Incentivizing Client Retention in 2021

As we continue to navigate the pandemic, finding ways to bring members back to the gym is a constant challenge. Between changes in policy state to state and general uneasiness about in person training, gyms and fitness facilities everywhere are continuing to have to be creative to bring in and keep clients. Every year, January is the month with statistically more new member sign ups than any other month of the year across the industry.1 In a year like 2021, how then can facilities capitalize on that trend?

Let’s look at a few ways to help increase client retention during a pandemic and beyond.

1. Highly Visual PPE & Cleaning Protocols

You’re putting in the work to make sure your facility is clean and safe for members to visit. Make sure they understand your cleaning procedures and PPE-minded behavior during each visit. Promote the benefits of small-sized fitness classes, social distancing arrangements, and any other safety-first factors that clients are looking for. Plus, don’t skip reminders about clients wearing their own personal protection equipment when scheduling visits and in reminder texts, emails, and calls for upcoming appointments. Clients are looking to you for their health and wellness, so knowing upfront that they are in good hands will put even the most nervous at ease. They need to know that their safety is your top priority for their next worry-free visit. 

2. Special Discounts & Savings

Even when it’s not the start of the new year, offering members some monetary incentive can go a long way. This can include free samples on must-have products like resistance bands and more when they come in for their appointment. You can also offer a percentage off auxiliary services when scheduled with their regular appointments. Upselling with a retailing product or service discount incentive may help ensure clients keep their next appointment. 

3. Robust Virtual Offering & Community

Digital classes continue to be the big draw for many clients. People are looking for engagement and accountability like always. Offer them the ability to show up and get to work from their home with more virtual classes and an increased focus on a virtual community. For those who would be interested, offer clients their own “fitness community” by introducing members to each other and scheduling their classes together in tailor-made groups in the hopes of increasing one-on-one peer support and camaraderie. These tailor-made fitness communities require more attention, but the overall impact is built-in accountability and togetherness that members want.  

4. Fitness Equipment At Home

Your clients look to you for their fitness care; become their provider of fitness essentials as well. Offer them products perfect for their virtual and in-person classes by retailing in the facility and online with direct-to-member home delivery. Clients who are engaged in improving their fitness between in-facility visits or through virtual classes are more likely to return again and again, especially when they have the tools they need. Plus, offering the right tools from your facility—in house and online—means diversifying your income beyond membership feeds.


Try these retail products for at-home use: 

BodySport® Studio Series Fitness Balls

BodySport® 5″ Wide Bulk Exercise Bands

BodySport® Foam Yoga Block

BodySport® High Density Foam Rollers


Create an account with Elivate Fitness today or contact your personal account manager at 1.800.537.5512 for more information.


1King, Rachel. “What Another Lockdown Means for January Gym Sales.” Fortune, Fortune, 28 Dec. 2020,

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