How to increase attendance and retention in your gym this summer

How to increase attendance and retention in your gym this summer

Read Time :

Summer in the boutique fitness industry can be stressful for studio owners. Members are often less consistent, and leads are slower when everyone is spending time outside, but it doesn’t have to be silent. Instead of accepting under-performing months as the norm, let’s get proactive and design your summer fitness retention strategy to keep members engaged and attract new clients. 

Retain Your Members

It’s less expensive to keep members than find new ones, so shore up your membership numbers for summer by focusing on retention and engagement. Events, challenges, sales, and exciting new classes keep your clients in the studio and prevent the dreaded summer slowdown suspensions. 

Engagement Strategies:

  • Summer attendance challenges:

 Design an attendance or goal-based challenge and reward your clients every time they take a class with a sticker or stamp. To keep engagement high, share the weekly updates on your social media and ask your staff to compete, too. 

  • Outdoor events: 

Member-only hikes, movie nights, farmer’s market trips, and BBQs all bring your clients back together outside of the studio, strengthening membership bonds. These don’t necessarily need to be fitness related, your goal should be to build community and keep member engagement high.

  • Outdoor classes:

Outdoor classes are a client favorite. Bootcamp in the park, barre on the bridge, yoga on the beach- no matter where you live, there is an outdoor opportunity for your gym to take it outside. Remember to bring signage and encourage your clients to wear branded workout apparel. 

  • Workshops: 

Survey your clients and ask what they’re interested in learning over the summer. We’re focusing on what your existing clients want for this series, like a handstand workshop or a meditation class. It can be free or paid and your marketing should match your enthusiasm. Create your summer series newsletter with at least four-weeks of lead time in order to fill classes. Summer workshops often flop due to a lack of marketing, not a lack of interest.

  • Summer Series: 

Add an exciting summer-only series for your clients to look forward to. For example, every Saturday morning could be a unique core-focused class, add a new summer-only advanced class, or bring out a special summer prop. Members are much less likely to cancel in June if they think they would miss out.

  • Holiday Classes: 

The fourth of July, Father’s Day, and International Yoga Day (June 21) are all perfect opportunities to teach something fun and different to get clients excited. You can add themes to the attire, playlist, and lesson plan to create a unique experience that members will look forward to next year.

  • Family Fitness:

If parents are your target demographic, your clients probably feel the squeeze of childcare during the summer. Create family classes where parents can bring their child and the family together:

  • Mom and me yoga
  • Babies at the barre
  • Family fitness in the park
  • Or parent night out where your studio hosts children’s creative movement or yoga and the parents get to go on a date. (Don’t forget to charge for this one!)

fitDEGREE can support your Studio Fitness

Consult with us now!

Summer Partnerships

You’re likely not the only business owner who feels stressed when the temperatures rise. Look for business owners in your area willing to join efforts with you to offer something memorable for both businesses’ clientele, like workshops or discounts. 

Search for:

  • Nutritionists to offer discounted consultations or nutrition workshops on summer meals
  • PTs to come in-studio for mini tune-up sessions in between classes
  • Massage therapists to provide five-minute chair massages after class on a surprise Sunday
  • A locally-owned brunch spot to host a yoga and bubbles class on their patio.
  • Local boutiques are usually happy to offer a members-only shop night. Arrange for an after-class shopping experience after your evening class.

It’s important to note that you’ll want to choose just a few of the above ideas to focus your member retention planning. If you overload your calendar, you’ll end up splitting your clients’ attention and risk low enthusiasm for individual events.

Aim for one event or activity per month so you can market to your existing membership base by email, organic social media posts, and in studio announcements. A comprehensive marketing campaign doesn’t have to involve paid ads to be successful, but it does need to be multi-dimensional. 

Summer Marketing Strategies:

It won’t surprise you that we’re not focusing our studio marketing efforts on long-term memberships during the low summer months. Instead, design introductory offers and packages with a clear deadline and up front cost:

  • Buy two classes, get one free
  • Purchase an introductory package and gift one to a friend
  • 8-week unlimited pass that expires right in time for your fall back-to-school open house

Unless your gym is packed in the summer, your marketing plan should focus on reviving old leads, recruiting your members’ friends, and attracting new short-term clients who can be nurtured into a longer package when their normal schedule resumes. If your usual membership is full of parents of school-age children, you’ll need to consider a secondary target, such as teachers or college students who have an abundance of availability during the summer. 

Just because it’s warm doesn’t mean we’re forgoing your digital marketing presence. Although your marketing strategies should go beyond your social media, it’s still important to maintain a reliable schedule on your platform of choice. Share all of your events and activities and drum up excitement for events by showing the behind-the-scenes effort in your stories. 

This summer, outsource your marketing and encourage current clients to spread the word by:

  • Sharing events to their stories and rewarding them for any referral 
  • Wearing their studio branded tank tops in the community and tagging your gym
  • Bringing friends and family to events for a discounted price, like $15 friend Fridays
  • Tagging friends in your posts who would be interested in your summer events.

Summer is a great time to practice your guerilla marketing skills. Think of where your community already hangs out and start the conversation there. For example, you can contact your farmer’s market organizers to host a weekly pop-up class, or your gym could sponsor and table fun runs or other active events. It’s amazing how far your marketing budget can stretch when you’re in front of your ideal client, so think outside your traditional marketing strategies to meet them where they are.

Capitalize on walk-by traffic by partnering with a juice company and offering juice samples as people walk by. Be prepared with your short elevator pitch and an incredible low-cost offer such as a buy-one-get-one to keep the conversation going after the juice samples are gone. 

Plan your pop-up classes strategically to be highly visible to your ideal client and you’ll increase your current member engagement while also marketing to new clients. Remember to bring your pop-up sign or ipad to all of your outdoor events and be ready to sign new clients up for an intro offer.

Summer can be daunting for boutique studio owners, but it’s also a great way to focus on organic sales conversations out in the community. Be sure to track your results so that you can repurpose your content for next summer and save yourself from reinventing the wheel next June. 

Looks like you are finding this valuable, would you also like our latest copy of Navigating the New Normal?
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Stop Doing it All: 4 Partners to Help Your Fitness Business Grow

How to Overcome Common Sales Objections to Sell More Gym Memberships

Six Ways to Improve Staff Effectiveness and Retention in your Gym

Eight Steps to Sell More Fitness Memberships

The Three Essential Objectives to Improve Gym Sales and Profitability

How to increase attendance and retention in your gym this summer

How to Increase Your Boutique Studio Sales by Optimizing Your Intro Process

Are your clients staying? Improve your gym's retention rate with these strategies

8 reasons why your intro offer isn’t converting into long-term memberships

Are large class packages harming your gym's business? How to price for competitive growth.

7 Ways to Boost Your Event Marketing and Capture Your Perfect Customer

Are You Using Pop Up Classes to Capture Your Perfect Customer? Here's How.

7 Steps to Create a 12-Month Marketing Calendar to Boost Engagement All Year

How to Maximize Guerilla Marketing to Drive New Clients to Your Gym

Is your gym set up for success? How to create and set achievable new goals in 2022

Is your staff growing your business? How to give constructive feedback to improve buy-in

How to increase your gym's profits without actually making any more money

Client Communication Excellence: Stand Out With These 4 Tools

Member Retention For Long Term Growth

Why Getting More Reviews For Your Gym Should Be A Top Priority

Referrals Should Be A Top Priority For Your Business

Navigating The New Normal

Testing And Tracking Intro Offers

How To Build Your Intro Offer: The 3 Variables to Consider

Membership Contracts and Why You Need Them

Creating A Successful Sales Process

Importance of an Initial Consultation

10 Rules For A Standard Group Class Model Pricing Structure

5 Key Factors For Creating A Revenue-Generating Pricing Structure

7 Things Your Website Needs To Turn Clicks Into Clients

5 Tips to a Successful Studio Management Software Transfer

The 5 Social Media Tools You Need Right Now

Why your Fitness Business Can't Survive Without Community and How to Build a Powerful One

7 Things Your Website Needs To Turn Clicks Into Clients

Why your Fitness Business Can't Survive Without Community (and How to Build a Powerful One)

Membership Contracts and Why You Need Them

Switching Studio Management Software: Reality vs. Expectation

How To Build Your Intro Offer: The 3 Variables to Consider

10 Rules For A Standard Group Class Model Pricing Structure

5 Tips to a Successful Studio Management Software Transfer

The 5 Social Media Tools You Need Right Now in Your Fitness Studio

5 Key Factors For Creating A Revenue-Generating Pricing Structure

How To Build Your Intro Offer: The 3 Variables to Consider

What Does It Cost to Run a Barre Studio?

How the Best Fitness Studios Niche Down to Build Their Business

How to Practice Self-Care When Your Job is to Care for Others

12 Facebook Live Tips for Fitness Studio Owners

Friends Don’t Let Friends Yoga Alone: 11 Tips for Successful Referral Marketing

How Your Yoga Practice Can Spark Gratitude

The 3 Main Ways Your Studio Website Is Failing You and How You Can Fix Them

Should You Crowdfund Your New Yoga Studio Business?

4 Reasons Your Members are Bouncing After Their Class Pass is Finished

Why Yoga Studios Are a Booming Business Right Now

Using Your Yoga Studio Business Software for Marketing 

The Importance of Having Yoga Studio Scheduling Software

Are Your Instructors Making or Breaking Your Studio Brand?

Comparing the Features of Different Types of Yoga Studio Business Software 

Best Software for Keeping Studio Management Simple

Pricing Breakdowns of the 5 Best Yoga Studio Management Software Options

3 Essential Tips for Keeping Yoga Students Happy

Why The Barre Workout Studios Are Growing So Fast 

Insider Secrets for Branding a Yoga Studio that Succeeds

How Yoga Studio Software Benefits Smaller Studios

How to Successfully Run a Yoga and Pilates Studio

Work Smarter, Not Harder: A Guide to Creating Work/Life Balance

Comparing the Five Best Studio Software Consumer Apps

How to Use Prenatal Pilates to Bring in New Clients

5 Things to Do When Opening Your New Fitness Business

What You Should Know About Your Yoga Studio Software

Pilates vs Yoga: What Classes Should You Offer?

4 New and Innovative Ideas to Market Your Yoga Studio

 The Top 5 Benefits of Having Yoga Studio Management Software

9 Strategies for Getting Your Members to Review Your Yoga Studio

How to Get a Pilates Certification

How to Determine the Best Yoga Studio Management Software for Your Studio

5 Portable Ballet Barres You Can Take Anywhere

Reviews of the 10 Best Yoga Studio Management Software

8 Steps to running Your Yoga Business Mindfully

How to Get Your Barre Certification

Fitness Marketing 4 New and Innovative Ideas To Market Your Gym

How Can I Make My Yoga Business Successful

Posts You Might Like

How to Overcome Common Sales Objections to Sell More Gym Memberships

As a boutique fitness owner, confidently asking potential new clients to purchase a membership is one of the most important skills you can master

Eight Steps to Sell More Fitness Memberships

If you are like most fitness business owners, selling more gym memberships and class packages is at the top of your priority list. You need a steady influx of new gym members to grow your business, no matter your studio modality.

The Three Essential Objectives to Improve Gym Sales and Profitability

In the fitness industry, we often see an over-prioritization of a gym’s marketing strategies without a clear roadmap for how to enhance the retention of those potential customers

Software Updates

Want to know about the latest improvements to fitDEGREE?
SEE LATEST SOFTWARE UPDATES
Black Friday
sale
Ready to switch to a more affordable, customer-friendly management tool? We've got you covered.
SCHEDULE A FREE FITDEGREE DEMO

Get all the resources
in your inbox

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

About the author:

Niki Riga
Industry Expert
Limitless Studio

Niki has been a client, a studio owner, and a coach in boutique fitness for over a decade, and she can’t think of an industry she'd rather be in. Her favorite part about coaching and studio ownership are the same: she loves supporting clients as they push past their limits and achieve their goals. Niki became a coach because she was regularly asked, “how did you do that!?” by other studio owners who were drowning in the day-to-day responsibilities of business ownership but didn’t have the support to grow their studio to its potential. She created Limitless Studio to partner with owners who have a vision for their business and are ready to implement systems to build the studio of their dreams.