We Are Sunshine

Give Me One Good Reason: Small incentives can be enough to enhance retention

Thursday, June 8th, 2023

These days, memberships are a normal part of everyday life. People are used to paying for monthly access at the gym, for TV and online content, and even for savings and benefits from online retailers. And do most people cancel their gym membership if they slack on their workout routine for a couple months? Probably not. Do people rush to cancel Netflix after realizing they didn’t use it for a month? Nah. Could many of us even imagine living without Amazon Prime? No way.

You want your tanning business needs to be thought about in the same way. Their tanning EFT is just another monthly charge on their card. You are a part of your members’ lifestyle. Their tanning and service routines, much like their workout regimens, entertainment consumption, and most other things people spend money on, will vary. But that doesn’t mean they want to go through the hassle of canceling their membership.

These days, we love convenience. That’s an important part of the appeal of all these memberships. Even though your cancellation and sign-up process is probably relatively simple, many people would often rather not bother with it as long as they know they’ll be using it again.

“It’s more common to sign up on EFT because that’s how their gym membership and Netflix are. What that’s done is help us sell services like SmartSun Therapy and have a bigger impact because we can add that to people’s memberships or they’re OK with just having an SST membership. People are OK with that membership and have a better understanding. They’re willing to keep it longer. It’s not that oddball sitting on your credit card statement anymore,” says SunSeekers by Rosie co-owner and GM Scott Nichols.

Memberships are now the norm rather than the exception, and that should continue to become even more predominant. When people didn’t have numerous EFT charges every month, it makes sense why they were quick to cancel their tanning membership when they didn’t need it as much. But now people are accustomed to the convenience of automated payments and unlimited access. They want a reason to keep it. You just have to give them one.

There are tons of reasons why someone should keep their tanning membership all year long. That’s the beauty of today’s common membership strategy of loading value at the top level and to lesser degrees throughout. When the thought of canceling comes to mind, there are that many more reasons to reconsider.

Years ago, when Dennis Ligon, owner of Sundays Blue Box Sun Spa Shop, dug deeper into the numbers, he was surprised to find that the retention rate for his $78.88 all-inclusive members was within “one to two percent” of that for the $18.88 base memberships. “I was like, ‘Holy cow, I’d be a fool to go away from that because they’re staying on that just as much. That’s when I knew we were going to stick with that long term,” he says.

“It’s like, why does Amazon offer Amazon Prime? Why give free shipping and everything for $100? Because they know the more you use it, you’re going to say, ‘This is a great value; I’ll never be without it.’ If you do something well enough that they’re scared to take it away, you’re set.”

Click here to read the entire article in the latest issue of Smart Tan Magazine online.