Recover Faster by Winning Back Canceled Fitness Members

Win Back Canceled Members

High member churn is a perennial problem in the fitness industry, but, as we all know, COVID-19 has triggered unprecedented mass cancelations. While it can be difficult to see now, eventually canceled members will return to their fitness routines, and winning their business for a second time can represent even more value to your club. As reported by the Harvard Business Review, “second-time customers in the [Georgia State University] study had an average lifetime value of $1,410, versus just $1,262 during their initial run with the service.” Here are three win-back strategies you can leverage to earn back your canceled members’ business.

Group Canceled Members Into Prospect Lists

First and foremost, silo canceled members into prospect lists that you will target for marketing campaigns. You’re leaving money on the table if you never engage lost customers again. However, if you dump every cancellation into one catch-all prospect list, you’ll be forced to use generalized, saturation marketing strategies that offer low ROI. Instead, leverage your customer data to segment canceled members into several prospect lists. Organize each list by shared characteristics like cancellation reason, previous buying history, membership type, or demographics. If your available membership data is limited, you can work with an analytics company to enrich your information for a more comprehensive understanding of your canceled members. 

Stay Connected with Canceled Members

Second, keep your club top of mind for canceled members. When conditions normalize, you don’t want your former members signing up with the gym next door.  Make your club their first choice by staying in front of these audiences with a multi-channel promotional push. Deploy marketing campaigns across a variety of channels like geofencing, paid search, programmatic display, connected TV ads, and direct mail, so your message finds its audience no matter where they are.

Build Hyper-Targeted and Personalized Win-Back Campaigns

Finally, when you’re ready to invite members back into your facilities, dig into your customer data to build hyper-targeted and personalized win-back campaigns. To start, create promotional deals that mirror previous buying decisions, like offering special class bundles to canceled group class members. Next, analyze your data to understand which marketing channels each segmented prospect list is most receptive to receiving ads. One group of prospects may find mobile ads off-putting, whereas another may prefer the streamlined signup process a mobile promotion provides. Lastly, use your data to hyper-target canceled members. Depending on their marketing preference, this could be delivering ads to their mobile devices, connected smart TVs, or on the household-level through direct mail campaigns. 

Final Thoughts

Eventually, the fitness industry will normalize, and every club’s recovery plan should  include winning back canceled members. While saturation marketing offers limited results, implementing a hyper-targeted and personalized marketing approach will give your fitness club a competitive advantage in the coming months.
To learn more about how to winback members with data insights, visit