During this pandemic, you have undoubtedly dreaded checking your email inbox for the daily membership hold requests. These requests will likely continue until the current situation nears an end. In my previous blogs, we looked at short-term strategies and long-term strategies to keep members active. But, what should you do when members cancel or go on hold? What can you do to increase the likelihood they will come back when the doors open?

A common phrase is “love them on the way out as you loved them on the way in.” If you really want them back once we get through COVID-19 together, treat them like they never left. Let’s look at these three tips to increase member retention and win-backs at your fitness business.

Inclusive Communication

Although their membership is inactive, include them in all communication that active members receive. Whether emails, phone calls or Facebook groups, you must keep them included. Not only will this keep reminding them of the gym, but it can highlight all of the things they are missing by not having a membership. Most importantly, it shows them you care and value their involvement in the community.

Foster Engagement

Many gyms are providing members with online video classes and coaching calls. Based on many conversations with members and owners, members care less about the actual classes and more about seeing their friends. Keep your members engaged by offering online social meetups and invite your inactive members. Again, this keeps them involved in your community, but it also lets them see their friends who are still members. Some ideas for virtual meetups include a morning coffee, Friday night drinks or virtual trivia. These are opportunities for people to log-on from home and interact with your business and community.

Keep Serving

Your inactive and canceled members still need help. They are likely stuck at home without a gym and lacking accountability. Their health and fitness will suffer without these elements. Consider calling them every week, check-in with them, provide training or nutrition advice and help them set short-term goals.

By communicating with, engaging and helping your inactive or former members, you provide a continuous reminder of your community’s value. When we get through this time period together and they are able to return, your fitness business will still be in their hearts and minds.


For all of the latest updates around leading your community through COVID-19, bookmark our Rapid Recovery Toolkit.

New call-to-action