Are you looking for gym marketing ideas that actually drive revenue and attract more members? Whether you run a health club, fitness studio, or boxing gym, attracting new clients is always a high priority. But which so many gym marketing strategies to choose from, which are the ones that’ll get you the best business results?
In this article – we share 10 proven marketing ideas for gyms, fitness studios, and health clubs that will help you attract more members to your facility.
We’re a specialist fitness marketing agency with 15+ years of industry experience, so we know first-hand what works (and what doesn’t!). We’ve helped gyms, fitness studios, and personal trainers to successfully promote their businesses, so our marketing strategies are tried and tested. You can be confident that the ideas and approaches we share in our articles are proven to work in the real world.
Fitness Marketing Ideas Mini-Guide
25 fitness marketing ideas for your gym, studio, or online business. Attract new members, get more PT clients & boost your fitness blog.
They include the best gym marketing ideas for generating leads, selling memberships, and retaining clients long-term.
Effective Gym Marketing Ideas
Marketing a gym business isn’t always easy, especially if budgets are tight. So, it’s important to focus on the activities that will generate the greatest return on your investment. This means choosing the most effective methods that’ll give you the best bang for your buck.
Here are 10 of the most effective gym marketing ideas that every health club and fitness studio should be implementing…
- Google My Business Profile
- Generate Leads With Day Passes
- Online Advertising
- Celebrate Member Achievements on Social
- Approach Local Businesses
- Testimonials & Reviews
- Run Gym Promotions
- Email Newsletters & Welcome Sequences
- Boost Retention With Content Marketing
- Strategic Partnerships
Now let’s look at each of these ideas in a bit more detail…
#1 – Google My Business Profile
When people are thinking of joining a gym, Google is usually their first stop. There’s a high chance that anyone vaguely interested in working out will search for a fitness club nearby. So, it’s vital that your business is front and centre of the search results when they do.
“88% of local searches on mobile result in a call or visit within 24 hours”.
To ensure that you’re top of the search listings, you’ll need to complete your Google Business Profile. Established gyms will likely have one already but it’s something that new fitness clubs often miss initially. But without a business profile on Google, your facility will miss out on easy leads (that are also free!).
Setting up a profile ensures your business information is seen on Google Maps and search results. Include your contact details, opening hours, and in-club photos so that people have all the info they need to arrange a visit or join online.
#2 – Generate Leads With Day Passes
Generate leads for your gym by offering complimentary day passes to potential members. This enables prospective customers to try before they buy. Once they’ve been wowed by your service and facilities, it’ll be much easier to convert them into a loyal member!
The key to making this successful is ensuring it’s part of a well-managed sales funnel for your gym. This means you need to promote the trial offer widely and have a follow-up process in place. Here’s how to set it up…
- Promote your free trial on all your marketing platforms – on your website homepage and header menu, social media bios and through regular promotional posts (pinned to the top of your feed where the platform allows), online adverts, bus-stop posters, and flyers you hand out locally.
- Make it easy to sign-up – by creating an online form that collects their contacts details (name, email, phone number) and automatically sends them a trial pass once completed.
- Train reception staff on the process – so they know exactly what to do when a prospective member comes in for their trial (e.g. offer a tour from the sales team, explain how the lockers work, etc.) and make a good first impression.
- Ensure follow-up to convert them – make sure your sales team has a robust follow-up process in place to convert these free trials into paying members (e.g. by providing a list of follow-up actions such as phone calls and emails at set intervals, a script that they can use to address objections, and automated email sequence for those who don’t convert initially).
By having a structured lead generation process like this in place, your gym will have a steady stream of new customers.
#3 – Online Advertising
Online advertising for gyms and fitness clubs is a really effective way of generating high quality leads. It’s a great value marketing channel that generates a strong return on investment. You can often get new members for pennies or cents.
Advertising online (sometimes known as pay-per-click or PPC) does involve some initial outlay so you’ll need a marketing budget for this activity. But in our experience working with gym clients, it’s incredibly effective at generating leads so is well worth the small investment. And sometimes you can get a free ad credit when trying it for the first time.
When it comes to advertising, Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram are the most popular forms of digital marketing for gyms. We recommend going for Google Ads first since it has the best targeting and provides more qualified leads (since people are actively searching for ‘gym in X city’ rather than being interrupted mid-scroll on social media).
As with the previous marketing ideas, the first step is to define the sales funnel that these ads will feed into. We recommend creating a custom landing page to capture contact details from people who click on your advert. Then create some persuasive ad copy that entices people to click through and take action.
Top Tip – Be sure to set up retargetting for online ads so that you get more than one bite of the cherry.
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#4 – Celebrate Member Achievements on Social Media
Social media marketing for gyms and fitness studios is a no brainer. It helps you reach a wider audience of potential members and maintain a loyal relationship with existing clients. But it’s crucial to take a strategic approach if you want to generate meaningful business results.
The first step is to plan your social media content ahead of time. This will help you align the content with your business goals, such as lead generation or awareness of new services. Your social media activity needs to feed into the overall marketing plan for your gym to get the best results.
While most gyms post a lot of promotional content, we’ve found the most effective approach is to celebrate member achievements. This has a number of benefits for your business…
- It demonstrates proof that your members get results which can help convince more prospective customers to join.
- It builds a sense of community and camaraderie which can boost loyalty and retention.
- It drives engagement which helps ensure your other social media posts are shown more widely too.
There’s a lot more that gyms can do to promote themselves on social media. These gym social media ideas are a good place to start.
#5 – Approach Local Businesses
Think about where your gym’s target market is likely to hang out already. Chances are they’ll be people who live or work within a few miles or kilometres of your fitness facility. So, approach the businesses that they already shop or work at.
Establish relationships with local businesses by picking up the phone or heading over in person and introducing your gym. See if they’re interested in a corporate membership deal for their own staff. This can be a great way to attract new members in bulk!
If they’re not interested in that, then ask if you can promote your gym to their staff or customers. This could be as simple as leaving posters on their noticeboard or flyers at their reception or till area.
This gym marketing idea is simple but effective. It’s amazing what building a network can do for your business. Approaching local businesses is a way to effectively harvest low-hanging fruit and lay the foundations for strategic partnerships in the future (see idea #10).
#6 – Testimonials & Reviews
Did you know that between 20-50% of all purchasing decisions are driven by word of mouth? People trust the opinions of others far more than any advert or promotional campaign. This is why referrals are one of the leading gym membership sales strategies.
But it’s not enough to hope for amazing testimonials and positive word of mouth – you need to be proactive in generating it. Ask your existing members for feedback and follow a defined structure (see the example above) to ensure you hit all the key points. Then share these testimonials and reviews everywhere you can including your website, social media platforms, and Google Business Profile!
Running regular gym promotions and marketing campaigns can be a great way to promote your facility. You can get creative with seasonal themes and special offers to encourage people to sign up for a membership or refer their friends and family. Promotions are also a great way to drive secondary revenue by promoting personal training, fitness supplements, or other gym products.
Some of the most effective gym promos include…
- Buy one get one free (BOGOF)
- Refer a friend
- Complimentary day or week trial
- No joining or activation fee
- Get something extra (e.g. gym bag, PT sessions, meal plan)
- Free upgrade (e.g. from off-peak to peak)
- Free bonus (e.g. personal training, supplements)
- Discounts (check out our pricing article for more info)
Read our full article on our favourite gym promo ideas for more inspiration.
#8 – Email Marketing
Email marketing is no longer optional for gyms – at the very least, members expect to receive welcome emails when they sign up. They want to be given the essential info they need to get started.
But email marketing is also an opportunity to promote other paid services that existing members may find useful. And regular email newsletters are a way to build the relationship, which drives loyalty and retention. You can use them to provide workout tips, time-saving hacks, or healthy meal-planning inspiration.
For prospective members that haven’t joined yet, email marketing can educate them about your gym. You can use it to promote your facilities, points of different from the competition, and address common concerns or purchasing objections.
Email is also a highly targeted form of gym marketing when done correctly. You can segment your lists based on different interests and send them content that’s perfectly aligned with their fitness goals. This personalised approach helps you create high-converting emails that boost retention and secondary spend.
Check out how Lifetime Fitness did it in this case study.
#9 – Boost Retention Through Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way for gyms to boost retention and loyalty, while generating leads and sales too. It’s a way to provide additional value to your members and ensure they feel they’re getting a lot for their money. But it can also generate interest in your gym’s services and help convert this into concrete enquiries.
Creating educational content can increase the number of visitors to your website, which translates to more leads and sign-ups. By writing blog articles or making videos that target specific keywords, you can get in front of people who are interested in your particular offering.
Fitness blog articles and videos allow you to showcase your training expertise, position yourself as a subject authority, or educate members about products and services. It’s a fantastic soft-sell tool that many gyms have yet to take advantage of.
For example, if you want to promote your personal training services or nutritional workshops then you could create…
- Articles that discuss the science behind HIIT training or the keto diet
- Case studies of members who’ve tried them
- Cheat sheets or shopping lists that relate to them (which require people to submit their email address to download)
Offering a free download (also known as a lead magnet) in return for contact details is an easy way to collect leads. Your content will have warmed them up by educating them about the benefits and generating interest. This make it much easier to convert enquiries into paying customers.
Here are some lead magnets that work well for gyms…
- Ebooks & workout guides
- Email & video courses
- Meal plans & recipe cards
- Cheat sheets & checklists
#10 – Strategic Partnerships
Partnerships are one of the least utilised lead generation ideas for gyms. But working with other businesses is a hugely effective way of raising brand awareness and getting more members. It allows you to benefit from their existing customer relationships and get in front of new audiences.
We’ve already discussed approaching local businesses to offer them corporate memberships. But this marketing idea is about finding complimentary businesses to partner with. Ones who audiences will have similar interests to your gym’s target market make the best choice.
In our experience, collaborating with nearby health food cafes, smoothie bars, supplement stores, sports clothing shops, and spas are all strong options. Then it’s a case of running events, competitions, challenges, campaigns, or promotions together so that both companies gain more clients.
Proven Gym Marketing Ideas
These gym marketing ideas are designed to generate leads and boost awareness of your services. And they’re proven to work in the real world, whether you’re a gym, fitness studio, or health club.
By aligning your marketing efforts with your business goals, you can ensure that your promotional activities attract new gym members and keep existing ones loyal.
Set up your Google Business Profile, then use online advertising and day passes to generate leads. Share member achievements and testimonials on your social media accounts, website, and marketing materials. Approach and collaborate with local businesses, run seasonal promotions, and use email and content marketing to drive sales and retention.
By implementing these ideas you’ll be able to reach your gym’s sales targets by generating quality leads that convert into members. The key is to take a strategic approach that uses these marketing ideas as part of a sales funnel, and ensure you have a follow-up process in place to take full advantage.
Gym Marketing Templates
Take a look at our Fitness Marketing Templates Bundle for ready-made sales templates. They take the time, hassle, and guesswork out of marketing and promotions…
Fitness Marketing Templates [NEW]
50+ ready-made templates, cheat sheets, and done-for-you examples to help you promote your fitness business.
Our ready-made templates make it quicker, cheaper, and easier to promote your fitness business. They can improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns. If you aren’t an experienced marketer, then templates and examples also provide a useful guide for you to follow.
Whether you run a gym club, fitness centre, or personal training studio, these templates will save you time and effort. They’ll help you to plan and organize your promotional activities so that you generate more revenue. You’ll get 50+ templates covering strategy, social media, content marketing, advertising, promotions, and more.
Are you interested in customised gym marketing ideas for your fitness business? Check out our gym marketing services to learn how we can help you generate leads and maximise memberships.