We probably don’t need to tell you that gym owners everywhere are looking for opportunities to expand their membership bases and increase revenue to offset rising costs and grow their businesses. There are plenty of tactics you can use to grow your fitness business in 2024—the key is the choose the most strategic, most effective avenues for your fitness business. 

At ABC GymSales, our software empowers more than 5000+ gyms to accelerate their sales pipelines. Our team is in the trenches every day, helping customers build and execute strategies to grow their membership bases. Based on what we’re seeing, here are three areas of opportunity to grow your fitness business in the year ahead: 

1. Reactivate your churned members 

Customer churn (the percentage of members who cancel their memberships during a specific period) is an inevitable part of the fitness business, but too many gym operators simply write off members that have churned. Reactivating churned customer is now more important than ever. After all, members churn for all kinds of reasons: life gets too busy, they run into financial difficulties, or your gym doesn’t offer the amenities they want.  

Fortunately, things change. Schedules loosen up, employers add fitness benefits, and you add new amenities to your gym.  

Churned members are more likely to rebuy a gym membership than fresh leads for a few reasons:  

  • Your gym had what they were looking for once 
  • Your gym’s location works for them (unless they churned because they moved) 
  • They know what to expect: it’s a lot easier to go back to a facility you are familiar with than to go somewhere new 

This is why it’s important to not forget about churned members. The easiest way is to add them back into your sales funnel as leads and send them your latest offers, but we recommend thinking more strategically. If you use a tool like ABC GymSales, you can segment churned members so that you can send them unique offers and not ignore their history with your gym.  

You can break these segments down even further based on when the former members churned. This creates great opportunities for targeted campaigns in 2024:  

  • Promote specific amenities or benefits that were added after a segment of members churned 
  • Reengage members that churned 10-16 months ago (and might be coming up to a membership renewal if they went to another gym) 
  • Promote special offers to members that churned in a certain period, like a summer offer for members that churned at the start of the previous school year 

2. Diversify your revenue streams  

Many gym operators are seeing costs rise faster than they can raise membership dues. We work with a lot of our customers to add secondary sales as a part of their sales process, systemizing the sale of additional products and services to their clients. 

Some popular secondary sales you can consider to grow your fitness business revenue: 

  • Personal training packages or sessions 
  • Childcare 
  • Meal and nutrition plans 
  • Access to online or on demand fitness classes  

If you’re not sold on secondary sales yet, IHRSA has even found (https://www.ihrsa.org/publications/the-2018-ihrsa-global-report/) that higher secondary spend correlates directly to higher member retention. Talk about a win, -win!  

3. Reach your leads where they are  

This shouldn’t be anything new, SMS marketing has long been popular for gym operators. Email marketing is also effective, though the open rates tend to be lower than SMS, especially with a younger generation (Gen Z) that hasn’t adopted email in the same way as millennials and Gen X.  

However, now even SMS might not be bulletproof depending on your target demographic as well as where you are located. WhatsApp is becoming much more popular globally, dominating instant messaging in Asia and Europe, while also gaining a strong foothold among younger users in North America. 

We’re already seeing lots of salespeople at gyms using their personal WhatsApp accounts to contact leads, but this is difficult to scale and risks running afoul of WhatsApp’s Terms of Service.  

This is why we’ve been hard at work on a WhatsApp integration for ABC GymSales, to allow our customers to send automated follow ups via WhatsApp and enable salespeople to send and reply to messages directly from each leads profile.  

We plan to release this integration in 2024 so that our customers can always reach leads on the most effective channel. 

Growing your fitness business in 2024 doesn’t have to be complicated. Try picking one of these 3 tactics – reactivating churned customers, diversifying your revenue streams, or improving the channels you use to reach out to leads – based on where you see the biggest opportunity for your business. Then, keep things simple and focus on implementing that one new strategy to the best of your ability.  

And of course, let your friends at ABC GymSales know if we can help.