member retention

The Long & Short Of It: Gym Member Retention Is Key For Growth

The secret to brand loyalty and increased member retention is creating the ultimate member experience. Here are five ways to keep long-term, happy members!

Monica Hilton
April 18, 2023
The Long & Short Of It: Gym Member Retention Is Key For Growth
The secret to brand loyalty and increased member retention is creating the ultimate member experience. Here are five ways to keep long-term, happy members!

When it comes to increasing gym revenue, is it better to focus on Longtime Larry or Newcomer Nancy? What’s the best way to get new gym members without neglecting member retention?

Experienced gym owners will tell you it’s better to focus on your current community. But then how much emphasis should you spend on gaining new leads? Unquestionably, the key to growth is achieving an effective balance.

The truth is that for most gyms, it costs more money and effort to gain a new member than to keep an old one. And the secret is creating the ultimate gym member experience. This is how you create raving fans, build brand loyalty and increase member retention numbers.

Gym member retention is key for growth
Gym member retention is key for growth.

Yesterday, we gave you the essential elements of a gym marketing plan, where we discussed the top ten ways to get new members at your gym.

Today, we’re sharing five ways to keep ‘em coming!

Increasing Member Retention With The Ultimate Member Experience:

At PushPress, our goal is to help you run your gym better. And a huge part of that is helping you to create an incredible member experience. Subsequently, this makes you look like a rock star, and that’s always fun.

Here are five ways to create that extraordinary experience from the moment they sign up at your gym.

1. Start With Onboarding.

Onboarding is the process of guiding your clients through the introductory stage of membership at your gym. It’s more than just giving them a tour and signing them up for a membership. And although this process can look completely different at each fitness business, the similarity is in the outcome.

With an end goal of increased member retention, onboarding is really about making them feel welcome and comfortable. Because this can set the tone for a member’s entire gym experience.

Check out these nine tips for successful onboarding at your gym!

2. Provide Value.

In the age of home gyms and virtual training, showing members and leads the value of membership at your gym is more important than ever. You’ve worked hard to create an exceptional fitness business that provides value in everything from community to coaching.

Provide value with coaching and community
Provide membership value with coaching and accountability.

So it’s essential that you clearly explain the membership value, highlighting what you offer and why you’re different. If nothing else, this takes the focus away from a simple price comparison.

Here are six ways you can show membership value to your clientele.

3. Harness The Power Of Community.

Most people don’t go to the gym just for a workout. They go for motivation, accountability, inspiration and social connection. There’s pride in being part of a healthy, strong, happy community. Members feel valued and accomplished when they are working out side-by-side. They learn new movements, celebrate victories and overcome challenges together.

Therefore, when aiming for member retention, it’s important to connect them to the community as quickly as possible. Early on, the accountability is paramount. After that, the connection with coaches and other gym members is what builds loyalty.

Here are five fun ways to build a strong gym community!

4. Nurture The Full Experience.

Throughout the course of a customer’s time at your gym, it’s important to have consistent check-ins. And although these touch points will probably be more frequent at the start, your long-term members shouldn’t be overlooked.

Take the time to celebrate members’ milestones, like 50, 100 or 250 classes. Send them an automated text on their birthday or gym anniversary. And scheduling goal-setting sessions to help them progress will work wonders for your member retention numbers.

Schedule a goal setting session
Photo credit: Healthy Steps Nutrition

Need help? Here are four ways PushPress Grow workflows can help with the new member experience!

Pro Tip: Want to learn how PushPress Grow can help you with lead generation AND the ultimate member experience? Book a demo with our team today!

5. Create A Strong Referral Program.

Word-of-mouth has always been the king when it comes to marketing. With that in mind, your gym members are your best source of spreading the word.

A referral program is highly effective because it turns your clients into ambassadors. They’re able to reach people with a persuasive message that you might never have otherwise been able to reach.

Check out these six ways to start a gym referral program!

In Summary: Get ‘Em Coming. Keep ‘Em Going.

The best way to grow your gym is to find the balance between acquisition and long-term gym member retention.

As we discussed yesterday, you can use your website and social media to gather leads’ contact information. Then use that info for things like email marketing and lead nurturing. You can also develop local partnerships to co-promote and spread the word.

Once you’ve built a thriving community, retention is the key. Make your members feel welcome through their onboarding experience and by nurturing their entire journey. Connect them with your community and ask for referrals to fill your gym with even more satisfied members.

Ultimately, retention leads to revenue and growth, so that you can manage a successful gym for years to come.

DID YOU KNOW: The Gym Startup Guide is designed to help with every stage of running your fitness business. Download your copy today!
Monica Hilton

Monica is our Content Manager extraordinaire for PushPress. She also owns her gym in Indianapolis, Together We Rise CrossFit, which she opened in 2014 and previously worked in IndyCar racing.

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