Lots of online fitness services experience the same problem of losing members before they become paid members or simply cancel after the first month.
It often comes at this vital early stage when the new customer, excited about the potential of your service, gets lost or doesn't quite know where to start their renewed health journey. It doesn't matter how well designed your UI is, often the consumer needs much clearer guidance of the steps to take to feel comfortable using the platform effectively.
Check Your Metrics
Observe your tracking of first time users to see what behaviours they exhibit. Where do they navigate, which classes do they select, do they go looking for help and support options? - Understanding these behaviours will help you identify weak points in your initial onboarding or lead to sale.
Understanding your customers motives for signing up is a crucial first step. Don't be afraid to set up questionnaires that ask a range of questions about their health and demographic points. If you're worried about them leaving before they complete the sign up give the option to skip questions so they move quickly through and return to giving answers later.
Even if you don't use all the information you've gathered immediately having a range of data points on your members is a vital
With this information you are able to provide recommendations to where they should go first, or even which programme to start with
Have Clear Fall Backs
If you are not able to create custom pathways, or your data points do not give a clear indication of where to suggest, then set up a levels system to help understand difficulty.
We all start somewhere and often seasoned fitness consumers are using your service for something different and want to start with something easy. This could someone who trains more weight training wanting to start with a beginner yoga or mobility class.
Something as simple as a 'Beginners' section shows the customer exactly where to start and build their journey.
Every new customer of non-paying sign up needs to have someone check in with them to ensure their experience is at a high standard.
If you can utilise AI tools or even just a carefully crafted email automation. Make it feel like they are supported by a person so they feel comfortable expressing how their experience has been so far. You ideally want them to say something critical or telling about your experience. By framing your ask so they look for problems you won't receive the generic 'everything's ok so far' answer (like the one you give the waiter as soon as he asks how your food is). The more data you gather from these early stages of member experiences the better you can form them.
With the help of automations you can manage the more generic answers without having to intervene yourself. When you do pick up on more complex issues being able to reply quickly to their query will be easier.
Maintain Your Community Gateway
It can be tempting to trial customers into your community to show them how great it is to be a part of. This is a bad move. Communities with people coming and going are fragmented and often new members do not yet understand the rules and social dynamics.
Be sure to tease them with what the experiences are like and the amazing atmosphere of being a full member. This gets them excited to sign up and get involved.