We spoke with Lisa DeSico-Boyd, owner of Achieve Fitness Studio, about her success in the personal training business. Lisa increased client retention rates and grew membership by 300% in just four years.


Lisa DeSico-Boyd (above).

How did you get started with the business?

I’ve been a personal trainer for 27 years.

Before Achieve Fitness Studio, I managed studios for a personal training company for eight years. I helped open five studios with that company, and in the process, learned how to run a personal training facility.

Achieve Fitness Studio happened when the company was looking to sell the studio I was managing for them. I bought it and rebranded.

We’ll be fours years old next March. Since I took over the business has grown from a 900 sq. ft. training facility to 2,800 sq. ft. We offer personal training, as well as, classes and nutritional coaching.

Have the membership numbers at the business grown as well?


The original studio did not offer classes and we grew when I added group classes to our schedule. Membership has grown from 140 members when I took over to 560 members today.

How did it happen?

Word-of-mouth and the camaraderie spirit in our studio.

Our members have built relationships with one another. They encourage each other to come to class. They bond over the competitions we hold by cheering each other on, and being happy for each other’s success.

How did you build this community?

We have instructors that help members feel welcome. They introduce new clients to the class so other members can greet them.

We make time to get to know members outside of the studio. Once a month staff and members get together after class to grab food and chat.

We also hold regular competitions at the studio such as “How many sit ups can we do?”  This makes the environment fun for members.

What are your goals moving forward for the business?

My goal is to expand the business. I acquired another personal training facility, and will open it this October.

What marketing strategies will you use to fill the studio as quickly as possible?

The relationships I already have with the community will help.

The new facility is located in a neighborhood where I train clients. So a lot of people already know me in the area. I also keep in touch with former clients from my in-home personal training days, and will reach out to them.

Other strategies I find successful are email and social media marketing. I primarily use Facebook advertising, Constant Contact, Groupon and LivingSocial

How has Perkville impacted your business?

I am very happy to have incorporated Perkville into the business! With our rewards program, we have noticed a change in customers’ behavior for the better.

Online booking points increased the number of members who use our app to book classes and appointments as opposed to texting staff.

The frequency bonus is motivating members to come in more often which has increased my client retention rate. Members really like the fact they can get a free personal training session after they hit a certain number of visits.

Overall, we’re seeing members come in more, try out activities, and refer their friends with Perkville.

What are the most popular perks in your rewards program?

Apparel is very popular.

So are our supplements because it gives members an opportunity to try before they buy.

We also noticed some clients are saving up their points to get a free training session or a free month of classes.

What have you done to get customers more engaged in the rewards program?

I do a mini-tutorial with all new members. When a client joins Achieve Fitness Studio, I walk them through our app which includes Perkville. I also pull up the rewards program on the computer and show them how to earn points and cash them in for perks. This helps drive awareness so members are more likely to participate.

What software would you recommend to other businesses?

There are three software programs I primarily use: Perkville, Constant Contact, and MINDBODY.

I like that MINDBODY integrates with Constant Constant and I can easily email different client groups such as active, inactive, and class clients.  The Perkville integration with MINDBODY is great as well.

Top Five Takeaways

  • Adding a service like group training that resonates with your clients can be a great way to grow membership
  • Welcoming new clients in class so that other members greet them or holding events can help build your community.
  • Define the behavior changes you want and then use a loyalty program to incentivize those behaviors such as booking online or attending more classes.
  • Walk new members through how the loyalty program works to increase its engagement and effectiveness.
  • Check out Facebook ads, Constant Constant, Groupon and LivingSocial if you haven’t already.