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Ramping Up Your Non-Dues Revenues


shutterstock_40345390We’ve recently learned that “42 percent of club members attend their clubs less than 50 days per year.” If members aren’t using the club that much, how can you generate more revenue? As the New Year approaches, it’s a good time to shake things up a bit and find new and creative ways to generate more revenue.

Special Promotions

The holidays are great opportunities to promote special sales. Think outside the box: create gift packs, institute a rewards program, sell desirable logo wear to advertise your club — look at comfortable, breathable shirts, shorts and sports jackets; reusable shopping bags at a low price; lanyards to hold keys and ID cards and water bottles. Also, be sure you have an adequate stock of gift certificates on hand!

Personal Training/Personal Services

Personal training sales continue to be one of the leading sources of non-dues revenues in most clubs, even in this economy. So how do you increase your sales?

• Determine your target audience – look at purchasing history for gender/age breakdown to find your niche, or look for a new one.

• Market to repeat purchasers — they are already seeing results and the sales process will be easier.  Extend a special offer to repeat clients to thank them for their loyalty. Incentivize them to make referrals.

• Keep participants involved — call clients and encourage them to use their sessions consistently. As they see the results they will be encouraged stay on track with their fitness goals and buy more sessions.

• Devise new and exciting personal training/service avenues — seasonal sports-specific conditioning; personal aerobic/spinning sessions; personal water-fitness instruction; personal shoppers (trainers go with clients to the supermarket and help them read labels, etc.). Identify the unique qualifications and expertise of your instructors and staff and market those as personal services.

• Make the purchasing process easy and inviting — offer kiosks/computers in the club where members can go online at their convenience to purchase a  package. Make this option available through your Web site too. Be sure you have included nonmembers in your personal training marketing – they typically pay 20-30% more than members.


People are busy! You need to be creative and offer something they can’t get anywhere else. Look outside your club for ideas.  School sports teams, dance groups, cheerleaders and many other groups are looking for innovative programs, both on and off season. Rent space in the club, sell/rent special parking spaces, offer workout-with-trainer events for nonmembers – there are so many options!

You may also find ideas for programs/events in your club database. Do you ask your members about their interests? Most club management software has a way of collecting and tracking this information. Conducting member/nonmember surveys along with reviewing reports from your software could lead you to trends and interests that people are looking for that you may not have thought of. Know your costs so you can ensure an appropriate profit margin for any program you design.

Use the Most Effective Marketing

Before you embark on your marketing, determine your current sources for sales. Check your club database to discover where new members found out about you. From that, you can determine what you’ve done in the past that has worked!

Now that you have some offers, know your target audience and know what’s worked in past, it’s time to combine them to implement an effective marketing plan. Use several different mediums to get your message(s) out: customized e-mail blasts, postcards, in-club messaging and banners on your Web site. Whatever you do, start early and get the word out. You need to get people away from the contemplation state and ready to take action. Once the New Year arrives, you want people ready to buy.

With a little creativity and some research on your market and audience, you can increase non-dues revenue streams and add to your bottom line!


Susanne Nauseda has an exercise science degree that she put to use in the industry for 10 years prior to joining Twin Oaks Software, where she has worked for the last 12 years. You can reach her at 866.278.6750 or at snauseda@tosd.com.

Susanne Nauseda

Susanne Nauseda has an exercise science degree she put to use in the industry for 10 years prior to joining Twin Oaks Software, where she has worked for the last 17 years. Contact her at 860.829.6000 x 269 or snauseda@tosd.com.

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