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One Million Strong: An In-Depth Study of Member Retention in North America

This 2016 report focuses on member retention in the health club industry. This product is a PDF download. (Sponsored by Life Fitness)

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This report, which is sponsored by Life Fitness, provides a comprehensive retention analysis of more than one million health club membership records.

“Measuring retention and its associated factors are a vital element of running any successful health and fitness business,” says Dr. Paul Bedford, director of Retention Guru, who authored the report and research. “This report offers not only key related statistics, but also a retention benchmark to measure against, which will have a wider impact on the approach used to manage sales, marketing, and customer service.”

The report most notably finds that based on more than one million member records in the U.S. and Canada, 67% of members retain their memberships for at least 12 months. While there is very little difference in retention rate between males and females, results show that retention generally improves with age. Also, members on longer agreements tend to post better retention rates than those on short-term agreements.

“If we take $60 as the average monthly cost of membership, a member aged 16-24 years will yield an average of $1,002 over the life of their membership, while a member ages 55 years and older would yield an average of $1,440.”

The report covers the following topics in-depth:

  • Retention Measures: The five key important metrics all club operators should track in order to fully understand member retention results at their club.
  • North American Health Club Retention: Results and insights from the comprehensive sample, including sales trends, retention, attrition rate, and membership duration.
  • Impact of Retention on Income: The financial implications retention has on a health club’s bottom line.
  • Retention Monitoring Recommendations: Actionable suggestions for improved monitoring of member retention.