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4 Ways to Guarantee Your Fitness Leads Visit Your Gym a Second Time

Mike Arce

Mike Arce

One of the biggest challenges for fitness studio owners is getting your leads to convert into full, paying members. If you own a gym, your main goal is to figure out a proven way to get new visitors back into your location again.

We’ve worked with over 130 fitness studios in the past 11 months, and we’ve learned some awesome strategies to guarantee that your fitness leads come back to work out a second time. Read on:

1. Call Them Back

The reason new people usually don’t purchase a membership to your gym the very first time they visit is trust … or rather, a lack thereof. Just like with any other relationship, it takes a while to build rapport between you and this potential new member so that they feel comfortable making that decision to purchase.

If you want someone to come back, show them that you want them there. Call them the day after their first visit to ask how they liked it. Email them to let them know what classes are coming up that they might be interested in. And be prepared to have a few of these conversations — 80% of sales happen somewhere between the 5th and 8th contact. So it’s really important that you stay in front of them after their first workout. This can also include text messaging.

If you call and get sent to voicemail, hang up and call them back right away. I talked about this strategy with our Marketing Director Sarah Guidas in the very first episode of The GSD Show. Here’s a clip of what we said, and exactly how/ why this works:

2. Hold Their Spot

Some group fitness classes come with size limits, especially for workouts that use equipment (like spin, pilates, or TRX). Popular time slots for these classes tend to fill up quickly and accumulate waiting lists. So someone who reserves a spot in class but doesn’t show up can sometimes prevent another person — who might be even more interested in your studio — from participating.

The best way to prevent this is to keep a credit card on file for each person who schedules, similar to how hotels do reservations. The card holds their spot in class, but if they don’t show up or if they cancel within a specified number of hours before the class start time, you can charge them a small fee. This encourages them to show up and avoid being charged.

3. Schedule Future Visits

Another way to get a new visitor back for their second workout s to schedule out the remainder of their trial on their first visit. Liberty Harper, one of the fitness studio owners we work with, does this at her location, and she’s seen seriously great results from it. She tells us how to manage that conversation in Episode 025 of The GSD Show:

As Liberty explains in this clip, people are more likely to show up for future visits when you plan them out ahead of time because the expectation is already set. You’ve taken the work out of planning, and they don’t want to disappoint you after you’ve put in the effort. All they have to do is show up.

Then once your new visitor shows up for a second session, you’ve already overcome one of the biggest obstacles they see when deciding whether or not to sign up with you — you’ve shown them they DO have room in their schedule to work out multiple times a week.

4. Give Them Variety … and Value

A huge part of working out and getting the motivation to go to a studio is finding a routine that actually keeps people interested. So when you schedule a new visitor’s upcoming workouts at your location, mix it up. If the first day’s workout is pretty arms-centric, focus on legs the next day. If you include warm-ups and cool-downs, do different activities each time to keep their muscles guessing. If you play music during class, you can take song requests. Adding variety to the workout experience keeps them interested enough to come back again.

On top of that, be sure  to highlight whatever makes your studio unique during someone’s first workout. This might include complimentary equipment, like bike shoes, towels, or water bottles. It could even be a free body fat assessment, or an analysis that sends them their workout results — like calories burned, heart rate, and so on — after their session. Find something that works for your studio, because 74% of buyers purchase from the company that was first to add value.

These are the strategies that have worked best for the fitness studios we work with. If you choose to implement them at your gym, we’d love to hear your results! And if you want more help in this area, download our free guide to closing sales at your fitness studio: