While you and your staff are gearing up for the January rush, your current members are likely dreading it. Especially your most dedicated regulars, who can quickly resent the wave of newcomers disrupting their fitness routine. It’s important to remember that there is a premium on regular members. They build your club’s culture, have higher rates of renewal, and often, they’re your best salespeople -- promoting your gym or studio to friends and family.
The importance of regular members is only compounded when you consider that 80% of new year’s resolutions are abandoned by February according to US News. You can’t afford to lose valuable dedicated members in the chaotic rush of January signups, who are unlikely to stay long term. Use a variety of retention strategies to re-engage and strengthen your relationship with current members before January to boost retention rates.
Thank You Email
Don’t underestimate the simple power of a heartfelt thank you. Compose a brief but genuine thank you email to active members. Preface that you anticipate an increase in club traffic and appreciate their patience as new members join the club. Include your member manager’s contact information. This gives members an outlet to report any issues or concerns. Your CRM software can be utilized to quickly segment a recipient list of members who have visited the club within the last two months.
Introduce Club Improvements Before January
Club enhancement fees aren’t always popular with members, but they do serve a valuable purpose: raising capital to keep the club modern and fully functional. If your members are unhappy with the fee, it’s likely because they’ve never seen their benefit. No one wants to pay taxes until they see them used to build a highway that reduces the crosstown commute. Prove your enhancement fees value by using a portion of that capital to purchase one or two new pieces of a equipment. New equipment can generate buzz among your members and motivate more club visits during the slower holiday season.
Guarantee Class Space
Temporarily increase either class sizes or the number of classes offered per week to ensure regulars aren’t pushed out of classes by new members. If staffing or space restrictions prevent an increase in class spots, consider offering reserved spots for your regular members. Further, implement a club policy that club staff will only join a group class if it is not full. Group training is a highly effective retention tools because members are able to keep each other accountable.
For members who haven’t visited the club recently, encourage re-engagement by offering free end-of-year assessments. Members often disengage from a club if they aren’t seeing improvement or weight loss. Your trainers can assess their health, discuss their fitness goals, and create a custom new year workout plan. Use your CRM software’s check-in data to identify inactive members, i.e. members who haven’t logged a check-in to your club in thirty-five days or more.
How does your club’s retention stack up? Download our free Club-Level Retention Scorecard to uncover your club’s month-over-month retention, loss, and growth rates!