Top 4 mistakes to avoid with your gym loyalty program

For a profitable fitness center, members are key.  

That’s the fact.

With that in mind, fitness studios use different methods to get more members.

We can group those methods into 2 groups:

  • Getting new members. 
  • Building relationships with existing members to turn them into loyal members.

Here we are going to focus on the second method, but if you want to know more about strategies you can use to get new members to check out our blog.

Most often, if you want your fitness business to make more profit, you don’t need to get more members but to increase retention of existing and turn them from regular into loyal.

In fact, a Harvard Business School study found that only a 5% improvement in customer retention rates yields between a 25% to 95% increase in profits.

Loyalty programs represent one of the simplest methods fitness businesses can implement to increase members’ retention.

But even if it is simple to implement, mistakes are still made.

Mistakes that can turn a source of loyal members into the main reason for a bad experience. In fact, according to a 2017 survey, in the U.S., even when people love a company or product, 59% will walk away after several bad experiences, 17% after just one bad experience.

To prevent this from happening and to help you create a loyalty program for your fitness studio that will keep members engaged, we have singled out 4 common mistakes to watch out for.

1. Rewards that fail to motivate members

The title says it all. You want your loyalty program to look compelling to your members. There’s nothing exciting about getting $1 back for every $100 spent.

Your objective is to motivate occasional visitors to become regular members and to make regular members into loyal members. 

To do so, you must provide a generous reward – but also maintain a stable return on investment. 

Put yourself into your members’ shoes. What rewards would get them excited? 

Free membership? Guides for meal plans? Fitness advice and coaching? Discount for a personal trainer? Use the knowledge you have about your members to come up with tempting rewards. 

2. Overreaching

Now, looking back at number 1 on our list, it’s just as important not to swing too far the other way. 

In all the excitement of launching a new loyalty program to boost revenue and increase customer retention, businesses tend to promise the world.  

This is a very dangerous situation! If you cut down on your rewards – it will lead to customer dissatisfaction, and if you don’t – it might put you out of business! How do you avoid this? 

Put sustainability first. Only start loyalty programs that you know you can keep up with. You can always add more to the program later.

Need ideas for promoting your fitness business? Check out our blog post: How to get more paying members – 4 powerful methods for fitness businesses.

3. Copying your competition's loyalty program

Another recurring mistake, mostly because competitors like to “one-up” each other. If you offer one-month free membership, the competition will try to copy that offer or maybe even increase it.

How can you make your loyalty program different from the competition?

Coming up with unique rewards would be a good idea… But don’t be surprised if you notice that competition copied even that.

To stand out, you need something that others can’t copy. Here, members’ experience plays a huge role.

If your loyalty program system is smooth and easy to use, your members will enjoy it.

What makes a member’s experience great? The first place is easy to use. You need to make sure that your members are able to:

  • Collect points easily.
  • Quickly redeem rewards.
  • Keep track of their points

Speaking of making your loyalty program easy-to-use for members, that brings us to our next big mistake.

4. Making a complex loyalty program

Probably the biggest mistake on our list. The more conditions and variations you implement in your loyalty program, the easier it is for the whole program to spiral out of control. Members will be left confused as to how the rewards program even works.

This happened to Chipotle in 2016.

The program nicknamed Chiptopia failed for many reasons, the biggest of which being the complicated reward scheme. As a result, it was a big target for criticism, and customers couldn’t relate to the rewards program as much as

Chipotle intended to. This was probably best described by Food&Wine magazine in 2016 – “You’ve probably played board games with fewer rules.

For busy fitness owners who want to get the most out of their loyalty program, Referrizer provides a digital solution that is easy to use on both ends — for you and your members!

As a finesses owner you will be able to:

  • Keep track of loyalty points automatically.
  • Provide unique experiences for your members.
  • Encourage members to post reviews and refer friends using rewards.

Watch a live demo to learn more. 

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