At Gladstone, we’ve been lucky enough to work with many world-class gyms and leisure centres in Australia, New Zealand and the UK to increase their efficiency and increase their memberships.

Over that time, we’ve learned a lot, but our favourite piece of wisdom is this: The most successful gyms and health clubs focus on more than enticing new members through the door. Instead, they have long-term vision and strive to grow memberships in a sustainable way.

Here are some of the insights we’ve gained over the years from the best in the business.

Hire trainers who love what they do

To increase gym membership sales, first look to your front line: your personal trainers and instructors.

It’s quite simple: hire people who are passionate about helping your members reach their fitness goals. Hire people who love coming to work each day. Hire people whose optimism, empathy and drive inspires others without intimidating them. Their energy levels will have a direct correlation with your members’ happiness and satisfaction with your gym.

What has this got to do with increasing membership sales? If your members feel satisfied with the services offered by your gym, and keep feeling motivated and inspired each day, they will be more likely to recommend your business to others.

Make it easy to sign up and stick around

Your software is your secret weapon. Many fitness clubs don’t realise just how powerful their online membership software can be for their bottom line!

First, ensure your gym makes your members feel welcome. Eliminate barriers to joining by making the signup process more convenient, and once they’re in, make them feel like part of the family.
With Gladstone’s JoinAnywhere, you can allow customers to sign up anywhere that works for them, whether that’s online at home or onsite using a tablet with the help of a staff member.
And don’t forget the next step: keep your members coming back. Online technology makes booking classes at your gym easy, while regular email newsletters with useful tricks and tips help members get the most out of their experience.

Encourage members to bring along friends

Leveraging your current membership base is a great way to boost word of mouth. Think about offering a free trial to friends and family of current members. Not only will this increase member loyalty and give your members an ego boost for helping out their mates, it will attract new sign-ups. In fact, many studies show that people are much more likely to sign up to a service if it comes with a recommendation from someone they trust.

Remember, the key is to offer memberships with a couple of months free, not offer discounted deals. Discounted memberships will erode the perceived value of your gym memberships and attract members who are unlikely to stick around – the opposite of your goal!