We know you’re here to get the inside information on 20 tried and tested strategies that you can implement into your gym or fitness club to immediately start getting more sign-ups.
So we won’t make you wait any longer, if you want to start getting more members into your gym then keep reading!
Offer Friends Free Friday
Friends Free Friday is a marketing ploy that pretty much explains itself. It’s a great way to gain some extra members without spending a fortune on advertising.
Contact your current membership database, offering them the chance to bring a friend to train at your club completely free on a Friday. Friday is usually a quiet day in the club so this is also a great way to generate a buzz around the place. Maybe have a designated Friday such as the last Friday in every month as the day when members can bring along a friend for free. If you just let the friend in to train, they will train and then go home and you will have gained nothing. As in any business this “friend” is a new lead which you should work hard on to achieve the sale:
- Allow friends of your members to train for free provided they fill in a membership form.
- Input their details into your membership software as a prospect.
- Give them a full induction and even a training programme.
- Work as hard as you can to show them why they should join your club.
- Give them a tour of the facility so they get to know where everything is, allowing them to become a part of the club from day one.
- Provide the friend with a discount if they join your club today, creating urgency and the fear of loss if they don’t join TODAY.
- Use your current member to try and sell the club for you. Provide them with an incentive if they can get their friend to join today.
- If a prospect doesn’t join on the day they visit, use their contact details to find them on social media – interact with them and send them emails to find out what you could have done to have got them to join.
- Be in their mind, so that when they are ready to join a gym it is your club that is top of their list.
- Promote Friends Free Friday as part of your use of the popular
- #FitnessFriday hashtag for any twitter posts made on a Friday.
Keep your Staff, keep your customers
Your trainers and staff are a vital part of your service. Personally, I have left a Gym because my personal trainer left and I know I am not alone in this.
Gyms and Fitness Clubs that retain their good staff, retain their members. In the same way that you should strive to embed yourself in the community, great staff will be pillars of your Gym or Fitness Clubs own smaller community.
Do not waste this opportunity. Ask any veteran gym-goer and they will have stories about a personal trainer they knew and loved, even if they were never personally trained by them!
Mine was called Marcel!
Utilise your trainers whenever you can, host events
If your trainers are worth their salt, they will live and breath fitness and the multiple, branching interests that that entails.
Utilise them! Host events based on the various aspects of fitness. Fitness is as fascinating as it is complex. Whether it is diets, breathing techniques, specific exercises, or the latest internet workout challenge. You want at least an event a month.
Incentivise your staff to learn how to sell
Some club owners expect their trainers to push continuing membership to their club with the same vigor that they practice their actual fitness passions with. This won’t always be the case and this approach will only get them so far.
If a Gym or Fitness Club owner wants to really see results, they will need to formalise the process into a commission system. This will supercharge the process, as presenting tangible awards to each new customer will motivate your Personal Trainers even more than just the abstract reward of increased membership at their gym.
If you have a well-developed set of online tools supporting your gym, you can easily keep track of this on your own website/portal.
A key to success for any Gym or Fitness Club. Get a great website.
Speaking of which, leading directly on from the previous point. If you want to succeed in business after 1998, you’ve got to have a stand-out website, and this is no exception for even the smallest Gym or Fitness Club.
The secret is to minimise the amount of effort it takes for a visitor to your website to understand and access the information they want to know about your business and the services it provides.
The internet is a more naturalistic place for many of your younger prospective members to gather information than the newspaper or radio and your website must have the resources put into it to reflect that.
Make sure your website is accessible and well-formatted on mobile as well as computer. Increasingly consumers are moving away from Desktop PCs and a sub-optimal mobile site will put off the vital and energetic 18-35 market.
Without a sleek website, your chance to stand out on perhaps your most important battlefield outside of physical space will falter.
Your website needs to quickly and effortlessly demonstrate to potential customers why your Gym or Fitness Club is different and a cut above the rest.
Don’t copy your competitor’s website, lead the pack
It can be tempting to look through your competitors or other large Gyms and simply copy what has worked for them.
This is not the way.
If you copy, at best your website will be uninspiring and soulless, at worst it will be downright derivative and uninspiring.
Your website is one of your most valuable assets as a business operating in the 2020s. Take the time and invest in a vision that will deliver time and time again.
Buy now, pay later, a potential Membership Style of billing
A simple method, but effective. The business psychology behind this is setting up the trust for a continuing relationship.
Just make sure that Direct Debit is set up and ready to go
Data is King, keep data on your old members, attempt to market to them
Ex-members are not exactly a resource you want to have loads of. But, with that being said, they are a resource you can use.
Maintain a database of your old membership and advertise to them. Mount special campaigns, mail pieces and offers with the explicit intention of winning them back.
Utilise Social Media to target new members of your Gym or Fitness Club
Social Media can help offer a very personalised touch. If a member has just joined, reach out on your Gym or Fitness Clubs Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Social media is designed for posts to go viral and by offering promotions that involve retweeting, this can quickly and effortlessly occur.
Use your existing members and followers to help spread the message out to non-members.
If your content is good enough, they might soon be followers or even members
Remind your Off-Peak members of Peak Membership Upgrades
A quick and easy win as a potential mail piece. Make sure that all your existing Off-Peak members don’t fancy a very quick and easy upgrade to a more expensive membership package.
Fear of Missing Out: Revisited
Are there more terrifying words in the English Language than “Offer Ends Today”.
We don’t think so. Even if you are going to make the same offer next month or next week.
Setup your campaigns in a way that reinforces that this is a LIMITED TIME offer.
Works especially well in the fast and furious world of Social Media. Less effective through traditional advertising.
Up Close and Personal (Trainer). Free Personal Training Sessions.
An extra point to build on Fear of Missing Out. Offering a personal training session as a limited sign-up offer can be a quick and easy way to get people on board and for your members to start forging links with your staff.
Push and Publish your Membership Testimonials
Get your membership testimonials online and in print.
Nothing should speak to prospective members of your Gym or Fitness Club more than seeing a believable story of a transformation.
This is the sort of transformation they will be coming to your business to see in themselves.
This is also the sort of transformation that can quickly go viral (as we mentioned previously).
A limited time offer on the bottom of receipt at your club and other shops
Similar to our tactic with the Restaurant receipt.
Your own receipts shouldn’t be immune to injecting FOMO into your members and their friends.
Moreover, use your business partnerships we have previously discussed to open up new avenues of advertising and marketing
Making the most of that 30-day free membership.
So we have talked about offering 30-day free memberships.
But a member signing up and taking advantage of that offer isn’t the end of the battle, it is the beginning.
Have a doctrine in place for using those 30 days to make sure that member signs up.
Whether it is a free personal trainer session, a blitz on their mailing list, or free fitness lessons.
Engage with this new prospective member that has entered your Gym or Fitness Club and ensure that they feel noticed without feeling targeted.
Finally, when that 30-day membership is up, if they haven’t already signed up for more, make sure to have an automated email to ask them whether they are ready to join.
Create video content for YouTube
Video content is nowhere near as expensive to make as it was, and thanks to the utter market dominance of YouTube, it is easier to distribute than ever before.
Celebrate the success of your members online and in-person
Use the newsletter, social media, and space in your physical Gym or Fitness Club to celebrate the success of your members.
Whether they have hit their weight loss goals or started to bench 100kg. Shout it from the roof.
You are more likely to retain that member and bring in new ones. Create a sense of community
Members versus staff referral competition
Host a competition between staff and members to see who can bring in the most new members in a particular month. Pay your members £10-£30 for every referral that joins and pay your staff their standard commission (surely they don’t need more motivation than that). Every membership secured gets a ticket that goes into that particular team’s pot.
The team with the most tickets wins £1,000. Your members will pay a great deal of attention to that amount and it will really get people motivated. How many memberships do you need to sell to cover that? The motivation of winning £1,000 will be enough to sell extra memberships to more than cover the cost.
Stage a presentation of the prize at the end of the month, with no limits to the number of entries in the pot. Keep a poster in a visible area of the club showing both teams who are ahead and by how much. This will help keep them motivated as well.
Set a Membership Refund Prize for Referrals
Not to generalise unfairly, but in our experience Gym and Fitness Club members tend to be quite a competitive bunch, and they love hitting goals.
So set them a personal goal. When they hit 5 members that they have referred to your club that stay for a set period of time, they get their Membership Fee refunded. Simple as that.
As you can imagine, word of mouth will quickly spread about this offer.
In fact, everyone who comes to your club by way of this method will then be aware of this offer and may, in turn, want to recruit five more themselves in order to gain their own refund.
Advertise members’ businesses on screen
Offer on-screen advertising on your club TVs to local businesses. Start by offering this to members who own local businesses. Charge £300 per year for an ongoing loop video. Get 10 businesses to do this and you have enough to buy a large flat-screen TV (choose one with a built-in DVD player) and have at least an extra £2k in profit. You will also have the opportunity to continue earning at least £3k each year from this TV.
And you don’t have to stop with 10 businesses. Profits are unlimited. You could then get another 10 businesses and set up another TV in a different area of your club. Or two smaller TVs and put one in each changing room.
The business owners or you can create a jpeg ad and then you simply create a CD.
In addition to a slideshow of ads, you can also display club announcements. This helps to draw attention to the ads, which members will watch and talk about. Business owners who are advertising will in turn talk about and promote your club.
And if you thought 20 ideas to get you started on attracting more members to your club was enough, then you’ll be delighted to hear that it really is just the start. Our team have collated an astounding 100 tried and tested strategies for you to experiment with. You can find all 100 ways to attract more members in bitesize chunks in our blog posts, or in our completely free downloadable PDF.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today!