Boost Member Retention with Your Own Branded Mobile App

Starting a gym and building a recognizable fitness brand is a difficult endeavor. That’s why it’s important to start off using a system that can automate the simple processes so you can focus on growing your business and membership base.

By offering easy-to-use and easy-to-access resources and information, such as opening hours, a group class schedule, and workout plans, members are more likely to keep coming back to your gym. Launching a mobile app makes your brand even more visible to members and potential members see you as a recognizable and trustworthy brand with positive reviews and happy customers.

Building a mobile app may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Why not use experts to help develop it for you?

Let’s see how it can work for your gym!

The Amsterdam-based, women-only gym, FemmeGym, owned by two stellar women, Halima & Valeria, has been around since 2015. They had the opportunity to take over a gym – so they went for it! The first order of business was to replace all of the separate programs and find one software that could manage the gym’s memberships, billing, scheduling and more.

They started with Virtuagym’s all-in-one solution and immediately began development on their Custom Branded Mobile App. Now 5 years later, they have built up a loyal following and they boast a 4.8-star rating in the App Store with over 200 reviews.

The simple set up process meant that Halima could focus on running her gym and instructing classes while her clients could check the group class schedule, book classes, track their exercises and progress all in their mobile app. It boosted client retention. Almost every client (who has a smartphone) is using the app. According to Halima, she “doesn’t know what she would do without (the app)” – it’s very professional and easy for her clients to find FemmeGym, and it’s a bonus that it’s branded just for them!

Do you want to know more? Discover what a complete software management system can do for your fitness business!

Let’s build a Custom Mobile App!

Halima was able to get started in 5 simple steps:

  1. She made sure that she met all the requirements – this means Halima’s organization must be a legal entity with legal binding authority and a publicly available website;
  2. She found her D-U-N-S number – this is a unique 9-digit number used as a standard business identifier;
  3. She created an Apple ID for her business – this is recommended when enrolling in the next step;
  4. She enrolled into the Apple Developer Program – verification of enrollment can take up to 2 weeks;
  5. She added Virtuagym to her Developer Account – once her Apple Developer account was active, she invited Virtuagym to access her account.

After step 5 was complete, she reached out to Virtuagym’s support team and they got started right away on the development of her app. 

While waiting for the verification of her Developer Account, it was possible to get started on the more creative part of creating a custom mobile appdesign! In the System Settings in her Virtuagym portal, under “Essentials”, is “Mobile App Design”.

Halima could change the header color, app logo, and header and accent colors, then move along to some meatier design – the custom home screen. She chose the header background, background image, tiles, icons and login screen. She was able to customize every aspect of the mobile app to match her gym’s colors and branding. Her clients are able to immediately identify FemmeGym in the app store. 

Test out what your own Custom Mobile App would look like!

Add features your clients will enjoy!

Halima’s custom mobile app includes features like the Community where she can always be in touch with her clients and drive client retention and engagement through challenges. There is also exercise and progress tracking, scheduling and online booking, and even a connection to wearables like Google Fit or Apple Health, and a direct connection to NEO Health.

To not miss out on new functionalities, it’s important that Halima keeps her Apple Developer Account up-to-date. She can simply log into her Apple Developer Account, and review and accept all pending notifications regarding license agreement, renewing her Apple membership (which is only valid for 1 years unless you select auto-renew), or Paid Applications Agreement.

Looking to hear from more fitness entrepreneurs like yourself? Read how Your Personal Training took on the challenge and embraced digital.

Why create your own Custom Mobile App?

When clients are happy, they stay. But keeping clients happy is hard work. By making your clients’ lives easier, in turn your life will get easier and you will be rewarded with higher client retention. With one place to book classes, check a schedule or access training plans and open lines of communication through push notifications, emails and a community home page, your clients will stay in the loop and remain loyal for years to come. 

Getting your custom mobile app up and running as soon as possible is the easiest way to empower your clients and in turn, increase client retention, engagement and experience. Brand awareness is also boosted when your own app is visible in the app store under your own app icon.

Virtuagym’s all-in-one software suite offers a custom mobile app but also boasts a ton of additional features that can help you run your gym. Try it out in your own Virtuagym portal.

Locating Prospective Clients Has Never Been Easier With Virtuagym’s Lead Management Software

Having a clear view and understanding of all your incoming leads can be very difficult. How do you determine who is really interested and how do you keep track of it? These are two common questions that can keep fitness professionals awake at night.

With Virtuagym’s lead management feature, tracking and approaching leads becomes a whole lot easier. Curious as to how? Then read on!

Leads tracking

First and foremost, what actually is a lead? A lead is a potential customer who has shown interest in your products or services by interacting with your brand, for example by signing-up for a trial class or newsletter.

For this reason, it is beneficial to track and understand these specific individuals and target them for conversion. Virtuagym’s lead management software ensures you stay on top of the number of incoming leads, so you can respond as effectively as possible.

After installing the lead management software, a new window will appear in your Virtuagym portal. This is the lead overview where you can easily add all contact information, comments, and origin of the leads. This way you can track your leads at any time of the day.

How Virtuagym's lead management software drives client growth

How to approach leads effectively

After a clear lead overview of all the key information has been created, it’s time to reach out to your potential clients! Being highly visible in the consumer’s decision-making process is very important.

Using this overview, you can easily approach your customers by calling them or sending them an email. That way you are well informed and you know if they are actually interested.

Convert leads to loyal members

Be prepared! A clear lead overview and email campaign will often ensure that a lead is convinced and actually chooses your product or service. After the lead has officially become a client you can easily change their status to “member” in your portal. This also ensures that all information from the lead overview is transferred to your client overview, simplifying the registration process significantly!

Get ready to grow your client base

Convinced of the benefits of Virtuagym’s lead management software? And ready to enhance your client base? Then get started today and make the most of your gym!

Online tools to give your fitness club a financial boost

Nowadays, almost everything takes place online. How convenient is it now to just order your new gym kit or equipment online? And how easy is it to just quickly pay by direct debit? This is exactly why it is so important to consider things from a customer’s perspective.

It is likely that you prefer a user-friendly website, rather than one which makes it complicated  to purchase a product. So take advantage of this as an entrepreneur and start offering your services and/or products online.

Especially in these times, having an additional revenue model is hugely welcome. And what’s more,  you don’t have to be a technical expert to offer your products and/or services online. Curious how this works? Then read the tips below.

Tip 1: Make sure you automate payments

First of all, it is important to (re)start your automated payments. This will ensure that your clients can easily and securely make payments without you having to worry about it any further.

Furthermore, this feature provides:

  • A clear invoice overview
  • The ability to create additional revenue sources
  • A way to save time

Tip 2: Link your portal and/or app to your webshop

Offer your current and potential customers the possibility to purchase your products and services through your app or website. Wondering how to add a Virtuagym webshop to your website? Check out the video below.

Through the webshop you can, for example, sell your existing memberships and the PRO+ solution online. This saves you and your clients a lot of time as they don’t have to come to your location and the invoicing process is started automatically. All you have to do is simply add the memberships to your webshop – that sounds like a dream, right?

Does your customer base mainly consist of smartphone enthusiasts? Then we have the ideal solution as you can add the Virtuagym webshop to your app! activate it once in your portal. After the installation, a new tile will appear in your app. Through this button your clients can effortlessly purchase a membership. To confirm the purchase, customers are required to choose their preferred payment method.

Tip 3: Give your customer the freedom to enrich their membership with add-ons

After your customers have purchased their membership in your app or on your website, it is possible to upgrade it with add-ons. This means that an extra service is added to an existing membership. In this way you give your clients the possibility to enjoy a flexible membership, providing them with freedom and flexibility, as well as increasing your source of income. Ultimately, this will lead to increased membership retention.

Tip 4: Allow your client to redeem credits for your services

In addition to direct debit, Virtuagym also offers the possibility for members to pay with credits. Your clients can exchange these credits for, for example, a group lesson or access to your club. Through your portal, you can easily link these credits to a membership or a particular service.

The credit system ensures that you as an entrepreneur receive your money immediately and your client is not tied to a fixed membership.

Tip 5: Leverage your social media channels to close new memberships

Social Media is an easy tool to promote your website and online memberships and helps to boost website traffic. Once potential customers land on your website they have immediate access to close a membership. This makes this action much more straightforward.

If you have any questions regarding this feature please do not hesitate to contact us via the “contact us” button in your portal.

Boost your Studio’s Occupancy Rate in the Post-COVID Era

It may still seem far away, but the industries are slowly but surely preparing to reopen. Studio owners and their members are eager to set foot inside their favorite studios again. But, how can studio owners safely manage fitness centers reopening?

Post-COVID gym-goers will value hygiene and personal space more than ever. This is exactly why Virtuagym has a check-in and scheduling solution. A combination of these two functions prevents queues and speeds up the whole check-in process. Curious as to how these features can benefit you? Read on!

What Do the Check-In and Scheduling Features Entail?

The scheduling feature automates the booking process and allows members to easily book personal training sessions and group classes. You can set it up easily on your website or your custom mobile app. After signing up for a session, members will receive an automatic booking confirmation and reminder.

The class schedule can be embedded on your website, so members are aware of what classes are currently going on. Is the class fully booked? No problem. Your members can sign up for a waiting list with one click and they’ll be notified as soon as a spot opens up. They’ll be happy that they can exercise, and you’ll be happy that the class is fully booked – it’s a win-win situation.

How a class schedule makes your studio more successful

Members can buy credits and use them to sign up for classes and other services you may offer. Credits are tokens that members can purchase and use in exchange for group classes, personal training sessions, as entry permits, and much more.

The credit system ensures that members only pay for what they use. The scheduling feature also provides useful insights into attendance and class occupancy, which you can use to adjust your class offerings accordingly.

The check-in feature allows your members to easily check-in and check-out via RFID, barcode scanners, or magnetic strips. Members also have the possibility to check-in with their studio card or key tag. This gives you insights into the frequency of their visits, duration, and much more. It is even possible to link credit usage to the check-in function and create one unified system your members will appreciate.

How Do the Check-In and Scheduling Features Work?

Virtuagym strives to make all its features as user-friendly as possible, including the check-in and scheduling functions.

As previously mentioned, your studio members can easily book their classes through your website or custom mobile app. Do you prefer to be in control of bookings? We’ve made it possible to book a member into a session yourself – flexibility is key here!

Would you like to use contactless check-in and check-out? This can be easily implemented in the app – just make sure your studio’s turnstile is placed in a good location to avoid bottlenecks and crowds.

The check-in feature has been a total game changer for members because now they can do everything from the palm of their hands – no clunky wallets full of cards, no queues.

The Benefits of These Combined Features

The check-in and scheduling features are advantageous to your gym members as well as for you running a studio because they ease the flow of traffic as well as processes in your facility.

By combining these two features, you will benefit from:

  • Simplified check-in and check-out
  • Reduced queues
  • Time saved
  • Better insight into peak and off-peak hours
  • Easier attendance tracking

How Virtuagym Clients Use These Features

The check-in feature can be used with the current COVID restrictions since it allows you to keep track of attendance and ensure safety measures are complied with. Virtuagym clients are getting increasingly creative in using these two features lately as technology becomes further imbued in daily processes.

One of our clients, the corporate fitness center and chain Energy Fitness Professionals, was interested in the gym of the future even before the pandemic and therefore chose to partner with Virtuagym.

Among other features, they use our booking, scheduling, and access control systems to limit the number of members present at any given time to remain in full compliance with government restrictions. As a result, they noticed an increase in member satisfaction and even saved themselves time while digitizing.

Prepare for the Post-COVID Era

You probably can’t wait for members to walk through your doors again – and neither can we! But, of course, we all want to reopen in a safe, responsible, and fun way.

Let us help you get started today and prepare for a new era in fitness!

How do you restart the billing process?

We have all been waiting and hoping for such a long time and now the moment is finally here – gyms are reopening and we are up and running again! Of course you will have a lot to think about as you open your doors again but please don’t forget the importance of restarting your billing and invoicing!

Good preparation is half the battle

As mentioned above, it is essential to re-establish your invoicing process to prepare for accepting payments again. 

Within the Virtuagym portal, it is possible to set up offline and online payment methods such as credit card payments, direct debits, PayPal or even cash. The following payment providers are linked to these payment methods: Paypal, Paysafe, Mollie, SEPA and GoCardless.

How Virtuagym’s payment provider integrations can help you reopen

With integrations like our point of sale module, webshop, personalized credit system and online sign-up, receiving money from your members is easier than ever!

Are you curious about how you can restart the invoicing process? Then read on…

How do you set up invoicing?

Setting up invoicing in your Virtuagym portal is luckily not rocket science. But it is important to understand exactly how it works.

Firstly, carefully reconsider the payment methods you used before the COVID crisis.

After this, the setup can begin! Simply visit your online portal and select the system settings in the left sidebar. Then scroll down to the payment methods section. The location of your gym (Europe, North America or the Rest of the World) is displayed in the top right corner. Based on this location different methods and providers will become available. Then select the desired method(s) and provider(s). Please note – only one provider can be chosen per method, per club portal!

What are the benefits?

If you were using our invoicing feature before the COVID crisis, you will already be aware of its numerous advantages. But there’s no harm in emphasizing them again! Besides saving a lot of time, it also:

  • Creates a clear invoice overview
  • Simplifies the invoicing process
  • Supports the most popular payment methods
  • Guarantees security

How Virtuagym bills customers online

Many of our clients are already reaping the benefits of the automated invoicing feature. For example, Tom Fearson, founder of Be Fearsome, a London-based fitness company that offers fitness, lifestyle and adventure services to individuals, groups and businesses.

As Be Fearsome’s client list grew, Tom sought a service that could speed-up and facilitate his invoicing and go beyond just accepting card payments with a mobile card reader. That’s when he found GoCardless three years ago to expand into direct debit and credit card payments.

Since Be Fearsome could easily combine GoCardless with Virtuagym’s all-in-one package, he was able to start automating the entire invoicing process.

With all invoices, payments and tracking in one place, Be Fearsome and Tom now save time and money. This process used to take almost a full working day, but now it is done in a heartbeat. His invoicing is fully automated, which eliminates the need for Tom to keep track of payments and send regular reminders.

Get your gym ready for the reopening!

As COVID restrictions begin to lift and gyms start to open their doors again, having a clear reopening plan is of great importance! To avoid last minute stress, begin restarting your billing process now!

Questions or uncertainties? Please do not hesitate to contact us via the “contact us” button in your portal.

The Benefits of Automated Payments: Make Life Easier

Almost all entrepreneurs are familiar with this task: the utter ordeal that is invoice processing! And, as a gym or fitness club owner, you’d rather be busy with sports-related activities than spending hours processing invoices. Spending more time than necessary on admin causes stress and backlog, making the job even more time-consuming than it should be.

Especially now that gym owners are forced to work more efficiently due to the corona crisis, having a clear billing record and processing invoices securely is essential.

Thankfully, Virtuagym’s automated payment method is here to help! Read on to find out more.

What Does Automated Payment Mean?

Say goodbye to manual billing! Set up your billing flow just once, and Virtuagym takes care of the rest. Virtuagym’s invoice processing feature supports all major payment methods and integrates with the following payment providers in Europe: Paysafe, Mollie, and GoCardless.

In North America, it is possible to use Paysafe.

The only action required from your side is to set a collection date in your user portal, and Virtuagym’s software does direct debits from your members’ linked accounts.

Automating your gym’s payments allows you to focus on more important tasks – like keeping your customers happy. Virtuagym knows that gym owners prefer to spend their time guiding clients and bettering their business by working towards the bigger picture. So, why let tedious tasks take up most of your time? Sometimes, even introducing a new tool, such as automated gym payments, can be an uphill struggle.

This is why we’ve made setting up automated payments as easy as possible. As an entrepreneur, you want to save as much money and time as possible – especially during the corona crisis.

To start, you need to enable a payment provider. You can do this by going to your Virtuagym portal and selecting ‘System settings’ in the sidebar. Then click on ‘Payment methods’ and activate your chosen payment provider. You can choose between Paysafe, Mollie, and GoCardless.

After you have made your choice and set the automated payments option, a pop-up will appear on your screen. This pop-up allows you to choose whether you want to collect invoices daily, weekly, or monthly. As promised, setting it up is very easy – so after saving the frequency, setting up your automated payments is complete. Piece of cake, right?

The invoices are then collected around 2 am in your time zone and sent directly to your chosen payment provider. This process ensures that you no longer have to set personal invoice-related deadlines and you can focus your energy on other activities that need your attention.

Get Clear Insight Into Your Billing History

Having a clear overview of your organization’s billing history gives you peace of mind. With Virtuagym’s automated payment process, it is possible to view your entire invoice overview.

Simply visit your Virtuagym portal and open your ‘Financial’ page in the sidebar. Then select ‘Pending’ and ‘Direct debit’ – and voilà; you now have a complete overview of all the invoices that have been sent to your chosen payment provider.

The Benefits of Automated Payments for Fitness Centers

As mentioned previously, Virtuagym’s automated payments function has many benefits. Your business can save a tremendous amount of money because you have to invest fewer labor hours, and in short, this increases your business’s overall efficiency.

During these challenging times, it is crucial to make the best use of the time you have as a business owner and delegate the rest to software. Your competition is certainly doing so, so what’s stopping you?

Because the payment process is fully automated, it brings about many more positives such as:

  • Clear invoice overview
  • Automatic invoice archive
  • Secure invoicing
  • No more lost invoices
  • Fewer human errors
  • More freedom for staff

How Do Virtuagym Customers Use Automated Payments?

Many of Virtuagym’s customers have already chosen to make their lives a little easier by using automated billing. Below you can see an example of how easy the payment process is with Mollie, one of Europe’s most popular payment providers.

How Virtuagym's automated payments help you

One of our clients, LIJFSTIJL Coaches, is a company that serves as a knowledge network for fitness professionals. They are a household name in the Western European fitness market, with 125 franchisees and more than 25,000 members in Belgium and the Netherlands.

A few years ago, the company chose to use Virtuagym’s automated payment system. This shift meant that LIJFSTIJL Coaches and their staff now save a lot of time and money as all of their invoices, payments, and overviews exist in one place.

Before moving to automated payments, the company spent half a working day every month exporting and checking invoices. These days, they can carry out this task in just a few clicks! The entire process is automated from day one, making tracking payments and sending reminders a thing of the past! The user-friendly interface ensures that they have a clear overview of paid and outstanding invoices.

Thanks to automated payments, LIJFSTIJL Coaches save themselves a lot of time, so they can focus on improving their customer experience (which is more important than ever), boosting retention, and focusing on many more profitable projects.

Enjoy an Easier Way of Running a Gym

Are you getting behind the benefits of automating your fitness center’s invoicing and billing?

These days, more than ever, it is crucial to be efficient with your time – and Virtuagym is here to help!

Start automating your gym’s payments today and say goodbye to this time-consuming chore for good!

10 Advantages of Having a Gym Management System

Technology is an undeniably hot topic for both fitness consumers and providers as we shift further into the realm of digitization. And, at the forefront of this technological fascination is gym management software. You may have heard of it – or even be using one – but have you delved into the real advantages of a gym management system?

In short, a club management system is a comprehensive application management system that assists your gym administration and helps you organize effectively. The objectives of gym management systems revolve around the simplification of the day-to-day tasks that enable your organization to work seamlessly.

Set the Objectives of Your Gym management System

Before your belt out for any software, it’s important to weigh its pros and cons against your business goals. If it doesn’t help you meet those goals either directly or indirectly, move on and find another tool that fits your needs. The last thing you want is to end up with a surplus of software.

That said, the advantages of a gym management system are manifold; in this blog, we will break down some popular gym management system features and their uses.

Building and running a gym involves hard work, time, and endless upkeep of processes. You have to manage staff schedules, onboard clients, find new leads, and ensure that your fitness center is always up to scratch.

You also need a competent team to run classes and tools to track member attendance and collect fees, send out invoices, pause contracts, retain members, automate marketing flows – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This is where robust gym management system features come in. Such software helps us simplify our member management and reduce hours of back-end tasks.

Read more: How Akasha London saves 40 hours a week using a club management system.

1. Client Acquisition

A key feature of a gym management system is its user-friendly ability to market your business to maximize the new member acquisition.

Capturing prospective clients for your gym may seem simple in theory, but in practice, it’s a complex process that involves understanding your user journey. Many fitness facilities often shoot from the hip when it comes to lead acquisition without ever really understanding how their clients decided to sign up.

One of your objectives when using a gym management system should be to capture leads and turn them into paying clients. Specially designed software can help you initiate triggers that alert you about where a prospective client is along your sales funnel. You can use these triggers to create automated communication, such as emails and other messages to keep them interested.

The advantages of a gym management system are that these tasks end up taking less time as everything just needs to be set up once and tweaked as you progress with your messaging.

2. Client Retention

A club management system is a great way to engage with your existing members by providing a steady flow of communication about your club’s happenings.

The objectives of a gym management system include making interactions between you and your members easier and more beneficial for both parties. You can use the features present in the software, such as community groups, to members updated about club events, fitness challenges, member appreciation posts, new equipment, or member referral programs – whatever floats your boat!

Additionally, a club management system like Virtuagym provides clubs with a portal where they can easily manage details of members’ payments and attendance rates – meaning you can do outreach if you believe a member may churn.

To learn more about lead acquisition and client retention strategies for fitness businesses, read our e-book on the subject.

3. Managing Bookings and Scheduling Classes

With a club management system, you can easily schedule classes, timeslots, and other events for your fitness center.

The other advantage of a gym management system is that you can link openings to a client-facing app that enables members to book their own timeslots and classes as per their favorite instructor or workout.

The ease of communication, as well as processes, enables you to provide clients with a valuable offering that they will love. Not to mention, it will set you apart from your competition – if they are still doing things manually. As a result, this will feed into your client retention strategy and attract more members who value flexibility and time saved – it’s almost as if your club’s techy edge acts as its own marketing strategy!

4. Email Marketing

An especially useful gym management system feature to have is in-built email marketing.

There are many ways you can divvy up your email marketing strategy, ranging from sporadic top-of-funnel communication to more detailed bottom-of-funnel outreach.

Clubs can incorporate email marketing to send automated nurture flows, craft monthly newsletters, or create updates whenever is necessary to keep your clients engaged.

5. Billing Process Management

Managing a fitness club involves a slew of administrative tasks such as payments, invoices, contracts, billing, cancellations, etc. Traditionally, you would need a whole team to look after different accounts.

However, one of the advantages of a gym management system is that you can see an overview of your club’s finances on your online platform. This can bring your organization to a whole new level while saving you time, money, and stress.

Read more: How Gym Management Software Will Save You Hours of Time.

Easing the burden of back-end tasks should be one of the objectives of a gym management system. Gym owners should deep dive into how to get the most out of software through proper onboarding and good support throughout the implementation process.

Discover how one of Virtuagym’s clients, Pacific Beach Training, used a club management system to take care of back-end management during the pandemic.

6. Cost Reduction Through Data

Selling memberships is one way to ensure you’re turning a profit, but cost reduction is also a good way to keep tabs on your club’s finances. A gym management system feature that lets you see where you may be bleeding out financially is imperative.

For example, software with a business intelligence tool can clue you in on your client behavior, peak hours, and busy periods. This can help you better allocate staff, saving you money in the long run.

7. Decision-Making Support

The advantages of a gym management system include guidance in determining business decisions. This ties into cost reduction, as you can use data from software to make informed decisions, and carry out those decisions directly within the software’s features.

This ensures that everything you do is based on real information and not just ‘a hunch’. Plus, you’ll be able to share your insights with the team, brainstorm solutions, and generate reports and records to ensure that things are done properly every step of the way.

8. A More Unified Workflow

Larger clubs have different departments that require the same information at the same time. This means that there may be more workload, and there is a constant exchange of information to and from different departments.

An effective gym management system features the ability to streamline workflows as information can be easily accessed from many devices at the same time. It doesn’t matter how large or spread out your facility is, everything can still happen under one roof with the right gym management system.

9. Gain Insight into Your Financial Reporting

Another advantage of a gym management system is that you can create detailed monetary reports to track and manage cash flow.

You can easily view reports for the monthly payments collected, termination of credit cards, accounts of canceled memberships, and product sales to trace your monthly cash flow.

To learn more about accounting best practices for your fitness business, read our webinar blog featuring financial author John Briggs.

10. Manage Client Coaching

A good gym management system feature to have is client coaching and tracking. Such a feature allows gyms to offer personalized training in the form of 1:1 coaching or a virtual personal trainer so clients can reach their health goals from anywhere, at any time.

Clients and trainers can monitor, adapt, and evaluate performance, workouts, and nutrition. They can constantly optimize personal workout plans and give feedback to each other to achieve faster results. All this can be done directly within a gym management system with a client-facing platform or app.

Given the increasingly shifting fitness landscape, the best way to gain a competitive advantage and level the playing field is by using software solutions.

The advantages of a gym management system don’t just end here, but if you’re still on the fence, read our blog on whether fitness apps are the future of fitness.

Staying Engaged is Essential for Member Retention

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time for some action! Slowly but surely, everyone is looking forward to getting fit for summer. But how can your gym contribute to this when your doors are closed? And how can gyms like yours prevent members from canceling their subscriptions?

Virtuagym knows that keeping members engaged can be challenging, especially now that most communication is done through social media. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Read on to find out how to keep your members and fitness community engaged.

Keep It Personal

Communicating with your members doesn’t mean just keeping them up-to-date; it is about truly understanding them and allowing them to connect and interact with each other. Our online Community feature lets you build and maintain relationships with your members. This feature will keep your members motivated, and in turn, you will increase your customer retention – two birds, one stone.

What Does the Online Community Feature Entail?

The online Community feature is the best tool for getting your members involved. It allows gym owners to create an online social sphere to communicate with their members. Keep all of your members informed about the latest promotions and activities via your personalized online portal and even your custom mobile app. It also allows your members to work together on a goal or challenge. These can even be customized for your gym – but more on that later!

How does Virtuagym’s Community feature work? First of all, all trainers and members must create a personal profile in the portal or via the app. This way they can track their progress, stay up-to-date on the challenges, check the progress of their fellow members, catch the latest news, and much more.

Once your members have activated their profiles, their names are displayed on the leaderboard. The leaderboard is where everyone can keep track and log activities. Your most active members appear at the top of the leaderboard.

We understand that during the corona crisis, you need to keep in constant communication with your members. Therefore it is possible to send messages to all your members, a specific group, or even just to one individual member.

When you combine the online Community feature with our fitness challenges and rewards, members can work towards a common goal. Community members can even encourage each other by leaving a comment or like in their profiles. Building this sense of community will cultivate engagement – and ultimately loyalty among your members. Thus they will be happy to stay with your gym.

Motivate Your Members

It is common knowledge that you need to keep challenging yourself in all aspects of life. This challenge could be fitness-related, personal, or professional. Doing so will keep your motivation and inspiration levels up, and focusing on your personal growth will ultimately lead to more self-confidence. As an active member of society, these are developments that you wish upon everyone (and especially your members)!

Becoming fit and challenging yourself are strongly linked. With our fitness challenge and reward system, these two come together seamlessly. How does it work? To get started, you can create a club challenge – or a  private challenge – in your Virtuagym portal. This Challenge feature allows gyms to set up challenges such as steps and sit-ups. However, more specific goals are also possible such as losing a certain percentage of fat or gaining a certain muscle percentage.

How challenges positively contribute to member engagement

With each activity or workout, members receive points that are added to the leaderboard in the online community. Sharing this information can also increase the competition between members as they work towards similar goals. Interested in tracking your members’ exercise in their free time? Offer challenges that leverage our integrations with wearables (e.g., Google Fit and Apple Health), such as a steps challenge.

Once the challenge is over, the winner will receive a virtual reward. But no worries! All participants will have the opportunity to share their finished workouts and activities with friends on social media via their mobile phones.

The Benefits of Our Fitness Challenge and Reward System

Are you looking for an effective way to motivate your members and boost your business; but are not quite sure how the challenge feature can contribute to this? Below we have listed all of the positive effects.

In addition to providing access to helpful fitness content, this feature also allows you to:

  • Increase engagement among your members
  • Save time
  • Attract new members
  • Increase the overall satisfaction level
  • Increase retention rates

How Virtuagym Clients Boost Their Member Engagement

The gym has long been a social gathering place. In recent months, this paradigm has been completely overthrown. Social gatherings now mainly take place online. Gyms that did not yet have an online community set up needed quickly adapt to digitization.

Until recently, one of our clients, the YMCA Central Massachusetts, was one of these gyms that needed to pivot to an online offering. Digitization was no simple feat for a massive fitness and lifestyle community with over 21,000 members in 41 towns in Massachusetts through six locations. Until then, they were managing all sports activities manually themselves. The current COVID-19 situation forced them to modernize – and Virtuagym was happy to help them do it!

They decided to use the custom Virtuagym app and the Community feature to build up their online offering. These app features give their members access to exercise guides, an online community, and a custom mobile app. 

The community feature gives them the ability to share promotions and is also used as a platform to release stress healthily during these challenging times. The YMCA Central Massachusetts also makes convenient use of push notifications to offer real-time information directly to their members. They experienced this to be an extremely useful tool to establish a dialogue between the gym and individual members.

Are You Ready to Improve Your Member Retention?

Retaining and entertaining your members does not have to be a time-consuming and challenging process. Investing in your members is essential to running a successful gym, and we would love to help you!

Don’t postpone until tomorrow – start today and offer your valued members a service worth talking about!

Increase Member Retention with a Digital Engagement Solution

As we round out a year since the world turned on its head, the light at the end of the tunnel is finally in view. Despite planning to (hopefully sooner rather than later) transition back to in-person exercise, we must reflect on how the shift towards virtual will affect the future of fitness in general.

For gym owners, how to hold onto their current members is a constant concern. “Will my members be engaged enough to renew their memberships?” “How will I attract new members?” These are just a few of the questions that keep club owners up at night.

This is why Virtuagym’s latest initiative is a real lifesaver. Let’s discuss how to enhance your business and prove your value proposition to your members. Why? Because the most important way to keep someone coming back is to keep them engaged.

What Is PRO+?

PRO+ (pronounced Pro Plus) is a turnkey digital engagement solution. Put simply, it is a way to offer your members a ton of virtual content to keep them engaged with your club and brand when they are unable to visit your physical location.

Within your Virtuagym subscription, PRO+ content is available to all PRO members and employees by default. You can also choose to promote members to a PRO+ membership as an optional upsell, which will, in turn, increase your revenue.

How PRO+ can grow member engagement

Are you interested? Read on to see what’s included in this unique solution and its true benefits!

What Is Included in PRO+?

PRO+, in no uncertain terms, is one of the most all-inclusive online content and engagement tools on the fitness market today. Think of an activity or workout that your members would love to use – it’s probably already included in PRO+.

From workouts to meditation, a spirited online community, and audio coaching – there are no limits to what this solution can do, and, not to mention, the added value it brings to your members and facility. Members can enjoy weekly updates on the latest health and fitness news, they can track their performance and nutrition, browse recipes, and read tips and tricks to meet their fitness goals. Real prizes are even rewarded for bi-weekly virtual fitness challenges!

The extensive components of PRO+ include:

  • 200+ pre-made virtual trainer workouts
  • 1,000+ licensed workout videos
  • Health and fitness challenges
  • Much, much more

Your members can easily livestream workouts or exercise alongside the in-app personal trainer. Use the app to monitor your members’ stressors and guide them with meditation, mindfulness, and wellness content – because healthy members are happy members who will keep coming back for more!

Since this is a turnkey solution, there is minimal effort needed on your part to get started. All virtual content, challenges, groups, and community elements are created, added, and handled by Virtuagym.

The Advantages of PRO+

If you – like so many other fitness businesses right now – have been on the market for a digital solution but you’re still not sold on the added value it will bring, let us look at the facts.

Besides adding value for your members, you can:

  • Boost revenue amid uncertainty
  • Increase member engagement
  • Save time for yourself

PRO+ is a complete online membership that you can offer to your members; it is also entirely powered and delivered ready-to-use by Virtuagym. Offer all your members a total fitness and wellness experience in the palm of their hands.

How Virtuagym Clients Are Using PRO+

The fitness industry took a few steady blows ranging from the pandemic to ongoing lockdowns and the loss of clients – you name it. Amid the turbulence, forced closures and limited operating hours caused many fitness businesses to quickly transition from in-person to online workouts.

To help manage this 180-degree shift in strategy, clubs are looking for ways to help them embrace flexibility – that is, options that allow them to offer online classes and/or provide their members with proper digital workouts.

This is exactly why we created PRO+.

One of our clients, The Training Club, faced lost client hours and a downturn in revenue due to the government-sanctioned shutdown of fitness facilities. They turned to Virtuagym and decided to provide all of their members with temporary access to PRO+ as a way to increase member engagement until the restrictions start easing off.

Later on, they plan to use PRO+ as an upsell tool – an extra service on top of a regular gym membership. Virtual workouts are becoming the mainstream and are likely to stick around even after the pandemic. People now crave flexibility and accessibility when it comes to their health – similar to how working from home is poised to be the new norm.

The Training Club felt inspired by the digital innovation of PRO+ and began creating their own content. The club creates workouts, recipes, and informative posts every week and shares them via social media and the community feature within their own custom branded app.

Take Your Business to the Next Level!

Perhaps you are now more convinced of the benefits of a digital membership solution for your gym than before. Digitizing is a huge step forward for your business, and PRO+ aims to make that leap slightly less daunting.

There is no time like the present to embark on the tech revolution that has entrenched itself deeply in our new way of life. Get started today and begin enhancing your digital offerings with Virtuagym.

Everything You Need to Know About Keeping Your Gym Safe from the Coronavirus

After months of closures, gyms, clubs, and studios around the world are beginning to tentatively open their doors. If you’re like most other fitness professionals, it was probably extremely exciting to be able to finally get your business back up and running (and see your members come physically running back through the door).

We’ve now all come to realize that it may take a while for society to adjust to the new safety precautions that will likely stay in place for the foreseeable future. At least, this is what we’re currently seeing in many states in the US.

This will impact gyms, studios, and fitness clubs and shape the way that they continue to serve their members. In order to ensure that your return to normalcy is as smooth-sailing as possible and that you keep your gym free from the coronavirus, you should set yourself up with the software that will allow for a seamless transition.

Virtuagym is a software provider for fitness businesses that gives fitness business owners a personalized branded app, providing members with access to a community feature, a virtual 3D trainer with over 5,000 animated exercises, and both nutrition and exercise tracking.

It’s an essential tool for engaging and retaining members in normal times but during the crisis and the post-pandemic transition, it will equip you with the crucial equipment needed to manage your business.

So how exactly can Virtuagym software help fitness club owners with reopening?

Regulate the number of members inside the facility

No matter where you live, the chances are that to comply with new government regulations, you will probably have to limit the capacity of your gyms. This will mean a lot fewer people inside your gym than usual, all operating at a safe social distance.

Businesses across all sectors are devising ways to monitor and control the number of people inside their businesses. For gym owners, software is key.

  • Class scheduling

A class scheduling system can be used not only to decrease and limit the number of participants in group classes but can also be linked to your check-in system. You have the option to book a two-hour slot with your gym’s maximum capacity and then members have the option to sign up in order to enter the gym.

If a member tries to access the gym without booking-in, they can then be denied entry.* This is an effective way to ensure that members sign up and register for workout slots ahead of time, ensuring that maximum capacity rules are always adhered to.

Many fitness clubs are expected to be able to allow members in for individual training sessions but not for group classes. This may mean that more clubs will be offering group classes outdoors, in order to comply. If you are a fitness professional offering outside classes in order to cater to more members, you can create separate schedules for inside and outside your facility.

  • Check-in feature

Using Virtuagym’s check-in feature is another impactful way of making sure that capacity limits are not surpassed. Members check-in and out of your facility every time they come to the gym or studio and this way you can ensure that there are never too many people inside.

Check-ins can be done via QR code scanning, RFI ID cards or a barcode scanner. You can also use a simple card reader to check your members in and out of the gym too, so turnstiles are not necessary. By using a check-in feature you are also able to see exactly who is in your gym at a given time, this is an important safety feature, and will also help you keep track of how often individuals are coming to your gym.

  • Business analytics

With Virtuagym software, you also have easy access to all of the business analytics relating to gym entry, class participation, and credit usage. By looking at this easily digestible data, you have insights on which individuals are entering the gym and how often they come. Graphs are clear and easy to use and also offer insights into your client and member’s coaching and nutrition plans.

Data is a powerful and useful tool. And having a system in which you can analyze your business analytics is crucial, whether we are living in a post-pandemic world or not.

By using a software system with this capability, you can find out where the biggest opportunities exist for your business. This will help you realize spaces for growth and can help bring your business to the next level – something that is crucial as the industry scrambles to get back on track.

  • Utilize a credit system

By utilizing credits, fitness professionals have the option to limit client’s entries into the gym. This can be created as an add-on option and you don’t have to create new memberships for this.

For example, if your gym only has space for members to visit three times per week under social distancing measures, you could give members enough credits to book in these three slots.

If they try to book more than this, they will have to purchase more credits. It helps ensure that members don’t visit the gym too often will new coronavirus safety measures are in place.

How else can Virtuagym help my gym stay free from the coronavirus?

Of course, it’s not just the amount of people in your facility that you’ll need to consider. Business owners will have to go out of their way to make sure that members are complying with regulations. In order to help you get your message across, you could use your own branded personalized app.

Create a ‘Rules’ tile within your personally branded mobile app

When Virtuagym creates an app for your company, it gives you the ability to customize what appears to your members. Members will see ‘tiles’ on the homescreen and these tiles can link to various places.

One option we’re currently recommending is that fitness professionals use this space to post their new hygiene rules and in-house protocols. The app is something that all of your members will use in order to book workout slots and classes, this means that everyone is sure to see it.

Ultimately, Virtuagym is well equipped for helping your gym prepare for reopening. Beyond the functionality of the software’s practical business management system, it will also help prepare you for the new needs that your customers will have, after becoming used to working out at home.

For more on how Virtuagym can help you engage and retain members through a hybrid at-home/ in-gym membership style, click here.