Giving Members an Incentive


When he was trying to come up with a way to keep his members motivated, Chad Warren, the owner of Space Coast CrossFit in Melbourne, Florida, devised a plan: a member referral incentive.

“I was trying to figure out how to keep members incentivized,” he said. That’s when he realized, why not incentivize his own members to help?

Beginning in October, Warren started to offer members a deal. For each person who joined the gym and was referred by a member, the member who referred the person would get 10 percent off of his or her membership. As long as the referral stayed at the Box, the member would continue to get the discount. Plus, members can ultimately work their membership cost down to zero. “It was met with super high enthusiasm,” said Warren.

The idea also stemmed out of Warren’s desire to incentivize his Coaches to help keep members motivated to continue coming. However, Warren wondered why limit the incentives to his 15 staff members? He had had a pool of 150 members to also get involved. The Coaches now make 10 percent of a referred member’s membership. So, if they referred 10 people to sign up at the Box, they could make an extra $120 each month.

“It’s in your own best interest to make sure they stay motivated,” explained Warren. “It helps motivate everyone to keep coming.”

Warren has used email, word-of-mouth and his Box’s closed Facebook group to announce and push the in-house program. So far, several members have taken part of the referral process, some even having referred two or three people. Most of the tracking is done via a spreadsheet in order to see who has earned what percentage discounts.

When it comes to starting a member referral incentive program, Warren advised to keep it simple. He said don’t make it too complicated or get to many intricate parts involved.

Overall, to Warren, the program has no negative impact. Although it might look like he’s losing money, he said that’s not the case. A referral means a new member has joined the gym, and even if he is then losing 10 percent of an existing member’s membership, he’s gaining more than that in a new member. “The fact that there’s a new member … it’s in my best interest,” he said.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at