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Retention: the magic component to a successful Pilates studio

Retaining a client is so much easier than finding, wooing, and converting a new client to become a member. Plus, it’s much more cost-effective. With retained clients, you don’t have to worry about the costs of advertising to new customers, the expenses of free trials, or the hard work of upselling them their next pricing option.

In 2019, the average retention rate for fitness studios was around 75%. However, COVID-19 has impacted retention significantly. Over the past two years, studios have struggled to keep their clients – and those that have been successful have largely factored in two key components: new services and continued value.

When consumers and clients shifted to virtual options, they changed their perception of value. As a brick-and-mortar space, continuing to keep these clients is vital. Recurring revenue is a key indicator of a successful and profitable Pilates business. As clients return to your studio you want to make sure that they see and feel the perceived value of your offerings.

There are a variety of retention strategies that are essential to any Pilates studio. Each of these strategies plays into a different aspect of your business: building community, providing the best services possible, sharing successes, and of course, marketing.

Building Community

A happy community will keep your business thriving. Clients who love your offerings, enjoy the camaraderie, and share their experiences are not only going to continue to support your business but will also help you grow.

For starters, keep your clients engaged by personalizing their experiences. Offer personalization as often as you can, whether it’s a complimentary mat set-up or regular check-ins via text or e-mail to see how they are doing and progressing.

Telomere Pilates Class

Remember to greet everyone with a smile, even when you might be having difficulty checking them in for class 🙂

Second, continue to offer unique community events that allow clients to get to know one another and invite others into your space. This can be a casual post-class wine and cheese hour, a book club, or a fun trunk show of a new line you’re interested in carrying.

Finally, position your offerings so that they see your business as an investment in their health. The more your clients feel your services are “essential” the more they are going to continue to support you and your staff.

Providing the Best Services Possible

Clients are looking for top-notch services and a full experience when they visit a Pilates studio. They’ve become even more discerning, especially as they return from virtual offerings during the pandemic. The cleaning schedule is paramount, as is maintaining your front desk staff and keeping everything running smoothly.

In addition, you’ll want to focus on what you’re offering and how it can be leveraged to offer even more added value. Maybe this means adding in a free guest pass for members on a regular basis or perhaps adding in your on-demand library to make their membership feel more valuable.

Finally, if you want to improve your retention, look at your offerings. Is there any way you could improve the overall experience for the client? From the moment they walk in the door until they leave—how could you possibly streamline or make them even more satisfied?

Telomere Client Meeting

Did you know it is 8x easier to retain a client than it is to acquire them?

Boost and Share Successes

It’s likely that the better your clients feel about themselves, the better they will feel about your business. If they see progress in their Pilates practice, if they are feeling stronger and more flexible, they will want to keep returning to see growth. Mark their growth by having fitness challenges or sharing the news of milestone visits on your social media channels. Your goal in creating a fitness-based business was to bring wellness and health to your clients – so why not share their successes and boost them along the way?


The final pillar for your retention strategy is marketing. Keep your clients engaged through your social media channels—but keep the content varied. Yes, you’ll want to share information about any schedule changes or new classes, but also give them the opportunity to get to know your staff. We’ve found “Spend a Morning With…” type reels do well with community engagement. Plus, it gives the instructors and the clients an additional way to connect. Every opportunity you have for staff and clients to interact will only boost your retention rate.

The more you can focus on retention the more streamlined and consistent your business will be – both for your clients and for you as the business owner.

Catalina Zbar
Founder, Telomere Consulting

Telomere Consulting provides strategic insights and marketing services to studio owners in the boutique fitness space. Catalina and her team provide end-to-end marketing support and would love to hear from you. Click here to book your free intro call. We want you to treat your business the way you treat your body – making the right choices now to optimize its potential for a long and healthy life. Visit us here to learn more.