What’s Next For At-Home Fitness Subscriber Acquisition As Gyms Reopen?


In 2020, being in the right place at the right time was the name of the game for fitness brands. People stuck at home needed a way to exercise, a mental and physical outlet and a distraction from the news of the world, a role many fitness brands were able to fill. Hamza Shaban, reporting for The Washington Post notes “Health and fitness equipment revenue more than doubled, to $2.3 billion, from March to October [of 2020].” Adding “Sales of treadmills soared 135% while those of stationary bikes nearly tripled, depleting inventories.” 

Now, more than halfway through 2021, fitness brands are looking at what’s next.

How Do Home Fitness Brands Continue To Scale Subscriber Acquisition Now That Gyms Are Reopened? 

With gyms reopening, many fitness brands are evolving their at-home services and features to boost customer acquisition as Americans head (eventually) into the colder months and the holiday season. As home fitness enhancements roll out, from creative classes to new equipment, brands are kicking off multichannel promotional strategies to drive engagement and enrollment.

Home Fitness Brands That Offer Differentiated Services, Like iFit’s Recently Launched Everest Series, Can Entice New Subscribers

iFit, an interactive fitness platform that works with the brand’s proprietary technology and hardware, cultivated a reputation for offering unique and exhilarating global workouts. iFit subscribers can bike in New Zealand or hike in Santorini. And, while subscribers have the option of traditional classes set in a studio, similar to rival Peloton, iFit aims to differentiate by offering its customers a glimpse of something different. After live-streaming a sunrise trek at Mt. Everest base camp for iFit subscribers in March 2021, the brand released “Everest: A Trek to Base Camp Series,” which includes 18 beginner and intermediate workouts for the treadmill and elliptical, all guided by mountaineering experts.

Clear differentiation is part of almost every effective customer acquisition strategy. For iFit, unique at-home experiences create interest, delivering sales and encouraging loyalty.

Brand Extensions, Like Those Offered By SoulCycle, Can Expand Subscriber Acquisition Opportunities

In response to gyms closing all over the country in 2020, SoulCycle launched SoulCycle Outside, outdoor popup studios that let riders enjoy the popular brand’s 45-minute classes socially distanced and in the fresh air. The classes are available all over the country. SoulCycle also launched its at-home bike in 2020, a stationary bike that can be used at home with streaming on-demand and live workouts. The SoulCycle at-home bike is supported by the Equinox+ app, requiring a 12-month membership to access all on-demand SoulCycle classes. 

The success of SoulCycle Outside and the SoulCycle at-home bike provided SoulCycle with a new target audience: people who prefer alternatives to indoor gyms.

Brands with multiple target audiences typically achieve better subscriber acquisition results when they segment their audiences. Segmentation allows for the right messages to be delivered to the right audiences when they’re ready to take action.

At-Home Fitness Brand Tempo Uses Multichannel Marketing, Olympian Influencers And Discount Promotions To Acquire New Subscribers

Tempo, a “smart” home gym, turned to Olympians for its latest subscriber acquisition campaign. The Tempo Games, a campaign launched by the brand this summer, features seven Olympians teaching classes based on their own workouts. Tempo and the featured athletes promoted the series across social channels and Tempo’s website. By celebrating and featuring Olympic athletes, Tempo is engaging consumers excited about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and inspired to get in shape. 

Since early 2020, Tempo has seen sales surge 1000%. To keep the subscriber acquisition momentum going, Tempo is offering $400 off with use of a unique code promoted on the Tempo website and via email. The Tempo email campaign also includes video and a direct link to enroll.

At-home fitness brands that want to stay relevant must capture consumer attention across channels, with promotions, and creative, easy enrollment opportunities to reach consumers when they are ready to subscribe.

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