The gym and health club industry is a 21.8 billion dollar industry. Many Americans are obsessed with getting fit and staying healthy, but it’s no surprise that 67% of people with gym memberships never use them. We all know the feeling of enthusiastically signing up for that gym membership on January 1 and then forgetting about it 2 weeks later.
58 million Americans use a gym or health club, but the average gym member wastes $39 a month because they don’t use their membership enough. Clearly, fitness and health clubs have a huge challenge in not only gaining, but retaining customers. Let’s take a look at a few strategies that will help you attract new customers and build relationships with old ones.
Get them in the door.
We have all seen those offers that seem too good to be true – maybe an amazing BOGO deal or something like $1 for your first month of a service. While these offers might seem crazy at first, they definitely can be effective in getting people in the door and trying your product or service. These kinds of offers are particularly successful in the fitness and health industry. Consumers love a trial period to see if your gym is a good fit for them. If they love it, they are going to be more likely (and happy) to pay the full price for your services once their trial period is over.
A great deal can get them in the door, but be prepared to amaze them with your customer service and offerings once they’re there. This is a great opportunity to shower new customers with love and affection once they have started a trial and welcome them into your community. This will help them stay motivated and keep them committed to your club.
Build a community.
It’s hard to go to the gym, and, when a recession hits or someone falls on hard times financially, gym memberships are one of the first things to get cut. In fact, 46% of former gym members cited the expense of the membership as the number one reason they terminated it. People are incredibly price sensitive to fitness and health club memberships, so it’s important to build a community to bring them in and keep them coming back once they have started coming to your gym.
Technology is a great way to build community at your club. Developing a mobile application or creating a Facebook group for your membership can keep your customers motivated and connected. These tools can be a great way for gym members to find friends, share stories, and learn about new programming.
Listen to the needs of your customer.
Fitness and health can be incredibly personal for an individual. Your services therefore need to personalized and diverse for your customer base. Using customer analytics to understand the needs of your customer can help you provide services they will find most useful. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can be a great way to learn about your members. Listen to what your customers do and not necessarily what they say. They might say they want more yoga classes, but, if the classes being offered aren’t full maybe that isn’t the best way to go.
Analyze customer data to deliver content specific to each of your members. You can begin to create lists in your contact database based on consumer behavior and send your members offers via email or push notifications that they might find most useful.
Deliver value to your members.
Once you have a good understanding of your customer base, you can start creating content for your members that will keep them engaged. Remember that a majority of gym members underutilize their membership! You can keep your customers interested by interacting with them on social media, posting on your blog, and creating videos and resources for them.
You want to be able to show your members that the membership is worth its cost. If members can exercise elsewhere for free like the park or around the city, it might be hard to justify a membership. This is where valuable content and services can help communicate the value of your membership. Free sessions with personal trainers, blog posts focused on weight loss, and videos that feature healthy recipes could help keep your members coming back.