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Crossing the 90-day barrier: the key to gym member retention

Dru Hill
Dru Hill
Published on Thu, Jun 9, 2022
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Acquisition of new gym members is a feat on its own, but keeping them is the real definition of success. Not only that, studies suggest that attracting and acquiring new customers cost about five times more than keeping existing ones. For this reason, a significant amount of your time and effort should be directed toward membership retention. Boosting customer retention efforts should also boost your net income so it’s a no-brainer why you should consider doing so.

If you haven’t heard it yet, your new member’s first 90 days are the most crucial time in making them stay for good. It’s within those first 90 days that members are most likely to leave and not renew the membership. Thus, it’s vital for them to see the value of your fitness club during this period. In this article, let’s tackle ways to get your new members through this critical time.

How to get members across the first 90 days

Make them feel welcome

The moment they sign up, send your members a thoughtful welcome email. Schedule an onboarding session where staff will be introduced and amenities explained in detail. Have staff with pleasing personalities on the front desk so each member is greeted with huge smiles as they enter your facility. Also, take the time to give them a personal call to check up on them and maybe ask them for quick feedback on their experience in your gym thus far.

Everybody loves feeling important. In doing business, the little things go a long way and are remembered for far longer than you may think.

Help them see results

Results make people come back for more. When your members love what they see and feel, there’s no doubt that they’re going to keep renewing that membership. To boost customer retention, put massive effort into helping them progress.

Ask what they want to achieve. Then, set goals toward their specific objectives. From there, you can provide support in their journey. From nutritional tips, which equipment is best to use, recommending trainers who are best suited for their goals, and which workouts they should focus on. You may also highlight the classes or packages from which they can reap the most benefit from.

Expand group exercise classes

One of the best things one can find in a gym is a community of like-minded people. Creating relationships with people who value fitness and health is a great way to make members stay. To promote community building, encourage interaction by improving your group exercise offers.

This is also the perfect time to take members with similar demographics and interests together. From aerobic dance classes for moms to various muscle-building classes for weight lifters. This is why it’s terribly important to assess your member’s interests so that you can create offers that cater to them.

Follow up quickly if you see motivation wane

This is where tracking visits and attendance can help your enterprise immensely, especially during the crucial first 90 days. Once you notice a significant reduction in visitations, it most likely means that motivation is dwindling.

If this is the case, you can give them a chat or perhaps a message on tips on how to stay motivated. You can also expound about things that may have been stopping them from going such as delayed-onset muscle soreness. This is also the time when you can ask for feedback and suggestions to help improve your services. It takes a while to build a habit so make sure to be of great support during this period.


You may think that monitoring members’ activities can be tedious. Fortunately, there are membership management systems that can make things incredibly easier for you and your team. This software can be tied to your gym access control system so you will get tracking reports on your members’ visitations. This data will help you decide on your next move to re-engage members whose motivations are waning.

Gym automation also offers a member’s app to encourage members to book more classes remotely. A membership management system also has a tool that can automate the process of following up on at-risk members, whether via SMS or email. You can also set it up to notify you and your staff so you can give certain members a ring.

There are various ways to get your clients across the 90-day barrier and putting gym automation in place will make the whole process as easy as 1, 2, 3!