How to Nurture Your Prospects to Become Members

6 min read


Written By: Caroline Murray, Payments Portfolio Manager

Imagine you’ve finished building a brand-new website for your gym: on-brand colors, a clean and modern layout, your membership options embedded. The ripeness of your website just screams “Come join my gym!” You’ve even taken it a step further (a necessary step!) by embedding a lead capture widget on your homepage to collect contact information for your leads. Bravo!

Note: Our awesome Websites and Digital Marketing team can actually take all this work off your hands!

However, now what? You’ve got the prospect’s information in your Zen Planner database, and maybe you send one or two emails to reach out after a few days. Unfortunately, such an effort would be too little, too late. Prospects can require five to seven touches via phone, email or text before they initially respond. If you leave your communication at one introductory email before throwing in the towel on converting them to a member, then you’re not truly nurturing that lead.

Luckily, with the help of Zen Planner and some strategic messaging on your part, you can incentivize your prospects to crave more exposure into what your business can offer and, eventually, convert them to members.

Create a Replicable, Easy-To-Follow Prospect Funnel

Regardless of what program or membership type a prospect is interested in, you’d be wise to keep the structure and schedule of your prospect funnel simple and universal. Take some time to think about the date a lead is generated and a month down the road. How many times are you reaching out to that prospect? Are you calling, emailing or texting? How spaced out is your communication? If you can create this formula, replicate it no matter what the program or membership, and keep it easy to track for your staff members.

Feel free to mix and match your form of communication as well. For example, ensure the prospect receives an email the moment they fill out their information and enter your system. Then, try a phone call on day one or two. Maybe you send another email that same day with a link to book a free trial class. Still not hearing from them? Try a text on day seven to check in. And on it goes. Keep these time frames and methods of communication systematic.

For help on how to activate and customize your prospect funnel in Zen Planner, check out the Prospect Funnel Webinar and visit our extensive Help Desk for tons of articles on setting up your funnel.

Get Them Into Your Facility

“Online shopping” might be the way of the world these days, but when it comes to membership at a gym, out of sight is out of mind. There is no substitute for physically seeing and experiencing the space that your business offers. Do everything you can to encourage your prospects to come into the space. Most conversions from prospect to member happen in-person.

There are several low-cost ways of accomplishing this and the most common is a free class. However, you can also offer a shortened body/movement assessment or goal-setting session. You want to spend enough time with the prospect to show them the facility and offer a taste into the value you can bring to their life. While at the facility, make sure you expose the prospect to your membership options. Without a sense of what the options are, a prospect is not likely to bite the low-hanging fruit. Give them the choice to take the next step forward, and with exposure to your facility, they likely will.

Introduce Them to Your Community

Let’s be honest; there’s very little that a $150+ per month membership at a boutique fitness facility can deliver that a $30/month membership cannot also deliver from a fitness perspective. So why do members shell out serious cash for monthly boutique memberships? Community. This is what members are really shopping for. Ensure you plan programs and events that allow prospects to get a sense of what your community is all about. Luckily, per data in our Annual Member Trends Report, 49% of members said they found a gym via a friend or referral, so they may already have a sense of the culture at your gym. However, another 34% of members report finding the gym on their own. These are definitely the individuals who need to see your awesome community to believe it.

Try setting up a buddy program and pair a prospect up with an existing member or unite everyone in your database (member and prospect alike) behind a charitable event or excursion. We know of one customer who holds a monthly Ladies Night that anyone is welcome to join with food, drinks, workouts and socializing. Whatever you do, get your members and your prospects interacting. Your members, after all, are your strongest advocates.

Not able to get them into the facility? Are they nervous to meet new people? Are they not ready to pull the trigger? No worries; revert back to your nurturing prospect funnel. Use another funnel to keep them in the loop, and possibly, something will jump out at them to reinvigorate their initial desire to join. Ensure you’re providing engaging content via weekly newsletters, social media and help articles that provide great insights and information. The goal is to convince them that you are the expert in what you do and what they want; therefore, they won’t hesitate where to go when they’re ready to dive in and start (or continue!) their fitness journey with you above anyone else.

If you ever need help navigating the prospect funnel and troubleshooting, simply reach out to our amazing support team for assistance.

Phone: 866-541-3570, available Monday through Friday, 7a-7p MST

Email:, available Monday through Friday, 7a-7p MST (plus weekend support)

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