- Dan Kleckner
6 Ways To SUCCEED! In Keeping Clients Motivated, Engaged And Coming Back For More
It’s no secret that January is the biggest month of the year for acquiring new fitness clients. People are excited to kick off a new year and achieve their resolutions. Unfortunately, it often only takes a month or two for those clients to lose that New Year’s motivation. And even if you have a successful marketing campaign in place and are constantly getting new clients, your business will eventually fail if you cannot retain your clients. So how do you retain members and keep them engaged and motivated after the New Year’s buzz runs out?
The monthly retention goal at my gym is 97%, so we can realistically expect to lose about 3% of our clients each month. That means if we have 100 clients, we can expect to lose three a month. In order to achieve and maintain this retention rate, we’ve had to change our retention strategy over time. For instance, we used to contact a client up to eight times in just a few weeks if they hadn’t been to the gym in a while. However, that amount of contact had a more negative effect than positive. As a result, we began focusing on increasing client engagement rather than calling out individual people.
Here Are Some Of The Specific Client Engagement Strategies We’ve Implemented:
• Sending a Fit Tip Email to our members every Monday. These contain either an exercise of the week or a one minute fitness tip from one of our coaches. The goal is to educate the client and keep them engaged.
• Sending a recipe or success story email every six weeks. People love new ideas for healthy meals and snacks that they can make to stay on track with their nutrition. It’s also important to send out client success stories to keep clients motivated.
• Posting special offers, invitations to events, and fit tips in a members-only closed Facebook group three times a week. We’ve found that having a closed Facebook group for members is much more beneficial to existing clients than a public page. For example, only 3-5% of people that like your public page will see content you post. Meanwhile, everyone who is part of the closed group sees the information you post.
• Send motivational texts if a client has been off their normal routine. Texting has become a valuable form of communication with our clients as people are much more likely to engage via text versus email. For instance, the average open rate for an email is only 20%, while texts have an average open rate of 80-90%.
• Get your members on board with a heart rate training system. Whether you use MyZone or another heart rate monitoring system, being able to gamify the client’s workouts is a huge opportunity. We use MyZone to help clients set goals and see measurable progress. We also use it to create a fun and friendly competition amongst members.
• Track attendance and look for low usage patterns among clients. You should run a monthly attendance report to track patterns. If a client is off their normal usage pattern, we send them a motivational email and check in with them.
The bottom line with retention is to create a community atmosphere at your gym where people feel a sense of belonging. And if they know that you are personally invested in them and their health and that you will always hold them accountable to their goals, they’re much more likely to come back for more.