Fitness marketing in the digital age: 5 effective strategies to attract new members

Fitness studios, yoga studios, crossfit clubs and other fitness centers are nowadays an integral part of every city and even village. The fitness industry has been booming for years, the supply and demand is great, and so is the competition – so it is particularly important to use online marketing channels in the best possible way to help your own company to succeed.

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In some situations, word of mouth marketing can make up the majority of your membership recruitment. In more competitive markets, however, this is sometimes not enough.

Reaching your desired target group has never been easier, but you need to know what you want to sell. Just like training, there must be a goal. Do you want to increase membership or brand awareness or turn your members into brand ambassadors?

Having a goal helps you focus. The challenge is not to go digital at all, but to attract the attention of the audience. You have to make sure that your “offer” is something that your target group finds interesting or helpful.

Fitness clubs are local businesses, which means they have to compete for customers in a very competitive local market. So how do fitness clubs compete in such crowded markets?

In the following, we discuss 5 fitness marketing strategies and explain how you can effectively promote your fitness club to attract new customers.

1. Offer a free trial day or a trial week

Interested new customers a free sample day and/or a free sample week to offer is a very often used method, in order to recruit new members.

It makes sense to offer free training so that potential members can get to know the fitness studio or club and see the benefits for themselves. Registration and membership in a fitness club often represents a higher financial investment, which many new customers often do not want to make without a trial day.

This free trial pass can be brought to interested customers through performance marketing, for example. Facebook ads, for example, make it possible to define the target group precisely. For example, you can reach users in a certain city and also users who have indicated certain interests such as yoga or fitness.

Gonnado can help you with this. Talk to an expert now.

2. Raffle of a membership in return for a post

This method is particularly effective for generating free and at the same time confidence-inspiring advertising. Thus, a raffle is held in which the winner can win, for example, a one-year membership in your gym.

In order to win, each participant has to perform a certain action in return, for example sharing your gym’s post on Facebook or Instagram.

This makes your gym visible to a much larger audience and you don’t even need a large advertising budget, as this type of advertising can be classified as word-of-mouth.

3. A free pass for one guest for customers who leave a Google review

Google reviews have a great influence on the decisions of users. If your gym has more reviews on Google than the competing gyms, this will give you a significant competitive advantage.

For example, to get more Google reviews, you can offer a free guest pass for members of your gym who would like to bring a friend or family member to work out. In this way, you can recruit new members in two ways: Guests who come to train with an existing member for a day may become new members. And by the larger number of Google reviews your studio seems more serious, more credible and interested people are more likely to sign up with you.

4. Short-term challenge with a specific targeting group

Create a challenge, i.e. a program with a specific goal and a defined target group, for example mothers who want to lose weight before summer or men who want to train for a six-pack as soon as possible. The program should be defined for a specific period of time to make it clear that it is different from the regular training in your club. For example, market the idea as a special, 6-week high-intensity workout that differs from the regular offers.

Such challenges often work especially well after the beginning of the new year, when people are most motivated to do something for their fitness, or just before summer, when everyone wants to lose a few kilos quickly.

This is where Facebook Ads come into play. You can reach your desired target group through tight targeting, for example mothers who have just had a baby or men who are interested in muscle building.

Gonnado can help you to recruit new members through performance-based marketing like Facebook AdsTalk to an expert now.

5. Informative online content and online training

Whoever offers information and added value free of charge creates trust and recognition value and can often recruit new members as a result. Just now in times of Corona it is important to present and position oneself online in order to reach also humans, who remain straight much at home.

The possibilities are unlimited. One possibility would be to create an informative ebook, for example on topics like the keto diet, muscle building and yoga for beginners. The book could be promoted online through Facebook Ads and Google Ads.

Another possibility would be to offer online courses. Here, for example, you could take the first three dates for free and then you would have to register as a member. Through online courses, people can be recruited as members who do not want to go to the gym because of fear of Corona, or for other reasons prefer to train from home.


One thing is clear: the possibilities of attracting new members through online advertising are unlimited. Fitness marketing is becoming more and more important and those who want to win against the competition should use online marketing channels for themselves.

Fitness marketing is more than just advertising with pictures of fit people with a sixpack. It is about getting the right message across to the right person using the right method. Don’t try to sell, try to create value, help your members and non-members achieve their goals – then you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Gonnado helps fitness clubs recruit more members and generate leads. Find out here what we can do for you. Here is a case study of one of our clients in the fitness industry where we have helped them increase membership by 33%.


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