Membership Enrollment Fees: To Charge or Not

In today’s financial climate, many gyms are having to find new ways to increase their monthly membership sales. Many potential members are hesitant to plunk down hard-earned cash and sign the contract. A common point of contention is the enrollment fee. Most potential members don’t understand why they have to pay an up front fee when they are agreeing to pay monthly dues, and possibly committing to a contract. Some gyms have done away with the enrollment fee, while others are holding firm. Whether to charge the fee or not depends on your individual facility, but here are some things to consider when making that decision.


What is the average income level in the area where your gym is located? If you are in a solidly middle-class area, your sales people may find it hard to convince people to pay an additional fee on top of the monthly dues.

Monthly Dues

The industry has seen a rise in facilities promoting low monthly dues and no commitment. If that is your gym, than the up front fee might be an essential stream of income, and a necessity for keeping your business up and running. Most potential members won’t have a problem with agreeing to an initial fee if their monthly dues will be lower. If your facility is higher end, and your members are paying premium dues, this upfront fee might be a sticking point.

“$0 Enrollment” Promotions

If you are on the fence about doing away with the enrollment fee completely, try using it as a bargaining chip. Many facilities already run $0 enrollment fee promotions, but using the fee as an ongoing tool to allow your sales people to negotiate with potential members may help them to get new members to sign.

Although many potential members, and some sales people, view health club enrollment fees as an obstacle to gym membership, applied in the right way they can help to keep monthly dues down, or be an incentive to join.

Contact us today for more on incentives and promotions to attract new members to your facility!

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