Non-Dues Revenue Ideas for Member Retention

Do you know where the real revenue of movie theatres comes from? 
Popcorn and Soda!

Yes, it’s not the tickets. It’s these ancillaries. And guess the profit margin on these? 85%. 
Eighty-five Percent! Damn.

Now picture this. There are 200 people watching a movie. The ticket price is $10, whereas the money they spend on popcorn, soda, and candies is $15 (Ouch! Expensive!). That makes $25 for each person. Right?

Calculate the total earnings. $5000. Just.from.a.single.screen! That’s huge! From this $5000, $3000 is coming straight from the concessions. Shocked?

But why are people (even you and us) ready to spend ridiculous amounts of money on these? 

For the experience. 

Theatres have integrated comfort food and moviegoing experience in such a way an average person doesn’t even notice it. And that’s how they earn. That’s how they retain their customers. In fact, many of our friends admit that they go to the movies for popcorn.

Health Clubs today are no different. Apart from the fees and regular dues, a large part of their earnings is coming from selling wellness ancillaries – nutrition supplies, workout equipment, and apparel. Because that’s in demand today. That’s what the members want. Just to complement their fitness experience. They want to try out new things, get more involved in the club’s community and take full advantage of the services being offered. What’s better than that? It’s actually a win-win situation for both. 

Imagine the earnings from selling these ancillaries to hundreds of members. 

But that is not all: there is more to it. Something more important than bringing in extra revenue – Member Retention. And the key to membership retention? Engagement. If your members don’t feel engaged and valued, they won’t stick around for long.  

Non-dues are like a “safety net” for member retention. They focus on the bigger picture, on increasing the lifetime value of each member. The more members engage with the club in more and new meaningful ways, the more value they find in being a member and staying for longer. Your members should feel that your Health Club cares about them. That you want to become a major part of enhancing their overall fitness journey and their lives – providing everything they need. 

Non-Dues grow your brand, its reputation, and its member experience. It even becomes the selling point for your Health Club. So that’s something you just can’t ignore. 

We’ve got a list of a few non-dues you can explore for your Health Club:  

  • Hire a Trainer or Service

This is the classic and the most common way for Health Clubs to add non-dues is by offering additional personalised services. Clubs typically add Personal Trainers for hire for additional non-dues revenue. Further, you could offer a complete roundup of services by including Nutrition Counselling, too.

Some members want more attention than what a typical Group Ex class will provide. Health Clubs also find it profitable to offer Small Group Training for their members. 

Opportunities are not just in selling expertise but also in selling services. You could also add monetizable services like steam rooms or saunas. 

  • Cafe Products 

But, the most popular yet easiest way to earn more and build an emotional connection with your members is by selling healthcare products like smoothies and protein bars

Who wouldn’t want to book a smoothie at the start of their workout and grab it up on the way out? The convenience and the promise of health when you are thirsting for a drink and some nutrition after an intense workout is simply irresistible.

You can even go further. You can have their preferred protein shake waiting for them at your Front Desk the moment they finish. Or a vegan protein bar? Alkaline or Black Water? 

  • Merchandise Selling

The next most popular way to add revenues is by selling merchandise. How will it play out in your scenario? 

Members would love to be associated with your Health Club, build a connection with it, find other members going to the same club, and even bring new leads. One member forgot to bring swimming goggles? You have it. Another forgot a towel. You have that too.

The possibilities and benefits are endless. All you’ve got to do is start. 

Sell t-shirts, water bottles, mugs, socks, headphones, locks, notebooks, gym accessories, supplements, anything. Find brands that aren’t available in your local stores.  Get your message out, advertise yourself. Just remember – Clear branding and messaging.

Think outside of the box! Try different approaches, see what your members use daily and brand it. 

As Kevin McHugh, COO of The Atlantic Club quotes in a discussion with IHRSA, “To determine your product mix, listen to your members. Ask what products they’re looking for, and then keep an eye on what actually sells.

Fitness clothing may be essential, but it’s not necessarily the most profitable offering. Unique gifts, apparel, and accessories seem to be the hot items”.

You can even track their purchasing habits. How to figure out what they would want? Just list every member’s favourite products in the point-of-sale module. Keep logging in what they purchase every time.

This will give them the confidence that your Health Club cares about their preferences and behaviours.

  • Discount, Savings and Partnerships

Who doesn’t like discounts and perks? It works like magic in getting members on board and retaining them. Negotiate unique discounts and savings with your vendors on behalf of your members. Bring business to the vendors and great deals to the members. Keep both hooked and add value to their lives. 

Another way is partnering with companies to offer discounts to members. Earn referral fees, a portion of sales, or revenue from advertising through partnerships. Just keep in mind to partner with firms that provide products or services that members need in their professional or personal life. Things that are relevant and useful for them. Create a want. That’s how it will sell.

  • Publications: Magazine, Premium Content and Podcasts

Doesn’t matter if you’re planning to earn revenue from non-dues or not, you should have a monthly newsletter at your health club. If you’re already doing it, that’s amazing. Now take it one step ahead. Publish a quarterly or annual print magazine. You’ll get 2 benefits from this: 

  • Word-of-mouth through members
  • Charge vendors  for the ad space

 You must be familiar with the popularity of Podcasts. Trending, cost-effective, super easy, and really fun. Your members can listen to your podcasts anytime – while exercising, driving, eating. You want to charge them for listening to it? Do it. Want it to be free? That’s alright. But if you ask us, you should definitely provide it as a premium feature clubbed with other benefits. This will draw people towards buying premium (or upgrade to top-tier membership), don’t you agree?

  • Advertising Opportunities on Website & Mobile

Digital Ads. We all know about them. That’s because they are everywhere on the internet, and on your phones.

You’re using an app and *ping* – an ad pops up before you even start using it. Ugh, so annoying. You’ve only got two options now – watch it or buy the premium to remove them (for a time period, very clever). Do you see what happens here? They’re earning either way. Aren’t these advertisements a great way to build a revenue? This is exactly what you have to do. 

An array of advertisers must be after your fitness-conscious audience for sure. Contact supermarkets, speciality shops, salons, spas and restaurants for ad opportunities. Get them on board as advertisers on your mobile app. Sell the advertising space and digital banners on your website and smartphone as a smart approach. If you have a large number of followers on social media, charge for advertising your stories and posts. 

  • Events & Fundraising

You can never go wrong with Events and Fundraisers. We know the cost of holding one can be high, but if it’s done right, with creative fundraising ideas, your earnings will shoot up. 

Events give a really good chance for members to interact with each other and make friends. A study says that 70% of all fitness club members who made new friends saw a significant improvement in their fitness, were less likely to skip classes and were more likely to recommend their fitness club to friends and family. It boosts their motivation. That’s exactly what we want, isn’t it? 

The best part is – the other small revenue streams under this big umbrella. Provide a premium membership experience, charge for events and make your members feel appreciated by offering lower pricing. Charge separately for advertisements and sponsorships, as well as exhibitor booths.

In the end, your members will be happy and you’ll earn more profits from these multiple revenue streams. These events and fundraisers not only boost your profits but your Health Club’s community, presence and overall image in the long term. 

  • Courses and Workshops

People have more time and money than ever before. And they want to spend it all on learning something new. Now, what’s booming these days? Online courses and workshops. So why not take advantage of that?

Build online courses based on your knowledge and your members’ interests. Choose any topic as long as it’s related to fitness – workout videos, cooking shows, healthy living, anything. Just build on it. Charge monthly or on a pay-per-class structure with a class pack option. 

Also, it goes without saying that if you add a class pack to your game, it has a great potential for word-of-mouth promotion, just like any referral program. That’s how you’ll quickly generate more leads.

Workshops, again, are a great way to introduce new health and fitness concepts. Bring like-minded people together. Let them fulfil their goals and interact. This will build long term relationships among members and also with the club staff. 

  • Monetize Data by Market Intelligence & Data Analytics

Many Health Clubs are monetizing their data to increase their revenue these days. You can do it too – through Data Analytics. Either sell them or use them to improve your Health Club’s marketing. And don’t worry, it’s not complicated. There are multiple ways to do it – Market intelligence, benchmarking data, data analytics, specialized research, etc. 

Easily get insights about what your members want. See their past transactions, demographics, and information they consume on the internet. It’s a treasure chest even for you. Analyze and use this data well. Roll out new features and programs based on these insights and analytics. Then just wait and watch. Your members will be so happy.  

There you have it, your list of non-dues options to try out.

But you know what? You can’t reach your targets without a centralised software or system. It will cost you so much time and money! 

That’s why we at Smart Health Clubs have come up with the ideal, all-in-one solution. Choose Smart Health Clubs – and become open to a whole new world of Non-Dues. Unlock numerous streams of making revenues (including all the ones mentioned above) through our platform.

Just like how movies and comfort food go hand-in-hand together, Smart Health Clubs is doing the same for Health Clubs and non-dues. We’re integrating it in a way that it feels like a natural extension to your already existing services. 

Let’s not forget that our goal is member retention. Let’s find new ways to enrich and become an indispensable part of their lives. And the non-dues will follow automatically.

Book a free demo today!