Friday, 27 October 2017

How is GDPR going to affect Gym Membership Sales & Retention

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in May 2018. It protects the rights of individuals, giving them control over how their data is handled, and aims to simplify the regulatory process for businesses.

How will GDPR affect gym membership sales and retention? The quick answer is that it’s going to make both sales and retention more difficult.

Tom Fishburne @marketoonist

There’s a lot of work to be done ahead of 25th May 2018, but you need to resist the temptation to put this off. In fact, the sooner you start, the better.
There’s a great deal of documentation and processes that your Data Protection Officer needs to look at, particularly around how you store and handle member data. Prospect and member data and communications are where it’s going to get harder…

As you sign-up new members, or collect prospect information, you must get them to opt-in to communications. If you want to be clever (and if you have a clever system) this could be different communication types, such as sales messages, motivational messages, service messages, or newsletters.

So, you need to sell your communications to all prospects and new members, tell them that opting-in will improve their health and fitness, and get them to stick around longer at your club (after all, they’re not joining with the intention of leaving!) If they’re signing-up online, you need to do this in a brief note next to the opt-in checkbox. Note that if prospects don’t opt-in to further comms, this is a big negative buying signal.

This is straightforward enough for new members. But a bigger issue if you’re an established club, is asking all your existing members for permission to send member communications. If you can prove that all your existing members (and ex-members) have opted in to member comms, that’s great. Otherwise, you need to write to all your members and ask them to check the box, reply, or opt-in, otherwise you can’t communicate with them.

This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to start now. One email will not be enough for most of your members. It’s going to take a few emails for some of them to opt-in. If you send your first communication in May 2018, many consumers will be in the habit of being asked, and will likely opt-out, unless you sell it really, really well.

At GGFit, we’re no experts in GDPR, but getting up to speed on the basics so that we can be prepared and advise our customers how we’re preparing. Our friends at DataBasix have been around for several years working in data compliance and in healthcare. You can contact them direct, or why not come along to our next Sales & Retention Convention where they’ll be talking Gyms and GDPR.

You can find out more and buy tickets at

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