Gyms are an ever increasing industry, even in a challenging economy. With the constant drive to lead healthier, more fit lives people are motivated to spend a little more on ways to reach those goals. So here are the 5 marketing strategies gyms can use to make an impact.
Did you know that in the US alone there are at least 55 million gym memberships active in over 36,000 gym locations? And gyms are an annual $25.8 billion business?
So how can you take advantage of these impressive numbers? By using marketing strategies that will reach your audience and appeal to what their looking for in fitness. Here are 5 strategies that other gym owners are already using.
#1 Offer an Incentive
If your potential members are anything like me, they want to try before they buy. Offering a free trial or even a free product can get people through the door. Then it’s up to your sales team to do the rest.
Whether the trial period is one day, one week, or even one month this’ll allow them to try the equipment, experience the atmosphere, and meet the staff. You could even throw in a free class or two. This is the time to show off the value of your gym and why choosing you will get them the results they’re looking for.
It’s important to keep track of your free trial participants. You want to know if they’re actually taking advantage of the offer. If not, why? Are they signing up for a membership once the trial is over?
An easy way to keep track of your free trials and see if you’re getting the results you want is by printing ‘free passes’. These can be in the form of key tags or membership cards that can be scanned as they enter and use your facility.
To keep costs low and without having to juggle different cards. Once the free trial has ended and they become a paid member you can continue to use the key tag or membership card.
#2 Member Referral Program
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Nothing beats a current member raving about how awesome and powerful they feel after working out at your gym. That’s why implementing a referral program can be so effective.
You can offer an incentive, such as discounts, to your current members so they’re more likely to refer their friends. It’s great to work out with a friend. But working out with a friend AND getting a discount for this month’s membership is even better.
Printing referral cards and handing them out to current members will help you keep track of who is inviting the most friends and which one is having the most friends convert to memberships. You can even have a monthly contest to see who can refer the most new members.
#3 Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are a great way to draw in new members. Just like incentives everybody wants free or discounted stuff. By letting them know you appreciate their business you can increase the chance that they’ll join and stay members of your gym.
Point systems seem to be the easiest way to keep track and reward your members. For example, each time they scan their loyalty or membership card they earn a certain number of points. The same can work with attending specific classes (i.e. Spinning or Yoga). You can even offer points to those who refer friends…see what I did there?
You want to set reasonable milestones for your members to reach so they don’t feel like they’re wasting their time. And you want your rewards to be worth it. It’s not very effective to make your members spend time and energy reaching goals just to receive a magnet.
#4 Facebook Advertising
If you haven’t started marketing on Facebook you should…. you should’ve started yesterday.
Here are a couple facts:
- 1.23 billion people log onto Facebook on a daily basis
- Over 16 million local business listings have been created
Do you think your competitors are doing this? More than likely.
That’s why creating a social media marketing plan is important, and Facebook is a great place to get your name out there. With Facebook you can target your specific audience to reach the right people and you can easily track your results to see how well your marketing is doing. This way you can quickly adjust your plan if you need to.
This is a great place to advertise any blogs that you have and pictures. There are 300 million pictures uploaded to Facebook everyday and it’s a great way to give your potential customers an inside look at your gym and what you offer.
If you have a website you can post blogs that are relevant to your audience and members. Blogs show you as the expert in your industry and that you provide more value than just counting reps.
Offering free information such as ‘Quick 5 Minute Workouts You Can Do At Work’ help your customers reach their goals even if they’re not at the gym. You can also share healthy cooking tips or have a guest blogger write about nutrition and food trends.
Marketing is a necessity these days. There are many different ways that you can do it, some costing more than others. And there isn’t a one size fits all strategy. I recommend trying more than one strategy to find out what reaches your audience and what brings in more members.