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How to Attract, Engage, and Recover Members During the New Year’s Rush

Sara Perry

Eating healthier and exercising are two of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but the members that join your gym during the New Year’s rush don’t always stick around.  

Studies show that only 8% of Americans will keep their New Year’s resolutions all year, and 80% fail by the start of February. That’s a lot of potential membership cancellations!  

Your New Year’s memberships are an important contributor to your overall revenue, and losing them can have a strong impact on your gym’s growth. Planning your retention strategy now will help you protect those memberships come February 1st.  

Let’s look at how you can attract the right members, keep them engaged, and recover them if they cancel.  

Attract the Right Leads With Authentic Messaging  

Habits like exercise are easy to break when you don’t enjoy them. Don’t spend the New Year attracting leads with goals that don’t align with your gym’s experience – they won’t be happy and they’ll be more likely to leave.  

Instead, focus your energy on attracting leads who are looking for your gym’s unique experience. Using authentic messaging in your outreach will attract better quality leads who intend on sticking around.  

Use your website, ads, and social media to show leads who you are and the experience you offer. Demonstrating the experience they can expect to have will help you engage the leads most likely to enjoy your gym (and stick around).  

Give leads a clear view of what they can expect by sharing:  

  • Success stories
  • Motivational quotes
  • Your gym’s approach to fitness
  • How your gym builds community
  • Member testimonials and reviews

Engage New Members With a 100-Day Plan  

63% of new members stop exercising within the first six months. New Year’s members are likely to get discouraged and ditch their new healthy habits even quicker than that.  

The members you gain during the New Year’s rush are excited about changing their lifestyle and reaching their goals. You can keep that momentum going with a 100-day plan.

A 100-day plan outlines how you’re going to keep your members as motivated on their 100th day as they are on their first. Planning exactly how you’re going to encourage and engage new members will help you keep them around well past February 1st.  

Every 100-day plan should include:  

  • Welcome boxes
  • Regular emails and texts
  • How to set fitness goals together
  • Plans to keep members accountable
  • Ways to gather vital member information

Days 0-30

During the first month, your goal should be to help new members build good habits and overcome their fears. They may feel uncomfortable or self-conscious in a gym setting, and that can discourage them from returning. You need to know how you’re going to support them and make them feel comfortable during their first 30 days.  

Focus on:  

Days 30-60

The goal of the second month is to set new members up for long-term success. Educate them on your other services while still offering support and motivation. Participating in other programs like nutrition consulting or specialty classes offers better value and more reasons to stick around.  

Days 60-99  

Your goal in the last month is to gauge your members’ satisfaction and help them plan for the future. Take time to check in on how they’re doing and see if you can make their experience even better.  

Help them plan for their future by suggesting additional programs and nurturing a passion for lifelong fitness. Don’t forget to gather testimonials and referrals from happy members!  

Day 100

Time to celebrate! Staying committed to fitness during those first few months is the hardest part of their journey. Celebrate that win with them!  

Recover Lost Members With a Cancellation and Reactivation Plan

Let’s face it – some members are going to cancel their memberships after the New Year’s rush. It’s disappointing, but they don’t have to stay lost forever. Build a cancellation and reactivation plan so you’re prepared to win them back if they cancel.

Step 1: Exit Capture

The first step of your cancellation process should be to capture important information from the member. Capturing their feedback via a digital form starts to remove the emotional aspect of the process while still giving you an opportunity to offer help.

Step 2: Find Out Why

Why are they canceling? The questions on your form from step 1 should give you the answer. Make sure to keep your form simple and only include questions if you’re sure you’ll use the data collected from them.  

Start with these fields and add more if necessary:  

  • Name
  • Date  
  • Why they’re leaving
  • An open comment field  

Step 3: Break the Ice

The member should receive a confirmation email after they cancel, and the content you include sets the tone for your future relationship. It should give them the information they need about their cancellation while also showing them that you’re not upset. Let them know you still care about them and that you’re rooting for their success, whether it’s at your gym or a competitor’s.  

Step 4: Start Your Former Client Campaign

The cancellation email shouldn’t be the last time they hear from you. Even after they leave, you should regularly reach out to maintain your relationship. Avoid asking them to come back early on. Instead, offer them value so you can maintain your friendship and leave the door open for them to return.  

February 1st doesn’t have to signal the loss of your New Year’s members. With solid plans to attract, engage, and recover new members, you can keep them around for the rest of the year.  

Ready to ring in the New Year with more leads?  

Download How to Get Your Leads to Walk Through the Door. This free, step-by-step guide shows you how to turn your cold leads into new members.

This guide is right for you if you’re:

  • Failing to follow up
  • Responding too late
  • Not asking enough questions
  • Not converting new members  

Download my free guide!

Use UpLaunch to attract and keep Members

Take action on keeping your members

UpLaunch can help you attract the right members, keep them engaged, and recover them if they cancel.

Tired of losing members? Book a demo today!
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