Brand Experience


18 July, 2019

The gym membership game can be a fickle one. In 2017 The Fitness Industry Retention Report uncovered that nearly half (48%) of Australian gym members will cancel their membership within the first 12 months. As any fitness business owner knows, for every person that walks out the door, you have to work twice as hard to get another person in to take their place, or your revenue will suffer.

No wonder gym membership retention is such a contributing factor to the success of any gym, fitness centre or personal training business. So how can you implement a retention program in your fitness business to minimise client cancellations, and keep your turnover rate as low as possible? Here are some of our top tips:

  1. Implement a quarterly survey – a fitness centre survey is a great way to stay ahead of the game. If you can understand what your members dislike or are frustrated by within your gym, then you can take action to resolve it. Be sure to incentivise completion of the survey to ensure good participation rates.
  2. Incentivise attendance – get people coming through the doors more often by giving them a great incentive. You might like to implement a points based system, and at the end of the year giveaway an amazing prize like a holiday voucher. Or perhaps you wish to incentivise your fitness members more regularly with something smaller i.e. get to the gym 25 times during the month and we will knock $5 off your weekly membership cost. These incentives to mean more admin, so choose something that will be easy for you to manage, and still be attractive enough for the client to use as a motivator.
  3. Customers first – with the retention figures mentioned above you should by all means be grateful your members have chosen your fitness centre or gym above the rest! Put them first, treat them warmly and with respect, make them feel special and make sure you have great systems and processes in place to make their gym experience a good one. Every staff member from your receptionist through to your personal trainers should understand the brand values, and how they are expected to treat customers. A truly welcoming environment will go a long way in keeping members happy.
  4. Keep customers engaged – you want your members to feel part of the community, and to feel like your gym goes above and beyond to help them on their health and fitness journey. Make sure you are regularly communicating with your fitness members through email, social media, SMS and even face to face. Provide interesting content including news and information relating to health and fitness, news about the gym, success stories like ‘Member of the Month’ and instructional content from your trainers and nutritionist that they can use to get great results.
  5. Implement a referral program – members are much more likely to be engaged if they are sharing the experience with friends and family. By having a great referral program in place you will find yourself with an instant community environment.
  6. Social events – encourage members to socialise outside of the gym. Fun runs, charity days and dinners out are all great ways to break down some of the barriers and get your gym members interacting with one and another.
  7. Fitness Challenges – we can’t help ourselves, it’s human nature…we love to compete. Implement some regular challenges within the gym. It will not only help gym members to keep their workouts interesting and fun, but also creates some camaraderie amongst the community, and again helps people to build new relationships.
  8. Be on the pulse – stay up to date with what is trending in the fitness industry, and look at what services or programs you may be able to introduce at your gym to accommodate. For example, semi-private training sessions are quite popular currently so you could look to introduce small group training sessions. Functional training is also a big one, so what classes could you implement that use this style of training. Don’t rest on running the same old thing, all of the time. Keep it interesting and stay ahead of the game!
  9. Keep track of attendance – keep an eye on members who aren’t getting in for their normal workouts, and do something about it. Make contact, find out why they haven’t been coming in and what will it take to get them back through the doors. Perhaps they are getting bored so you could suggest some discounted PT sessions, or if they have changed jobs perhaps suggest different class times. Work with your members to try and resolve any hurdles and make sure they are feeling supported.
  10. Get digital – your community doesn’t need to be restricted to just within your fitness centre walls these days. Social media is a very powerful way to bring people together. Create a private group for your gym and actively encourage members to talk to one another online. Get them sharing useful tips, funny memes and pictures taken at the gym. You can facilitate by again using this as a channel to share great information relating to health and fitness, and your gym, and share member results so they can give one another a supportive cheer.

If you would like to grow your fitness business with the help of one of Australia’s leading fitness marketing teams, then click here to make an enquiry with More Gym Members. Did you know we offer done-for-you Social Media Management? Let us help keep current members engaged, and attract new ones! Click here to find out more.