Gyms historically see a jump in membership at New Years’ and in the spring. Unfortunately, by late May this universal urge to slim down fades as summer arrives. Sadly, many of these newcomers are ready to cancel their memberships as well.
Many gym owners are tempted to just ride out the summer months
As a fitness club owner, summer is a great time to refresh equipment, renovate interior or exterior gym areas or go on vaca. After all, burnout is real in this business.
However, it is also the right time to target gym membership retention.
Historically, according to IHRSA research, about 50% of new gym members cancel their membership within the first six months. If you can encourage a client to stay past six months, they are likely to stay members for up to five years.
Now do the math.
If January and February are great sign-up months, then June and July are when many of these clients consider canceling their membership. Take the right steps today to retain these new people and you’ve exponentially increased your overall sales for the year. Additionally, you’ve built long-term profitability for the following five years as well.
Let’s figure out how to get this done.
First, design, and plan summertime promotions in April. Don’t wait.
Second, think about what happens in the summertime: Kids are home. Families go out of town. Daily business activities slow down.
Three, laser focus on current clients. A little summer Crayola creativity will go a long way in building a stronger overall membership base.
Here’s eight off-the-cuff ideas to encourage member retention this summer.
- Parents need a break. Consider expanding childcare hours or incorporating kid care into your services.
- Create events that give members a chance to see friends from the gym again. Take a tip from Planet Fitness and make the occasion purely social, such as a fitness expo or a pizza-and-outdoor movie night.
- Design classes that can be held outdoor. These “seasonal” classes can become the pumpkin latte of your hot weather months – only around for a limited time.
- If you’re a subscription-based company, run specials to encourage enthusiasts to re-up when they might have otherwise skipped a series.
- Give members going on vacation a credit on their month’s membership. We are not suggesting freezing their account. Instead bill them as usual but offer to use it as a credit later. You might lose some money for the month, but you also won’t be running after a former client either.
- Market friends and family discounts combined with creative partnerships. For example, promote two-for-one personal training sessions or offer a 50% off friend’s discount for a subscription service.
- Be liberal with guest passes. Everyone likes to share time with friends. Guest passes give individuals an excuse to bring along besties.
- Reach out to vacationers. If your business is in a destination location, ensure local hoteliers, concierges, or social media sites, are aware of your daily or weekly pass programs. Training at a local gym is often a must-have experience for diehard exercisers. Not only will you bring in extra fees, but your current clients will experience a fuller, more interesting gym.
Summer time slowdowns don’t have to be a thing!
With these suggestions, and a few from your own noggin, you can beat the summertime slowdown blues. If you have any questions on implementing these ideas within your gym management software, please feel free to call our customer service team or sales representatives. We are always happy to help our Gym Insight businesses succeed.
We develop, design, and support gym management software created to maximize sales performance and minimize time spent managing daily activities. For more information on our affordable software platform, including digital keytags for seamless 24-7 door access control, and Sales Guru© — the easiest way to sign up new customers — please visit our website or our YouTube channel podcast “The Gym Owner’s Podcast.”