Gym Member Retention Ideas: 2024

Member retention is a critical aspect of running a successful gym business. Here are 5 big ideas to help reduce churn.

Member retention is important in a gym because it directly impacts the gym's financial and business success. Losing members means losing revenue and having to spend more money on marketing and advertising to attract new members. In addition to the financial impact, losing members can also have a negative effect on the gym's reputation and community. There are many antidotal reports about nearly 50% of new gym members quit within the first 6 months. While this speaks opposite to the 70%+ numbers reported by IHSRA for annual retention numbers, many of us in the fitness industry experience this trend in the first few months of every new year.  While we may debate if these people were qualified or not, as industry professionals & business owners we should strive to keep them engaged.

It is also much more cost-effective to retain current members than to constantly try to recruit new ones. According to an IHRSA report in 2018,  increasing retention rates by 5% increases profits from 25%-95%.

Here are 5 ways to prevent churn (the loss of members) in a gym:

  1. Build a community: Encourage members to engage with each other, create a welcoming environment, and organize group fitness classes, events or challenges to foster a sense of community among members. Social Media & TikTok are also allowing facilities to build a digital community that can thrive on a budget – content can be king here on many levels for building engagement. 
  2. Personalize the experience: Offer personalized training and nutrition plans, as well as regular check-ins to track progress, goals and offer feedback. Make your clients feel special. 
  3. Offer an Amazing Onboarding Experience:: There are basic ideas like making sure the gym is clean, well-maintained, and equipped with the latest fitness equipment. However, the first 60 days is paramount.  An article by Gymdesk wrote a great piece stating that members who had 20+ visits in their first 2 months were more likely to be loyal members. 
  4. Use technology: Logistics should not get in the way of a great customer experience. Technology can remove so many barriers to allow members to focus on the good stuff. Offer an easy-to-use online platform that allows members to book classes, track their progress, communicate with trainers and other members. This is one that we fully agree with as we’ve seen that 3D Body Scans help members track progress visually so they can stay accountable & motivated about your program. Consider also using platforms that make billing, check-ins, and other basic functions easy so you can focus on your programming. 
  5. Retain members with incentives: Reward members for their loyalty with perks such as discounts, special classes or events, or referral bonuses. Also, consider offering flexible membership plans, so members can adjust their plans based on their needs.

Member retention is a critical aspect of running a successful gym business. It is essential to maintain a high rate of member retention to ensure the sustainability of the gym in the long term. In addition to helping out your bottom line, it’s also impacts the culture & community you are building at your facility.

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