The importance of marketing in the fitness sector

At the start of each year, millions will promise themselves that they will, finally, join the gym, get into shape, and achieve the summer body they want by May.

Well, we know this is often a resolution that is dead by January 3rd. And once the novelty of people’s New Year’s resolutions have worn off, gyms can find it very hard to either increase their membership base, or get their regulars to extend their subscriptions. As important as health and wellbeing is, most people still see the £30 a month they spend on gym memberships as a luxury, making it one of the first things to get the chop when times get hard.

This is why marketing is so important to gym owners; they need to convince existing customers that they should renew their contract, rather than cancel, as well as reaching out to other people who haven’t signed up.

Freebies are a great way to go about this. On the one hand, existing members might see the gifts as an incentive to stay on – everyone feels better when they think they matter – while on the other, they’re a great way to promote your brand to the public in order to generate new business.

The type of freebies, however, are important as they need to be broad to offer everyone something.

marketing in the fitness sector

Free classes

Fitness classes are very popular these days. It gets people more involved than just listening to music while working out in solitude. It’s a great way to encourage interaction between members, building friendships which, in turn, encourage more people to join and then stay. Yet they can also be quite expensive. It is perhaps wise, therefore, to offer one or two free sessions per month on different classes so people can see what’s available.

Gym-based goody bags

You would be surprised at just how easy it is to persuade members to renew their deal by giving them a few useful gifts. As well as gym bags, you should offer your members free sports bottles – something which they’ll use not just in the gym but on regular day-to-day activities.

If you are going to go down this route, make sure your brand is plastered across everything that you give away, whether it is a drinks bottle, satchel, t-shirt or a keyring. In doing so, you are not only providing an incentive for someone to stay at your gym, but you are marketing your brand at the same time.

Bring-a-friend schemes

Everybody likes to have a bit of company as they work out and you can give members an opportunity to show off to their mates about how many weights they can lift by introducing a bring-a-friend scheme. By allowing a member to bring a friend or family member, there is every chance they will want to sign up to your gym too.

Food and drink

All gyms sell drinks and energy bars in order to give members a much-needed lift after a rigorous workout. However, many fitness clubs appear to be missing a trick. You should offer bottles of water and energy drinks that are printed with your company logo, as this is a great way of advertising your gym to a wider audience. A lot of gym-goers will pick up a bottle of water on their way out, taking a drink, acting as a walking billboard.

Performance-based rewards

The whole point of going to a gym is to get fit and it doesn’t matter what kind of shape someone is in, they will always set themselves some sort of target.

In order to encourage people to use your gym more frequently, get one of your instructors to set up a fitness programme for your members and then monitor their progress over the weeks and months. If they think they are going to get some sort of reward at the end of it, there is every chance they will put in the extra work required to reach their goal.


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