Membership offer

The membership types you should sell at your gym

The membership types you should sell at your gym
Written by COSMIN Published on 2020-09-28 7 minutes read

One of the most important aspects of opening a gym is the memberships you will sell. This is the main service you will be offering members. That is why it's essential to have an excellent offer that is also easy to understand.

Therefore, if you plan to open a gym or want to refresh the current offer of an existing club, pay close attention to the membership types you are selling, not just to the prices. Because that is an essential criterion, clients use when joining a gym.

Many club operators that I talk with leave these issues for the last minute, and then they pick one or two membership types and call it a day. Oftentimes, managers worry that members will only purchase the cheapest memberships by offering too many options. That is not really how it works.

Why should you pay attention to your membership types

Memberships are the main product that a gym sells. Therefore you should definitely pay attention to them from the start. It's not enough to have one or two types, because surely your members will have different preferences and schedules.

If you are flexible enough with your membership offer, you'll be able to recruit a greater variety of members willing to visit the gym at different times during the day and enjoy all the services you offer.

What is more, your memberships can be why members choose your gym instead of your competition.

How to classify your memberships

There are several membership types that you can offer at your fitness club. Still, it would be advisable to focus on several sets that you can combine. Usually, membership types are categorized by their contract period, time of day when members have access and the services and benefits included in the prices.

Below I will try to highlight the most popular membership types for gyms. Then, depending on your fitness club, you can combine them to have a varied offer that will satisfy all needs.

Memberships based on their availability period

This membership type is the most often sold in gyms and fitness clubs. Usually, most gyms have three or four types of memberships, based on their contract period – one-month, 3, 6, and 12 months. In recent years, one of the most popular contracts has been the 24-months one, but this sales strategy is better suited for well-established clubs.

The secret to this membership type is that the average monthly price is lower as the availability period is longer. That means the longer the contract is, the lower the monthly fee is. That way, you can persuade more clients to purchase a long-term membership.

It is also essential to have no more than four membership types based on these criteria and not fragment them for each month. It's good to have variety, but too many options can confuse members. It can also be challenging to manage by your staff.

Don't forget to include in your offer a day pass. It's a one-day membership with access to all your services, used by those who want to test your club before committing to a long-term membership.

Memberships based on access type

These membership types refer to the time of day when members have access to your club. They can be full-time when members can access your gym whenever they want during your club's working hours. They can be daytime when members can visit your gym until noon, and evening, when members can only visit after a specific time in the afternoon. You can also offer memberships that can be used only during weekdays or weekends.

The purpose of these membership types is to diversify members' visits. More precisely, a daytime membership is cheaper than the full-time one. And if some members can train in the morning, it will make more sense for them to purchase that membership and change their workout routine if that means they will save some money. Moreover, with this method, you can avoid high-peak hours, which usually happen after office hours, without losing your members.

These offerings can also be an intriguing strategy to set you apart from the competition. For instance, if members who prefer to train in the mornings or during the weekends get an exciting offer from your club, they will surely join your club instead of buying full-time memberships at other locations.

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Memberships based on the number of locations they include

If you have a fitness club chain with several locations, you should consider selling network memberships. That means that the member that buys that membership has access to all your locations. Again, that's a top-rated service, and for you, it costs nothing.

You should also have memberships with local access that only provide access to the club where it was purchased for those not interested in your other locations.

Memberships based on the services that are included

Suppose your gym also has group fitness classes, a pool, jacuzzi, or similar services. In that case, you should consider breaking down your membership offers based on their services. For instance, Les Mills workouts or swimming lessons can be a separate membership.

That way, it will be more convenient to purchase a cheaper membership for members that are only interested in a particular service, like the gym area or group X classes. That way, your offer will be more attractive for them. Through these memberships, you can also highlight the wide variety of services you offer and give them the value they deserve.

Memberships based on the benefits they include

It's advisable to have two or three special memberships that include interesting benefits. Usually, these memberships are long-term, precisely because the benefits they include are more valuable. These benefits are dependent on the services you provide. For example, you can include one or more PT sessions, massages sessions, various SPA packages, or personalized nutrition programs. Usually, these memberships are premium and provide full-time access to all the club's services and a few extra perks, and the price reflects that.

An essential advantage of these memberships is that members can test various additional services like personal training and spa sessions. If they are impressed, they will surely invest more in those services. This is one of the easiest ways to increase the sales of PT and SPA packages.

A few tips on setting up your memberships

Above you have an exhaustive list of membership options, but that doesn't mean you should include them all. It will be tough to manage them, and members will be too confused to make a choice, and you might lose them. So instead, make a list of your main services and, based on them, create two or three membership types for each period.

When you configure them, give them a suggestive name that includes the term "membership," the availability period (i.e., 3 months), and the type of access or service.

Here is a template of a membership offer for a fitness club with several locations (network) that offers group X classes and SPA services.

tipuri abonamente fitness

Don't forget to post the entire membership offer on your gym's website and social media. Particularly on your website, it's essential to include a detailed description of each membership that outlines all services included. For instance, if all members have free access to the sauna, include this in all descriptions.

That description should also be included in the member contract. That way, members will know exactly what services are included in each type, and they can make an informed decision.

TIP: provide members with the option to upgrade their membership. For instance, if they purchased a membership only for the gym and want to attend a few group classes, they should have the chance to change their membership into a more expensive one that includes this service and pay for the difference.
 A quick catch-up...

The memberships you sell at your gym are the primary source of revenue for your business. That is why you should pay enough attention to how you structure them. Whether you are about to open a club or simply want to update your offer. It's crucial to provide members with several options, depending on your services. So, you don't make them purchase services they don't want or need. No matter how great your gym is, you risk losing members to gyms that provide better memberships tailored to their preferences and schedule.

Therefore, build an offer after the main criteria: availability period, access type (time of day or days of the week), services included (gym area, group fitness classes or pool access), the locations where members have access in (network or local), and the additional benefits included in the premium memberships (SPA or PT sessions).

If you don't know where to start, you can use the template I outlined above and adapt it to your services.

Don't forget to include in your offer a day pass and publish the entire price list on your website and social media pages.

From the get-go, each membership type should have a descriptive name with the services included and availability period and a description where you detail all those services and benefits. This description should also be included in the member contract.

Each gym has its own membership offer. The secret is to find the balance between a varied offer, that caters to all preferences, and a not too high number of memberships, that otherwise would be too difficult to manage and too confusing for clients.


Cosmin has the unique ability to provide not only the best solution for his clients but also to help them make the most of the tools they have. He spends his time in gyms and fitness centers, not only training but also observing and researching every operational aspect of this business.

Fitness Business Romania
Fitness Business Romania

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