Fitness World helps build muscle and healthy habits

Everyone joins their fitness centre with the ambition to work out regularly. But, it takes healthy habits to turn ambition into reality. Fitness World helps establish and support those habits through personalised and automated communication flows. They’re designed to motivate, praise, and inspire members to build and maintain good exercise patterns. Doing so has significantly boosted retention rates.

“Our product is happening, so to speak, when the customer is at our premises. And our communication has one purpose: to help and motivate our members to have healthy training habits and come to our clubs at a stable frequency to reach their goals. If we succeed in keeping them motivated, we are more likely to retain them as members over time,” says Kirsten Lund Petersen, Head of Member Experience at Fitness World.

Kirsten Lund Petersen
Head of Member Experience at Fitness World

“The business case is clear: with a solid data model supporting the right business drivers, the pay-off is immediate.” 

A great member experience in the clubs and across the customer journey is paramount and communication is instrumental to achieve this. When Fitness World started working with Agillic, they prioritised the retention flow as this has the highest potential due to volume.

The new communication flow immediately gave weighty results: From November 2018 to July 2019, the retention rate was up to 6% higher compared to the control group. This is a significant increase in an industry renowned for high churn. A welcome flow with a focus on supporting and motivating the members to develop healthy habits was implemented in January and showed the same increase in retention over six months. It seemed Fitness World had cracked the code to successful retention.

Training and data experts co-creating

When building the data model and the flow, it made sense to, first of all, understand the attributes of a loyal member and how this was reflected in the data. Fitness World’s training experts and Agillic partner Kaplan collaborated and found that many of the loyal members worked out at a stable frequency, and they often joined classes or teamed up with buddies.

“The knowledge about training and motivation that our staff has is priceless. Their insights constitute the principles for the communication flow and the underlying data model,” says Kirsten.

Data is loaded into Agillic daily, and the automated and personalised flows are executed based on the individual member behaviour as reflected in data. Having identified a steady frequency, regardless if it is a high or a low one, as a critical signifier for loyalty, the communication is supporting and motivating the member to exercise regularly, a bit like a personal trainer. In the personalised communication Fitness World encourages to join classes, to participate in challenges or to create a training programme in the Fitness World app.

Data model with motivational drivers

The data model enabling the triggered communication was built from scratch and Fitness World is now at a stage where the most distinct parameters for the motivational drivers are in the Agillic platform:

“The more fields your data model contains, the more personalised and relevant you can make the communication and the product throughout the customer journey from the welcome, to the retention and to win-back.

It is tempting to want it all at once, but we are taking it step by step and learning by experience. We have a clear picture of the things we want the data model to comprise as we grow ourbusiness. At this stage, we are already seeing great results and strong potential, and we continue to drive our development,” Kirsten says.

Expanding into Switzerland

Founded in 2005 Fitness World today has more than 230 clubs and around 600.000 members in Denmark, Poland and Switzerland with an appetite for more. Recently, the second largest and fastest growing fitness operator in Switzerland, was acquired. At the take-over, the majority of the lead generation and the member communication was manual and based on static lists, e.g. for telemarketing.

Fitness World has, among other things, implemented Agillic in to optimise the channel for lead generation, retention and win-back by harvesting the benefits of marketing automation. This is the first step in scaling towards new markets.

”Based on the experience we have with our trigger-based and personalised communication, we know what works, and we are implementing that in Switzerland too. The data model and the flows are being rolled-out with some alterations so that they fit the Swiss market. The marketing team in Switzerland was trained onsite by Agillic and can create and run all the flows by themselves. Now, we look forward to seeing the good results on sales and retention in the Swiss market as well,” says Kirsten.