Keeping Your Members Engaged & Fostering An Active Community

In the excitement of obtaining shiny new members, keeping current members engaged can sometimes seem like it may not be the most effective use of your team's time.

But, retaining existing members is more profitable than obtaining new ones. And, happy, vocal gym members will play the biggest role in making your club an attractive potential venue for prospects on the lookout for a training facility.

So, let’s take a look at how you might go about keeping your current members engaged.👇

Understand Your Community

Understanding the needs of club members is paramount for fostering a thriving fitness community and ensuring long-term member satisfaction. By understanding your members’ preferences, goals, and challenges, it allows you the option to tailor your offerings and services to meet the specific needs of members effectively.

To achieve this knowledge, gym owners can employ various strategies such as:

  • Conducting member surveys
  • Engaging in one-on-one conversations
  • Analyzing member feedback
  • Closely monitoring member activity and engagement patterns

By actively listening to members and continuously seeking feedback, gym owners can gain invaluable insights into what motivates, inspires, and retains their members, ultimately enhancing their overall gym experience and loyalty.

Engage After Initial Trial Period

Generally if someone has come to your gym for a trial, they have owned the motivation to get to this stage. Now it is up to you. Not only to keep them engaged, but more importantly to make sure that they feel connected to your club in particular. There are many ways you might choose to do this:

    Assign them an ‘accountability partner’

    This could be another club member, or a trainer. Numerous studies report that working out with a partner is more effective than training alone.

    Offer personalized goal-setting sessions

    This enables members to visualize and stay motivated throughout their fitness journey. Your experienced trainers can help understand their aspirations, design a tailored workout plan, and provide regular progress evaluations to keep members on track.

    Celebrate new member milestones

    Send an email/text/whatsapp when they have reached their 10th visit, attended their 5th class or achieved their first PB/max lift at your club.

What is key here, is making sure that you tailor the experience to the individual. Make sure they feel valued, supported and understood at your facility. This will be key to them continuing their fitness journey with you.

Create a Welcoming Environment

The little things go a long way. Being greeted warmly by name on arrival can mean a lot to a new member who is taking a leap out of their comfort zone. This really comes down to the staff you hire, and how passionately you enforce the embodiment of values such as respect, helpfulness, and being welcoming.

Yes, you can have a list of rules on the wall that states ‘don’t be a dick’ but does this carry any weight if people aren’t held accountable? Not really. Be clear from when you interview someone, to their onboarding, to their day-to-day about the values you want them to embody as well as simply carrying out their day-to-day tasks, and always lead by example in this regard.

Make an Impression in the First 30 Days of Membership

Social Events for Your Community

Beyond the physical workout, you have the opportunity to place great importance on creating a welcoming and inclusive community. Regularly hosting social events, such as member appreciation nights, fitness workshops, or informative seminars, allows members to interact in a relaxed environment.

This sense of belonging fosters long-term engagement, encourages interpersonal connections, and helps members form accountable relationships.

Regular Check-ins for New Members

Conduct regular check-ins with new members to assess their progress, address any concerns or challenges, and offer ongoing support and encouragement.
This will also allow them to bond and develop relationships with your trainers, resulting in increased loyalty to your club

Competitive Events for Members

You can play host to exciting challenges and friendly competitions such as step challenges, weightlifting competitions, or friendly fitness competitions within teams. Not only do these events encourage engagement, but they also help members track progress, enjoy a friendly competitive spirit, and even earn exciting rewards.

Personalize Your Interactions

We touched on this earlier, but personalizing your interactions can go a long way. Whether this is being greeted by name on arrival, or receiving an email that is specific to your interests and demographics. We live in a world where people are expecting an increasingly personalized experience, and why should your fitness club be any different? If your Netflix account can greet you by name, isn’t it the least you expect from your gym?

We have all received a blanket email that you know has also gone to hundreds, or even thousands of others. How likely are you to read this, let alone take any action from it? Probably not very.

But, let’s take an example and say I am a 30 year old woman who attends the gym 4-5 times a week. I frequently attend spin class and occasionally purchase a mango smoothie from the smoothie bar. If I receive an email congratulating me on attending x10 spin classes this month, and offering me a voucher for a free mango smoothie - you bet I’ll be paying attention to that message.

This does not mean your staff need to follow your members around noting their every move before sending them individual emails. Technology available today means this process can be automated. This is not even ‘advanced’ practice anymore, gyms and fitness clubs around the world have been doing this for years, and if you aren’t yet, you are missing a big trick!

Obtain & Action Feedback

Listening to your members and taking action based on their feedback is essential for fostering member satisfaction and loyalty. Everyone desires to feel heard, and neglecting to solicit member feedback means missing a crucial opportunity.

You can do this via NPS surveys, one-on-one conversations, or old school paper feedback forms. However you decide to collect the information isn’t the important part, the important part is keeping a record of it, and acting on it. Whether it's adding more yoga classes or increasing cleaning standards, demonstrating responsiveness reinforces member appreciation and strengthens loyalty, ultimately enhancing the overall member experience.

To conclude...

There are many ways to keep members engaged, and a few actionable tips that we’ve touched on in this blog. But the most important thing to remember is don’t fall into the trap of thinking the work stops when someone has signed on the dotted line. Ensuring your members feel seen and heard throughout their member journey is the key to keeping them engaged and loyal.