Mid-February is often regarded as the time when new members who haven’t been engaged and who are not using their membership start to bail. Is your organization beginning to lose new members? If so, don’t lose hope! We have ideas to engage your members and encourage some of them to stay for the long haul. Here are eight great ways to work your way into the hearts of these new members:
- Focus on in-person conversations with new members. There are tools that help staff gain visibility into which new members are in your facility at any given time. These tools help staff understand which members to speak with so they can start identifying what interests them. Don’t have an engagement tool or customer relationship manager (CRM)? Your staff can still work on face-to-face conversations - paying particular attention to new gym-goers or those who may need a little extra love. [Click here to read how the YMCA of Florida's First Coast is taking their face-to-face interactions to the net level.].
- “We love our Wellness Staff” initiatives. Each week offer a themed gathering to allow members to meet and greet staff members from a particular area. For example, Tuesday night could be “We love our Swim Instructors” allowing members to meet and ask questions with the swim staff..
- Create a group of new members or new members with specific needs and follow that group. This can be done either manually or through your engagement system to give staff extra incentive to follow up with this group. For example, you could build a group of new members that have been absent for the last two weeks to be sure to speak with this at-risk group when they are at your center..
- Group Exercise Open House. Invite your members to join the wellness staff in the Group Exercise room with water and fruit to learn more about the types of classes offered. This can help de-mystify group exercise to someone who might feel overwhelmed..
- Offer newbie-friendly introductory group exercise classes. Offer a series of introductory classes that are shorter and offer more time for setup to encourage new members to try them out. Spin is a class new members may find intimidating so offer a 30-minute spin class and have the instructor go through how to properly set up the spin bike at the beginning of each introductory class..
- Family-night. Offer a family fun night with games or activities that encourage new members to get the whole family involved. Some ideas? Show a movie at the indoor pool? Offer a silly family-dance or Zumba class with glow sticks. Drawing the whole family into the membership makes it more likely new members will stick around..
- Follow up. Have staff conversations with new members from the above events trigger a follow-up task. When staff are speaking with new members, have them try to determine a program or volunteer interest. Then, those conversations can trigger follow-up tasks from a full-time staff member in the area of interest..
- Email Missing Members. Create a list of members that have been missing the last few weeks. Email those members with a little encouragement, an incentive, or a class suggestion.