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How to improve gym member retention in 4 time-saving steps

Until we all have time machines or time turners, we need solutions that help us save time so we can still reach everyone we need to. As a business scales, regular communication only becomes more and more difficult. So how do you grow your gym and still improve member retention?

Well, if you haven’t already realized it, you need to be texting them. (This is probably a “no duh” statement for a lot of you.) So with texting in mind, use these 4 strategies to boost your retention rates and watch your engagement and customer lifetime value soar.

1) Make an outreach plan and schedule messages

It’s time to make a plan! This will be more work at the beginning but will change your business later on. A specific outreach plan with scheduled messages will mean a lot less scrambling to follow up or trying to remember the last time you heard from a member.

No, you won’t be able pre-schedule every message. But scheduling these types of messages in advance helps you stay in contact more often. Plus, you’ll be more ready to handle things that come up unexpectedly.

Your outreach plan for gym member retention should include messages for:

  • Membership anniversary
  • Birthday
  • Training milestones
  • Accountability reminders
  • Missing # of sessions in a row
  • Attending # of days in a row
  • Holiday hours/other planned closures
  • Special offers and promotions

Now, a birthday message is the bare minimum outreach you need to schedule. Planning and automating these other customer appreciation and reminder messages is really what will keep people around. Ultimately, people want to know they’re valued. When they feel valued, they get invested. When they get invested, they keep showing up.

Even simple reminder messages give you an opportunity to 1) touch base, 2) start a conversation, and 3) get people excited about something new. For example, sending a message like, “Hey, just wanted to remind you that we’re closed tomorrow. Enjoy your day off because the day after a new challenge starts!” to your active and slightly less active members helps do all 3.

2) Schedule messages in batches

Once you have a basic outreach plan, set aside time every week or month to schedule the relevant messages. Some, like birthday messages, holiday closures, or annual promotions, can be scheduled even more in advance than a week.

For instance, if you’ll be starting a 6-week challenge, write and schedule as many reminder and accountability messages as possible. You’ll save way more time if you do this in advance rather than trying to write messages that you want to send that same day to every participant. Even if it’s doing this once a week for six weeks, you’ll thank yourself.

And of course you save even more time in the future because you can recycle and update previously used messages. Don’t waste extra time and brainpower doing the same work twice. Just make sure that you really are customizing and updating old messages to reflect the needs of the members who will be receiving them.

Eventually, you’ll be able to automate a lot of key conversation starters. All you need to do is keep those conversations going. In other words, supplement every batch of scheduled messages with individual messages and one-on-one conversations.

3) Engage 1-on-1

Creating message campaigns and automating your follow-up is huge. Both help you reach basically your whole audience in the shortest amount of time. But you can’t stop engaging in individual outreach and conversations. One of the main benefits of batch scheduling and automating messages is having more time for one-off messages and other conversations you want to have with members.

Take time every week to reach out to a few people who need further accountability or an extra boost of encouragement. Start an individual conversation with them and then continue it. Really get to know them and how you can aide them in achieving their goals.

And make sure people know that they can and should reach out to you. Get them in the habit of checking in with you if they have questions about their nutrition plan or rest days or the best ways to workout while on vacation. Then when they do text you, be ready to reply and do so as quickly as possible.

When it comes down to it, the best gym member retention strategy is showing your members that you truly care about their success. So do that by personally engaging.

4) Automate your lead nurturing

Automated lead nurturing includes creating automations for initial outreach, setting appointments, sending reminders, and following up after meetings. An automated lead nurturing system allows you to engage faster and more regularly with your leads. You keep hot prospects hot and enjoy better qualified leads.

When you have better qualified leads, they’re more likely to become members and then they’re more likely to stick around longer. They’ll see that you care and that you want to help them.

Also, by automating your lead nurturing you further free yourself up to spend more time on your member engagement and retention – or whatever else you’d like to give attention to.

Finally, when you do a great job reaching out and following up with prospects, that also sets a level of precedence that you’ll want to continue with your member engagement. It’s a sort of self-accountability.

So how do you automate your lead nurturing and do all these other things that make up a great customer retention strategy?

You get Skipio.

With four distinct plan sizes, we’re here to help you convert your leads and keep members coming back for a long time. Plans start at $0/month with no credit card required.

Try Skipio today.