7 Gym Membership Marketing Ideas Worth Their Weight in Gold

Best Gym Marketing Ideas
7 Gym Membership Marketing Ideas Worth Their Weight in Gold

Are you losing ground to the fitness studio across town? Getting beat sucks, but you can fight back. And we'll help.

It's time to flex your marketing muscles, and get your attendance numbers moving in the right direction. Check out these effective gym membership marketing ideas to put your fitness center on the offensive, and start winning your local market.


7 Gym Membership Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business

We've been helping businesses (over 210,000) win at text message marketing for over a decade, so we know a good marketing idea when we see one. We've compiled seven of the best gym and fitness studio membership marketing ideas below which will deliver results and bring fresh faces through your front door.

1. Summer Slimdown

Many people are initially afraid of a long-term commitment to a fitness center. That's understandable. You don't have to ask for a three-year contract right off the bat. Offering seasonal specials like a Summer Slimdown is a great way to give prospects a definable end goal both in terms of their fitness needs and a limited commitment with your gym. Offer a discounted rate to new members starting at the beginning of the year and going through the unofficial start of summer and pool season on Memorial Day.

Then get creative and come up with other seasonal specials that can incentivize new memberships through the rest of the calendar year. For some great ideas, check out 5 Holiday Marketing Tips for Fitness Businesses.

2. Free Month for a Guest

Some gyms offer a free week to new prospects, but a free month would set your gym apart and be an even stronger draw. Don't just give a free month away to everyone who walks in the door, though. Free month trials should only be available to friends of members and they have to come together on the first day. When people work out with a friend, they'll be more likely to stick with it, and you'll be more likely to get a new member (and make your money back on that free month).

New to fitness studio marketing? Check out Gym and Fitness Marketing: Text Message Strategies that Grow Memberships and Renewals

3. Freebies With a Text Message Opt-In

Did you know that text messages get five times more engagement than emails? Most managers are surprised at just how effective text message marketing for gyms can be. When you have a marketing channel that strong, use a good incentive to get people to opt in. Gold's Gym recently offered several free assessments and classes to people who joined their text list.


Larry North Fitness offers a free 7-Day Pass as an incentive for their text marketing subscription.


And check out Larry's customized autoresponder...


4. Referral Program

It's no secret that word of mouth is the strongest form of advertising. So, don't just sit back and hope your members tell their family, coworkers, and friends about your amazing fitness center. Give them a strong incentive to spread the word. Then promote your referral program everywhere you can.

A referral campaign is another type of marketing tactic that works especially well with text messaging. When you send text messages, 90% of them will be read within three minutes. So, you can send your referral requests at the perfect time because you know exactly when your contacts will get the message. Deliver your referral text messages at a time of day when your contacts will have the opportunity to communicate with their friends. We have an example of a text referral campaign in our free Playbook for Fitness Center Text Message Marketing.

5. Send a Personal Trainer Offsite

This membership-driving idea is a little out of the box. Consider sending a personal trainer to local businesses for a free session. This session could be stretching or yoga or just an overall fitness knowledge refresher. Provide a healthy meal. This gives businesses a nice change of pace to the workday and a free benefit for their employees. You'll reach a lot of new people. Start with businesses where your members work, keeping in mind that people are more likely to join if they have a friend who is a member.

6. Get Fruity

Local events and hangouts are great places to get the word out about your gym. As a fitness specialist, you have a unique opportunity to give away healthy stuff to attendees. No plastic junk that will make a quick journey to the landfill. Hand out fresh fruit with a complimentary exercise class or trial certificate attached to them. People will like the instant eco-friendly refreshment and your brand will stick out from the crowd.

7. Partner with Local Pros

Think about some of the triggers that prompt people to want to start using a gym. A doctor's appointment can certainly be a catalyst for a lifestyle change! Connect with local doctors and provide them with a discount code that they can share with their patients. Physicians will be glad to help their patients make a healthy change.

Moving to a new town or simply closer to your gym can also be a good time to start working out. Connect with local realtors and put together a welcome package for people who move into the area.

Develop Your Marketing Playbook

Hopefully, you feel more empowered after reading through these gym membership marketing ideas. We have more to offer. Our team of text message marketing experts has worked with hundreds of gyms over the last decade to help them win their local markets. And, we've compiled some of the best text marketing campaign ideas into a single, free resource which you can access right now.

Download our Playbook for Fitness Center Text Message Marketing and you'll get 17 powerful ideas that are sure to help you grow your business. You can even copy our templates for campaigns such as:

  • Diet Plans
  • Personal Training Appointment Reminders
  • Empty Gym Alerts
  • Class Schedules
  • Workout Tips

EZ Texting Playbook for Fitness Center Text Message Marketing

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