Gym Member Retention Ideas to Pump Up Your Profits
You want to retain your members. It makes good business sense. You may have tried a few ideas already, like introducing new features or services or implementing customer-friendly policies.
The best gym member retention ideas all have one thing in common: they make your members feel valued.
Why do membership retention strategies matter?
Gym membership retention statistics from the Fitness Business Association (previously the Association of Fitness Studios) show that the average gym retains around three-quarters of its members.
Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Until you realize that when a quarter of your gym members walk, so does a quarter of your revenue. Your profits could be decimated.
So, what do most gym and fitness club owners do? They constantly market their gym to attract new members. That’s demanding work, and it’s expensive.
A Club Industry Report concluded that it costs nine times as much to sign up a new member as it does to retain an existing member.
As far as profitability goes, a Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company study discovered that if you increase retention by just 5%, your profits are likely to increase by between 25% and 95%!
And the best members to retain? Active agers. They have higher disposable income, more time to spend in your gym, and they are fiercely loyal. They’ll share their good experiences with their friends, and that will help you to acquire more new members without expensive marketing.
The question is, what gym member engagement ideas will help you to retain your existing members and pump up your profits?
10 Gym member retention ideas to pump up your profits
We know that the fitness industry is competitive – that’s another reason to target active agers: you’re more likely to be out on your own. I mean, how many gyms and fitness clubs near you do cater for active agers?
These 10 retention strategies are highly effective. Remember, an improvement of just 5% in member retention could pump up your profits by 25% and more.
Build a Community
Active agers want to be part of something more. They want community. They are also competitive. You can tap into this competitiveness and create a sense of community.
Group activities are a fantastic way of allowing members to compete with their friends and peers, and they give you the opportunity to acknowledge individual and group success. That motivates return visits and continued membership.
Use Social Media
A study by The Good Body found that half of fitness club members starting a new exercise program drop out within six months. One of the best ways to combat this is to stay in touch – and social media is perfect for this. Plus, sharing valuable content helps to create a community.
IHRSA has found that 90% of members value communication to them (and email is a great way to do this) and that every two interactions in a month result in an extra visit to the gym the following month.
Personalize your members’ experience
Great customer service always feels personal, doesn’t it? Like when you are at a restaurant and the waiter’s attention appears to be only on your table.
To make your service more personal, collect first-party data, learn your members’ habits, and use this information when communicating with them.
(Remember their birthdays, and send birthday wishes by email – a simple tactic that can be automated, too.)
Personalize your communications
How often do you receive marketing emails that have no value to you? Eventually, you stop opening them and unsubscribe from the company’s email list. Don’t let this be how you market.
Today’s email systems (like FitPro’s) make it easy to send email newsletters. You can literally copy and paste our content into an email template and fire it away to your list.
Increase self-service capabilities
Improve your member processes by streamlining your online service. Make it easy for members to book sessions and automate payments and gym applications.
A user-friendly website that delivers a smooth client experience is always a winner.
Offer comfortable facilities and quality equipment
Invest in your facilities and equipment. Make sure that there is plenty of room for people to work out, and that your members are supported by knowledgeable staff. Take photos of your new equipment and include in your newsletter.
Consider a hybrid model
People’s lifestyles have changed because of Covid. Many people now want to work out at home, or at least have the option to do so.
Is the future of fitness at home? Of course, it isn’t. But by offering options that adjust to the needs of your members you are more likely to retain them and grow your membership numbers.
People feel most valued when you show them that you care about them. There is no better way of doing so than asking for feedback. This can be done either in the gym or online using polls and surveys. This is extremely easy to do, using a service like SurveyMonkey. Ask a question, and fire it to your email list. You get a breakdown of answers as they are received.
The feedback you receive will also help you to give your members what they want – and that will help keep them coming back for more.
Keep track of their progress
Many gyms fail to keep a track of their members’ progress. Yet knowing goals and how a member is progressing is the information you need to develop personalized challenges that boost motivation.
Better still? Use apps and tools that allow your members to share their progress with their friends – we’re back to the community again, aren’t we?
Increase member lifetime contract value
Your members have unique needs. You can add value to your membership packages by introducing tiered pricing and different payment options that cater to individual needs.
Where do you start?
While you should be doing all the above, it takes time to put everything in place.
However, from all the research and studies that have been conducted, the strategy that provides the biggest impact the fastest is connecting with your members and communicating with them regularly.
How can you do this?
Publish blogs on your website. Post to social media at least once a day. Send regular email newsletters.
Don’t know where or how to start, or short of the time it takes to write valuable content?
Here’s the solution: contact Prime Fit Content to learn more about how we can help you with custom content written uniquely for you.