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Membership Cycle and Retention Part I

Dru Hill
Dru Hill
Published on Wed, Dec 17, 2014
Membership Cycle and Retention

Signing up a new member can be a great feeling. Apart from the obvious financial importance someone has decided to utilize your facility to help improve themselves, to achieve their goals whether they are looking to lose a few pounds, get fit or add some muscle. They join up happy and excited, ready to make a positive change but all too often the fire burns out and they stop coming. From there it’s pretty much inevitable whether it be weeks or months that they will cancel. There are a multitude of ways of interacting with your membership base but I’m going to cover a couple of important times to contact your membership base. Some you may already be doing, some may not be the right fit for your business but hopefully a few might be worth a second look.  


They’ve joined, they’re raring to go just leave them to it right? No, it’s also a great opportunity to reach out. Send an email welcoming them to the gym and giving them any information they might need. It can be as simple as a link to your timetable and the contact details of staff if they have any questions. The joining date also acts as a great reference point for further follow-ups such as an email a couple of weeks later to check on how they’re doing, a 3 month tip and tricks newsletter for getting the most out of their workout.  

Booking Reminders

If you offer personal training or classes, a quick email reminder a day or two before, or an sms a few hours before, can offer an easy way of improving attendance rates as well as helping your members keep on top of one aspect of their lives no matter how hectic their schedule gets.  


Birthdays provide a great reason to touch base with your members. Whether it’s simply to wish them a great day or if you want to add a little something extra to celebrate like a free drink or discounted training session.  

Expiring members

If you’re using term based memberships eventually they will come to an end. While your clients may come in and re-sign you can take a more proactive approach by reaching out to them a few days or weeks before they expire. Whether it’s just to let them know that the expiry date is approaching (can be very important with 24/7 facilities) or if you’d like to add some kind of promotional offer to secure their business. You can also schedule multiple follow-ups maybe a email 2-3 weeks before hand followed by a call by their client manager a few days before.  

Failed Payments

Debt collection can be a stressful and unpleasant task but you can help alleviate this by getting in touch with members quickly to let them know what’s happened. It could be they’d prefer to come in and pay off the balance or simply have the amount rollover into their next billing period. Maybe they’ve had an unexpected expense and need to arrange a repayment plan to catch up. A simply email or text can alert them to any potential issues with their accounts and also speed up the resolution process before it becomes an issue. For those with club management software this can be a relatively simple and often automated process while those using spreadsheets or similar will have to take a few additional steps but it is certainly possible.   Read Part 2 of theMembership and Retention Series here