How To Price Gym Memberships To Scale And Win

by Evan Bartus | January 14, 2018 | | 0 Comments

Understanding how to price gym memberships at your location is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a gym owner. It’s important because it takes a look at the three essential elements of your fitness business: expected value, delivered value, and membership structure.

Below, we dive into effective pricing for your target market and your region while also giving insight into differentiated membership structure to appeal to all levels of your potential market. The punchline? Price to your delivered value and give them options. Let’s go!

 

How To Price Gym Memberships

Keep in mind that while we’re focused on getting membership pricing organized, price itself isn’t what really matters. What matters is the value being given to members and what the monetary reflection of that is.

 

The 3 Factors

 

1. Members' Expected Value For Attending Your Gym

Quite frankly, what TYPE of gym are you and who are your competitors? This benchmarking must be done first and foremost to understand what competing options are out there.

Often, it ends up giving you ideas on what you’d like to offer or, sometimes more importantly, what you DON’T want to offer.

This shouldn’t take more than a few geo-searches around your location to figure out what options potential members have when looking for a fitness experience. Are you a group fitness studio, CrossFit gym, general fitness facility? Your answer likely determines the level of service your prospective members would expect when signing up. If you’re offering class-based fitness, consider what ‘levels’ you want to offer (if any). Think weekly and monthly.

The big question here is ‘what type of fitness experience is your target market looking for’ and then we work backward to engineer how you’ll meet and exceed their expectations!

 

Know Competitor Pricing & Structure

Look at what competitors are pricing their memberships at and what options are being given. Are they being billed monthly, bi-monthly? Do they offer pay per class structures aka drop-ins? Do they offer single month memberships? 3-month memberships? Yearly?

Unlimited attendances is a popular structure but doesn’t always apply. Contract or ‘term-length’ membership plans were more common a few years ago but many gyms have seen acquisition speed up with less upfront commitment and a frictionless signup. Of course, know what free trial options are available.

Know How Much Of Your Target Market Resides There

This helps you ‘weight’ how you evaluate. If you’re a fitness studio and there’s a globo-gym that offers classes, a yoga studio, and a boxing gym in a 5-mile radius of you, you’d likely find overlap in each location but not a full match for your target market. In this example, you’d care only about the parts of a gym that attract the customer base you’re competing for.

If you’re a CrossFit gym with another box just down the road, you’ll of course weight the info from that gym higher than a globo-gym or yoga studio as it houses near 100% of your target customer base.

Frequency

How often are members attending the facility? If there is a pay per attendance model in place, how much is it to attend one class?

This is indicative of appropriate pricing across membership plans not taking into account scale of economies and your own gym-specific variables. If someone pays $20 to drop-in to a class and members average about 8 attendances per month, you could reach $160/mo as on of your pricing levels.

Expected attendances per month vs. cost per single day/class pass.

*This is best used as a general approximation only for understanding what price bracket you should be in.

 

2. How Well You Meet That Expected Value

Now that you’ve identified pricing and structure examples from relevant competition, we’ll look at how your offering stacks up.

 

Facility And Class Structure

Does your facility check off all the necessary boxes for prospective members? Do you have the necessary equipment and space to run multiple class types? i.e. bootcamp, olympic weightlifting, HIIT, yoga etc. Consider how these options meet various needs of your members.

 

Signups And Member Access

Perhaps your prospective members find you via your facebook page. Are they likely to google your location, plan a trip down to your facility and inquire about signing up for a trial? Probably not.

Odds are a signup link for one class passes, free-trials (if applicable) and memberships should all be one click away to make getting new members started easy for you. On the member-side, simple signup portals allow members to quickly view a schedule, register for class and process payments. These features are a must-have for your member acquisition strategy.

 

3. Membership Plan Types You Offer

This one boils down to feasibility. You have the target consumer in mind, the competition analyzed, and your own membership magic bubbling up. Before we set official prices, we must make sure we know what our billing system can handle. After all, managing growth, tracking which plans are selling the most and, of course, processing payments on schedule, should be your top priority.

Some gym management software can only process monthly, quarterly, and yearly recurring billing plans. With membership structure at the core of your gym’s operation, this type of limitation stymies growth.

Yes, Triib offers this functionality in it’s most customizable form.

No, there’s no ‘get your guide’ link to follow. (but you can read more below)

More than anything, it’s important to just have this concept front and center when considering how to price gym memberships and how to structure to meet demand.

Ultimately, the value of what you’re offering matters way more than the price ever will.

Always check your attendance reporting and revenue by memberships every month or so to make sure you see what plans are driving your fitness business. Lastly, keep testing out new plans and program rollouts. Just like with fitness, routine is the enemy so keep trying new things!

 


Build Your Memberships To Attract New Members

At Triib, we had such strong feedback about the need for membership plan automation, custom billing periods, plan-specific auto-emails and much more that we built a whole new membership system.  We now empower gym owners like never before. Your gym management software shouldn’t be the reason you couldn’t setup a membership the exact way you wanted.

  • Offer a 3-month summer membership plan with introductory rates for the first month and attendance limits set weekly.
  • Start your own ‘New You’ Challenge and offer your nutrition coaching program free to new signups.
  • Set a ‘friend & family’ discount that automatically expires after 3 pay periods.
  • Set plans to bill weekly, bi-weekly, bi-monthly or many other combinations

 

Your memberships no longer have any limits, neither does your growth.

 

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Evan Bartus