Nela Athletics Creates the Ultimate Member Experience with PushPress

Switching to PushPress has helped Paul Austad level up his gym, Nela Athletics. Here are six ways he's saving time and running his business better!

Emily Beers
July 5, 2023
Nela Athletics Creates the Ultimate Member Experience with PushPress
Switching to PushPress has helped Paul Austad level up his gym, Nela Athletics. Here are six ways he's saving time and running his business better!

Before switching to PushPress, and after 12 years of gym ownership, Paul Austad knew he needed more from his gym software.

Austad is the owner of Nela Athletics in Los Angeles, CA. Until about six months ago, he was using various software and doing a lot of tasks manually.

For example, Austad had created a 100-day process for his new clients. But because of the manual implementation, things always fell through the cracks. He recalls new clients sometimes getting welcome emails two months into their membership.

“So it was more embarrassing than it was useful,” he said.

Paul Austad uses PushPress to improve gym member experience
Nela Athletics owner Paul Austad (right) uses PushPress to improve gym member experience.

Austad was also struggling to stay organized because none of his systems communicated with one another. Ultimately, he knew he needed to streamline his systems into a more centralized platform. And he needed automation to take care of his clients throughout their journey at his gym.

“We had these plans, but we were always manually doing the work instead of letting triggers and workflows do it,” he said.

So in December 2022, after following PushPress for a while, he made the switch. He said he was particularly intrigued by the integration between Core and Grow. And how the software seemed to be able to provide everything he needed all in one place.

Six Ways PushPress Helps Nela Athletics.

1. Client Onboarding.

Prior to PushPress, Austad was aware that new clients were missing a lot of the communication they should be getting. And with a gym of 220 members, it felt impossible to provide them with what they needed.

“Before, it was all the phone calls,” he said. “And we tried to call them the next day, but (often) they would get lost.”

Now, Nela Athletics has exponentially improved gym lead nurture with workflows. And more importantly, Austad gets notified every step of the way. So he can step in at any time and communicate manually. Ultimately, it means no one gets lost in the shuffle anymore.

“It’s so much more organized, clear and concise,” he said. “We are much more productive with our time.”

Further, once the lead becomes a member, they now get put into the 100-Day Workflow. This automation ensures that they will be nurtured during those first three, all-important months of being a gym member.

Austad explained that setting up the workflow was incredibly easy. He said he simply tweaked it a bit to be “more personalized” and “tell our story” before turning the workflow on.

Nela Athletics gym community
Nela Athletics gym community continues to grow with improved gym management.

2. Facebook Leads.

With his old software, Austad simply didn’t have the bandwidth to process any of the leads who came in on Facebook. While they were getting an adequate number of leads, he recalls that he and his coaches just “couldn’t keep up.”

Once he made the switch to PushPress, it was easy for him to connect Facebook leads and other paid gym ads to his automated workflows. Once again, this means his leads are nurtured through the process of converting into members, and beyond.

3. Class Check-Ins.

In the past, Austad had all but given up tracking his clients’ attendance. Once a year, he would run a report and see who had hit 200 check-ins. But he wasn’t even convinced the data was accurate.

Today, his whole check-in process has been tidied up. He’s now able to easily keep track of who has reached 100, 200, 500, 750 check-ins. And this gives him a chance to acknowledge their accomplishments. When members reach the 200 check-in milestone, they earn a custom t-shirt.

“PushPress makes it a lot easier to keep track,” he said. He added that the integration between Core and Grow means he receives important and timely notifications.

His next goal is to be able to push this information directly to the PushPress Members App. When this happens, the community will be able to celebrate everyone’s commitment as well.

4. Lost Clients Workflow.

Austad is taking advantage of one of the hidden gems in the PushPress Grow automation: The Lost Clients workflows.

Before PushPress, if one of his members paused their membership or quit, they simply got lost. But now, they’re added to the Lost Clients workflow. So they’re easy to track and communicate with, depending on their situation.

For example, someone who cancels their membership receives an automated check-in after six months. A text from the gym simply asks how their fitness is going. And sometimes it’s just enough to get them back in the door.

“In the past, they would have just fallen off for good,” Austad said.

Meanwhile, those who are on hold continue to get monthly check-ins. And they also receive a message when their membership is about to restart. This opens the door for communication and ideally entices them to get them back into the gym.

5. Appointments Feature.

In recent months, there have been some exciting upgrades to the Appointments feature. And since Nela Atletics does a lot of personal training, Austad said has made everyone’s lives a lot easier. Booking and keeping track of appointments is simple now, for both clients and coaches. And it saves him quite a few extra hours each month during payroll.

Athletes book personal training appointments
Athletes can use the PushPress appointments feature to book personal training appointments.

6. GymHappy.

Finally, Austad recently had some unexpected success. PushPress founder Dan Uyemura suggested on social media that gyms give GymHappy a try. GymHappy is a tool that reaches out to clients, asking for a review.

The result for Austad has been 160 five-star reviews in recent months. Not only has this helped him attract new leads, but also created a plethora of positivity among his 10 coaches.

“There’s a lot of positive energy internally because of it,” said Austad. “And it lets us know the team is on the right trajectory.”

Pro Tip: Want to learn more about how PushPress Grow can help you save time and level up your business through the power of automation? Book a demo with our team today!

The Future Looks Bright for Nela Athletics.

Six months into being a PushPress client, Nela Athletics reached a big milestone. May was the best revenue month for the gym since before the pandemic hit in 2020. And with increased automations and a streamlined system to manage operations, Austad is hopeful it’s only going up from there.

“Now we have a clear direction,” he said. “And now we can create standard operating procedures on what needs to happen next.”

Emily Beers

Emily Beers is a health, fitness and nutrition writer. She has also been coaching fitness at MadLab School of Fitness in Vancouver, B.C. since 2009.

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