How to Sell Gym Memberships: Keep Customers Informed and Engaged

August 9, 2021

According to IHRSA, at least 67% of health club and gym members quit their membership within 12 months. As a result, many gym owners and operators are deeply concerned about selling new memberships and maintaining current ones.

Although you might want to focus on providing value to your customers, membership keeps your gym doors open. Adding new members to your client base not only generates revenue but also helps grow your fitness business.

While traditional methods may work, your competition might already be using modern tools to attract and retain customers. As such, you need to find creative ways to sell gym memberships, and you can leverage your existing in-gym screens to do it.

How hard is it to sell gym memberships?

As a gym owner or operator, selling memberships can be difficult depending on your approach. Challenges arise if you don’t have a solid marketing strategy or don’t know your customers’ needs. Unfortunately, this means you’ll have trouble offering them a solution.

However, if you can identify a unique selling point, know what your potential clients are struggling with and then offer workable solutions, signing new members won’t be a problem.

Some people may not be sure of what they want. But if you help them identify their problem and show them your gym is the only place they can get a solution, they might be compelled to sign the membership.

It’s harder to sell memberships now, as some people say they don’t plan on renewing their plans, but gym owners have evolved to match the changing consumer habits.

Gym memberships 101

As a gym owner, knowing how to price memberships is paramount. Consider the services you’re offering, how much your competitors are charging, the cost of running the gym, as well as structured prices.

Key stats about gym memberships 

  • Gym members who participate in group exercises are more likely to renew their memberships, while gym-only members have a 56% higher risk of canceling
  • About one-third of Americans pay for gym memberships
  • 12% of new memberships occur in January (IHRSA, 2020). Many gyms take advantage of the fitness craze during the new year to offer specials and gym deals — this is a great chance to display your membership rates on your screens
  • By April 2020, 12.39% of gym members had canceled their memberships, and 24.18% were considering canceling. 46.67% had no plans of renewing their memberships.
  • 49.90% of Americans go to the gym at least twice, while 6.30% do not use their membership (Finder)
  • 56% of the existing gym members don’t like resolutioners who join during the New Year. (CouponCabin)
  • The use of apps in health and fitness can increase retention rates (Flurry)
  • According to IHRSA 2020, more than half of gym members in the U.S. in 2020 were women
  • Gyms make about $517 annually from one gym membership. (Wellness Creatives)
  • Gym membership in 2019 rose by 2.7% in the U.S. to 64.2 million from 62.5 million in 2018 (IHRSA 2019)
  • As of 2021, the average monthly gym membership cost is $37.71 (RunRepeat)

Gym membership and COVID-19

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the global fitness industry was worth $96.7B. However, in 2020 things changed. Consumer mindsets shifted, and they adopted new habits.

Because people couldn’t gather together, health clubs and gyms have evolved over the past few months, changing the way we think about traditional workouts. 

With the digital wave, online fitness has rescued the industry, which is now recovering and promising a future with exciting opportunities. Because of the pandemic, consumers are even more focused on health and wellness than ever before. They are investing in fitness technology, wellness apps and online fitness classes.

So how do you capitalize on this?

How can I sell more gym memberships?

  • Make the onboarding process easy and seamless: Remove all the unnecessary details and hurdles that may scare the potential customers away.
  • Understand your prospect’s pain points and needs: Most people buy gym memberships to lose weight, keep fit, or stay in shape. Understand your prospect’s problem and their needs. By connecting with them, they can trust you’ll help them reach their goals.
  • Invest in gym management software: The software will save you time by automating tasks such as payments, bookings, and client management. You can upgrade to premium software that allows you to track sales and customer retention, lead generation and attendance rates.
  • Personalize the client acquisition process: When you’re selling gym memberships, personalization can increase your chances of closing the prospect. Take your time to take them through the classes you offer, personal training, and everything included in the membership.
  • Attend local events, expos, and fitness fairs: Local events are a marketing opportunity and offer a chance for you to meet your prospects. 71% of consumers are more likely to buy a service from a brand they recognize. Attending local events will create brand awareness and recognition.
  • Use your existing, in-venue screens: You already have televisions throughout your gym. Interrupt your entertainment selections to run advertisements specifically for your venue.

How to take it one step further with digital signage

One pro way to sell gym membership while still saving time for other essential business needs is by using digital signage. When you use your in-venue TVs as a digital signage solution, you can entertain guests, keep them informed about classes and retain existing members.

How to sell gym memberships with digital signage

Capture guests’ attention with engaging content

You can create or pick exciting content to show to your guests and gym members. Pick exciting, relevant entertainment like viral videos, fitness challenges and news that connects with your audience. Moreover, you can have different types of content showing on different screens. 

People love seeing positive reviews from others who have used a particular product or service. Make your existing members the stars and pride of your gym.

And since gym enthusiasts love sharing photos and videos of themselves working out on social media, encourage them to tag you and use your gym’s hashtag. You can then display the posts on your signage.

All of these things combine to make your gym stand out from the rest, attracting new members and making it easier to retain existing members.

Showcase your personal trainers, their specialties and availability

While individual training can be a significant source of gym membership revenue, getting customers to sign up can be challenging.

Personal trainers cannot leave the customer they are training, brochures get lost and special offers are quickly forgotten. 

Digital signage can be an ideal personal training marketing strategy to highlight your personal trainers, their specialties, availability and promote ongoing offers. Customers who are excited about this information can easily engage with a QR code on your screens to sign up immediately — keeping them invested in your gym.

Communicate more effectively

Gym members don’t want to be interrupted when they’re working out. That means you have to be clever about delivering your marketing messaging. Use your in-venue TVs to communicate critical information, like class hours and availability.

Additionally, you can communicate with your guests regarding your updated business hours, compliance policies on social distancing and so much more.

Encourage class sign-ups

If your prospects don’t know the classes you offer, they probably won’t sign up. That means the classes will be unattended, thus risking losing revenue to the competition.

You can promote these classes and encourage members and guests to sign up. Use digital signage to attract their attention and display your offers and the details. Also, make sure your guests know how they can join.

How to get started with digital signage at your gym

Getting started with digital signage is easy. You’ll only need a device that’ll run your content. UPshow will ship you the device, and you only need to plug it into your TV. 

Need to customize your content? Just log into UPshow manager and customize your programming.  Here’s how to make digital signage for your business.

Key benefits of digital signage for selling gym memberships

  • Keeps guests informed and engaged
  • Does not interrupt workout sessions
  • You can promote offers, give details on classes, and instructions on how to join
  • Drive meaningful action
  • Create awareness of new items and increase revenue
  • Build a customer base and potentially convert guests into customers

Generate new memberships with UPshow

Digital signage is a unique marketing strategy that’ll help you engage your customers and provide them with a unique and interactive experience. This way, you can increase the dwell time, drive repeat visits, and possibly, generate more customers.

UPshow, an in-venue marketing platform, will help you interact with your guests and build a customer base. We’ll ship you a device that you’ll plug into your TV and start your engagement journey with your customers. Wondering how to sell gym memberships with digital signage on UPshow? Get started today.

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