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Building a loyal and committed membership base is the key to long-term success for independent gyms. 

However, getting members through the door is one thing – keeping them coming back month after month, year after year is another task entirely. 

That’s why it’s essential to have an effective member onboarding process in place.

Member onboarding is your gym’s chance to make a great first impression, create a sense of belonging, and set the stage for a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Let’s explore how to craft a winning member onboarding strategy for your independent gym.


Step 1: Pre-Onboarding

The member onboarding process begins before a new member even steps into your gym. Step one of your strategy should address all communications and materials provided to prospects during their initial enquiry and signup process.

Make sure your website, social media and any other sales platforms provide clear, accurate information about your gym’s offerings, pricing and policies. Think about sending a welcome email with everything your member needs to know, such as club rules, operating hours and a link to fill out an online ParQ.Member management software offers the ability to automate the communications process throughout the member journey, which will save you hours on admin – especially if you have an influx of new starters! See how ClubRight’s Member Journey Automation works below.

Step 2: Day One

The first day a new member sets foot in your gym is a pivotal moment. 56% of gym members and non-gym members find going to the gym an intimidating experience, so getting those first introductions right could be the difference between whether a new starter decides to cancel their membership or not.

Make it a positive experience by giving them a warm welcome and a quick tour of your facility so that they feel at home from day one. You could even offer them a fitness assessment which helps set the baseline for their fitness journey and shows your commitment to helping them achieve their fitness goals.

Step 3: Week One

During the first week, you should focus on introducing new members to your gym’s culture and make sure they feel comfortable and motivated. Group introductions are a great way to build community in those early days because you can show new members the equipment and share some basic routines to avoid the gym imposter syndrome that new starters sometimes suffer from. Plus doing inductions in a group can help members feel less intimidated and free up time in your activity diary!

You can also offer access to exclusive content centred around habit-building and creating a healthy fitness routine that extends beyond going to the gym. Focusing on a holistic approach to your members’ fitness means a greater chance of success for them, improving retention for you.

Step 4: Ongoing Engagement

After the initial onboarding, it’s vital to stay engaged with your members. Check in with them regularly to see how their progress is going and always be on hand to answer any questions they might have. Think about organising social events or workout challenges to foster a sense of community and belonging.

After your new members have been exercising at your gym regularly for around 8-12 weeks, ask them for feedback and act on their suggestions. Once again it shows new members your commitment to their experience and that their input is valued.


Effective member onboarding is an investment in the long-term success of your independent gym. By creating a welcoming, supportive, and engaging experience from day one, you can set the stage for lasting commitment and loyalty from your members. The better the onboarding experience, the more likely your members are to stick around and become fantastic advocates for your business.

ClubRight is the go-to member management software for fitness studios, taking care of everything from membership management and billing to class bookings and online joining – plus a whole lot more. Give us a call today on +44 (0)203 884 977 or book a free online demo with one of our product experts to find out why we’re trusted by more than 850+ fitness businesses across the UK.

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