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4 Membership Growth Strategies: How to Convert Class Pack Customers to Members

By Maria Prokopowicz

As a fitness studio owner, you're always looking for opportunities to convert drop-ins and studio hoppers, but retaining these drive-by customers isn't always so simple. It takes creative thinking to turn first-time visitors and guests with intro offers into long-term members. One strategy to entice prospective members to commit to your studio's offering for a longer period is selling them class packages. 

Class packs are an important membership growth tool you can use to encourage new and existing guests to visit your business more frequently. But to effectively use these prepaid class packs to retain your customers, you’ll need a firm grasp on your key analytics, including the target member versus drop-in rate. With your metrics in mind, you’ll be prepared to strategically price, market, and sell class packages that keep guests coming back for more. 

Find a class pack structure that leads to conversion

There’s no one right way to sell class packages. Instead, you may need to offer a few different types of packages to find what appeals most to your clientele and works best for your business. Consider factors such as class times, type of workout, and number of visits when planning your package structure. 

For example, you might offer packages with a certain number of discounted classes each month that can be taken during off-peak times, such as late morning or early afternoon classes. This can help fill sessions that may not be as popular. Or if your studio offers three class types, such as cardio, strength, and yoga, you might sell separate packages for each format, allowing you more flexibility when deciding on pricing.  

Think about tiered offerings and dynamic pricing strategies when setting up class packs. For example, you may want to offer eight classes per month but limit participation to twice per week to avoid overcrowding. As package sizes increase, consider lowering the cost per class to provide customers with an incentive to purchase more. As prospects drop in more frequently and learn the value of the instruction—including the added health benefits— introductory-priced class packs can lead to an annual membership. To gauge the success of your discounted programs vis-à-vis your overall membership growth strategies, review your recent promotional data and track the conversion rate for each pack offered. You can gain insight into what type of customers you're reaching and how many of them purchase annual passes. 

Add perks to your class packs

Class pack customers have already expressed interest in working out, and small perks may be the incentive they need to stick around at your studio. Tack on two free studio passes a month for use of the machines or perhaps a one-on-one training session demonstrating how to use each piece of equipment. Or you may want to provide additional incentives, such as a reduced commitment period, lower initial rates, or special student rates. You can also extend the expiration dates on class passes. Consider adding promotions such as a less rigid month-to-month membership with no contract or advanced class sign-ups. Perks like these can give members additional opportunities to connect with your staff while increasing their familiarity with the gym. 

Highlight the member experience

Class packs allow potential members to test the waters and see if your fitness studio is a good fit. They can experience the vibe of your studio, see how instructors interact with members, and decide if your class offerings are right for their fitness goals. That means it’s critical to use this time to show them just how good being a member can be.  

Create a welcoming atmosphere from the minute class pack customers step through the door. Greet them by name, help them navigate the space, and be open to answering questions. Train your staff to discuss membership benefits in a natural, unforced way. Think about purposeful displays such as signs or graphics that reinforce your culture and highlight the membership experience. 

To increase a sense of belonging for class pack members, give them the same attention as your full-time members. Ask for their feedback and take the time to learn about what they’re looking for in a studio.  

Looking for more ideas to enhance the client experience at your studio? Check out tips from members of our Mindbody One community.  

Connect with customers before their class packs expire

One of the most meaningful things you can do is reach out to your customers before their class packages expire. Do they know about current membership discounts? If they're not ready to convert, encourage them to sign up for your app or email distribution list. Leverage your automated marketing tools and let them know when classes have openings or when you’re offering new promotions. 

For those who don't purchase another class pack or membership, consider allowing some leeway in negotiating membership terms. While you don't want to push too hard, providing additional classes may give them more time to decide if and what type of membership works best for them. Always let them know that you appreciate their business and look forward to helping them with their future fitness needs. 

Any visitor—whether they’re a one-time guest or a member for life—should be a welcome addition to your studio. But, of course, the longer you can keep your clients around, the better. By strategically offering class packages, you can give your guests a sample of what it’s like to be a part of your gym and convert studio hoppers and drop-ins into long-term members.  

We cover topics like this (and more) in depth at Mindbody University.

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About the author:

Maria Prokopowicz mindbody headshot

Maria Prokopowicz

Marketing Content Specialist

Mindbody

Maria Prokopowicz is a North Carolina native, UNC Chapel Hill graduate, and current Chicago resident. A wordsmith at heart, she is an experienced content writer and SEO specialist with a passion for telling brands’ stories by capturing their unique voices. When she’s not at work, you can find Maria running along Chicago’s lakefront trail, trying out new fitness studios, or searching for the best nachos Chi Town has to offer.

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