Member Engagement

5 Tips for Announcing a Rate Increase

shutterstock_174472274_1.jpgOften times when members decide to sign on with a certain health club, price is a major determining factor. So as a club owner, you already know it’s never easy having to tell your members that their monthly dues might have to increase, even if it’s absolutely necessary to sustain your business. If your club gets 10% more expensive, and there happens to be a club across town that offers the same services for cheaper, what’s stopping your members from joining your competitor?

Seemingly, not much right?

Well, that depends on how you go about it. A few subtle stmonthly duesgies in terms of how you make your announcement can go a long way in making sure your members aren’t rubbed the wrong way.

1. Be Transparent

The single most important thing about a monthly dues increase is to be open with your customers about why it’s going to be necessary. You don’t need to apologize to your members, but if the reason for the price increase is because your club needs to hire more staff or because your rent is going to be raised, make sure your members know. The best businesses express confidence in their decisions, even if they understand they won’t be well received at first, so something like a letter from the CEO can help best communicate that feeling. If your customers feel like you guys are comfortable with the decision and not panicking, they’re going to be more likely to stick it through with your club.

2. Talk About Your Value

Though price is often a determining factor when members choose their club, it isn’t the only thing that matters. If your club offers a high-quality service, be sure to highlight that right alongside the announcement of the monthly dues increase. Does your club have the best PT in the region? Is it the only club with an Olympic sized pool in town? Then remind your customers about what they’ll still be getting! But also make sure you’re introducing something new. Nobody is going to pay more for the same thing, but if for 10% more they also get a nutritional consultation or access to a massage therapist, your members will be more inclined to stay loyal.

3. Give Advance Notice

Never try and surprise your members with an increase. If you communicate the monthly dues increase in advance, your members are going to not only feel more valued, but they’ll be able to better prepare for the change in price and hopefully adjust their budgets accordingly. Another reason to announce your increase in advance is because it gives you enough time to make sure every one of your members actually hears about it. If you send out an email the week before, there’s a good chance a lot of your members won’t notice it. But, if you send out an email a month in advance, the process feels intentional and not rushed to your members and will overall go much smoother.

4. Reward Loyalty

Members want to feel like they matter to your business, and the best way to make sure they do is by rewarding their patronage. If you’re raising your monthly duess, offer your longstanding members a grandfather monthly dues for either six months or a year. Your members are going to appreciate you rewarding them, and when it does come time for their monthly dues to finally increase, they’ll remember how well your club handled the initial process.

5. Compare Your Prices to Your Competitors’

Another great way to ensure your members stick with you through a price increase is to remind them how much other local clubs charge. If your club raises its monthly dues to $40, maybe point out that at least you aren’t charging $50 a month like your two other competitors across town. If your members are made aware of the fact that your price increase still leaves your club cheaper than the ones they might consider switching to, odds are they’re not going to want to switch anymore.


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