10 Proven Fitness Marketing Strategies To Attract New Member — STX Software

10 Proven Fitness Marketing Strategies to Attract New Members


When it comes to attracting new members to your gym, health club, or fitness studio, you already know that having an informative website and active social media accounts are key to your gym marketing blueprint. 

But once you’ve established your initial web presence, what else can you do to attract new members to your gym? What strong gym promo ideas can you build on to bring prospective clients through your doors and keep them coming back?

There are plenty of tips and tricks you can easily follow to put your gym in front of the eyes of your ideal customers.

So let’s explore 10 gym marketing strategies that will boost your brand awareness, improve your online reach, and attract and retain more members.

Table of Contents

  1. Set up a Google Business Profile
  2. Run local Google Ads
  3. Optimize your website
  4. Hire a professional photographer/videographer
  5. Run seasonal promotions or events
  6. Implement a refer-a-friend program
  7. Create a loyalty program
  8. Send an SMS campaign
  9. Offer incentives for reviews
  10. Use fitness management software

1. Fine-tune your Google presence

One point we can all agree on: If you want to attract more members to your gym, your first have to think like your prospective clients.

What kind of services are they looking to explore? Why should they choose your gym over other competitors in your area? And of course, how will they find out about your gym?

In today’s digital world, most people will search Google for the top-rated gyms, personal trainers, and boutique fitness studios in the area. Phrases like “gym near me” or “yoga near me” have more than a million monthly search hits.

Results like this are why one of the best things you can do for your fitness marketing plan is to ensure you get listed on your local Google Search Results page.


Create a Google Business Profile

One way to boost your website SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and pop up in search results of potential clients in your area is to make a free business profile for your gym on Google. 

Once you add your business name and location to Google Maps, Search, and Services, your Google Business Profile can begin to rack up organic leads through easy-to-access information about your gym, including:

  • Reviews of your gym
  • Operating hours
  • Contact details
  • Photos of your gym
  • Your gym’s location
  • A link to your website

While we’re still on the topic of Google, let’s see what else this powerhouse search engine can do for your business.

2. Run Google Ads to attract local leads

Another way to guarantee that your fitness studio is seen in Google search results is to run Google Ads. Yes, this will require a monetary investment, but the results may be well worth it in the long run.

Here’s why: 

Using Google Ads, you can generate online ads that allow you to target your specific demographic and collect more leads. Not only does this visibility increase awareness of your brand, but it ensures your gym’s name is front and center on your prospective clients’ screens when they search for your targeted keywords.

Focus on unique local keywords, which will be more cost-effective when you are starting to run ads. Popular search terms like “pilates studios near me” or “CrossFit gyms near me” are highly competitive and often costly, which is why you should ensure your website content is optimized for search engines and features the keywords for which you want to rank.


3. Make the process easy for visitors

Speaking of connecting with people on the web, you should always consider how the process could be easier for new and existing clients seeking more information about you online.

Your website should not only list your services and availability, but it should highlight your brand identity, clearly define your gym’s values and mission, and set expectations for anyone considering visiting for the first time. 

As previously mentioned, your website should be keyword-optimized for search engines and optimized for viewing on any device (desktop, laptop, mobile phones, and tablets). A responsive website design improves your visitor’s browsing experience and directly impacts your online search rankings.

If you offer scheduled services or classes, invest in an online booking service. Nearly 40% of appointments are made after-hours, and businesses gain an average revenue increase of 27% when using online booking. Consider the potential profit you’re missing out on by not giving clients the option to book when it’s most convenient for them.

Investing in the right gym management software can simplify and even automate your booking process. You can make it extremely easy for new clients to book their first session with you and keep existing clients coming back.

And the best part? No calls to schedule and confirm sessions ahead of time are needed!


4. Hire a professional to create content

Let’s move on to a key element that matters in any industry: making a good first impression. And for Internet searchers, that means the photos and videos they first see when they click on your website or social media accounts.

From photos of your studio space and your instructors to videos of your workouts or client testimonials — what image are you presenting to the world?

Of course, using your camera phone to capture images, videos, and live streams to post on social media regularly is fine, but when choosing the content to use for professional branding purposes, like on your website or in advertising, opting for a professional photographer and/or videographer is the way to go.

Some of the benefits of hiring a professional include:

  • High-quality photos and videos
  • Better content clarity and resolution
  • The ability to crop, clip, and touch-up content with professional software

Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about taking the photos and touching them up yourself. Talk about money well spent! 

Once you have your new photos and videos, you can use them on social media, your website, and even on promotional materials such as signs, branding, and local write-ups.


5. Take advantage of seasonal events

Everyone loves a good holiday deal. Most people expect to receive a coupon, discount, or promo rate during the holidays. Luckily, you can take advantage of this seasonal frenzy by structuring your gym promotions or special events around popular holidays.

For starters, leverage holidays that naturally drive attendance or sales in the fitness industry like:

  • New Year’s 
  • Spring Break
  • Summertime
  • Labor Day
  • Black Friday

For instance, take advantage of the New Year’s Resolution craze and offer discounted memberships or class packages to new attendees who have resolved to develop a workout routine, or host a seasonally themed boot camp to get members in shape for the summer holidays.

Get creative with your seasonal gym promo ideas to make your business stand out.

6. Encourage and reward referrals

The idea is simple: Any time a client recommends a friend, and that friend comes in for a paid session or class, the client (and their friend) will receive a special reward! Word of mouth is an invaluable marketing method and turning your clients into your biggest cheerleaders is the ultimate goal.

Whether it be a free class, a BOGO deal on sessions, a discount on their membership, a giveaway, or product freebies (either that you sell or supplied by a local partner), you can bring in more clients via word of mouth if you include this type of motivating promo in your gym marketing strategy.


7. Add a loyalty program for dedicated clients

Like the referral promo idea above, you can keep clients coming to your gym by creating a loyalty program.

Businesses use this easy-to-implement reward system to increase gym retention rates and generate a positive brand presence in their members’ minds. Many fitness software systems have built-in rewards programs, so take advantage of this winning feature if it’s available to you!

Think about it – you’re probably more likely to go back to a gym or studio that offers a sweet membership or package discount (such as a free class after 10 paid classes) rather than one that doesn’t.

It’s a no-brainer.

8. Send an SMS marketing campaign

You’ve heard of email campaigns, but what about SMS campaigns?

Compared to emails, which have a 20% open rate, statistics have shown that 98% of all text messages are opened, with a reported 48% of customers stating that they would like special offers sent to them via text message. The open rate and conversion rate of text campaigns are unbeatable.

With that in mind, change up your regular gym marketing campaigns by shooting clients a brief, personalized text message campaign that is sure to catch their eye. Text campaigns are a great way to quickly alert clients of new promos, products, services, gym news, and more.

Tip: Keep messages short and sweet. Put the promo within the first ten words of the automated SMS so it sticks out to your audience and incentivizes them to open the message as soon as they read it.


9. Offer incentives for client reviews

Rave reviews, testimonials, and success stories from your clients are powerful marketing tools for your gym. This type of user-generated content can be repurposed for your website, social platforms, and marketing campaigns. Plus reviews give credibility to your business, making the decision process for potential customers easier.

So how do you go about collecting reviews?

The key to a successful review collection campaign is to offer a compelling incentive that makes it worth taking the bait.

For example, let’s say you walk into a new studio, receive great hospitality, and take a class with an instructor you enjoyed.

Maybe the experience itself was good enough to make you snap a picture and tag them in your Insta story. But what if the studio told you that if you leave a review — whether it be on social media or their Google Business Profile — you will get a free class or a free treat from a local partnered business.

Who wouldn’t leave a review?

Not only will this strategic plan leave a great impression on your new clients, but it will also leave an even better impression on your social media accounts and Google Business Profile!

Tip: Don’t ignore or hide any negative reviews. Instead, address the issue head-on in a way that displays empathy and expertise. A level-headed response and dedication to customer service will still show you positively to anyone who encounters a low rating.


10. Manage your marketing with fitness management software

The best way to ensure that people choose your gym, health club, or fitness studio every time is to provide them with the best customer service and client experience possible.

That is why you should invest in business management software that allows you to keep track of all your clients, schedules, online booking, text reminders, and gym promos in one easy system. 

With a software system built specifically for fitness professionals like Inspire by STX, you can streamline your business and focus on your customers. Not to mention, you can manage your unique gym promo ideas within the platform itself!

Overall, marketing your fitness business online is vital to attracting new members to your gym. As long as you make strategic digital marketing choices to attract, engage, and delight your target demographic, you’re guaranteed to stand out against the competition and build a loyal customer base that will market your business for you.

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