How effective is your marketing? Does it work for you? All gyms should have fitness marketing KPIs to guide client acquisition activity. Too often, gym owners tend to go by “feel” and friend referrals. The problem is, when those referrals run out and the “feel” just wasn’t quite right, they struggle. They either targeted the wrong type of person, or they made a poor investment. Having a core list of fitness marketing KPIs will make sure that you stay oriented towards your goals and keep your dollars where they are most effective.
The 5 Essential Fitness Marketing KPIs
Just how many people are you reaching that have some level of interest in your gym? The problem with traditional advertising (think: billboards) is that you reach everyone, whether they are your ideal member or not. It can be difficult to see whether your advertising has landed the right “punch” with that particular person because there is no way of measuring it. People spend an average of nearly 6 hours online and advertising there is measurable. Compare that with the average commute time of 25 minutes. You are much more likely to find and cultivate quality leads by devoting your advertising dollar to where people are spending time and where you can measure it.
To make this fitness marketing KPI work for you, you need to track it and then focus on your lead generation techniques (blogging, targeted advertising, and lead capture/nurturing). You should see a steady rise of qualified leads you’re able to generate.
For example, if you are currently generating 20 leads per month, you can set a goal of generating 50 leads per month. Track your performance relative to your goal. If you reach 40 leads in a month, you’re at about 90% of where you need to be.
Take Action: To boost your qualified lead volume, set a goal and work towards it, tracking where you’re spending time and money.
Monitoring “conversion rate” as a fitness marketing KPI will depend on both your type of gym and your goals. If you offer a free class or consultation as part of the recruiting process, you’ll want to measure how often your leads take up the offer and also how well you convert those freebie visits into more permanent members. Conversion rates will vary depending on many factors including your size, what you offer, and your sales ability.
Depending on the various offers you use to encourage people to try out your gym, you’ll want to track what stage they are at and how well they are converting. If you notice that one offer has an unusually low conversion rate, eliminate it. If another offer is performing well, increase the use of it or create similar offers. The complete process you use to nurture leads (email lists, free consultations, free trial memberships) should be optimized using fitness marketing KPIs.
You’ll also want to track your overall conversion rate, which leads to customers. This is a broader metric but will make sure that what’s coming in (leads) is converting into something you want (members).
Retention rate refers to how long someone will stay at your gym once they become a member. You can measure this over the course of a month, quarter, or year. Simply take the number of existing clients at the end of the month and divide by the total number of existing clients at the start of the month (i.e. 12 retained members / 15 starting members = 80%). Research shows that a good retention rate benchmark for your fitness marketing KPI is around 90%. If your retention rate is less than 70%, your churn is too high, and you should work harder and smarter to retain your existing clients versus going out and acquiring more.
Paired with retention rate is retention length, or how long are they staying members of your gym? This is important when we get to the measure below, member lifetime value. The longer you can retain the member, the more valuable they are to you. Just for comparison, the average length of a membership is 15 months. Track this fitness marketing KPI, so you have a better understanding of your member lifetime value.
One very effective method of increasing member retention rate is offering value in the form of bonus information. This is something members don’t have to pay extra for. Distribute these via a website blog that can be used as both a recruiting tool and a retention tool.
Member Lifetime Value
Member lifetime value refers to the value one member is worth over the entire time they are engaged with your gym. To find this measure, simply sum all payments a member will make to you over the life of their membership. A member for one year at $50/month is worth $500.
Why is this an important fitness marketing KPI? It helps dictate how much you should spend on your advertising! You’ll want to take a fixed percentage – say 10% – of the lifetime value and make that the maximum target cost of acquiring an additional member. In our example, you’d have $50 to use to acquire a new customer.
Tracking this particular fitness marketing KPI can be very beneficial because there are a lot of string to pull to affect this metric. You can increase retention rates, increase prices, offer additional member services, lower your acquisition costs, expand your footprint, and many others. Once you’re able to increase the lifetime value, you can spend more to acquire the ideal members that are perfect for your gym.
You could argue that this doesn’t have anything to do with marketing, but you’d be wrong. We’ve already seen that keeping members longer is one of the ways to improve our marketing methods. Member satisfaction contributes to this but also, members can be some of the greatest recruiters out there. Encourage them to help talk about the gym and why they’re members. Even offer a referral system to help recruit new members. Making sure they are highly satisfied will help you recruit new members all on its own. Beyond just performance, tracking satisfaction among your members will help drive all fitness marketing KPIs in the right direction.
Fitness marketing KPIs are something you should be tracking from the moment you open. These are the levers you need to pull to make sure you’re acquiring a healthy stream of new members and are growing your gyms to meet demand. Taking the “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach is the quickest way to lose money. Focus on these metrics and let their insight guide your gym marketing to success.