63% of new members quit within the first 6 months. Here’s how to beat that statistic.
New members join your gym full of energy and hope. They're excited and nervous, and many walk through your door without any knowledge of health and wellness. They haven’t set or achieved goals in a long time, they don’t know anyone at your gym, and they’re unfamiliar with the equipment. They might lack motivation and direction and don’t understand when or how their physical and mental transformation will happen.
Above all, they are unsure if they should trust your gym and your coaches.
How do you make new members feel welcome, help them build healthy habits, give them motivation, set them up for long-term success — and, yes, retain them as members?
We believe in focusing on the first 100 days. Those initial three months are when new members are likely to get discouraged or fall back into old habits. While the first six months are when most cancellations happen, we like to start by thinking about a new member’s first 100 days.
So how do you accomplish this?
Even if you give your members an exceptional experience within the walls of your gym, you only see your members for a small part of their day. How can you keep that momentum going so they’re as motivated on their 100th day as their first?
Any 100-day strategy should include gathering vital client information, welcome boxes, sending SMS, checking in, helping members set goals, and keeping them accountable. Another important piece of this journey is email. Sending regular emails in those first three months will reinforce what you teach in class and help you stay connected with your members.
An email campaign during the first 100 days of a new member’s journey shows you care. It’s a way to educate and motivate your new members even when they aren’t in the gym. And it’s an excellent member retention strategy.
So how many emails should you send, and what should you write?
To help, we’ve put together a guide for your members’ first 100 days, with content and timing ideas to get you started.
Days 0 - 30
The goal during the first month is to help members build good habits and overcome their fear and discomfort. The first two weeks you should focus on initial goals, habits, staying motivated, being sore, and tracking results. You can also send emails about nutrition, fitness, and healthy living.
You should send about nine emails in the first 30 days, plus set up a reminder for a staff member to personally check in via SMS or email.
Days 30 - 60
Continue to provide information and motivation, but start to mention the additional services offered by your gym, such as nutrition consulting or speciality classes. The goal is to educate members about additional services and set them up for long-term success. You can start talking about nutrition tracking, remind them to take one step at a time, and focus on long-term healthy living goals. (As an aside, take a moment to think — do all your current members know about your additional services? If not, you could be missing potential income and a chance to connect further with your members.)
Send about four emails during the second month.
Days 60 - 90
In the last month, your goal is to gauge their satisfaction, get referrals if they’re happy, and ask for testimonials you can use for social media and blog posts. Most members want to help, and asking at the right time can result in wonderful feedback you can use to promote and improve your gym. Here you have an opportunity to turn this new member into a brand ambassador! Talk to them about the future, offer more in-depth education on training and nutrition, suggest things to do outside the gym, and give them a reason they should pursue lifelong fitness.The last few emails can be celebratory and designed to set the members up for the next stage in their journey.
Send about six emails in the last month, and reach out to set up a one-on-one goal setting session for the next three months.
These don’t have to be individualized emails — they can go to all new members. They also don’t have to be long and involved. A short email is better than nothing! It does take work in the beginning, but once you create the emails you can use them again and again.
To get started, use our suggestions as a guide. Write down what you want your new members to know, then block time in your schedule to sit down and write, then figure out how — and when — you’ll start rolling out your emails.
Don’t feel like writing all those emails, or not sure how to manage the segmentation and timing? UpLaunch can help!
As always, keep chasing excellence and improve every day!