Behavioral change in member acquisition

Posted on 17-08-2023

Behavioral Change in Member Acquisition: 90% of fitness studios overlook these 3 steps on their website.

From procrastination to registration:

New members don't sign up on their own. They postpone the decision to start. Again and again. They're aware they need to change their behavior. And that's precisely what most people don't want.

How long do people over 40 postpone it?

How long do most people over 40 think about starting fitness: 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, 3 years? Practical answer: for the great majority, this is between 3 months and 3 years, most often between 2 and 3 years.

The ideal customer journey when recruiting new members to gyms.

Fitness studios are constantly seeking effective ways to attract new leads and convert them into paying members. This process is based on the HPM Fitness Marketing Pyramid. 

Important in this process: the customer journey.

This is the path a potential customer takes from initial contact to signing up for a membership. In this context, the response options on a fitness center's website play a crucial role. Why are the options of joining immediately, starting with a free trial week, or taking the membership test first the best choice? And why in that order?

1 - For the determined: Join now

For some potential members, the decision to join a fitness center is already made before they even visit the website. These individuals are resolute about starting their fitness journey and want to get started as soon as possible. By offering them the option to sign up online as a member right away, you address their need for quick access to the facilities and services of the fitness center. This can be a crucial factor in convincing them to choose your fitness center over a competitor.

Behavioral change: Especially important for fitness entrepreneurs, as in 2023 you'll miss out if you don't provide potential members with the opportunity to sign up online.

2 - For the doubters: free trial week

For many potential customers, the hurdle of signing up as a member right away is simply too high. However, this hurdle can be lowered directly by inviting them to a free trial week. Offering a free trial week is a great way to give them the opportunity to "try out" the fitness center first. During a personal introduction, they can build confidence in the quality and offerings of the center before making a long-term commitment.

Behavioral change: They weren't ready to make a decision, but have now taken a step.

3 - For info seekers: membership

Does this gym match with me? Some potential members are far from ready for their customer journey. They are not yet sure of their fitness needs and goals. They doubt themselves, fitness as a solution, and the club. They especially need support and guidance before they can make a decision about their membership. This is where the option to take the membership test first comes in perfectly. By filling out a short questionnaire, they can gain insight into their motivations. Yes, this is what people need in practice. Then, the fitness center can offer personalized advice based on the questions answered. This creates a sense of caring and commitment to the potential customer, which makes them more likely to sign up as a member later on.

Behavioral change: people who previously doubted everything are one step closer to starting a membership thanks to the membership test.


In summary, the 3 options of signing up immediately, starting with a free trial week, or taking the membership test first offer different ways to convert new prospects into paying members. It's critical to present these options in the right order! So that potential fitness members can choose based on their individual needs and preferences.

We (Hidden Profits Marketing) have developed this Customer Journey in a practical and strategic way. This allows gyms to build successful relationships with their potential members and create a thriving and loyal customer base of people whose behaviors are influenced thanks to these behavioral swells on their website.

Want to learn more about how you can use behavior modification for your member acquisition?

Fill out your details and click 'submit'. We'll get back to you personally within 1 business day. We'll support you with your data and help you be sustainably healthy and profitable.


Autor: Aernout Leezenberg

The author is the founder of Hidden Profits Marketing, which has been helping entrepreneurs and managers in the fitness industry make healthy profits since 2004.

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