Boost your retention blog - Featured Image

Do you ever ask yourself, “Why did that member leave?”  

As a gym or studio owner, losing fitness members unfortunately comes with the territory. According to IHRSA, the Global Health & Fitness Association, 63% of gym memberships go completely unused.  

With 2023 approaching, it’s important to note that half of new gym and fitness studio members will quit after three months. These types of members are known as New Year’s Resolutioners who start the year with the best intentions but lack the commitment to see things through.  

It costs five to 25 times more to acquire new members than it does to retain your existing ones, which is why retaining your clients and improving their lives in the long run should be your top priority.  

Just a 5% increase in client retention can increase your profits by 25 to 95%. How do you increase client retention while ensuring client attendance remains high? It comes down to a combination of targeting the right clients, nurturing your current memberships with strong communication, and rewarding loyalty. Here are three ways to retain more clients and grow your business this New Year.  

1. Develop a Strong Referral/Rewards System 

Retention begins with attracting clients who want to be there. A referral program allows you to authentically reach your target audience, with your clients suggesting your business to friends who are already interested in your type of services. Studies show that clients acquired through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate. They are also four times more likely to refer more clients to your business, creating a loop of loyal clients who enter, stay, and refer.  

How does a referral program work? It simply allows clients to earn rewards points by leaving a review, referring a friend, or sharing your business on social media. The more points clients earn, the more they can redeem them for free classes or merchandise.  

2. Manage Your Clients and Recurring Revenue Streams 

Recurring memberships creates an environment where the default client behavior is retention rather than churn (cancellations). Unless it is set to cancel, the membership will renew automatically, but it is still important to keep your client data organized and up to date.  

According to Zendesk, 76% of your members expect a personalized experience using their data. Within your business management software, a client profile allows you to collect and track client data from your members in one place. As a result, you can:  

  • Utilize the profiles to better understand your members to prevent churn. 
  • Track attendance records, communication history, and client goals and progress. 
  • Review payment methods and request credit card updates to ensure clients never miss a payment. 

3. Implement a Feedback/Communication Strategy 

It is hard to keep your clients happy and loyal if you do not know how they feel about your business. At every stage of the client journey, you should reach out to understand what they love and what you can improve on.  

If you notice clients are attending fewer classes than normal, it is time to ask for feedback. Develop a churn-risk survey to identify the reasons for this change in behavior. Once you have gathered feedback, use the results to pinpoint areas of improvement and develop retention messaging that touch upon your client’s pain points.  

Just two interactions with your clients each month can reduce member cancellations by 33% at fitness clubs. You can automate class reminders, membership renewal offers, and exclusive promotions through email, SMS, or push notifications.  

What if you could identify an at-risk client about to cancel their membership? With WellnessLiving’s Isaac AI Churn Risk Report, you can identify clients at risk of canceling their gym or fitness studio memberships in the next month with an 87% accuracy rate. Based on this data, you can reach out to those clients to boost your retention rates.  

How can WellnessLiving help your business retain more clients? They offer a built-in rewards program, an automated marketing suite, and tools to manage clients, request feedback, and grow your reputation. Book a free, no-commitment demo to learn more.


Len Fridman is a fitness business expert and successful entrepreneur. Len is the CEO and Co-Founder of WellnessLiving. In 2009, he started a local boot-camp that soon grew into multiple locations across the country. He created the MetaBody Yoga and Fitness Pass, with over 60,000 active clients. Len saw a need in the market for reliable, cost-effective business management software and created WellnessLiving to help bootstrap business owners just like him.