How to Increase Fitness Club Sales Through Digital Member Engagement
Driving Brand Growth and Gym Member Loyalty
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, digital member engagement has been one of the most important drivers of member loyalty. As member expectations and behavior have changed in response to the crisis, the way they consume information and stay connected has also shifted. To stay in line with member and prospect behavior, the strategies to increase fitness club sales likewise must respond.
In January 2021, we saw more than 1.5 million new member joins within the ABC community of clubs and gyms. However, those numbers were still down 30% from the new member joins in 2020. Despite the steady recovery seen throughout the first quarter of 2021, for clubs to continue to boost revenue and come out on the other side of this pandemic, there must be some adjusting to regular business practices to find new ways to engage with current and potential members digitally.
Ultimately, we believe that digital member engagement will continue to drive fitness club sales and member loyalty, far beyond the pandemic. In our recent panel discussion, Zero to 90: Digital Member Engagement at Scale, Cristine Kao, our Chief Marketing Officer, sat down with three fitness leaders from across the country to discuss what trends and successes they’ve experienced:
- Mark Harrington, Jr., President at Healthworks and Republic Fitness in Boston, Massachusetts
- Landon Burningham, Founder, President, and CEO of Physiq Fitness in Salem, Oregon
- Greg McCoy, Owner, Hidden Gym in Allen, Texas
Through their discussion, let’s look at a few of the key takeaways you can use to boost your fitness club sales and create deeper connection with members and prospects through digital engagement.
Monitor Your Gym Analytics
One way to get a snapshot of what’s happening in your fitness club is by looking at your gym analytics. A fitness CRM and gym lead management tool like GymSales powered by ABC is a great way to get a glimpse of your member behavior and potentially boost fitness club sales.
Through measuring gym analytics at his health clubs, Mark noticed a significant boost in traffic via digital engagement over in-person, from 2020 onward.
“We are seeing three times the amount of traffic every day through digital means than we are through our physical clubs,” he says.
Measuring gym analytics means you can take a look at member behavior across multiple clubs, then adjust your offerings based on the trends in each location. Alternatively, you can leverage your digital platforms to offer more of the content that’s most in-demand.
Meet Gym Members Where They Are
A major part of offering your members a total fitness experience is meeting them where they are. Right now, that means offering plenty of options for members who may be spending a large amount of their workout time outside the gym itself. You’ll raise your chances of boosting your fitness club sales if you keep this in mind.
With workplaces alternating teams and many professionals working a hybrid schedule between the office and home, a significant amount of time that many gym-goers used to spend at the health club has been reduced. Mark suggests offering your members enough online class options so that the decision to join the gym (or remain a member) becomes easier.
One way to meet members where they are is by providing a wholly integrated mobile solution like ABC+ as part of your membership offerings. With a custom app for smartphones and the Apple Watch, members can stay connected with their personal trainers at your gym, do custom workouts that fit into their lives and activities, and keep crushing their fitness goals.
Offer On-Demand Fitness Services
Offering on-demand fitness services is another excellent way to keep your members engaged and increase fitness club sales. Having content and classes available any time, anywhere, will ensure your members can get their fitness needs met when it works best for them.
On-demand fitness encourages your members to utilize your club’s amenities. Video on-demand delivers fitness classes to your members, opening their journey beyond your gym. But in addition to that, consider holding virtual, on-demand fitness challenges, like Greg’s gym does.
“In our virtual fitness challenges, we can invite people who aren’t members of our health club, and get them to experience our digital platform for a really low-cost trial,” Greg says.
In addition to opening your virtual challenges to current members, offer them to prospects, too. If the prospect participates, offer them further incentive to come into your gym, such as a discounted product or personal training session.
“You can try all of these different avenues and we can send out email blasts, get people excited, and get them familiar with our trainers, instructors, and staff,” says Greg. “In the comfort of their own home, that’s a great call.”
Embrace Digital for Better Fitness Club Sales
Ultimately, club owners will need to consider embracing digital member engagement for better fitness club sales, not just in the wake of the pandemic, but going forward, too. Member behavior has changed drastically, and though we will likely begin to see more people returning to the gym in the not-too-distant future, many will prefer to continue remote workouts and online classes.
Digital lowers barriers to entry and makes the fitness journey more accessible for many individuals. It’s possible to not only increase gym membership sales now, but to continue leveraging digital tools well into the future for a thriving business.
“Embrace digital,” Landon says. “It’s not going anywhere. But make sure it matches you, your business model, and your brand. Do it in a way that can be engaging and drive people to your brand.”
If you’re looking for effective, streamlined digital solutions for your club, ABC Fitness Solutions offers gym scheduling software and member management software that keeps your club running smoothly, helps you monitor member behavior at a glance, and makes it easy for members and leads to say yes.
Learn more about digital engagement and how to increase fitness club sales by downloading our eBook: Streamlining Club Growth and Engagement for 2021.