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Leveraging Member Data to Drive Marketing Success

Do you ever wonder why your marketing tactics aren’t working? Or why you aren’t seeing growth in your numbers, even though your club is constantly pulling in new members? You aren’t alone – many clubs are having the same issue. The problem is that member data isn’t being utilized to its full potential. The key to fixing this problem is to use your member data to guide your marketing decisions. Marketing without using your member data is like working out without warming up. It’s a bad idea. Data could be the difference between a successful and a failed marketing campaign. Your goal should be to keep the bucket full in order to grow your club faster and stronger. This can be accomplished by leveraging your data and targeting members/potential members using the right tactics in the right places.

To rewind a little bit, you may be asking yourself, “what is this bucket we’re talking about?”

A bucket represents your club. Members are what fill up your bucket. At the end of the day the goal is to keep that bucket full. To go even further, the goal might be to fill the bucket up so much you’ll be able to create new buckets, which could mean opening up a new club or multiple clubs.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, you need to first focus on the holes in your current bucket. The holes in your bucket are caused by blind spots in your marketing that are leading you to consistently lose members. No matter how many new members you gain, your bucket will never be full if you keep losing members. One way to plug those holes is by allocating part of your budget towards winning back lost members and retaining current members. Here are the questions you should ask yourself when considering the goals you want your next marketing campaign to accomplish:

  • What do we need to do to drive new member growth?
  • What percentage of the bucket is going to be represented by new member growth?
  • What percentage of the bucket is going to be represented by existing member retention?
  • Do we need to focus campaigns on winning back lost members?

The ultimate goal is to leverage this data so you can optimize and create structures that help prioritize each of the segments represented in the bucket, whether it’s new members, existing members, or lost members.

Leveraging Data

By analyzing your member data, you will be able to more effectively find key insights and build campaigns to drive growth, retain, and regain membership.  Some of the key data points to consider when analyzing your data are:

  1. Member Check-Ins
    • How often are members checking in?
    • How often does a member check in their first month, third month, sixth month, first year at your club?
    • Do your member timelines share any commonalities? (e.g. once they hit the 3-month mark, their check-ins vastly decrease)
  1. Lost Members
    • Do members normally drop off at around the same point in their membership?
    • What are the reasons your members decided to leave your club? Is this something that could be fixed?
  1. Approaching Renewals
    • Have you asked your members what are area of improvements for your club?
    • What is the percentage of your members who normally renew?
  1. Delinquent Members
    • How many of your members are delinquent on their payments?
    • How many of your delinquent members become lost members?
    • What normally convinces your delinquent members to fulfill their payments?

By analyzing these four data points, you’ll be able to more clearly see where your weaker areas are in your club. Once you realize where you need to make improvements, you can take steps to implement changes to improve your club. From there you’ll be able to decide who and what you need to focus your marketing on.

Targeting Members

Now it’s time to take the information you’ve learned from analyzing the contents of your member bucket and its holes and use that to decide who to target and how you want to market to the targets you’ve chosen.

After you’ve chosen how much of your marketing budget will be allocated towards gaining new members, retaining existing members, and winning back lost members, then it’s time to decide how you are going to market to each segment. The key is to target the members or potential members where they live, work, and play.

Targeting your members/potential members where they live, work, and play will most likely mean that you will need to develop multiple marketing campaigns. Because how you market to someone in their home is different than how you would market to that same person where they work or play.

For example, I have four children, so I spend a lot of time at events with them. So, targeting me where I’m playing could be at the parks. My kids play hockey, so you could also target me at an arena. My wife loves to shop so you might want to target her at the mall.

There are just so many ways to reach people and, luckily, with the array of marketing tactics available nowadays you will be able to target people wherever they might be.

Blending Tactics

I know what you’re thinking:

“Well I know that I can target people in their homes with a mailer, but how do I reach them everywhere else?”

Obviously, the typical tactic is going to be traditional marketing, which utilizes print marketing. That could include anything from direct mail to guerilla marketing. But where you’ll start to see a lot of success is when you start to blend traditional marketing with digital marketing tactics.

Once you figure out who you are trying to target, and where you want to target them, then the next step is how do you want to target them. You want something that is going to stand out to your target audience whether that’s a scratch off mailer or a mobile ad that pops up in their browser after they’ve been shopping for new workout clothes.

Don’t think that you have to choose one or the other either. There are some tactics that actually combine print and digital marketing. For instance, Mail2Mobile is a marketing tactic where you send direct mail to your target audience and then you serve those same people mobile ads. That way if they put your mailer to the side and tell themselves “I’ll get back to this later,” a mobile ad will then pop up on their browsers a few days later that will remind them to take advantage of the special and limited time offer that was on your postcard.

Each club is unique and different marketing tactics will have different levels of effectiveness for every club. The goal is to have a clear understanding of your target audience and pick the right marketing tactics that will grab their attention.

Next Steps

Every club is different and each one has its own weak areas. If you learn how to leverage your data effectively you can close up those holes in your club’s bucket in no time. The first step is to identify the problem, figure out where your club is lacking and what segment(s) you want to focus your marketing on. Then leverage your data to figure out how to solve the problem by looking at the four data points: member check-ins, lost members, approaching renewal, and delinquent members. Then decide who you are targeting, where you want to target them, and start to build your messaging. Last but not least is pick the product(s) that will best stand out to your target audience.

This can seem a little overwhelming to take on yourself and we are here to help. Through Muscle Up Marketing’s partnership with ABC Financial we are able to take a deeper look into your member data and help you utilize it to engage your current and lost members. Our ultimate goal is to help you understand the data, then leverage that data to find the best marketing tactics for your target members whether it’s print marketing, digital marketing, or a mixture of both. 

Kyle Kinzie is the Senior Vice President of Sales at Muscle Up Marketing. Muscle Up Marketing has over a decade of fitness marketing experience, helping over 1,800 clubs and studios across the United States and Canada increase their membership through innovative omnichannel campaigns. Muscle Up Marketing has been named one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America the last four years (Inc 5000), as well as a Best Place To Work in Atlanta. For more information, visit or call 888-236-1190.