How to Keep Your Members Engaged over the Festive Season
| December 19, 2023
Maintaining a consistent member base is an ongoing challenge for fitness businesses. In this guide, we'll delve into strategies aimed at curbing churn rates and fortifying revenue streams by enhancing member engagement.
Understanding Member Retention
No matter what you do when running your fitness business, you will inevitably lose some members, even if it is no fault of your own. Retention rates reflect the fragility of member retention in fitness businesses across different regions. For instance, in the UK, nearly 50% of fitness club members switch to a new studio within 12 months. In simpler terms, every year you must replace half of your members to maintain subscription rates. This underlines the necessity of replacing a significant portion of members annually.
Identifying the Root Issue: Unengaged Members
Focusing on member engagement proves pivotal. The journey towards engaged members starts from the moment they step into your gym or studio and should be an ongoing, standardised process. It is essential to maintain constant contact with your members, not only when they are at your studio, but even after they leave your studio. You can easily do this through your studio’s app, social media or email marketing. Each of these techniques require a different approach and while one may work for another.
Be sure to check out our guide on How to Write a Newsletter for Your Fitness Studio that People Will Read.
What is a Membership Engagement Strategy?
Once you acquire a new member, you must engage with them and continue to do so throughout their time with your studio and beyond. Putting an engagement plan in place can have a huge impact on your member retention results. One study shows that studios with an engagement plan are much more likely to see increased membership renewals and in turn increased engagement.
To find out whether or not a member is engaged, you must consider how often a member interacts with your studio, and put goals in place for how frequently you would like members to engage. To maximise your engagement strategy, the amount of value you provide must be worth more than the price your members are paying. Check out this blog for a detailed explanation of Crafting Member Engagement Strategies.
Now we will discuss 6 member engagement ideas to help you improve your retention rate for your fitness business!
Strategies to Boost Member Engagement
Focus on Onboarding:
Let’s start at the beginning, as soon as a member signs up for a class at your studio. Establishing a comprehensive onboarding process is crucial for new member integration. The initial six weeks serve as a pivotal period for fostering a strong rapport with new entrants, where it is essential that you make new members feel comfortable and welcome.
Developing a robust onboarding program and sustaining member engagement throughout this phase substantially heightens the chances of membership renewal.
Pay attention to the fundamentals. Offer a guided tour of your facilities, acquaint them with available assistance and the preferred channels of communication, and most importantly, address them by their names - it is key to make an effort to remember new member’s names from day 1. A simple greeting at the reception desk can significantly encourage members to seek guidance and provide valuable feedback.
As a business owner, it's easy to forget that not everyone shares the same familiarity with your industry. For some, it might be their initial encounter with your workout regimen. Ensuring that the onboarding process covers basic instructions and elements is paramount; overlooking these can accelerate member attrition more rapidly than anticipated.
Promote Group Exercise Programs:
As a fitness business, it's essential to instil in your members a sense of accomplishment, progress, and pride in their fitness journey.
Encouraging a collective workout experience can significantly enhance these feelings within the average member. Group exercises are at the heart of modern fitness culture, emphasising the importance of community. In today's fitness landscape, fostering a sense of community stands as one of the most impactful retention strategies.
Consider the influence of programs like CrossFit and F45, which thrive on the communal spirit cultivated through group workouts. The emphasis on camaraderie and togetherness plays a pivotal role in member commitment and loyalty, showcasing the significant influence of community-driven workouts on member retention. Providing a platform for your members to build relationships with like-minded individuals boosts the chances of increased engagement.
Provide Your Very Own Branded App for Members:
Enhance your fitness business with a top-notch member app. In today's digital age, people rely heavily on their phones for convenience and quick solutions. A user-friendly app not only simplifies session bookings but also offers a window into your business. It empowers members to explore your services, conveniently renew memberships, and even shop for merchandise, amplifying your revenue streams:
- A well-designed app contributes significantly to improved member engagement and overall experience.
- Scaling personalised communication through automated messaging systems ensures consistent engagement, even as your business expands.
Find out more about building a branded app and the benefits for your fitness studio here.
Launch a Studio Loyalty Program:
Encourage member loyalty by introducing a dedicated loyalty program at your fitness studio. Loyalty programs are excellent tools to nurture long-term engagement and often inspire current members to refer their friends and family. These programs reward ongoing membership, fostering a sense of appreciation among your clientele.
Consider the success of loyalty programs like Amazon Prime. While replicating Amazon's vast benefits may not be feasible, fitness studios can create simple yet impactful member rewards. Personalised perks, even on a smaller scale, can greatly resonate with members and enhance their overall experience.
Don’t Forget - Your Staff are Your Priority:
Your staff members play a pivotal role in enhancing member engagement within your fitness studio. They are the ones directly engaging with your members daily. High turnover rates among employees can significantly impact member engagement and retention.
When staff members frequently change, it hampers their ability to build lasting relationships with clients. To maintain a strong connection with your members, it's crucial to keep your employees motivated and focused on creating meaningful interactions.
The foundation of retaining new gym members lies in the quality of interactions they have with your staff. Ensure that your members receive valuable and personalised interactions. Effective communication from staff members holds significant value for your members. It's important to train your fitness team to communicate effectively, addressing member concerns and fostering positive interactions on a daily basis, regardless of whether it's fitness-related or not.
As an employer, your responsibilities go beyond remuneration. Provide growth opportunities and training programs that allow your staff to harness their talents and passions. Many individuals are drawn to the fitness industry due to their strong passion for health and wellness. Encourage and nurture this passion within your staff members.
As your fitness studio grows, expanding to multiple locations may become a goal. To achieve this, it's crucial to build a loyal team of continuously improving staff. This dedicated team will play a pivotal role in supporting the expansion and ensuring consistent service quality across all locations.
Motivate Members by Creating Achievable Goals
Help your fitness studio members achieve their fitness goals by actively tracking their workout and fitness progress. Collaborate with them to establish realistic and achievable fitness milestones, providing guidance and support throughout their journey. Setting impractical goals, particularly in the initial weeks, can lead to member dissatisfaction.
Encourage members to monitor their progress regularly, illustrating tangible improvements in their fitness journey. It's disheartening to invest time and resources without witnessing results. Demonstrating their advancements motivates them to persist, fostering their commitment and encouraging member retention. By showcasing their progress, you empower them to stay engaged and dedicated to their fitness objectives.
In conclusion, building a vibrant fitness community centred around achievement and inclusivity is key to member engagement. Utilising these strategies alongside a robust fitness business platform can substantially impact member retention and business success.
If you are currently seeking methods to keep your members engaged, be sure to speak with our experts about how bsport can help improve your studio!