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Influence your Members’ Success for an Increased Lifetime Value

by Carly Miller

Improving fitness outcomes and the average lifetime value of a gym member

A gym is known as a place to go to exercise, which is easy when you want to do it but exceedingly difficult when you must go. And it is so often the case that members feel uninspired and dread the gym. When things get difficult in the motivation department, people start to fail at their goals. And when people aren’t successful, they tend to cancel memberships.

Imagine the changes you can make to boost your members’ experience, helping them flourish and recover from life and making your gym the place to go for wellness. In this blog we cover how you can influence your member’s success which will result in an increased average lifetime value of a gym member.

Consider what motivates members

In our webinar Where Motivation Gets Personal: Data Insights on Consumer Motivations, our panelists discuss the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivations. People are generally extrinsically motivated when they join a gym – they want to get their summer body ready, have an upcoming wedding, or must go back into the office and need their pants to fit again.gym member motivation chart

This is great for the gym but considering 50% of people will quit in the first 6 months, club operators and their staff need to tap into their members’ intrinsic motivations, or inherent satisfactions, to retain them. And what a better way to do so than when marketing to and onboarding a member. “If we start from the onboarding process and our imagery is two people walking together living healthier lives and really clearly defining what health and wellness is rather than fitness, I think we’re really going to go ahead and knock out a lot of those motivation factors,” said Lee Robinson, Director of North American Sales, ABC Fitness.

Most consumers just want to be active but when bombarded with images of ripped muscles and skinny bodies, they lose their motivation quickly when they don’t see the same results. Changing your imagery and helping them focus on what matters most to them in that moment can make a world of difference to your members.

Know where and how your members want to work out

During the pandemic, we saw an increase in outside and at-home fitness preferences over a health club or big-box gym and that trend is continuing to hold strong. Creating a hybrid experience allows members to maintain the exercises they are enjoying at home or on the go and supplement with workouts or classes at the gym. By doing so, you’re not only helping members build consistency and habits of working out on those days they can’t make it into the gym, but you’re providing multiple touchpoints to keep members engaged.

The trick with providing a hybrid approach is that each channel needs to be as high of quality as the in-person experience. Take shopping for example. The support you get from the sales associate should match the AI experience of their website. If you’ve purchased before, the site welcomes you and remembers the previous sizes and styles that were purchased. As you search for items, suggestions pop up of others you may like.

Just like shopping, your hybrid experience should be the same no matter where your members choose to workout. Considering adding a club branded app so members are consuming and paying for content from you rather than searching for it elsewhere.

Evaluate what a judgment free space means

As you take motivations into consideration in other aspects of your gym, one of the biggest successes could be to re-evaluate your gym space to see if improvements can be made. Survey your members to find out what works and what doesn’t. Spend time on the floor to see how members are working out. Do you see women collecting a few dumbbells and moving to a corner away from the free weights area? It might be time to establish a women only workout space. Do you see people looking around more than focusing on their workout? Maybe they feel like they’re in a fishbowl with too many eyes on them.

Rainier Health Gym MembersWhen Rainier Health and Fitness looked at how they can make their members more comfortable, they made intentional decisions about the type of machines and made changes around the gym. With very few mirrors in the facility and pictures of members and the community around the gym, Rainier successfully created a more inclusive, welcoming environment.

Understanding your members’ intrinsic motivations can help your gym become the center for building resilience and recovering from life. Help your members build the healthier lives they want and in turn, increase your membership, community, and lifetime value.

About the Author

Carly Miller is a Product Marketing Manager for ABC Fitness Solutions. You can catch her walking her dog, Elliot, or giving her trainer a dirty look when she’s told to do more lunges.