Digital marketing

App notification campaigns to increase your gym's retention rate

App notification campaigns to increase your gym's retention rate
Written by ALEXANDRA Published on 2023-02-21 6 minutes read

In-app notifications are one of the easiest and most effective ways to communicate with your gym members. Although such a communication channel requires investing in a mobile app for club members, the advantages outweigh the necessary costs.

With the help of push notifications, you can build a memorable member journey for any member without them having to take any action.

We all use smartphones that are always connected to the Internet. This means you can send instant messages to all members without them checking their email, Facebook or Instagram feed, or your gym's website.

The secret to a successful push notification marketing campaign is to send the right message at the right time.

Unlike most other communication channels, app notifications are sent directly to the recipient without the recipient taking any action. So the timing of receiving these notifications is critical.

At the same time, the information sent must be relevant and helpful to the member when they receive the notification. Otherwise, they can easily disable this option, and you've lost a member of your audience.

How do you decide what messages to send?

Unlike newsletter emails or posts on social media pages, app notifications don't require a detailed plan created long in advance.

But, it is helpful to make a list of general topics that lend themselves to this communication channel.

For example, do you think it is useful for members to get notifications when you publish a new blog article? Especially if you do this a few times a week? But you should send a notification when you change your hours of operation.

Depending on how you communicate and the other topics covered, come up with a list of contexts and scenarios where sending a push notification through the app is necessary and useful.

How to write a push notification

An app notification has five elements:

  • The application icon is displayed automatically
  • The name of the application is also displayed automatically
  • The time the message was sent
  • The title of the notification
  • Content of the notification

The first three elements appear automatically without you doing anything, but the title and content are up to you.

There is no standard recipe for writing these messages, but there are a lot of tips or best practices.

You should not exceed the 40-character limit for the notification title. That includes punctuation and spaces between words.

The content should also be brief because, depending on the type of phone, a certain number of characters are displayed. Ideally, you should limit yourself to a maximum of 140 characters, i.e. 25 words or less.

Remember to use the colloquial language since notifications through the app are an informal channel.

You can also include emojis to attract attention, but don't overdo it. Remember to include the action you want the member to take.

For example, in the case of a notification that a specific class is about to start, include the time, studio and location, and at the end, tell the member that you are waiting for them in the class.

Regardless of the type or subject of the notification, don't forget to test it before sending it. Depending on the program you use to send app notifications, you should be able to test that notification on your phone before sending it to members.

Even if it's a short message, any typo or letter that doesn't display correctly will negatively impact the whole brand. So test, test, test!

Member app

Helpful notification ideas for your members

If you don't have much inspiration to send notifications to members via the mobile app, below are some ideas you can use in your gym.

Membership offers

Have you launched a new special offer on membership? Great, don't forget to remind members about this! You don't have to go into details, just tell them what the discount is.

Stay in shape this summer with our all-inclusive memberships, now with a 25% discount. Open the app and activate your membership on the spot!

New classes in the schedule

Have you updated the schedule with new group classes? Or maybe take advantage of the nice weather and organize classes outside. This good news is worth sharing with everyone.

Did you hear the good news? Now you can keep fit with funky beats. So hurry up and book our next Zumba class!

When bookings for favourite classes open

The push notifications can also be sent automatically after the member takes action.

For example, members can set a reminder for classes that fill up quickly so they'll be notified when bookings open for that class. That way, they will be among the first to book their place.

We have opened reservations for the Yoga class, from 23.06.2021, from 18:00. Book your place now!

Before the start of the reserved class

This is another type of automatic notification that can be sent to those who have booked a particular class. The notification can be sent an hour before the class starts to remind them of their booking details.

We are waiting for you today at the Yoga class at 18:00. If you can't make it, remember to cancel your reservation. Have a day full of energy

Before the subscription expires

One of the most useful and important notifications you can send is before the subscription expires. And this type of notification can be sent automatically, so you don't have to export reports of subscriptions about expiring members daily.

Schedule notifications for seven days and one day before the membership expires. Bonus points if the member can renew their membership directly from the app.

Remember! Your subscription is due to expire in a few days. Renew it now, so you don't interrupt your training!

When you launch new services

Launching new service packages is also a great reason to send notifications through the app.

Did you hear the good news? Now you can train more efficiently with a personal trainer. Buy our new PT packages now at promotional prices.

When the member achieves various goals

In-app notifications must not sell or persuade the member to do something. They can also be a lovely message to cheer up the member.

Thus, you can send messages to members who reach various goals, such as 1,000 check-ins at your gym, 50 participations in yoga classes, or the 5th anniversary of becoming a member of your club.

You just made your 1,000th visit to the gym! Congratulations, and thank you for choosing us. Keep it up!

When the member has not come to the gym for a long time

Also, with the app notifications, you can remind passive members to go to the gym. Send short messages of encouragement to members who haven't checked in in the last three weeks.

We haven't seen you at the gym in a while! Come train with us and take advantage of all the services included in your membership.

About unused services

A reminder about services included in the subscription, but not yet used, is always helpful. So you can also send such notifications to members who have not used a particular service more than two weeks after activation.

Remember! You have a free trial session that you haven't used yet. Open the app and schedule the session on the spot with your favourite trainer.

Message dedicated to new members

Include in-app notifications in the new members' onboarding strategy. Ensure all app details are included in the welcome email so the new member can download it as quickly as possible.

Then schedule a notification a few days after buying their first membership to welcome and encourage them to come to the gym.

Welcome to our club! We are glad that you chose to train with us! We are available for any questions and can't wait to see you at the gym!


Alexandra loves researching and writing about the fitness industry and the latest technological developments. She always knows what the latest online trends and challenges are and where to find the best memes.

Fitness Business Romania
Fitness Business Romania

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