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Gym Member Retention: 5 Ways to Keep Your Members Coming Back

Last Updated on Dec 7, 2017

This is a guest post from our friends at ZenPlanner.

You work hard to get new members through the door. You spend money on marketing and sales training, engage with the community and reward current members when they refer friends. The problem is, even if you are following marketing best practices for your gym, all is lost if you can’t retain your membership base. In fact, it costs at least 5 times more to win a new member than to keep an existing one. As a small business owner, every penny counts — so if you’ve found your rhythm and are steadily growing your membership base, it’s time to explore 5 key ways to delight those members to keep your gym thriving long-term.

Create a culture of community

Your members may join your gym because of the equipment, location or class variety, but the key to keeping them around is building a strong community with other members. Make sure to capitalize on this the moment they sign up for a membership. Introduce them to staff and veteran members who are well connected at the gym to help them start making connections. It’s also important to create an atmosphere within your gym that encourages members to hang out before and after their workout or class. Adding some couches or chairs near the entrance is an easy way to create a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere where members can gather and connect.

Empower your team

Maintaining a strong and empowered team is essential to retaining your membership base. If your staff loves their job and fits the culture of your gym, they will make a positive impact on your members without having to try. Make sure you utilize the strengths of your team and empower them to own their role. Encourage them to seek out new members and get to know the regulars by name. Remember that your team is the face of your gym, and keeping their spirits and energy high will make a big impact on your member retention.

Make gym and class hours convenient

It may sound obvious, but your gym and class hours can make or break your membership retention. Even if your members are well connected, love your staff and live around the corner, they won’t stick around if your hours don’t fit their schedule. Though it’s impossible to accommodate everyone’s schedule, think about sending out a survey and asking for feedback on your class times. This will help bring transparency to your members’ needs and help them feel heard. Also be aware of the demographics of your members and at what hours of the day they show up. With this understanding you can fine tune your schedule to fit the needs of your membership base.

Keep it fresh

Everyone hits an occasional motivation slump when it comes to fitness. When workouts get repetitive and classes lack variety, members are more likely to skip out on class. Understanding this reality is important to the success of your gym. Continually think of ways to keep things fresh at your gym. Be aware of fitness and health trends and adjust your classes and workshops accordingly. Try adding an occasional outdoor class or themed class during the holidays to keep your members engaged and excited to attend your gym.

Help members track and achieve their goals

Your members are motivated to go to work out for different reasons – whether it’s to stay healthy, drop 30 pounds, build muscle or reduce stress. To help increase member retention, make sure your members can achieve their goals at your gym. Offer ways for members to track their goals and stay motivated – whether that’s online, through an app or on a whiteboard in the gym. For members who may be lacking clear fitness goals, try hosting workshops on goal setting and creating groups that are focused on accomplishing a shared goal like a running 5k, participating in an obstacle race or working out 3 times a week.

Mastering member retention at your gym is the key to success long-term. If you’re interested in learning more about increasing member retention at your gym, download the Gym Member Retention Guide from Zen Planner, which includes:
Research from top retention experts in the gym industry
Seven proactive strategies you can incorporate in your retention plan
More ideas you can implement as quickly as today

Get the Guide »