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How AI can increase gym membership sales at your club
June 24, 2021 •

One of the questions we’re often asked, when beginning a conversation with an operator who’s new to artificial intelligence, is: where could AI add value to my business? How can it increase gym membership sales at my club, improve member retention, drive yield and boost my bottom line?

The simple answer to the question of ‘where’ is ‘everywhere’ – but before we elaborate on that, it might be useful to explain a little more about what AI is.

Predict the future with AI

AI is now everywhere, from suggesting what we might listen to (Spotify) and watch (Netflix), to providing navigation guidance (Waze) and diagnosing medical problems (Health Tensor) among thousands of other things. 

For the fitness sector specifically, the easiest way to think of AI is as a prediction machine, taking what we do have (data) and filling in the gaps we don’t (i.e. knowledge).

  • Will the member leave us?
  • Will they be interested in this offer?
  • Will this change to the schedule affect attendance?
  • What will my sales performance be three months from now?

How it gets there may be a little bit more involved, but think of it as a prediction machine and you won’t go far wrong.

  • Based on what they’ve listened to, I predict they will like…
  • Based on what they’ve watched, I predict they will like…
  • Based on my understanding of the road system and the reported traffic conditions, I predict an ETA of…
  • Based on the symptoms, I predict the condition is…

Look forward, not back

So now let’s come back to the question: ‘Where could AI add value to my business?’ – and let’s address it by painting a picture that will equip you to easily answer the question yourself. 

Take a look at the business metrics you currently work with, the vast majority of which will be looking at what’s happened in the past. Now ask yourself: “What could I do with this insight if it were predicting forward?” 

Feel free to take inspiration from just a handful of the ways we’ve already seen AI applied within fitness operations. How valuable would it be if you knew…

  • What your member retention would be for the coming six months?
  • Which specific members would leave you in six months’ time?
  • What your gym sales would be for the coming quarter?
  • If you’d increase gym membership sales enough to hit your sales goal for the year?
  • What your membership would be at the end of the year?
  • Which sales channels would decrease in performance over the next quarter?
  • Which members were most likely to purchase PT, and at what package level?
  • What impact on member retention a class schedule change would have?
  • What the optimal class schedule would be for member retention?
  • Which classes drive the highest member retention?
  • Which members were most likely to take part in a gym referral program and/or provide a review?
  • Who your optimal member is, so you could ask your AI to create a custom audience for your social ads, ensuring maximum impact of your gym marketing campaigns?

And, of course, the above are just a few examples; there are many, many more questions you could ask of your prediction machine. 

Make decisions with confidence

It’s clear that, armed with the above insights, a business would be able to take consistent, positive action to extract the value from those insights. For example…

  • If you knew a member was going to leave you six months prior to the end of their contract, what value would that have? What changes might you implement in your gym member retention strategies or your gym loyalty program?
  • What would you do differently in your gym sales tactics if you knew which lead would convert to membership and which would not? 
  • If you could predict with 90 per cent accuracy what your gym sales figures would be for the next six months, what could you do with that knowledge?
  • If you could send a commercial offer to a member, knowing it was highly likely to be of interest, what impact would that have on your bottom line?
  • If you knew which of your members to ask for referrals or testimonials, and be confident they would provide them, how would you use this to improve member acquisition and increase gym membership sales?

By asking yourself these questions, you’ll immediately appreciate how AI allows you to make business decisions with a far higher level of confidence, increasing transparency around business performance and reducing the guesswork in likely outcomes.

Results that speak for themselves

The good news is, if you’re currently reviewing historical performance metrics, the data needed for an AI prediction most likely exists in your business. And the results can be transformational. 

For examples of these results, really you have to look to our business – Keepme – as it’s the first to provide these services to the fitness industry. 

At two years old, with much of this time of course shaped by COVID-19 lockdown, we are only now starting to get customer report results. However, there have already been some extraordinary improvements reported by customers from around the world. These include:

  • A one-year average increase in length of membership – a huge boost to retention that’s resulted in a significantly improved member Lifetime Value (LTV). 
  • An 8 per cent increase in gym sales lead conversion in the space of just three weeks.
  • A 35 per cent increase in non-dues spend.
  • A 21 per cent rise in referrals (in hard terms, four in five members are now referring new members) leading to increased gym membership sales, lower member acquisition costs, and higher LTV. 
  • Plus a lot of little wins that make a difference: email open rates improving from 52 to 86 per cent, for example. 

Put all this together and you’ll appreciate it’s not just the value of the solo prediction. It’s the impact the combined predictions have on subsequent actions, outcomes, and future predictions. 

With every action taken, your AI can see the outcome of that action, so it continues to learn. Its predictions get better and better – more accurate, more insightful, more valuable. And in turn, your efforts to increase gym membership sales – among many other things – become more and more effective.

For practical examples of AI application in a gym operation, read here

Download our latest white paper – Everything You Need to Know About Data & AI – here.

download-your-free-copy-the-fitness-future-rules-of-engagement

Six essential rules for operators in new white paper, The Fitness Future: Rules of Engagement
February 1, 2021 •

The Fitness Future: Rules of Engagement

Keepme founder Ian Mullane has released his new white paper, The Fitness Future: Rules of Engagement, available now for free download. In the paper, Mullane breaks down the overarching trends that are reshaping the way modern consumers approach health and fitness, along with six essential rules that operators must abide by to not only survive, but thrive, in the fitness future. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerating the digitisation of fitness, along with the advent of paradigm-shifting technologies like 5G, fitness operators must re-evaluate their role in their members’ daily health and fitness routines. But this is easier said than done. Doing so requires a full understanding of the underlying trends, and an acknowledgement that operators must lean into – not fight – the flow of technology and advancement. In The Fitness Future: Rules of Engagement, Mullane lays these truths bare and shares clear, actionable guidelines that operators can begin to implement immediately.

While it is tempting to believe that the industry will soon return to “normal”, it is the operators who act now who stand to flourish in the fitness future. And though the solutions may seem futuristic on the surface, everything outlined in the paper is, in fact, available today to those who choose to act.

The Fitness Future: Rules of Engagement, is now available for free download via Keepme. Follow this link to claim your free copy. 

Reviews for the white paper

Herman Rutger
Co-founder & ambassador, EuropeActive

“I recommend all operators take note of the six rules outlined in this thought-provoking, insightful document. The concept of customer-centricity is music to my ears, and I welcome the call to embrace the changes taking place within our sector from an ecosystem point of view, rather than hybrid. The future isn’t two-dimensional. It’s multi-dimensional.”

Humphrey Cobbold
CEO, PureGym

“This white paper includes some very important thoughts and ideas that should challenge us all. As such, it makes a valuable contribution to the debate around our sector’s evolution and will, I hope, stimulate progressive discussion.

“The reader might not agree with every example being highlighted, nor every implication drawn out. I myself do not. But let’s be clear, that is the specific intention of author Ian Mullane: to provoke a response, challenging the status quo in a way that almost forces the reader to engage in the conversation.”

Emma Barry
Global Fitness Authority & Chief Creative Soul at Good Soul Hunting

“Ian Mullane is a provocateur who opens the kilt on the future of digital. With online platforms, connected fitness and at-home solutions in triple-digit growth, The Fitness Future: Rules of Engagement is an industry call-to-arms. The future is here, and we are behind.

“We are schooled in scenarios that exist today and adjacent industry examples we should heed. This white paper implores us to find and defend our place in the wellness ecosystem, automate processes inadequately fulfilled now, and consider the plunge into the holy grail of business acceleration: artificial intelligence. So, lean in, apply the six rules, defend your ‘club is hub’ and unleash the latent data in your business.

“Your future depends on it.” 

Carrie Kepple
Co-founder, Styles Studios Fitness & chair, IHRSA

“Ian’s insights into our industry’s new landscape – an ecosystem in which clubs must be OK with not owning the entire wellness journey – are both thought-provoking and full of truth. We have to find a way to be part of people’s ecosystems, focusing on experiences rather than the technology that drives those experiences. We also have to know when to walk away from technologies that create friction and don’t belong in our own ecosystems. Experience is king.”

Colin Grant
CEO, The PURE Group

“A thought-provoking projection into the future of fitness, with some reality checks and great consumer-centric insights. The well-crafted points around building ecosystems rather than hybrids, and helping customers curate their journeys around data, are critical. These are the call to arms for our industry’s future, and highlight how bright that future can be if we get it right. Ian nailed it!”

Justin Tamsett
Chair, REX Roundtables

“This white paper poses and answers all the questions you’ve been pondering subconsciously, but never been game to ask out loud.  
 
“The way Ian unpacks the industry into six well-illustrated rules makes the journey simple to follow, but the reality he presents will make you squirm if you are set in your ways. Nevertheless, if you want to explore new ways of doing business – indeed, if you want to stay in business – this is a must-read. Open your mind, allow yourself to think differently and begin shaping a business that’s built for the consumer.”

Bryan O’Rourke
CEO, FITC & Vedere Ventures

“Ian does a great job of addressing the huge risks and opportunities that lie ahead for gym brands. Fitness facilities are simply not the sole guardians of consumer fitness any longer: the consumer is the centre, and ecosystems will be the delivery mechanisms now and into the future. I would heed his warnings and embrace his advice.”

About the author

Ian Mullane is the founder and CEO of Keepme, a business dedicated to increasing operator revenue through AI-powered insights and tools. With a career that has seen him work with some of the biggest players in FinTech including as Chief Operating Office at Sungard, Ian was also the owner/operator of the fitness business Vanda in Singapore for more than a decade. An economist by training, Ian also holds a Masters in marketing.

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