Great Marketing Ideas That Draw People to Your Gym

The fitness industry is very competitive, especially with all-inclusive clubs competing against small boutiques and online fitness platforms. The latest statistics show that there are about 31,000 gyms and fitness clubs in the United States. However, the fitness industry has a market value exceeding $4 billion in the U.S. Plus, this market has an expected annual growth rate of 9.61%, a projected value of $6.73 billion by 2027. This means that the U.S. fitness market offers plenty of financial incentives to upgrade your marketing strategy with some—or all—of the marketing ideas we suggest.

15 Ways to Attract Potential New Members to Your Gym

A quarter of U.S. consumers are looking for a new gym or an alternative to their present gym. The best way to attract your share of new members from this large pool of gym seekers is to develop a strategy that includes time-tested and innovative methods. Our guide details these 15 effective ways to attract more people to your gym.

1. Co-Opting with Local Businesses

Teaming with local businesses can boost your membership promotions in many ways, including:

  • Expanding your reach to potential members
  • Increasing your gym’s credibility and trust by partnering with other reputable businesses
  • Benefiting from joint marketing (This arrangement can result in more cost-effective promotional campaigns, such as co-branded events and promotions.)
  • Offering your potential members a convenient way to satisfy multiple needs
  • Positioning your gym as part of the community

Cross-promoting is one of the most effective ways of recruiting new members through a partnership. For example, suppose you partner with a sports apparel or sporting goods store. Your partners can offer their customers a free class or discount on your gym membership. In turn, you can offer your current members discount coupons for items at your partner’s store. As a result, this collaborative strategy creates a powerful form of word-of-mouth advertising that increases brand awareness and leads.

2. Tempt Potential Members with a Free Gym Pass

Free samples, merchandise, and trials are exceptionally effective tools for attracting new members, especially during these rough financial times. Since over three-quarters of U.S. consumers shop online, a free trial membership can separate your gym business from the competition. Offering a 7-day membership pass can also give you several promotional benefits, including:

  • Better lead conversions: Potential members typically feel fortunate and comfortable using your free pass. It creates a positive experience from the beginning.
  • Trust building: Free trials are particularly beneficial if your gym is relatively new and has few user reviews or references.
  • Increases website traffic and subscriptions: Online consumers tend to follow the lure of free trials. This fact is why free gym passes can boost traffic to your website.
  • Improves brand awareness: Without investing a lot of money in advertising, free trials can make more potential members aware of your brand. You can also increase traffic to your website by encouraging free-pass users to write reviews of their experiences at your gym.

To fully capitalize on your free pass promotion, ensure visitors have an excellent and memorable experience. You can achieve this by placing them in the most popular classes and giving them VIP treatment.

3. Focus on Millennials

Studies show that millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000) put a premium on health and wellbeing. For this reason, they tend to exercise more and eat healthier than previous generations. Millennials typically use apps to monitor their training data and online searches for gyms and nutritious foods. Studies also indicate they will spend money on compelling brands.

Along with fresh and innovative programs, millennials typically like a socially engaging environment. This preference is why organizing social events, group workouts, and competitions is vital to attracting this generation. In addition, millennials tend to search for recommendations and reviews online. So, optimizing your gym’s website and social media is essential to attracting this market segment.

4. Offer Free Personal Training Sessions

Offering free personal training sessions is an effective way to attract potential members with gym phobia. According to an IHRSA study, a gym visit is too intimidating for at least 50% of Americans. Free personal training sessions can be a more comfortable means for hesitant potential members to experience your gym’s benefits. In addition, these sessions increase the chances of new members referring friends and staying active members longer.

5. Provide a Friend/Partner Discount

An essential need for most people is to feel special. So, when someone takes the time to join you in pursuit of a common goal, the union adds a potent energy to the effort. It’s a win-win situation for all involved. According to a study on social bonds and exercise, partners working on a common goal not only promote better cooperation between them but also improve their exercise and fitness levels. You can tap into this dynamic by offering a membership discount to members who bring in a guest, friend, or acquaintance. Regardless of how you package it, this discount is a smart way to increase your gym membership base.

6. Court Seniors

Gym owners often overlook seniors in their promotional campaigns. However, they represent a large demographic with a growing interest in fitness and health. Many seniors are prominent in their communities. For this reason, providing services that cater to seniors can produce the following benefits:

  • Sends the message that your gym is welcoming, supportive, and inclusive
  • Attracts new members through their friends, family, and associates
  • Expands your membership base
  • Increases brand recognition through the community
  • Lowers the intimidation factor

You can make your gym more senior-friendly in several ways, including:

  • Yoga classes with an emphasis on flexibility and balance
  • Lightweight dumbbell or training classes with resistance bands
  • Relaxation-oriented courses like Tai Chi or meditation
  • Senior discounts

7. Host Events

Hosting events is an excellent way to establish relationships in your community. Your main advantage is that people typically associate fitness with fun, health, and family. Although you have many options, it is more efficient to separate your events into two categories:

  1. Community events: A great way to develop good standing and relationships is to host open houses, fitness challenges, or charity fundraisers in the local community. You can also partner with local businesses for joint promotions and community activities.
  2. Corporate wellness programs: Promoting corporate wellness programs to local businesses can provide significant opportunities to get new members. You can offer discounted memberships to the company’s staff and managers. Also, on-site fitness classes, fitness boot camps, health screenings, nutrition lectures, and competitions are excellent corporate wellness ideas.

8. Offer a Broad Selection of Classes

Adding variety to your classes helps lure new members by appealing to a broader field of prospects with various fitness levels and interests. In the process, you should replace less popular classes with potentially engaging ones.

Having a lively mix of class options can boost your membership base. For example, you can offer a mix of boot camp, dance, yoga/meditation, boxing, and spin to attract potential members with various fitness goals and preferences. It also helps to offer specialized classes, such as functional fitness or classes designed for pregnant women.

Using your imagination and member feedback, you can create a mix of classes to help your gym stand out from the competition. You also keep things interesting for present members, possibly motivating them to refer more people. In addition, your class roster can be a powerful brand builder.

9. Leverage Social Media

Social media platforms provide very effective forums for connecting with potential new members. If you use a solid social media strategy, this promotional method allows you to attract new potential members and establish a potent online presence.

To maximize your social media impact, you must use top-notch content and media that appeals to your target audience and ongoing members. Your content can include:

  • Special discounts and offers
  • Social media challenges
  • News of current members reaching their fitness goals
  • Introduction and description of new classes and equipment

The objective of most of your social media content should be to give potential members a sense that they are a part of your gym while removing the mental barriers that many of them may face. Social media marketing also boosts brand visibility and expands your exposure to a broader audience.

10. Offer Flexible and Convenient Hours

A Gallup poll conducted three years ago found that 45% of full-time employees work remotely at least part of their workweek. So, employees are challenging the traditional 9-to-5 workday with demands for flexible scheduling. You can take advantage of this trend by offering flexible and convenient hours at your gym. This benefit can attract new members seeking gyms that accommodate their schedules and lifestyles.

Since reaching fitness goals requires consistency in an exercise routine, convenience is a powerful selling point. Potential new members are more likely to sign up for your membership if you offer times that help them relieve the stress of dashing from one place to another. Additionally, this marketing idea allows you to appeal to a broader range of potential members with demanding jobs, hectic family life, irregular schedules, or a preference for off-peak hour workouts.

11. Use Feedback to Strengthen Appeal

One of the most accurate ways to find out how to attract new members is by listening to feedback from your current customers. Since they are familiar with your gym and service, current members can give you valuable ideas for improvement.

You can use traditional manual ways of conducting member surveys and interviews. Even the old suggestion box is effective. However, gym management software can streamline the process to make it more efficient and accessible. It also allows you to integrate gym feedback with social media information about other areas of gym operations.

Paying attention to feedback can help you offer potential clients the best features and messages and enhance your brand. Plus, current members who see you react to their responses tend to share their positive experiences and refer more potential members.

12. Publish Member Testimonial Videos

Satisfied member testimonials can weigh heavily on a prospective member’s decision to join your gym. It is such a powerful influencer that internet companies like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook realize that peer reviews and testimonials are vital to people searching for online businesses. For this reason, their software engineers adjust the algorithms for their search engines to showcase businesses with positive reviews and testimonials, ranking these businesses higher than the others.

Since member testimonials can enhance your online presence, they can significantly increase the number of potential members contacting your gym business. This advantage is why encouraging your members to post video testimonials on the gym’s social media and website can produce remarkable results. It is also a good idea to use testimonials in your email campaigns. To inspire more member reviews, you can give gift certificates and discounts.

It is also essential to add your response to each member’s testimonial. This shows that you care about your members’ satisfaction and progress. Also, ensure to thank them for taking the time to post a testimonial or review. This gesture personalizes the exchange even more.

13. Start Email Marketing

Email marketing has a solid reputation for delivering results. According to Statista, email marketing can earn $32 to $45for every $1 spent, equaling a 4,400% annualized ROI. You may already have your email marketing in member relations, but you can also use it to provide relevant information and messages to potential new members. For example, you can automate email messages for website visitors who have not yet become members.

14. Offer Free Nutritional Planning Services

Adding value to your gym’s membership by offering free nutrition and meal planning services is an effective way of attracting new members. It gives people a one-stop solution for achieving the best fitness results. Since most people struggle with their diets and exercise regimens, your gym can lure more new members by providing a complete fitness program with customized meal prepping.

This feature is especially attractive when you combine free nutrition services with a discount for personal training. This combination promotes personalized service that can make your gym stand out over your competition.

15. Providing a Wi-Fi Hotspot for Members

Featuring a Wi-Fi hotspot for members is a potent marketing tool. Many fitness devices and apps connect to online platforms. By providing free internet access, you can improve your members’ gym experience by making online interactions more convenient and cost-effective.

Providing internet access for your members also increases your gym’s online presence. It allows current members to share their gym exploits with friends and social media followers while tagging your gym. This online activity can positively portray your gym as a fun and productive environment, giving you additional advantages in attracting new members.

How to Use Gym Management Software to Attract More Members to Your Gym?

Gym management software enhances your ability to draw people to your gym by automating and integrating gym marketing tasks. By streamlining operational processes and offering enhanced features, gym management software can be a powerful asset for attracting and signing up new members.

For example, automating administrative tasks like membership management, communications, class scheduling, and payment processing allows you to dedicate more time to creating marketing strategies and promotional ideas. This additional time also enables you to promote various gym services and add personalized attention to prospective members rather than getting bogged down by daily operational duties.

Gym management software also provides features that upgrade the member experience, including self-service portals and mobile apps. Apps allow new members to access their account information easily, arrange class bookings, and track fitness gains. They play a significant role in attracting more people to join your gym. Find out more about how Kilo can help you enhance your marketing to prospective members by booking a free call with us to begin the process.

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