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Fitness apps reward mobile check-ins with gift card sweepstakes

Fitness applications including Nexercise, Livestrong and Calorie Tracker Lite are among a group of apps that are incentivizing users for checking into gyms to ultimately drive in-store retail traffic.

Fitness app users tend to be some of the most active consumers interacting with mobile apps, helping marketers reach groups of engaged users. The apps are working with SessionM on the campaign that runs through January.

“In a fitness app, it’s not like you’re dwelling around,” said Bill Clifford, chief revenue officer at SessionM, Boston. “You go in, you log your routine, you’re logging the meal and it’s very much a utility, so for us to introduce advertising that both rewards users for using the product and working out, exercising and eating right while generating revenue is a big win for developers.”

Rewarding fitness goals
The fitness apps are using a feature called mPlaces to reward consumers who are using the apps at gyms and fitness centers.

When consumers complete one of the activities associated with a SessionM reward, a location-based feature shows nearby places to them, including gyms.

Consumers who check in to a gym while using apps including Nexercise, Pedometer by Runtastic, Livestrong or Calorie Tracker Lite are automatically entered to win a $250 gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Of all the locations that consumers checked into across all of the apps in SessionM’s network, health and fitness locations accounted for 15 percent of check-ins from Dec. 1, 2013 to Jan. 1.

Additionally, there was a 174 percent increase from December to January in gym check-ins.

The gift card campaign with Dick’s Sporting Goods was launched on Dec. 31. Between that day and Jan. 2, there was 99.8 percent increase in gym check-ins, showing the opportunity for marketers to tie a check-in to a gift or reward.

Sticking to mobile
With the increase in consumers making health-related goals at the beginning of the year, the fitness apps also hope to leverage the check-ins to acquire users year-round.

SessionM recently polled more than 40,000 users about their New Year’s resolutions and found that only 41 percent of users who planned to get fit in 2013 actually stuck to their goal.

Forty percent of users polled said that again, their goal was to get into shape in 2014.

There is also an opportunity for marketers to layer on additional incentives once a consumer has checked into a location with these campaigns.

For example, consumers that checked into Wegmans grocery stores during the holidays may have been served a Unilever coupon.

The key is that the ads and rewards that consumers are receiving are relevant and targeted to the types of apps that they are using.

“The next step is to see if we can implement behavior within apps — how can we then translate that engagement or engaged audience and motivate them to do things out in the real world,” Mr. Clifford said.

“[For example,] I can find someone at Best Buy and then show them a Dell ad. That’s really exciting,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York