4 Ways to Increase Fitness Studio Retention and Recurring Revenue

Devin Meister
January 13, 2022

For fitness businesses, retention is the key to success. Luckily, tracking it is easier with iKizmet.

When you break it down, the cost to acquire a new client is three times more than the cost to keep an existing client. This is why retention is so important for fitness studio owners.

After all, returning clients and members bring recurring revenue to your studio—and recurring revenue creates a reliable baseline. For example, if you have 200 members each spending $120 per month, you can count on $24,000 per month to cover salaries, bills, maintenance, marketing, and other studio expenses.

On the other hand, if you have roughly 200 people purchasing drop-in class passes at their leisure, it becomes difficult to track your baseline revenue and ensure you have enough to cover basic monthly expenses.

Ultimately, retention and recurring revenue go hand in hand. When you focus on building a community of engaged members, you naturally increase your recurring revenue and financial security. And that’s the goal of every fitness business, right?

Here are 4 tips to turn occasional drop-in visitors into loyal members.

1. Create Urgency with Intro Offers

An intro offer is a special promotion for first-time clients. With the right strategy, an intro offer is one of the best ways to entice and retain new clients.

The most effective intro offers typically employ a sense of urgency—without compromising value. For example, you might offer an irresistible 30 days of unlimited classes for $30 to get new clients through the door. To create urgency and convert these new clients to members, you could waive any enrollment fees or even offer a slightly discounted membership when they sign up during the intro offer period. For example, “Sign up for a membership before your intro offer expires and get $15/month off an annual membership.”

Other intro offer ideas include:

  • 2 weeks of unlimited classes for $20
  • Bring a friend: 2 for 1 enrollment
  • 2 months unlimited for the price of 1 month

Putting a time frame on your intro offers encourages new clients to show up and give your studio a fair shot. Adding an extra discount or incentive, such as the discounted membership when someone signs up during their intro offer, cranks up the urgency—and increases the likelihood that a new client will stay at your studio (before bouncing off to try someone else’s intro offer).

To maintain control of your value, avoid offering free classes or regularly advertising deeply discounted classes through third-party platforms. If deeply discounted drop-in classes are always a tap away, you risk losing members (and devaluing your classes).

Use the iKizmet New Client Retention funnel and Client Profiles to see which of your introductory offers are most effective and to keep tabs on new clients. Track and encourage conversations—in-person, via email, over the phone—between your staff and new clients to ensure they have an outstanding experience and feel welcome back. Monitoring and tracking your new client’s experience can help to convert them to long-term clients.

View: New client retention funnel for measuring new client intro offers

View: A fitness studio client profile for managing client buying behavior.

The bottom line: Always design intro offers with the #1 priority of converting intro offers to memberships.

2. Determine the Best Value for Retention

Speaking of value, your pricing plays a big part in retention. Strategic pricing can attract, encourage, and reward the loyal, high-quality clients you want for your studio.

The key is to determine the frequency of client visits at your studio. For example, if you offer group fitness classes, your average attendance will likely be higher compared to a studio that offers private or semi-private training.

To determine how often your clients visit, check out the Average Number of Visits Per Client chart in iKizmet. Once you determine your average attendance frequency, you can optimize your pricing for retention and recurring revenue. For example, if your clients visit on average twice per week, price your memberships so that the per-visit rate is significantly lower than if those clients were to buy single drop-ins.

You can also reward members with exclusive perks and discounts. For example, “members get a 15% discount on all clothing and merchandise” or “free weekend workshops for members.”

View: Average number of visits per client in fitness studios

The bottom line: Strategically price your offers so that the annual and auto-pay memberships are perceived as the best value.

3. Design an Optimal Class Schedule to Keep Clients Engaged

This might seem like a no-brainer—but client engagement is not something that happens by accident. Always cater to your members because they are the heart, soul, and recurring revenue of your business. One way to ensure your clients and members are eager to return is to keep their go-to classes on the schedule. With iKizmet, you can easily track attendance per class through the Class Utilization Heat Map. You’ll know which classes are working for clients’ schedules and which classes are not producing high results.

View: Class utilization heat map showing average fill rate for fitness class and average revenue per class

The bottom line: Use data to track your members’ behavior and keep them happy.

4. Collect Feedback

To maintain and increase retention, it is important that you encourage client feedback-even rewarding feedback if appropriate. Providing a forum for clients to express their likes, dislikes, and opinions is essential. Staff can play a crucial role in gathering client opinions and ideas. While a tried and true option is always client surveys, another option a studio might opt for is using social media for feedback. If a studio has a large or engaged Instagram following, polls and questions posed in stories could provide valuable insight as to what clients love, like, and dislike.

The bottom line: If you’re unsure about your clients likes or dislikes, just ask.

Next Steps to Increased Fitness Revenue

iKizmet powered by ClubReady has a suite of analytics features to make gathering important insights easy. Curious how iKizmet can help your studio track retention and revenue? Learn more or get a demo.

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