exchange tips. In addition, we’ve just introduced Skiing Heroes and will be launching Cycling Heroes in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile Bitwalking is a new app that converts your steps into Bitwalking dollars. The principle is straightforward and rewards people for doing the simplest form of exercise: walking. People earn one BW$ for about every 10,000 steps taken and can spend their BW$ via the in-app market or with third party partners.

Bitwalking is now looking for health club partners to offer services such as a classes, day passes or a reduction in membership in exchange for Bitwalking dollars.

Bitwalking is a truly global programme, with its roll-out dictated by demand – the countries with the most requests will get the scheme first. Nevertheless, it’s been designed with developing markets front of mind: while users in First World countries will be able to earn themselves a free coffee or two each week, people in developing countries – who walk far further each day, often simply in order to survive, such as to get water – can earn many more BW$ and gain rewards that will genuinely transform their lives.

Based on the success of the Running Heroes rewards scheme, Skiing Heroes and Cycling Heroes have also been created / shutterstock
Based on the success of the Running Heroes rewards scheme, Skiing Heroes and Cycling Heroes have also been created / shutterstock
"Running Heroes has 250,000 members worldwide, and since we launched in the UK in June 2015, 25,000 people have signed up" - Quentin Auberger, UK manager, Running Heroes
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/983482_453823.jpg
To get people active, offer rewards. We tell you how...
Katherine Selby Marty Regan, sales director, Perkville Danny Woods, retention manager, bounts Brent Kelly, Fettle CEO Quentin Auberger, UK manager, Running Heroes,Reward, reward schemes, bounts, Perkville, Marty Reagan, Xercise4Less, Danny Woods, Fettle, Brent Kelly, CrossFit, Running Heroes, Bitwalking, Quentin Auberger
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features

Retention - reward schemes: Activity = reward

Are physical, tangible rewards the best way to get members to stick to their exercise routines? Katherine Selby reports on the growing category of activity reward schemes

By Katherine Selby | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 4
Pay back time: Rewards must be desirable and worth making the extra effort for / shutterstock
Pay back time: Rewards must be desirable and worth making the extra effort for / shutterstock

Motivation is a tricky business. What gets one person out of bed and into the gym, or setting their alarm to book an exercise class, will not get the next person moving.

But what if you actually reward people for being active – not just a pat on the back, or a reliance on long-term weight loss or fitness goals to keep people motivated, but an immediate, tangible, material reward?

Different people will of course be motivated by different rewards. Some will respond to monetary incentives (discounts), others to material items (freebies). Some will be motivated more by quick wins – a ‘little and often’ approach – while others will save up reward points for bigger items like three months’ free gym membership or even a free wearable.

The trick is to offer a range of rewards to motivate different personality types.

But provided the right rewards are on offer – and the activity levels needed to earn them are realistic – rewards can be used very effectively in goal-setting.

Offer a desirable reward that’s worth making the extra effort for – and ideally allow members to track progress, so they can see how close they are to securing it – and watch as people instinctively step up the effort to reach a reward that has come within reach, boosting their activity further. The sense of achievement is wonderful – and addictive. Which is good news for all concerned as the new goal is set, the next reward established and the effort redoubled…

Unsurprisingly then, exercise-related reward schemes are growing in popularity, with many combining sophisticated software platforms and clever technology to deliver truly personalised programmes. We look at some of the main players in the market.

PERK UP!

Scheme: Perkville

Fresh from the US, reward scheme Perkville is gaining ground in the UK and looking to build its position as a leading member retention and referral programme. Participating clubs typically enjoy a 30–40 per cent Perkville registration rate among members, with 30 per cent likely to refer a friend and a similar percentage staying up to 45 days longer than non-Perkville members.

“We’re currently in 2,200 locations across 25 countries, with several million registered club members actively using the system,” says Marty Regan, sales director at Perkville.

“We launched in 2010 and set out to integrate with club management software to automate the member loyalty programme for club operators and members. Our system rewards members for things like checking in to the club, making purchases, posting on social media, referring friends and more besides.

“We entered the UK market in August 2014, launching the Perkville Rewards System with Xercise4Less. Within five months, 2,036 members sent referral emails to 12,595 friends and 517 new members signed up to Xercise4Less.”

“Perkville has been a massive driver in improving our holistic membership experience,” confirms Joe Hall, head of customer engagement for Xercise4Less. “Not only has it increased customer loyalty, but it has also driven our ancillary revenue and maximised our engagement with members on social media. It’s been a game changer for us.

“Over 4,000 members have joined in the last year as a direct referral from the Perkville platform. We’ve also seen thousands of free PT sessions redeemed, leading to an increased use of our personal trainers.”

Rewards typically include free passes for friends, PT sessions, free memberships and discounts with preferred suppliers – so long as these discounts are better than those that can be found elsewhere online.

“The benefits of Perkville are three-fold,” adds Regan. “Firstly, members are retained by earning points for each visit to the club, so they come more often and stay longer. Secondly, our referral component drives members to refer friends for bonus points. And thirdly, our members post on social media about their experience, which drives more content on both Facebook and Twitter.”

It all adds up: Regular gym visits can bring great rewards, such as free cinema tickets / shutterstock
It all adds up: Regular gym visits can bring great rewards, such as free cinema tickets / shutterstock
Free PT is a popular reward at Xercise4Less
Free PT is a popular reward at Xercise4Less
"Within five months of launching Perkville at Xercise4Less, 2,036 members sent referral emails and 517 new members signed up" - Marty Regan, Sales Director, Perkville

BOUNTY HUNTER

Scheme: bounts

Bounts is an increasingly familiar name in the UK market, with around three million members and a consistently high ranking on the UK App Store. 

Launched in 2011, the exercise reward tracking app allows members to receive reward points – or ‘bounts’ – for taking part in physical activity. The app links to activity trackers such as Fitbit, Runkeeper and MapMyFitness to keep a log of exercise done; web-enabled gym equipment such as Precor, Life Fitness and Technogym can also be connected, so activity done on this equipment counts towards your bounts tally. The bounts reward points can then be redeemed as vouchers for things like the cinema, food outlets and sports stores. 

Two recent studies from bounts make a good case for clubs to engage in reward schemes: they show people are twice as likely to keep using their gym membership for 12 months or more when they belong to bounts. Furthermore, bounts has been shown to motivate totally inactive people: in one programme, 85 per cent of its users referred by GPs and deemed by the GP to be inactive completed a 12-week exercise plan, compared to only 25 per cent of people who weren’t signed up to bounts – making this a great tool to help keep new members on track in those critical first few months.

“bounts is very rewarding for users, while operators gain valuable insight into their members’ patterns of behaviour both inside and outside of the club, their venue dwell times, activity choices and durations,” says Danny Woods, retention manager at blunts.

“We can personalise the programme by sending bespoke, in-app messages to members’ mobiles on behalf of the organisation. These might offer discounts, offers within venues – reduced tennis court fees, for example – or promote products such as PT sessions.

“We have a number of operators using bounts – organisations as diverse as the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Everyone Active, Cancer Research UK and the RFU.

“Meanwhile, Gladstone Health & Leisure integrates bounts into its existing membership software and online booking systems. It can be used to promote quieter times – for example, offering extra points for attendance during quieter days/times – or to drive interest in specific classes.”

Equipment such as Precor can be connected to bounts
Equipment such as Precor can be connected to bounts
"85 per cent of bounts users referred by GPs completed a 12-week exercise plan, versus only 25 per cent of people who weren’t signed up to blunts" - Danny Woods, Retention Manager, bounts

IN FINE FETTLE

Scheme: Fettle

Fettle is the latest programme to enter the fitness industry following a successful pilot with CrossFit in the UK. “We put our money where our mouth is,” says Brent Kelly, Fettle CEO. “We believe that healthy behaviour deserves healthy rewards, so we’ve put together a top-class package of perks and treats – from free coffee and cinema tickets to heavily discounted gym memberships and fitness equipment – to keep our customers happy and productive.

“As a pioneer in the health protection industry, we’re using the latest digital technology to incentivise and reward our members for making healthy choices. Our unique Active Credits system is a total game-changer: activity converts to credits which can be cashed in against the cost of a gym membership or fitness equipment, meaning we keep our members healthy, protected and rewarded – whatever their fitness preference.

“CrossFit members love Fettle: 76 CrossFit sites signed up within two months, and we had 70 individuals wanting to sign up on Facebook on the day it launched. To date, over 1,300 CrossFit members have cashed in more than £600,000-worth of rewards through Fettle.

“Now we’re seeing health club members taking an active interest in their own exercise – checking their heart rate, being conscious of what they’re doing between exercise sessions, and generally being more aware of the positive impact their activity is having on their health.”

“When I first heard about Fettle, I wondered where the catch was,” says Chris Templeman, director at CrossFit Clitheroe – the first CrossFit club to register. “With 15 years’ experience in the fitness industry, I’ve seen some gimmicky incentives. But Fettle is a great programme that rewards people for being active and healthy.”

"To date, over 1,300 CrossFit members have cashed in more than £600,000-worth of rewards through Fettle" - Brent Kelly, Fettle CEO

ACTIVITY-SPECIFIC

Schemes: Running Heroes & Bitwalking

While Perkville, bounts and Fettle have a broad spectrum approach, rewarding most forms of movement and activity, there are other ‘points for exercise’ schemes that operate at an activity-specific level.

One of these, Running Heroes, harnesses the myriad running apps and converts the tracked miles into reward points. “You simply connect your running app to Running Heroes, enjoy your run and see your effort converted into points for some well-deserved rewards in the form of exciting and exclusive offers from our partners,” says Quentin Auberger, UK country manager.

“With around 200 brands linked to Running Heroes – such as Nike, adidas, Reebok, Saucony, Mizuno, Brooks, ASICS and New Balance, as well as Holiday Inn, Spotify, Uber, Jabra, Ultimate Ears and Gousto – there really is something for everyone.

“Running Heroes has 250,000 members worldwide, and since we launched in the UK in June 2015, 25,000 people have signed up in that market. The average run is around five miles, and the average running time per week around two hours. Cumulatively, Running Heroes members have covered a combined distance the equivalent of running around the globe more than four times.”

He continues: “We’ll be introducing new functionalities very shortly to make the platform more social. That will include a Session tool to find running mates by creating your own session online, a Community tool to find and add friends, and a Forum to exchange tips. In addition, we’ve just introduced Skiing Heroes and will be launching Cycling Heroes in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile Bitwalking is a new app that converts your steps into Bitwalking dollars. The principle is straightforward and rewards people for doing the simplest form of exercise: walking. People earn one BW$ for about every 10,000 steps taken and can spend their BW$ via the in-app market or with third party partners.

Bitwalking is now looking for health club partners to offer services such as a classes, day passes or a reduction in membership in exchange for Bitwalking dollars.

Bitwalking is a truly global programme, with its roll-out dictated by demand – the countries with the most requests will get the scheme first. Nevertheless, it’s been designed with developing markets front of mind: while users in First World countries will be able to earn themselves a free coffee or two each week, people in developing countries – who walk far further each day, often simply in order to survive, such as to get water – can earn many more BW$ and gain rewards that will genuinely transform their lives.

Based on the success of the Running Heroes rewards scheme, Skiing Heroes and Cycling Heroes have also been created / shutterstock
Based on the success of the Running Heroes rewards scheme, Skiing Heroes and Cycling Heroes have also been created / shutterstock
"Running Heroes has 250,000 members worldwide, and since we launched in the UK in June 2015, 25,000 people have signed up" - Quentin Auberger, UK manager, Running Heroes
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/983482_453823.jpg
To get people active, offer rewards. We tell you how...
Katherine Selby Marty Regan, sales director, Perkville Danny Woods, retention manager, bounts Brent Kelly, Fettle CEO Quentin Auberger, UK manager, Running Heroes,Reward, reward schemes, bounts, Perkville, Marty Reagan, Xercise4Less, Danny Woods, Fettle, Brent Kelly, CrossFit, Running Heroes, Bitwalking, Quentin Auberger
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Xn Leisure is a provider of cutting-edge health and fitness software, offering an exceptional service ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Orbit4
Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGymEquipment....
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition