Trainerize, a client engagement mobile app and software, shares three ways to turn drop-ins into lifelong members.
As a fitness club or studio operator, there’s a good chance that one of your top business priorities is to grow your roster of members. And it makes sense. After all, gaining new members — and retaining them — is the key to revenue growth and long-term business success.
But if you want to start reeling in new members and turning those treasured drop-ins into lifelong members, you’re going to need some organic-first marketing strategies that you can implement quickly and easily, starting today.
1. Remove the conversion barriers.
With so much business happening online and requiring only a few taps or clicks, consumers today are looking for the fastest and smoothest path to checkout. And if you aren’t careful, you might just be getting in your own way.
Walk through the following processes and look for anything that could be seen as a hurdle or stumbling block for a prospective member.
- Finding information and pricing about your memberships and service offerings.
- Signing up for a special offer (if applicable).
- Purchasing a membership and/or additional services.
- Upgrading your membership or services.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can they sign up online to become a member?
- Can they quickly find information and purchase services?
- How easy is it to sign up for free trials or drop-ins?
- Is it time-consuming for prospective members to access or purchase your services?
- Are there lags between when a customer is interested in engaging with your club or studio and when they can complete a purchase?
Once you’ve completed the exercise of mapping out your existing processes, go back through them and scrub away anything that could be seen as a barrier or speed bump. Make it quick and painless for new members to learn and buy.
2. Give your members options.
Why do people buy fitness services or memberships? We know this: to achieve their health and fitness goals, of course! We also know that everyone’s fitness journey and goals are unique to them. As a modern fitness studio, if you’re playing it safe and delivering only one-size-fits-most services, it’s time to take a good hard look at your service offerings, say goodbye to the traditional, and usher in an era of flexible and fun.
- Offer more than just base memberships and personal training. If you’re still only sticking to the basic offerings, you’re leaving money on the table. Expand your services to include things like: habit coaching, nutrition coaching, fitness consultations, goal-setting sessions, virtual memberships, and more. With every new service you offer you open up a new revenue stream for your business and one more way to attract and convert new members.
- Stop thinking of your services as in-person only. Let your members choose how and where they want to train with you. (Hello, we’re in the decade of digital fitness, and it’s time to cash in on that!) For every service you offer in person, provide an online equivalent. Once you’ve done that, combine the two and create hybrid options of everything you’re offering.
- Forget one-size-fits-most packages. Instead, offer mix-and-match or build-your-own options, allowing members to select the services they’re most drawn to and create their own custom tailored experience at your club or studio.
3. Build a sense of community
Coveted by every fitness club or studio in the industry, community can feel like an elusive concept—the kind of thing that seems to appear out of nowhere, as if from thin air.
In reality, community are build step by step by its members. And it all starts with incentivizing behaviors! Foster a community by building opportunities for your staff and members to connect with each other. Try to:
- Remember and use the names of your members.
- Introduce new members to seasoned or long-time members.
- During classes, ask who’s new and give them extra support/attention.
- Run in-club events or social activities—including special events for new members.
- Run challenges or contests and post leaderboards publicly with names and photos.
- Explain terminology, processes, or form each and every time—especially during group workouts or classes.
- Ask for feedback both online and in person.
The toughest part of building a community is to make sure it doesn’t become so insular that new members feel unwelcome. And remember that community-building is an ongoing process, and to keep it alive, you should look for ways to bake it into your business’ culture and best practices.
To strengthen the community you’ve worked so hard to build, it’s wise to also align the values of your community with your brand’s external identity. This way, from the very first interaction they have with your business, potential members will have a sense of who you are and how they might fit in.
So there you have it, the makings of a strong member acquisition strategy. Remove the roadblocks, lean into the power of optionality and choice, and then build a community with heart. With just 3 simple steps, you can start to grow your club’s membership and transform your drop-ins into life-long members. Ready, set, go!