The Fitness Zone

How to Retain your Clients with Subscription Billing

Apr 19, 2021 | by Ezypay

Did you know that it has been estimated to cost around five times as much to attract a new client as it does to keep an existing one? This is why it’s so important to focus on retaining your current clients by offering ongoing value while building loyal relationships with them. Doing this offers a range of benefits, including avoiding those expensive and effort-intensive prospecting and acquisition costs. 

If your PT business is already utilising recurring direct debit payments, then you’re certainly on the right track. Here’s how to get the most out of your current client base to help unlock stronger growth potential. 

Why a client-focused approach to retention is essential 

When you put the client first, it means that you start with identifying their needs and build outwards from there. So, it’s not about making a client’s needs fit the product, but the product to fit the client. 

This is so critical to success today because, in our digital age, there is an abundance of information and choice. If your offering doesn’t fit your client’s needs – on their terms and to their preferences – they will search elsewhere. After all, it’s just a click or two away. 

This approach leads to positive word-of-mouth referrals, longevity, and a favourable reputation in the market – all of which are conducive to the profitability and growth of a PT business. 

The reality is, if your clients are displeased with their experience with you, they will head towards a competitor. Then, to remain in business, you’ll be forced to spend more on trying to attract new clients, and it quickly becomes a downward spiral. 

All of this highlights the importance of focusing on your current clients to keep them happy.  

How can direct debit billing help with client retention? 

A PT that utilises recurring direct debit billing for their clients, in exchange for regular training services, naturally fosters client retention. This is because you are already providing ‘ongoing’ value. 

Services like gym memberships, personal and small group training and boot camps are examples of fitness industry offerings that can effectively retain their loyal client base by fostering an ongoing relationship. 

This model, known as Subscription Billing, removes the hurdles and inefficiencies around prompting a repurchase, and instead shifts the focus to nurturing client relationships. In essence, this model allows you to build a long-term client base and retain it through ongoing and personalised service. 

Additionally, you can better manage payment complexity, such as choosing to collect a larger payment upfront to cover initial benchmarking sessions or support materials, then move on to retaining the relationship with recurring payments afterwards. Some recurring payments experts, such as Ezypay, offer this built-in functionality and allow you to tailor these plans to each individual. 

Encouraging retention through seasonal trends 

Seasonality can often prove a challenge for personal trainers. It is common to experience four to five months, between April and October, of reduced interest and a wavering client base. However, by moving away from cash payments to recurring direct debit, clients are more likely to continue training with you throughout the off season. This continuity of training will also, of course, benefit your clients, who remain on track to achieve their fitness goals. 

When clients pay with cash for each session, there isn’t such incentive to continue training, should their motivation start to decline. When a direct debit payment plan is introduced to the mix, however, they are committing up front to training with you on a regular basis and will be incentivised to show up each week. 

Direct debit vs training packages 

You may have thought about introducing training packages (such as 6 or 12 week challenges) to bring in new clients, but how does this compare to direct debit? Whilst direct debit can easily cater for a short-term package, the downfall here is that there is a set end date and a goal to achieve. If the client doesn’t meet the goal at the end of the challenge or training package, they may be less likely to want to keep training with you. Even if they do meet the goal, you will still need to persuade them to keep training with you. 

Direct debit allows your clients to commit to a long-term training plan without a specified end date. If their goals change, you can adapt your sessions to continue to meet their needs and retain them for the long term.  

How do I keep growing my PT business? 

Successfully retaining your client base with subscription billing lays strong foundations for future growth and expansion potential. 

If you’re ready to unlock the true potential of your PT business with subscription billing, and to turn clients into loyal advocates, check out AIF partner Ezypay to learn more. Alternatively, explore the fully integrated GoXpro + Ezypay solution to effortlessly build programs, test & train clients, and manage your business all in one place. 



Ezypay are an official Industry Partner of AIF.
Ezypay is Australia’s leading subscription, recurring and instalment payment solutions provider. Since its establishment in 1996, Ezypay has continued to support businesses in the health and fitness industry to generate revenue and settle complex financial scenarios with repeat customers.

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Disclaimer: Where Certificate III in Fitness, Cert III/Cert 3, or Fitness Coach is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Fitness, Cert IV/Cert 4, or Personal Trainer is mentioned, it refers to SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Program™ is mentioned, it refers to Fitness Essentials and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Master Trainer Plus+ Program™ is mentioned, it refers to SIS30321 Certificate III in Fitness and SIS40221 Certificate IV in Fitness. Where Certificate IV in Massage or Cert IV/Cert 4 is mentioned, it refers to HLT42021 Certificate IV in Massage Therapy. Where Diploma of Remedial Massage is mentioned, it refers to HLT52021 Diploma of Remedial Massage.

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