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How to Re-engage and Motivate Your Returning Members

Now that you are open for business again, instilling member accountability and motivation is more essential for your business to prosper in this new period. This article will detail strategies that will drive member engagement both online and in person at your facility, which will be the key to getting your gym back on track.

How to Re-engage and Motivate Your Returning Members

Many gyms have not considered what comes after securing your safe reopening measures. As your members hopefully move past apprehension to come back to your club and learning to live with new capacity procedures, you will still need to find ways to re-engage them as they were before

A massive aspect of instilling member engagement is finding mechanisms to keep your members accountable. This strategy must also be two-pronged considering that many of your members will continue to utilize your remote services they became accustomed to during lockdowns. 

Now that you are open for business again, instilling member accountability and motivation is more essential for your business to prosper in this new period of uncertainty. 

This article will detail strategies that will drive member engagement both online and in person at your facility, which will be the key to getting your gym back on track. 

The Importance of Member Accountability 

Remotivating your members will be just as much of a physical challenge as it is a mental one. 

As your members gradually return to your gym, they will likely be returning with completely different mindsets and challenges. Some will be eager to come the second your doors open while many others are likely to still feel hesitant. 

Your members will also inevitably have new personal challenges with their fitness goals. Many of them have likely lost their progress over the last several months, whether that’s losing strength, putting on weight, or not making the healthiest lifestyle choices. 

But these challenges are especially dangerous to your business because they can commonly lead to a gym’s worst nightmare: client churn. If your clients do not feel motivated and accountable to get back on track of their fitness goals, they will likely seek options elsewhere.

Therefore, reinstating member accountability is crucial. When members are proactive and self-motivated, they will thrive through our services. To drive personal accountability, you need to make sure you are giving all members the highest possible level of support and resources to get back on track.

How to Drive Accountability In-Person

When your members are at your facility, take the time to engage with them on a personal level, while at a socially distanced space. There are several ways gyms should target this.

Push Personal Training Services

With many gyms limiting class options, now is a great time to run personal training campaigns at discounted rates for your clients. Many of your members are likely to want the additional motivation and expertise of a professional to get back into shape.

Personal training packages will also keep your members on a schedule commitment to get into your gym, making them more accountable to not fizzle out while they are getting back into routine.

Offer Small Group Classes

As a result of heightened safety concerns surrounding capacity and reopening, many gyms have opted to temporarily reduce or eliminate their group classes. Use these empty class spaces and your additional trainers to your advantage.

Instead, consider offering frequent small group classes that members need to sign up for ahead of time. With small numbers and extremely affordable pricing for these sessions, customers will feel comfortable in your facilities. 

Since these small group sessions should be low maintenance to set up and plan, consider offering them as often as possible. This keep a revolving door of customers coming into your gym at expected times, helping you manage capacity effectively. 

How to Drive Accountability Digitally

If your gym is one of the many who have taken to digital channels during the lockdown period, continuing this option will continue to be important during the reopening phase. 

With such strict capacity and sanitation regulations, you will still need strong methods to provide value to your members even if they still are not comfortable physically attending your gym. You will need mechanisms in place to check in with your clients even if you are not physically there with them. 

To push accountability, here are the best ways to engage with your members online. 


All factors considered, over-communication is essential right now. Use your mass comm devices (emails, sms, gym mobile app notifications) wisely to ensure that your members are:

  • Aware of online class schedules/live stream classes
  • Have access to your digital platform
  • Encouraged to make their own healthy lifestyle decisions

During this uncertain reopening period, maintaining these firm lines of communication with your clients are vital to show your commitment to them. In addition to weekly updates about the status of your gym, every few days you should be sending motivational correspondence as well. 

Establish Public Forum Channels

A great way to establish accountability can be through public channels for your group support. Encourage your members to share their work outs or participate in at-home challenges. 

Your social channels, like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, can be especially great for breeding mutual accountability among your members and staff alike. 

Staff should participate in these channels constantly to give your members recognition for their efforts or be available to answer any questions they may have. This extra attention from staff will not go unnoticed, and will drive your members accordingly.

Online Class Reviews

While of course asking for client feedback is crucial to continually improve your services, this is also an active metric of client engagement and therefore motivation.

By requiring members to review the class or instructor of your online training, you can accurately see which members are completing the entire work out. 

Club Wide Challenges

Think about setting challenges that your members can participate in both inside and outside the club (See goal tracking below). Offering strong incentives and rewards for your members to participate in challenges is one of the most reliable ways to invoke member engagement. Check out our recommendations for club challenges here!

Goal Tracking

Whether your members are working out at your facility or from the comfort of their homes, having a streamlined goal tracking platform is extremely effective. 

Monitor Member Use of Fitness Tracking Apps

Encouraging your members to share results from their fitness applications or devices pushes accountability through a clear and direct metric. This puts extra incentive on them to put in the work as opposed to holding them to their word alone. 

There are thousands of tracking apps to choose from. Some great and affordable applications they can use include the Nike App, JeFit, Strava, and Sworkit. 

Use your own Goal Tracking App

Rather than always instituting club wide challenges, goal tracking specific to your club empowers your members to set and accomplish their own. 

This caters to flexibility for them to pursue any number of fitness or wellness goals, whether they be physical check-in at your facility or completing workouts online. Your own goal tracking app also provides for a simple mechanism for your staff to monitor them.

By being aware of your members’ goals, your staff can more productively keep them focused on achieving them. If you’re interested in a club sponsored goal tracking app, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

Closing Thoughts

As we all know, just because gyms have the green light to reopen does not mean business will return to usual. Gym owners need to continue to make every effort to keep their client base motivated and engaged with their services. 

Using strong metrics and strategies to do so is a great first step that every facility should be mindful of. 


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