Navigating the fitness membership retention maze

The Holy Grail for any gym or fitness business is undoubtedly, to attract members and retain them—because we all know it costs a whole lot more to recruit a new member than it does to retain an existing one.

Happy members happy gym, right? Well, yes, but it’s not quite that straightforward.

Like many industries, the fitness landscape is in a state of constant transformation. Different demographic groups are changing the way they engage in fitness—the type of classes or facilities they’re using, how they want to access them, how much they’re prepared to pay, the way they want to pay for them, the length of time they’re staying with a service, and their reasons for leaving it.

For fitness businesses, it can be hard to strike a balance that satisfies a broad cross-section of your membership and that also feeds into enhanced retention rates and a thriving fitness business.

To do this effectively, you need to know what you’re looking for—it’s one thing to be able to extract this data from your system, but it’s quite another to know what to do with it.

For gyms, PTs and other fitness entrepreneurs, a good starting place could be the report recently released by Fitness Australia. The Australian Fitness Industry Retention Report 2017 was commissioned by Fitness Australia, funded by Life Fitness Australia and prepared by Dr Paul Bedford, an internationally acclaimed expert on member retention and the behaviour of exercisers.

The report presents the findings of a 36-month study of the Australian fitness industry (including personal training facilities) and uses Australian industry data based on approximately 1,000,000 member profiles.

Using the same methodology as previous reports conducted in the UK, New Zealand and North America, data was collected from participating operators over a three-month period, beginning 2 January 2017.

Analysis of the data provides a unique insight into the retention and attrition rates of a representative sample of Australia’s health and fitness clubs. It also uses statistical methods for measuring retention and attrition, and enables contributing operators to compare their own performance against the industry benchmark.

For more information about the report visit Fitness Australia or purchase the report here.

And if your fitness business is looking for ways to make collecting membership fees easier, talk to PaySmart about how we can boost your retention strategies. After all, PaySmart has been working in partnership with the fitness industry for more than 20 years and we have a direct debit solution to meet your needs. PaySmart can help remove the stress from your billing process, keep cash flow on track, manage your debtors, keep memberships in sync and free you up to focus on what you do best.

Talk to a PaySmart Client Account Manager today.