3 Tips to Get Ahead of the New Year Gym Member Spike

by | Oct 28, 2019 | Uncategorized

The end of the year means a lot of things to a lot of people, but in the gym and health club world it means one thing: the new member rush. While most of us like to think we’re accountable all year long, we are also only human which means New Year’s resolutions. Getting into shape for the new year, or getting healthy, or just generally being more health aware, are all some of the most popular resolutions. While this is great for the people making these resolutions, it can mean serious new member overload for gyms. 

Gym memberships typically go way up in January (sometimes up to a 12% increase!) but these members don’t always stick around. In fact, many of them won’t even last a month. So, gym managers are left with a two-pronged issue: dealing with a new member spike while working to increase retention. 

Here are three tips to get ahead of the New Year member spike:

Prep your team

The very first thing to do is to make sure your team – and your gym itself – is ready for the rush. To prep your team, make sure all of your gym management software is running smoothly and that there are no issues. If you need to upgrade any membership writing software, automatic payment platforms, or anything like that to make it easier for members, do it now. 

You should also think about prepping your gym and facilities for the influx of members. Repair any broken machines, do a thorough cleaning of locker rooms, and make sure everything looks presentable. Talk to current members about the projected member spike so that they know they are still top-of-mind and a high priority for your team during this time.  

Rethink your offerings – even for a limited time

Many members who join a gym during the New Year rush are looking for a good deal. They’re looking to try something new without a long-term commitment so that, if the results are there, they can make a confident investment. During the first few months of the year, try out some different strategies to increase excitement and retention for both new and returning members:

  • Add new times and new classes to your schedule to mix things up. 
  • Bring in guest instructors to help fill the gaps. 
  • Schedule more social events like happy hours or outdoor workouts. 
  • Extend holiday promotions to keep new members around longer. 

Focus on member experience

The New Year gym member rush can be intense for all parties involved, but throughout it all the member experience should stay the same. This means that your long-time members that have been with you for years should be treated to the same high standards as before. This also means that your newest members should also start to receive high-touch attention. Just because you don’t think people will stick around doesn’t mean you can treat them like a passerby. Engage with all of your member population during this time through social media, online surveys, emails, and even phone calls to gather feedback and see what they’re feeling and thinking. 

Want to learn more? Find out how Paramount can help your team build a scalable new member retention strategy here