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Declining membership sales is one of the many challenges gym owners will face. We often see clubs with fantastic membership ideas that have great potential, but their sales don’t reflect this.

Ultimately, making sure a membership sells comes down to much more than the service you’re offering. You need to be able to market the membership effectively and make it available for people to buy in the most convenient way possible.

So how can you create a membership that sells?

What problems will this membership solve for your member?

The first and most common mistake gym owners make when creating a new membership is not thinking about the problems that your membership solves. For example, if you’re offering an off-peak membership, you’re giving those on a budget and only want to use your gym during the day a solution. Perhaps you’ve got a customer that’s new to going to the gym – they might be looking for a membership that offers classes as well as the opportunity to use the gym floor, so they would be looking for a membership that offers gym and class access.

Drill down the logistics.

Now you know what problems you’re solving, it’s time to get clear on the logistics and rules of your new membership. What’s included? What isn’t? Are you giving your customers access to everything for a higher membership fee or would a lower fee with extras sold as bolt-ons work better?

The answers to these questions will largely depend on your audience. If your membership base generally prefers to work out autonomously and is looking for a comprehensive experience, a single higher fee could be more appropriate. Whereas those on a budget might prefer to purchase a basic membership at first and buy classes, protein shakes or PT sessions when it suits them.

It’s important not to feel like you need to be led by your competitors here. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to price-match or be the cheapest option out there in hopes that it’ll get you more customers, because that’s not always the case. If an individual sees the value in your offering, they’ll buy into you – not how cheap your membership is.

Contract or no contract?

We often see gyms tempted to tie their customers into contracts wherever they can because they’re afraid of losing customers. While contracts do have their benefits, the main one being it guarantees an income for you and gives your customers a motivation to use their membership, it’s not always the answer.

Now more than ever people want flexibility and control over their purchases. Being tied into a financial commitment for a year can be scary, especially after the Coronavirus outbreak showed us that things can change at the drop of a hat. Get people to stay with you because they want to, not because they’re forced to. 

Wayne and Neil share their observations and best practices on how to set up a membership that sells in an episode of our podcast.

Getting people to buy it.

Finally, the most important step: getting people to buy the membership. If you’ve completed the previous steps in detail, you’ll already have a good idea of who will be buying this membership. 

Making the membership available to buy online is the most effective way to make it more convenient to join your club and essentially sell memberships 24/7. However, your branding and content need to be effective because there won’t be the same opportunity for human intervention as there would be in a face to face sale. Think about the types of conversations you’d have with the people purchasing it and make sure your sales copy (copy is the written material you’ll use to promote the membership) and make sure it’s speaking to the right people. 

In ClubRight, you can customise your online joining platform by adding images and a powerful description that speaks to the problems your audience is facing and how this membership will solve them. You can find more on marketing your memberships here.

If you’re choosing the bolt-ons route, make sure they can be purchased online and there’s a prompt that reminds you or your staff to upsell people on the new membership so that you’re maximising spend per member (this feature is also available in ClubRight).

How to create a membership that sells


The key takeaway from this guide is to concentrate on convenience and online joining. To get a membership to sell, it should be as easy as possible to purchase a membership from you; complicated processes will be the final barrier that negatively impacts sales. We always suggest that our users put themselves in the shoes of a new member and go through the joining process. It should take no longer than a few minutes to go from a prospect to a member when joining online. 

We help businesses like yours every day set up online joining to drive growth and sell more memberships. To learn more about what we do and how we can help you, speak to us on 0203 884 9777 or book a free online demo to see the software in action.

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