Last week I received an email from the manager of the fitness club I’d been a member of for 16 months. He thanked me for my feedback about why I recently canceled my membership.
Although my trips to the gym had significantly decreased since I discovered bar workouts last summer, giving up my gym membership was not an easy decision. I still need my cardio. The decision was made easier, though, by my growing annoyance that the only time I heard from the club was through marketing efforts that were trying to sell me something. There was no energy towards trying to build a rapport with members. I felt unappreciated.
Fitness Club Member Communication is Key
Another issue that contributed to my saying good-bye was the lack of upkeep to the facility. The owners announced last year that the club would be moving to a brand spanking new facility down the street in early Spring of this year. As the weeks and months rolled by the facility began looking ratty from neglect. At the same time the ground breaking on the new building was severely delayed with no explanations from the management. One day I noticed that the shiny sign with a picture of the pretty new reception area had been taken down from the easel where it had stood for months.
The clincher for me was receiving an email promoting all the new equipment they just acquired. Not one word about what was going on with the move. I was dumbfounded. Clearly something had either delayed on killed the new facility opening. As a member I felt that I wasn’t being communicated with in an honest manner. I don’t want to be part of a club that is not willing to be straight with me.
I relayed my thoughts to the fitness club manager about the lack of communication about the gym moving. He told me they put up a sign last month around the gym and that they hope to be moved by August. My membership expired at the end of last month yet I stopped going mid-month. I never saw the signs and the information was not communicated by email.
Fitness Club Marketing Must Be Multi-Channel
Your fitness club membership ranges from the daily diehards to members who stop coming their first month to everyone in between. To maintain a good level of communication a marketing channel beyond the walls of your gym is essential. If your members stop coming they have no way of knowing what they’re missing. Out of sight, out of mind and you lose them.
Don’t make your communications all about the sale. Recognize your members’ birthdays. Celebrate their milestones. Deliver information about the fitness lifestyle that they’ll value.
Create a Community Around Your Fitness Club
The best way to keep your members engaged is by giving them a sense of community. Make your members feel like they are appreciated. Greet them by their names when they sign in. Recognize them through emails, Facebook and Instagram. This helps to make your fitness club a part of their lives rather than a facility they use to work out. Big difference.