Feedback, Referrals & Resources – How To Stand Out Amongst Competitor Gyms

Game of chess

With so many gyms, fitness clubs, personal trainers, and online health resources readily available today, it can be hard to define your business and know how to best set yourself apart from your competition.

At Ashbourne, we think it’s important to test out new strategies with the end goal always being in service of trying to attract more members. Before sharing these ideas, we always ensure to trial these ideas in one of our in-house run gyms so we can confidently share the most innovative approaches that have solid evidence of working to grow your gym.

Explore our most recent 20 new tried and tested ideas below and see which ones pique your interest and start implementing them today!

If you want our advice in getting started, or have some ideas of your own that you’d like to share. Please come and join our free gym owners forum and begin networking with like-minded fitness professionals.


Hold a membership referral drive

Referrals are widely believed to be the most cost-effective method of attracting new members, which is why you can afford to incentivise your existing members for attracting new customers.

Why not supercharge this process with a membership referral drive

Offer a prize each month to the member who refers the most new members who sign up for 12 months. From experience, investing in an attractive prize doubles or triples the impact. A flat-screen TV, a good quality bike or even £100 in cash can generate around 30-40 new members every month, with the winner usually referring to around 3-4 friends.


How To Implement An Effective Referral Campaign

  • Purchase a good-looking prize and display it in your reception with balloons and banners to catch people’s attention.
  • Put up signs around the club explaining the rules and that the member who refers the most new members this month will win this incredible prize.
  • Display a list of the members who have referred people to your club, complete with a running total. You will find that if two of your members have referred the same number they will both try to get more new members in order to win the prize.
  • Present the winning member with their prize on the last day of the month – take a photo and put this on display. Include a list of the other members who referred friends and thank everyone for their efforts. Keep this picture displayed for the whole year and then add each new month’s winning picture.
  • Start the whole process again on the 1st of the following month with a different prize of similar value. How to ensure your referral campaign is effective:
  • Start your campaign on the 1st of every month. If you go about this in an ad hoc manner, it won’t seem professional and your members may be hesitant to recommend your service. 
  • Always present the prize on the final day of the month and display the winner around the club. At the bottom write that next month it could be you walking away with the prize.
  • Keep a running total of who is in the lead – this keeps everybody motivated.
  • Make sure you have a few people signed up before the campaign begins or pad the list out with a few names from the staff. No one likes to be the first one on a list. 
  • Make sure the prizes don’t feel cheap. Personal Training Session might not cut it. 
  • Maintain the display. Nothing looks more tragic than deflated balloons and a chipped sign. Keep it fresh, keep it relevant. 
  • Make the winner the person who refers the most rather than having a prize draw – this rewards hard work.
  • To keep the campaign strong in November and December offer an even greater prize such as a trip to Paris.

Closing consideration: Securing membership referrals has been proven to be one of the most cost-effective forms of growth a Gym or Fitness Club can embark on.

A campaign such as this will cost significantly less than the corresponding Radio or Television campaign and should result in a large membership boost if executed correctly. 


Label and Number Your Equipment

Not everyone knows what the Rear Delt Fly Machine is (which is a shame because it is definitely the best machine mankind has ever invented). 

But they are much more likely to know what Machine 3 is, as indicated by the large number 3 sticker you are going to put on it.

Back when I was a novice Gym-Goer, a system like this saved me so much time and effort.

Include a small sign or label with the officially recognised name of the machine and soon even your newest members will be sounding like veterans.


Display quality motivational banners

Avoid cliche motivational banners and posters.

Do your research and look into messages that will really speak to your members.

Make sure to include signs of moderation as well. Encourage your members to push themselves, not hurt themselves.


Cultivate a collection of fitness resources

Your Gym or Fitness Club should be an institution of knowledge and experience.

With the internet, this is easier than ever. Collect articles, journals, and blogs of interest and put them in a dedicated area on your website. This will allow you to showcase your dedication to fitness as more than just a profitable venture.


Enable your members to give effective and actionable feedback

Most club owners feel that they have the greatest club in town but it’s your members who really have the final say in that respect. If you don’t listen to your members you won’t know if there are areas in need of improvement. Create a lockable feedback box that only the gym owner has access to and allow your members to post their comments anonymously.

This box should be positioned in an area away from reception so that members can post comments without the glare from staff (who they might be commenting about). If the member has left their contact details, follow up immediately by thanking them for their feedback and stating that you will give the matter your immediate attention. And then ensure that you do!

Provide your members with free Wi-Fi within the club. Keep the publicly offered Wi-Fi and your club’s own Wi-Fi separate to protect your PCs and data. Provide the Wi-Fi code when members purchase drinks etc. from you and change the code regularly. You can even give the code when members check into your club on Facebook!!


Provide free Wi-Fi

Free Wi-Fi isn’t as expensive as it used to be, and members will really appreciate it.

As we mentioned in point 45, it also allows you to offer more data-intensive feedback systems without the presumption and burden of draining your customer’s data allowance.


Display the History of Your Club

Like any business, your fitness club or gym has had a journey. No matter how big or small, it is a personal story that will endear your members and prospective members to it.

History can help make a fitness club or a gym feel less like a building and more like a living institution that they can contribute to.

As we mentioned earlier, the inclusion of success stories from your club’s past can help feed into this legacy. Make your members feel proud to be a part of your success!


Be generous with exercise programmes. Don’t unnecessarily gate resources off.

Many club owners have the desire to gate off as much content as possible, to incentivise your members to pay that little extra. This is not always prudent.

Attending a gym can be a very personal experience, and exercise programmes being made readily available can have a vast impact on the individual member. 

Offering these programmes can effectively make the difference between a prospective member choosing your club or a competitor.

Take this as an example of a thought process that might secure you a membership: 

“So Mary, as you can see, we provide you with a complete personal training programme for you to follow, so you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing to get results every time you come to the club. Then in 6 weeks’ time, we will have a re-assessment of your programme to ensure your time with us is even more beneficial”.

The last thing you want is for a member to be left to wander aimlessly around the club guessing at the best exercises they are supposed to be doing.

Especially not when you have perfectly good exercise programmes ready to go! 


Make sure your staff and personal trainers have their names displayed

It is daunting to walk into a new gym and not know anyone, and while your staff will hopefully be friendly enough to introduce themselves. Monogrammed or name-tagged clothing can really help break down the barriers for new members and members on trials.

I first learned the name of my adored and feared Trainer of choice Marcel by his name tag. A handy and timeless ice-breaker.


Let the t-shirt do the talking for your fitness club or gym

A free t-shirt, especially a good quality one that you’ll actually want to wear out or to the gym, can make all the difference.

Give it to members when they cross a certain membership threshold, say 3 months. Or as a sign-up incentive during certain campaigns and pushes. 


Discount on your first visit

Create a culture among your staff and PTs of offering a discount on the first visit of someone. This can be particularly effective during referral drives or on ‘Bring a Friend Friday’.

This once again helps trigger that primal desire known as ‘Fear of Missing Out’.


Offer to refund a joining fee on the spot. Short term gain for a long term commitment

If you have a guest in your club who has decided to pay for one session or if they are there on Bring a Friend Friday, then now is the time to put them on the spot and offer an incentive.

Whatever incentive you decide, ensure that the guest knows that this option is available to them and that they will need to make a decision at the end of their session. Only offering a limited number of membership options might be a reason some prospects leave your club without joining. Create several tiers of membership so you and your staff are more likely to find a membership package that will make them buy on the spot.

Not everyone is confident to sign up for a year on the spot. 

Here are some membership options to consider:

  • A short-term deal such as 1 month cash paid in full (highest price)
  • A one month rolling direct debit membership (slightly lower price)
  • 12 month direct debit contract memberships (lowest price).

By creating tiered options in this manner, you are more likely to find the sweet spot that the prospective member is happy to sign on at. 

A cash-only option should be available but only as a last resort. Direct Debit is always preferable.


Offer membership alternatives

As previously inferred. One-day passes, week-long passes and other modular alternatives can be a great way to get prospective members in the door.

This can allow friends of your existing members to work out with them for a week and get a taste for it.

Alternatively, a prospective member who isn’t aware of the myriad free trial schemes we’ve suggested will be able to buy in for a set amount and if your service/business pulls them in, they will hopefully be inclined to stay. 


Online sign-ups are a must

If we could put this point twice and still be satisfied that we’ve maintained our principles, we would.

Make sure your website has online sign-ups. The year is 2020, there is no excuse. Ideally, you should be signing up members inside your gym on your online system for ease of use.


Make time work for you by introducing off-peak and peak membership times

As we indicated earlier, Off-Peak and Peak membership is a good way to offer your prospective members a gateway package that they might eventually wish to upgrade.

The other big, tangible benefit to this is maximising the number of members you can have. Using some fairly basic data-mapping and projections you can work out how many members you can accommodate during a normal peak and off-peak.

If your peak membership capacity is full, it is the perfect excuse to push off-peak.


Boost your profits by introducing additional products

Maximise the amount of cash flowing through you by selling supplements, clothing and accessories in your club. Make sure any clothing with your brand on it is actually comfortable to wear and well priced.

Now is not the time to be making a large profit by selling an overpriced, generic t-shirt. The clothing will be a reflection of your brand and will impact how often the buyer wears it. 

You want to create one of their go-to items of clothing, not something they buy, regret, and throw to the back of a cupboard. 

Keep track of your stock levels using a digital EPoS (Electronic Point of Sale) system. This can also be used to track which member of staff sells the most clothing with a little bit of setup. This can be a vital reward metric for incentivising your staff.


The first 45 days are crucial for member retention

As we touched upon in our section on Fitness Programmes, the first few weeks are vital for determining if a member will stick with your Gym or Fitness Club.

Just as we detailed in that section how it is important not to withhold resources from new members. It is also important to encourage them and focus on their process in the first 45 days.

This is a key time period as it’ll determine whether they fall off their latest health kick or grow disillusioned with your gym. 

Get your Personal Trainer or staff to check that the new members are happy with their programme. Incentivise them to contact them via their preferred contact method to find out how things are going and when they will next be in the club.

Highlight to them how much they have improved or how much time they have spent in your gym or fitness club. Motive and encourage them.

Again, this approach will depend on the size of your gym or fitness club. This approach can be resource-intensive but intensely rewarding.


Member testimonials on online and onscreen

Use a high-quality smartphone or a video camera to record short snippets of your members explaining how they have improved by attending your club. Low-quality footage will reflect poorly on your Gym or Fitness Club so make sure it is up to a certain standard of audio and visual. 

Get the member to explain how they felt before they joined, what they feel now that they have achieved their goals, and what a prospect will find if they join.

Record their testimonial and post it onto social media. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all great places to share and spread this message. This is the sort of message that will really resonate with a certain type of prospective member.

Alternatively, email a link to your prospective members and add it to your Gym or Fitness Club’s website. Video testimonials are extremely simple and powerful methods of engaging new members. 


Hone the brand identity of your club

As with any institution or business that wants to succeed and make a name for itself, branding should be one of your main priorities.

Branding for your Gym or Fitness Club doesn’t end at a logo above the entrance door.

Your logo should be on every letterhead and email signature, as well as featuring prominently on your social media feeds. It should be displayed as your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter profile picture, unifying the brand identity of your social media presence

Your branding should become synonymous with your club so that whenever people see your two colours together they think of your club. For example, the colours red and yellow together make you think of McDonalds, so think of your own branding in this way.


Show off your gym or fitness clubs qualifications and accreditations

Joining relevant trade associations and professional accreditation bodies gives your club credibility and reassures prospective members that you have achieved a certain standard.

Encourage or even sponsor your PTs to achieve the highest levels of professional qualification that they can and then promote their achievements on social media as well. 

If someone leaves you to go to another gym, give them some really good reasons to come back to you. If you’re running a good gym or fitness club, chances are they will be regretting their decision. Figure out what the deterrents might be keeping them from coming back and address them.

It might cost money, it might not. Figure out what makes good business sense for you and do it.


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!

20 Tested Strategies To Get More Members In Your Gym

Wake Up and Work Out

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!

The Question On Every Gym Owner’s Mind…How Can I Grow My Gym?

Marketing Strategy Diagram

The question that should be on every Fitness Club and Gym Owner’s mind, providing they aren’t already at full capacity.

How can I grow the membership numbers for my Gym or Fitness Club?

Well, we here at Ashbourne have put together some ideas and strategies to help bolster your Gym or Fitness Club’s membership numbers.

These ideas have been cultivated by members of our team with real, practical experience in running Gyms and Fitness Clubs. Each of these methods has been implemented in an actual club environment and seen results.


Stage 1: Marketing 

To the uninitiated or the uninterested, marketing (and especially digital marketing) can sound like a quagmire not worth wading into. However, with only a few simple concepts, you access and dominate this powerful front to really expand your membership base for your Gym or Fitness Club

  • Understand your target demographics/market.
  • Discover what that target audience wants/needs in a Gym or a Fitness Club
  • Understand if your Gym or Fitness Club can sate these needs? If not, can you easily adapt to do so. If so, fantastic!
  • Once you’ve got these customers, how are you keeping them? You have a captive audience, what message are you going to broadcast to them.


So as you can tell from those four points, marketing is about knowing your target audience, what they want to hear and having the product/services to give them what they want. 

Marketing will be essential for most businesses to stay afloat. Unless you are counting on an incredibly strong word of mouth spread from the members of your Gym or Fitness Club, you will need to help your message spread.

This isn’t a day of effort, marketing will be something that needs to be set up for every week, every month, every year. 


Understand how to market your Gym or Fitness Club inside and outside of your existing membership

  1. Send out regular mailpieces

A mailpiece is an e-mail, a letter, or a leaflet that will serve as a push or a reminder about the services that your Gym or Fitness Club offers. A successful mail piece will.

a. Identify a need of your target audience

b. Show how your Gym or Fitness Club can fulfill that need.

  • Branding is important throughout your business. This includes any mail pieces, you will need your logo and other distinctive branding elements on it so your existing and prospective customers know who it has come from. 
  • Ensure that the service/product your offering is one you can provide, and is enticing enough to retain or attract members. 
  • Your mail piece should tell them what to do next. This is typically called a Call To Action. Tell them to email you, subscribe to your social media, or sign up using a voucher. 
  • Scarcity and FOMO (fear of missing out) are tried and tested tactics. Make your deal seem scarce, add a time limit, a limited amount of spaces. This will make sure that your prospective customers don’t file it away as something to do later.


  1. Focus on the strengths of your fitness club or gym, what makes it different?

Perhaps the most basic and salient point in the list. Work out what makes your Gym or Fitness Club different and don’t stop talking about it. This is your USP, Unique Selling Point. 

You might have the largest Ladies-Only section in town, the biggest set of free-weights in the city, or you might just be the biggest gym in the metropolitan area. Whatever it is, make sure everyone knows about it.


  1. Charity Work and Fundraising Events hosted by your Gym or Fitness Club

Whether it is a simple foot race, like the Movember Run or the Race for Life, or something more unorthodox like a Liftathon, a community fundraising event can really boost morale, engagement, and interest in your club.

All while raising money for important, life saving charities.

Alternatively, you can sponsor a team into existing events. Branded t-shirts, branded sweat-bands, a big team picture, a shared fancy dress.

Attract the Olympians who want to win and the fun-lovers who just want to raise money for charity all at once.

Cultivate your calendar and you will always have something to show off on social media, all while doing genuinely good work for your country or community. 


  1. Spread the word on the High Street

We’ve been doing this one since ancient Rome, that is just how good it is! Get out there and just bloody talk to the people. Don’t just hand them a leaflet (though that can also work). Get your most passionate staff, the people who really speak the language of the gym-goers, and get them talking.

If you have particularly dedicated members of your gym, ask them if they’d like to get involved. That way your prospective members can hear about your club from your real members. 


  1. Talk to local shop owners and understand if you can establish an advertising relationship between them and your Gym or Fitness Club

While you are out on the high street getting some fresh air, pop into your local shops. Now is the time to cultivate some beneficial relationships. A sports shop? A shoe shop? A clothing store? Anywhere you can imagine the average gym-goer going.

Ask these places to hold your leaflets and offer to take their propaganda back to your gym or fitness club. A classic ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’. Who knows, maybe you’ll even make some firm allies in the area.


  1. Visit your local Weight Watchers meetings or set up a slimming club of your own within your Gym or Fitness Club

What better place to find people who might be in need of your services than a Weight Watchers or other branded slimming clubs. 

These are people who are looking to get in shape and you have just the service to offer them. 

Failing to find any decent slimming clubs in your area? Then you might’ve just discovered a niche, do the necessary research to set up your own and you’ll be providing yet another service to draw members to your gym or fitness club. 


  1. Get Charities and Stores to advertise your services and sell your vouchers

Similar to the previous advice, allow your charity and store links that we have discussed cultivating in the last few points to sell your free trial memberships.

This will allow prospective members to naturalistically and effortlessly set up a membership using your casual or more formalised business partners. 


  1. Welcome to the neighbourhood

Extend your hand to local estate agents and understand who has moved into the area. With their permission, this will enable you to send a welcome letter specifically for new arrivals. Offer them a 30-day free trial or a package crafted to their arrival.

These are a target audience who are unlikely to have a pre-existing gym or fitness club membership in your area.


  1. Formalise your partnership with local businesses

To list all the ways you can partner up with local businesses would be its own extensive list, so here are just a few ideas:

  • Informed endorsement mailing lists: Ask your partnered businesses for their mailing list (providing their mailing list has the appropriate consent to pass on the contacts to partnered businesses). It is important that the partnered business in question is at least partially relevant to Fitness. Your local hairdresser’s mailing list might not garner as many potential Gym members as say, the local Sports Shop. 
  • A place on your Newsletter:Produce a Newsletter and offer your partnered businesses a space, either as an advert or an interest piece in one of the sections of the newsletter itself.
  • Advertise yourself to local businesses and offer a specialised corporate rate. If you have offices of sedentary office workers in your area, these can be perfect targets for potential gym members, as they will not be getting exercise in their daily profession.

    This can offer a large pool of potential members and word of mouth can quickly spread around an office. 


  1. Utilise Restaurants and specifically, Restaurant Menus

As well as a great place to leave your leaflets and associated advertising. Your collaboration with a local restaurant can go one further.

Ask them to put your gym on the back of the menu, or better yet, get them to sponsor the healthy eating section. The people looking at this section are the type of people who will be interested in a fitness club or gym, so it is a no-brainer. 

Furthermore you can capitalise on FOMO by putting a limited time off on the receipt at the restaurant. Offer an additional 30 days free membership or a similar discount and then they will have a voucher in their possession. A powerful incentive to try out your Gym or Fitness Club. 


  1. Understand the opportunities in your local area/community

Whether it is a community message board, a community forum, a local seminar or a fair. Understand the opportunities in your area. Maybe this is something you or your staff are integrated into naturally through your place in the community.

Be sure to view any event as an opportunity to make your Gym or Fitness Club a pillar of the community. 


  1. £5 Note Promotion

Generate a list of all members who have referred a friend over the past year – these are your referral champions. Go to the bank and get a supply of £5 notes and mail one to each of them. Tell them they will receive 10 more of these for each friend they refer during a particular month, with no earning limit. Maybe your headline on the letter is a big bold “May I send you 10 more of these?”

Enclose 5 postage-paid postcards with their picture on and write your member a letter explaining to them that it is an ethical bribe to get them to put the address of 5 friends or co-workers they feel would be interested in getting in better shape, writing a quick note, and dropping

the postcards in the mail. Since this is a bit more expensive, I would send only to those who have referred members in the past and to the members who spend more with you i.e. personal training clients, boot camp participants etc.

This is a customised, personalised letter sent out along with a customised gift card (with X amount of value) affixed to the letter with a glue dot. This has incredibly high perceived value. You will be targeting your marketing efforts to people who currently spend money with you or who have spent money with you in the past.

Reaction stands for the 4 “Re’s”: Renewal, Referral, Retention, Rejoin.

When you send this to existing members, they can use the gift card (let’s say the amount printed on it is £50) toward early renewal, toward personal training (retention) or if they have no interest in either of those, they can give the card to a friend. Similarly, when you send to your expired members, the £50 can be used toward “re-enrolment” and their first month dues. In the letter you get to specify what they can use the gift card for. People will throw away coupons every day, but it’s tough to throw away a credit card style gift card because of the perceived value of it. Think about it, if you already spend money with a company and they send you a £50 gift card, you’re going to want to use it.


  1. Digitise your Referral Programme

As well as the above method, you can bring your referral programme online. If your Gym or Fitness Club has an existing online portal or account system, you can incorporate the referral bonuses directly into your online presence.

This can take the form of a link that they can send their friends for online sign-up, which in turn will allow you to quickly understand who is spreading the good word about your club


  1. Inspiring Stories: Shout about the Paragons of your Club

A classic, and for good reason.

Take a member of your club who has undergone a real transformation and ask them if they’d be comfortable with their story being shared.

If so, obtain pictures of what they looked like before and now, and ask them to write out their story. If they aren’t comfortable doing so, then either write it out yourself or ask someone else to do so.

Then you can incorporate this into a physical mail piece or push it as part of your social media campaign.

An inspiring story put onto Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can make all the difference to a Fitness Club or Gym as such things can go viral in your area, greatly increasing exposure and prestige for your business.


  1. Offer Health Checks to Businesses in the Local Area

Offer to visit businesses local to your area and perform health checks on their staff. This can include a complete BMI tests and blood pressure exams. You could also use your Fitness Club or Gym staff to hold lectures explaining the benefits of exercise and how your Gym or Fitness Club can specifically help them.

Top this all off by offering a free period of membership! 


  1. Outside Lessons and Activities 

When the weather starts behaving, take your classes outside!

With a bit of planning and the consent of your class attendees, an outdoor class can really put your club in the mind of the locals.

If you really want to go all in, hand out branded club t-shirts beforehand and then watch as people stop and watch your uniformed army of club representatives. 


  1. Contact your Local Paper as part of your Fitness Club or Gym’s continued role in the Community

Offer to use your collective expertise to write articles in the local Newspaper.

Keep it classy though, your articles shouldn’t be thinly veiled advertising but actually insightful commentary on fitness in your local area.

With that being said, of course ensure that the article cites the person who has written the article and their affiliation with your Fitness Club or Gym, just to make sure the message gets across for those really paying attention.


  1. Advertise your Gym or Fitness Club on your Local Radio

Video might have killed the Radio Star, but local radio still has a prominent place to play in the advertising of your Fitness Club or Gym.

An ad personalised to your area or community will really help you stand out above other, more soulless gyms.



  1. Sponsor Local Sports Teams

For a personal touch, sponsor a local team in your area. This will help feed into other strategies we have previously mentioned, such as charity events.

Obviously the size of the team you can sponsor will depend on the size of your Gym or Fitness Club, but even sponsoring a small but beloved local team, or a youth team, is better than nothing and a vital step to making your business feel like part of the community.


  1. Get people hooked on your Club

Getting a member through the door is much harder than keeping them there.

This is where the Free Membership offers we have been talking about come into their own.

Once someone is in the doors and in your systems, they are much more likely to gravitate back to your Gym or Fitness Club. Especially if it has left a positive impression.

Again, this isn’t re-inventing the wheel, but it is important to state nonetheless. Utilise Guest Passes and other offers to break down the barriers between prospective customers and your Gym or Fitness 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!


What Makes “Good” Web Design for your Fitness Club or Gym

Fit Club Website example on laptop

As you might’ve gathered by our pointed use of quotation marks in the title, this is a topic with some nuance to it. What makes for good website design? The short answer would be, whatever design endears the person looking at the website to it. Working around this metric is, unsurprisingly, impossible. However, it is possible to know your audience in the broad strokes and this is why it is important to ensure that your website design is ‘good’ for the market you are operating in.

For the purposes of this article, we will be looking at Fitness Club, Gym and Personal Trainer website design. 

For starters, here is a quick checklist/summary, detailing some of what we will be covering today. 


  1. Logo: Ensuring that the branding of your business is correct and prominent. That your logo and other branding elements are striking and not overpowering
  2. Structure: The sleekest website in the world isn’t worth a dime if your members or potential members can’t navigate to where they need to be. It cannot be overstated that a vital part of design is usability. Don’t put style before substance.
  3. Interaction: Make sure there is something they can click or engage with on the page. Something as simple as a ‘Find Out More’ button is a surefire way to increase engagement and will be a useful indicator as to whether your design is effective.

  4. Description: Ensuring that the descriptive aspects of your website are well presented and well written. Ensuring that the prose is precise and evocative, to best communicate your brand and it’s message. Think about what your potential customers want to read to hook them in, and then make sure that prose is formatted in a style that will draw their eyes.
  5. Imagery: Prose is vital but if your website looks like it comes straight out of 1995 then it isn’t likely to win awards. Striking, relevant imagery will capture your audience. Think what your potential club members want to see. Is it your workout equipment? Your facilities? Your sauna?


The Fundamentals of Effective Website Design

Notice that we’ve used a better word? We will be switching back but it is to reinforce a point. What we classify as ‘good’ is what is effective. At its core, you want your Website Design to be intuitive. Ideally, the only thought you want them having is ‘This is a well designed site’, but it is also a victory if it catches their eye and allows them to understand your business and the services it provides. 

Use Website Design to make your Product Understandable

What is the purpose of your website? How can you communicate that purpose as succinctly as possible?

These are big questions, but they are the questions you need to be asking. Once you understand the purpose. Think about the target audience. Dream scenario, what type of people do you want to be landing on your website.  What do you want them to understand about your product? How best to communicate to those different types.

This is where planning is invaluable. Make a list of different archetypes. For fitness clubs, these archetypes are, luckily for us, fairly well defined. Once you’ve listed these, work out elements of popular web design that are likely to appeal. 

It is important to note that none of these need to be permanent. One advantage of modern website design is adaptability and versatility. If you find your business aims shifting, or even come up with a new service, or just a new perspective. It can be incorporated into this system. 

Ensuring that your product is understood will be one of the key metrics we use to measure ‘good’ (Effective) website design. 

Use Website Design to emphasis why your product is useful 

We might be going back to business 101 here but we did say it was the fundamentals and this is a mistake we see too many websites making.

In an attempt to catch the eye, they forget to sell us the product or service.

A product or service needs to be wanted and to be wanted it needs to be useful, your potential customer needs to understand why it is going to make their life better.

When applying this to Gyms and Fitness Clubs, you need them to understand why your club is better for them than another club, or pursuing their fitness goals at home. This is where glowing reviews about your classes and high definition pictures of your gym equipment in use will help carry the day and convince them you have a business they want to be a part of.


Aesthetics and Website Design for your Gym or Fitness Club 

Aesthetic is a word thrown around a lot these days. It has become a catch-all term for pinterest boards and thrift shops everywhere. But it has a place in our website design fundamentals. 

Purpose and functionality are the bedrock of your site. Aesthetic is where you really get to show off. Thankfully when it comes to the topic of fitness clubs and gym website design, we are spoiled for choice. Gym-goers have a natural aesthetic beauty to them, our nature sensibilities lead us to find the young, the muscular and the athletic intuitively aesthetic. 

Especially if they are mid-way through using some of your striking and top of the line gym equipment. By either hiring a professional photographer for a day or using existing photographs taken by you or your members, you can easily get some great source material to incorporate into your website’s aesthetic.

This philosophy needn’t terminate at muscles and heavy weights though. If your club or gym has striking features, say a sauna, a swimming pool, or even a particular nice facade outside. Capture it and incorporate it into the design of your website. 


Website Design Specifics for Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Okay, so now we have the broad fundamentals down. Let’s get specific. In this latter section we will be covering three distinct areas.

  1. Your Home Page/Landing Page

      2. The Rest of your Content

      3. Your Overall Display (including continuity between the two). 


Each of these areas present their own challenges and opportunities. We will be exploring each in turn with specific focus on how they can relate to a Gym’s website design or a Fitness Club’s website design. 

This will allow us to explore the specifics of each key part of a website and how it all blends together. 

Okay, now we have the fundamentals down and our mission statement. Let us get started on the basics of website design for Gyms and Fitness Clubs 


Your Checklist: Five things your home page or landing page can’t be without.

This list isn’t comprehensive but it is designed to take you through five of the most important things you should be considering for your home page or landing page.


Your Branding Element

As discussed earlier in our section on the principles of ‘Good’ website design for a fitness club or gym, your branding on your landing page is of utmost importance.

Think of a website you use frequently. Google, Amazon, Netflix. You’d instantly recognise if you went onto Google and everything was Purple and Black. The importance of a unifying and professional look for your site cannot be overstated and you begin forging this brand identity on the first page that your potential customers and consumers see initially.

In most cases you’ll want the logo in the top left or the top centre. Everyone has a set of expectations and rules they expect to see a website, even if they aren’t aware. The visual language and etiquette that someone responds to is deeply ingrained.

As such, you need to be both striking and familiar. They need to effortlessly navigate to your logo and understand the website they are in, essentially without thinking. By making your website’s colour scheme the same as your logo, you will be further ingraining that pattern of thought within your consumer from the first minute of their visit onwards.

A Good Description

A good logo isn’t the be all and end all though, without clear description it will exist in a void. What does your specific logo mean to someone who has never seen it before? Most likely, nothing. This is where your Logo and Branding Elements for your gym or fitness club will be supported by well written prose in an eye-catching style.

Ideally next to your logo should be a stylised version of your Gym, Fitness Club or overall brand identity. If the name doesn’t give a clear indication of your business/service, then add the necessary words underneath your brand name in a separate, but equally striking font.

During these opening stages of a customer journey, it is of paramount importance that every piece of vital information is accessible with the least frustration possible. That means that it must be visually pleasing, easily identifiable and prominently displayed. 

If your visitor struggles to understand what the company that runs this website is, or even worse if they sense that it is lazily or unprofessionally laid out, this is a psychological blow that may make them navigate away. 


Engagement: How to grab your visitors with a call to action.

Everything you do in business has a purpose. And your website’s landing page or home page is no different. 

What is the purpose of your landing page or home page?

To make your new visitor want to see more. 

A tried and tested way for achieving this is the call to action. Challenge your visitor. Ask them a question or make a powerful statement that’ll grab their attention and have them clicking on the button beneath to see more

For an example of a grabbing question you could have:

Are you ready to take your fitness to the next level with our top of the line equipment?


If you want them to read a specific blog, thinkpiece or eBook, then here is an example:

Available now, our latest blog on returning to the Gym post Covid-19 


Grab our eBook of workout techniques and post-workout recovery tips, crafted especially for the equipment and facilities at our Gym. Available for free, now!

If your aim is to get them to sign up to a mailing list or a newsletter, consider 

Do you want the latest tips and tricks from our experts straight to your MailBox, sign up to our free Newsletter today right here!

Or it could be as simple as:

Why wait, click here to get in touch today.

These are just a few examples to get you thinking along the right lines. Each of these questions would have a corresponding button either built into the question itself, or beneath it with text that represents a positive answer to the question. 

Moving forward we hope to make a blog and a guide dedicated to helping Gyms and Fitness Clubs up their copy game to make it more eye-catching, engaging and impactful.


Sensible and Obvious Website Navigation

This point has actually pervaded the entire article, making it all the more important to highlight it in it’s own section. All of our effort so far and below will be for nothing if your visitors do not know where to go. 

The reason the challenging question above is so effective is because it gives the visitor not only something to think about, but a very obvious path to take next. If they are engaged with the question, they will click the associated button.

But it doesn’t end there.

Again, going back to our discussion on visual language and etiquette. Visitors expect to see a top bar of categories that will help them swiftly navigate your gym or fitness club website.

These categories could be as broad as ‘facilities’ or as niche as ‘Our History’, to help them get to know the story of your gym or club.

Sensible navigation becomes less important as your visitor scrolls down your page. At that point your prose should be doing the work! 

With that being said, you will still want the occasional  link if it seems intuitive.

Once y

our visitor has hit the bottom of your article/landing page/home page, you want to give them as many navigational tools as they had at the top.

If a visitor gets to the bottom of your website and there is nothing to entice them further, chances are that that is the end of your visitors’ vi

sit to your website. Now they aren’t a visitor, they are a goner.

With simple prompts at the bottom of your page you can increase engagement dramatically. 

The good news is that if a visitor has gotten to the end of your landing page for your Gym or Fitness Club, their engagement level is likely to be, on average higher than that of the average visitor at the top of your page.

This should make capturing their attention further with buttons and navigational tools all the easier. 

An Eye-Catching Visual Element

This section is extrapolated from our principles of effective website design for a Gym or Fitness Club. As you’ll hopefully remember, we focused on pictures and visual imagery. This is important on your landing page as the photographs your visitor is immediately exposed to will set the tone moving forward. Here are some pertinent examples:

  1. An image, photograph or infographic that represents your Gym, your Fitness Club or your core messages and values. 
  2. A photograph or series of photographs that show the service you provide, people utilising that service and the positive effect it is having on them. 
  3. A photograph or set of photographs that show the more personal side of your Gym or Fitness Club. Tell a story in a few pictures that make your club more than just another name.

If you take one thing away from this section on Landing Pages and Home Pages for Gyms and Fitness Clubs, it is that first impressions really do count. As such, make sure that the pictures you display on your website are of the highest quality you can muster. Smartphone pictures might not make the cut! 

The Rest of Your Content

So you’ve got a striking Home page and/or Landing Pages. This is their entry into your site. Now we need to work on the rest of the website for your Gym or Fitness Club. 

The good news is that if you’ve got this far, the visitor to your site is probably engaged. Now you need to decide what the rest of your site is going to look like. 

One rising school of thought has started to get rid of additional content all together. This is known as the One-Page website and it essentially boils down to all of the information being presented on one long, well formatted, scrolling web-page.

This has advantages and disadvantages, as you can imagine. One clear advantage is the lack of disconnect between information. One challenge we discussed earlier is that when the page runs out, this is a danger zone for your visitors attention span. This doesn’t happen one a one-page website but that doesn’t mean it lacks issues.

It’s important to consider the amount of information that you feel a reader can absorb. If you are confident that you can fit this information into a few bite-sized chunks or concise sentences, you can certainly go ahead and put it all on one page.

But our principle regarding navigation might suffer. Navigation tools help direct your visitors to the information they want to see. If they have to scroll endlessly to locate and even revisit certain points, this is a level of tedium that might prove too much. 

With that out in the open, here are some of the sections you’ll want to have in your website, whether it is on one page or multiple pages.

Your About Us/Our History Page

We mentioned this earlier but an About Us page or a page that goes into ‘the Story’ of your Gym or Fitness Club is really a must. This is somewhere visitors have been proven to seek out. What better way to get an overview of the institution you might be joining than to know when they started, why they started and who started them.

This is a chance for your gym or fitness club to become a relatable, personal institution to them for the first time. Do you have a funny founding story? Some lovely photos of the first days setting up the Gym? Some characters that really made an impact? Here is where to put them in an environment where receptive visitors will find them.

Your Reviews, Testimonies and associated ‘Buzz’ Page

This page needs no introduction. Whenever we receive a positive review, our first instinct should be to put it up in lights along with all the other ones. This page will allow you to collect these heartfelt and genuine reviews and experiences.

If you are undertaking a project, ask your existing members for their experiences in your gym or fitness club. They are bound to have some stories to tell!

Your Contact Us Page

Another page that will be conspicuous if missing. A generic Contact Us page will be necessary for sealing the deal on many visitors who might be turning into members. Remember to include a map so that they can quickly ascertain whether your Gym or Fitness Club is in the right location. 

Your Equipment, Facilities and Resources

Your Fitness Club or Gym has to make a difference to your customer’s life, and this is where you really get to flex how you can help them transform their existing routines, workouts and bodies. 

A Space for Blogs, Think-Pieces and Articles

This space, properly cultivated, can be a big draw to your Gym or Fitness Club. This is a place to put all of your experience, expertise and knowledge. Through the medium of a blog, you are able to refine difficult concepts into easily digestible reads for your customers. Impart advice, give your staff and customers a voice and create valuable content to help guide any visitors that stumble across your website.


Bringing It All Together

So, now we have spilt a lot of digital ink on the subject of Good Web Design and Content for your Gym or Fitness Club?

Have you noticed any underlying patterns?

Good web design is about minimising the time between a potential client or customer clicking on your page and them receiving and understanding the message you want to deliver.

Every aspect of Website Design we have covered here goes into this in one way or another.

If your website design is effective, the only time your customer will notice it will be when they are marvelling at how well put together your website is. The rest will just allow for seamless and naturalistic navigation to the information that they care about. 


We Can Help You

Now you are equipped with the principles of good (or effective) website design and many examples of how to implement these.

But this guide is only the beginning, and website design is only one piece of the whole that is running a successful Gym or Fitness Club.

There are many things you need to have under control, marketing, software systems, payment, collection, retention strategy. The list can seem daunting, especially when you’ve got to run BAU.

Well, Ashbourne Membership Management might have the solution.

Get in touch for a full demo of our software, our principles on website design or to simply have a conversation about how we can help you and your gym achieve its full potential. 

Feedback, failure and asking how you can improve

Man happy against blue brick wall

In business, humility is a virtue. We cannot get everything right the first time, every time. 

And no matter how hard we try, this is no less true in the Gym and Fitness Club business.

Machines will be over-used or break, members will be stressed and won’t achieve their goals with the best will in the world, the coffee might be luke-warm on coffee Friday. 

It isn’t about the mistake or the short-coming, it is about how it is addressed. In this short blog we will be looking at quick and easy ways to ensure that the valuable feedback that your members have can be communicated, harnessed and actioned.


Feedback Boxes

This is a classic across many organisations and with good reason. By placing several Feedback boxes in prominent positions across your Gym or Fitness Club and making sure that they are regularly monitored, you’ll be helping to ensure that your Member’s feel like they have an omnipresent way to make their voice heard.

Don’t fall into the trap of putting feedback boxes only in the lobby area, foyer area or entrance/exit corridors. This will be the area where your Members will be focused on arriving or leaving.

It might seem intuitive that this will be the place where they have the most cumulative experience at your Gym or Fitness Club, while leaving. However that does not mean they will be particularly interested in breaking down the nuances of their good or bad experience. They will most likely want to get back home and eat, or get on with their working day.

I know after an hour and a half of working out, the last thing I want to do is fill out a form detailing everything that sucked.

As such, feedback boxes should be placed primarily on tables in the workout area itself. In addition, encourage and normalise staff to refer members to these boxes.

Furthermore, if the staff are willing and capable at doing so, ask them to listen to the concerns of the members and then write in the suggestions verbatim themselves.

This will allow all the feedback to be centralised even though it is coming ad hoc and at various members of staff. 


Ask Them


Not to sound like an agony aunt in the papers, telling someone to just talk openly with their spouse. But it really does work!

Set up a doctrine with your staff that will allow them to spend a certain amount of time just talking to willing (emphasis on Willing here!) members about their workouts and experiences with your Gym or Fitness Club.

This will enable your staff to harvest more feedback for the strategically positioned feedback boxes and more importantly, allow them to easily address issues on the spot.

In this culture of increasing impersonal gyms, there is a habit among a growing number of gym-goers of the 2020s to stick to themselves, do their workout and not question anything that may not be to their satisfaction.

This is disastrous as it means that dissatisfaction and resent towards an institution can grow without any indication from the member. It is important that we, as Gym Owners and Staff, attempt to combat this apathy and learned helplessness.

We have found that one key way of empowering members is to simply get the staff to ask them. Some members may take a little coaxing and you should never ask your staff to force their conversation upon someone who wants to be left alone.

But you’ll find if a member is comfortable in your Gym or Fitness Club (and this may not happen immediately), then they will be more than willing to tell you what hasn’t been to their satisfaction!

Specific Questions

Set posters near your Feedback Boxes, or get your staff to ask specific questions that will help coax out feedback from your members.

“Which equipment had a long wait time today?”

“Which equipment did you want to use but couldn’t because it was broken or being maintained?”

“Have you stopped coming at certain times because it is too busy”

“Do you like the music we play?”

Having these questions displayed in prominent positions, or having them on the lips of your probing staff will make all the difference in extracting the information you need to know to improve the experience at your Gym or Fitness Club. 


Collect and Collate your Feedback 


These last two stages are the hardest part unfortunately. However, they are also the part where the most reward can be reaped from this entire process.

All of your feedback has been flowing into your feedback boxes from various sources. Whether it is members, staff, or a combination of member testimony as written down by staff. You now have several bulky wads of paper.

But bulky wads of paper do not correct a mistake or flaw in your Gym or Fitness Club.

It is important you design a system to break down this feedback into usable data.

One easy way is by making the feedback form structured. Include certain sections that can be easily identified as yourself or a staff member are sorting through hundreds of feedback papers.

By having a format, this can greatly reduce the time taken on trying to parse each individual series of sentences.

Another way could be by eliminating hand-writing all together and having a series of tick-boxes. This has the advantage of not trying to dissect cursive, but also will limit the options that can be fed back on.

Finally, you can have exclusively blank pieces of paper that the customer can free-style write whatever they please on.

This will have advantages, you are more likely to get detailed feedback through this system. But it will also take longer to reduce this into manageable data.

This is a personal decision that must be made based on your staff, your Gym or Fitness Club and your personal preferences.

With that being said, our advice would be to structure your form with questions and then allow boxes for the member or staff to write out the answer. This is a good compromise between both systems. 


Act on your Feedback!

The final stage should be unsurprising if you’ve been paying attention. Enact that feedback! Now that your feedback data has been broken down into easily manageable and parsed data. Make the changes.

Have you learnt that the best machine in the gym, the Rear Delt Fly Machine is in constant use between 5pm and 9pm, Monday to Friday. Maybe it is time to consider getting another?

Has the Chest Press been busted by a Lou Ferrigno or Arnold Schwarzenegger wannabe several times in the last few months. Maybe it is time to have a talk with them, or get a more sturdy chest press!

Are an overwhelming amount of people saying the changing room is cold, or their favourite electrolyte drink isn’t being stocked? You know what you must do.

Some of this may sound petty or silly but it is the little changes that can really make a difference and the big changes that will transform your membership satisfaction.

If members see your Gym or Fitness Club shifting based on their advice, it will make an impression that won’t soon be forgotten and it will boost retention in a very satisfying way.


Grow with Us 

Now that you are thinking of professional growth and development, it is time to meet a business partner who can help you. 

There are many aspects of a Gym or fitness club that need to be worked on. Marketing, software systems, payment, collection, retention strategy. The list can seem daunting, especially when you’ve got to run a Gym or Fitness club, everyday, BAU. 

Ashbourne Membership Management might have the solution.

Get in touch for a full demo of our software, our principles on website design or to simply have a conversation about how we can help you and your gym achieve its full potential. 

Price Freezes, Pricing Structure and Competition While Exiting Lockdown For a Gym or Fitness Club

2kg blue weights

No man is an island as John Donne said, and neither is any business. Your Gym or Fitness Club will naturally be affected by the competition that surrounds it, and this has never been more pertinent as Lockdown is being lifted after this most recent (and hopefully last) wave of the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

As such, the Fitness Club and Gym market finds itself in a unique position. How does our industry act moving forward? After over a year of either Pay Freezes, Price Freezes, mass cancellation and the rise of Home-Gymming. It is time to take a look at some of the basics as we move forward out of Lockdown.

So to bring it full circle from the beginning of our introduction, do not ask who the Dumbbell tolls for, it tolls for thee. 


Keep your area or each area in mind

This will be easier for a Gym or Fitness Club owner or manager who only deals with one building.

Knowing the area is vital. This isn’t as simple as knowing the competition. Understanding transport links, demographics and other external factors is vital.

Not only that, it is important, now more than ever, to not take this knowledge for granted. Just because you have operated in your area for five or ten years, doesn’t mean it looks the same post-Covid.


Some estimates say the population of London dropped by nearly 700,000 people over Lockdown. If you operate in London, that is a lot of potential members gone. If you operate outside of London, that is a lot of potential members gained.

Cities, in general, saw a reduction in population outside of a few outliers such as Bristol and Edinburgh. Towns and Suburbia saw an increase as the British population wanted to enjoy gardens more, and cramped city flats less.

This means the demographics in your area could’ve changed dramatically.


Working from Home

Not only that, people have started working from home more, and this is not a trend that shows any sign of abating.

Over the entire lockdown, many traditionally office-based sectors such as the financial sector, software development and investment all moved to a work from home structure with significant infrastructure investments.

Costly offices have been shut down entirely during the last 15 months and working from home has never been so widespread or viable.

As a Gym or Fitness Club Owner or Manager, you need to be looking at how this affects your place in the market.

Was your Gym full of financial sector office workers because of its position in the city centre? Was it next to a suburban development that has just doubled in population size due to the urban flight?

One of these businesses is going to have significantly more members, and another might now have significantly less. You need to understand where your former members are now, and where your potential new members might be.

This represents a shift in demographics in this country not seen since the Second World War and your Gym or Fitness Club would be remiss and essentially flying blind if you did not renew your market research into the new landscape of your local area.


Monitor your competitors and their pricing levels

You should never be neglecting the pricing levels, structures and tactics of your competitors, and whenever we are exiting a Lockdown is absolutely no exception.

Keep a close eye on several aspects of your local competitors’ pricing structure. Is there a noticeable reduction in price across all your competitors in an attempt to win customers back after a period of hardship and separation from their member base? Conversely, has the price risen due to perceived increased demand in your area?

Your pricing decisions should be based on real market analysis, so keep an eye on what they’re charging for various membership types. As we covered in the last section, this could be based on research they have done that has revealed something you do not yet know.

A high tide may raise all boats, but you can still be in the best position to exploit and utilise that high tide. Look for patterns in your competitors’ movement that may indicate where your business needs to look or what it needs to do moving forward.


Cancelled Memberships: What happens next

Even if your Gym or Fitness Club froze all your memberships instantly in March or April of 2020 when the Covid-19 Pandemic’s effect became clear. It is likely you have lost some members.

Given everything we have detailed so far with the effect it has had on the country, it is hardly surprising that you may have lost some members. And without open facilities to attract new members, this means most Gyms and Fitness Clubs will be in full recruiting mode.

This will leave most regions and localities looking very different to how they have done in the past.

For once, it seems likely that every Gym or Fitness Club in a given area will be thinking ‘How do I attract New Members within the next month’. Rather than some being at capacity and some being happy just to coast.

This means there will be a lot of competition and one area worth focusing on is the reclamation and consolidation of any members that cancelled during the last 15 months between March 2020 and June 2021.

Utilising your market team to make it clear your Gym or Fitness Club is back open is the first, apparent step.

After that, it will become a matter of offers, nostalgic reminders and events that will have to get them dropping those 5kg dumbbells that live under their sofa and back onto your state of the art equipment. 


Frozen Memberships. What happens next

From time-to-time your members might have a genuine reason for not being able to attend the club but recently they’ve had a damn good reason not to attend. As such, many Fitness Clubs and Gyms took the decision at the beginning of the lockdown to freeze membership direct debits until the time it seemed possible to re-open safely, once lockdown had been fully lifted. 

Rather than letting them cancel this allowed for the mass freezing of memberships in a way that hadn’t been done before on a nationwide scale.

However, with freezing comes significant risks. There is a significant chance that even though the membership has been frozen for so long, now the world is opening up the member could turn around at the end of this freeze period, instantly stopping their direct debit now that the prospect of returning has arisen.

It has been proven that many gym-goers are reliant on momentum and habit and those are obviously factors that have been curtailed and shattered in the last 15 months.

Thus it is very important to try and work on a campaign of integration back into the club. This could range from events and clubs, to new equipment, free t-shirts and even discounts. 

If possible, get your staff to contact individual members during this period of unfreezing and lifting Lockdown to determine:

  1.  When the freeze started, confirm the terms of the freeze and then check the members contact details.
  2.  Ask them when they would like the freeze to end and try to encourage them back as soon as safe and possible..
  3.  Try to end the freeze on the phone to reduce repeat admin and increase revenue. But make sure your staff respect the member’s wish if they do not wish to unfreeze yet!



The path out of lockdown isn’t going to be easy, but it does represent an opportunity.

A lot has changed and not all of it is necessarily for the worse. We find ourselves in a new environment and that environment comes with its own challenges, trials, opportunities and successes.

As we move into the summer, hopefully, this guide we have laid out will help you appreciate some of the challenges that lie ahead and how to make them work for you! 


You needn’t do it alone 

Lockdown wasn’t just an unprecedented time for Gyms and Fitness Clubs, it was also unprecedented for us as a Fitness Payment Management Solutions company.

We rose to these challenges in a big way and as such are now more ready than ever to help your club or gym move into this new future.

If you are interested in how we can help your club enter the post-Lockdown market and really power up your operation, please contact us today for a free demonstration!

We hope to hear from you soon!

Become A Master of Facebook Ads For Your Gym

Social media is a fundamental aspect of every day life.

Within the last decade, the impact of social media has gone from being an entertaining extra to a fully integrated part of nearly every aspect of daily life for many people.

It has insinuated itself into politics, the workplace, home life and just about every aspect of life you can imagine and continues to evolve at lightning speed. Although this make it difficult to predict which way it will morph next, one thing we can be sure of is that social media isn’t going anywhere so learning how to utilise it to your advantage is key.

Many new and upcoming businesses use platforms such as Facebook & Instagram in order to get their name out there and gym and fitness studios are no different.

Facebook has quickly become one of the most popular to use as an advertising platform as it is far less complicated than most other advertising platforms, such as Google Adwords. Combine that with the fact that your target audience spend a great deal of their day on Facebook and the ability to use precise profile targeting when setting up your ads – it’s a sure fire way to have confidence, knowing your ads are reaching the right people, at the right time.

With the flexibility of choosing a budget that’s right for you, there is no better place to start your online advertisements.



One of the most crucial elements of creating your Facebook ad campaign is your campaign structure – getting this right will be imperative to its success.
Facebook ads has three levels:

  • Campaign
  • Ad Set
  • Ad

First of all, lets dive in to look at the campaign. The campaign sits right at the top level of your Facebook advertising campaign. This is where you will set a goal or one single objective for the campaign in question. For example, your campaign goal may be to sell 15 memberships each month.

Setting a campaign objective ensures that you have a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve before you start to create any Facebook ads. So think about what you want your goal behind your Facebook Ad campaign to be. Do you want to:
1. Drive targeted leads to your website?
2. Increase membership sales?
3. Promote a special, limited time offer?



When creating your Facebook ad, Facebook will provide you with the following options to select as your objective.

In the example we have used above, of selling 15 memberships each month, the objective you would select is conversions as your campaign objective.

Once you have selected your objective, its time to look at your ad set. This is where you need to identify the audiences you wish to target through specific ad sets. Facebook explains ad sets as:
“A group of ads that share the same daily or lifetime budget, schedule, bid type, bid info and targeting data. Ad sets enable you to group ads according to your criteria.”

Each ad set that you create will target a specific audience, create by you. By creating multiple ad sets, you can ensure the ads you create will relate with the intended audience. For example, your gym or studio might target those those in the 18-30 age group, within a 10 mile radius of your facility.

However, that generic campaign audience can be broken down into much more targeted audiences: female students, aged 18-21; male students, aged 18-12; working mothers with a reduced radius of 5 miles.

The numbers of ad sets you create is dependant on the objectives of your campaign and the type of service your gym offers. Be aware that each of your audiences would be engaged by completely different offers so it is really important of creating targeted audiences for your ad sets.



When it comes to any kind of advertising, targeting to a specific audience is essential. No matter what advertising platform you choose to use, if you’re not targeting your offering to the right people then your ad will not achieve the results you desire.

The ideal place to start is to think about your dream customer, or perhaps even multiple dream customers. Write down all the common characteristics that make up this person, or multiple lists of characteristics for all of your customer profiles.

Each of the ad sets you create you should only target one audience at a time, otherwise you risk making your offer too generic in an attempt to try and engage all your audiences which is likely to affect the success of your ad.

When thinking about your audience, consider these key questions:


What is the age of your dream customer?

Every Facebook user is required to enter their birthday when they sign up, taking the guess work away if you want to target you ad to a specific age group.


What is the gender of your dream customer?

Women and men have different ‘Facebook habits’, with women spending slightly more time on Facebook. Women and men will also be attracted to different types of ads.


Where is your gym or studio located?

Your reach will differ depending on where in the country you are based. If you own a gym in a big city, you will only need to target a smaller radius (1-2 miles) than you would in the countryside, due to density of population.



Now it’s time to set the budget for your ad set.

When setting up your ads you will be required to set a daily budget and then Facebook will optimise the delivery of your ads in an attempt to meet the stated daily budget. It’s important to note, your daily budget is just an average, and if there is a particular day where there are more opportunities that another, Facebook will spend up to 25% over your budget. Similarly, on days where the opportunities are lower, Facebook may spend up to 25% below your budget.

Facebook tends to spend higher budgets much quicker, so start with a smaller budget and build up slowly – you can trust that Facebook will optimise the smaller amount and provide you with a good return if your ad is attractive to your target audience.



Now it’s time to turn and consider when you would like your ads to run.

With Facebook ads you have the opportunity to tailor a schedule that is best suited for your audience. Would you like your ads to run continuously and turn them off manually? Or is your preference to select a specific start and end date?

You can also select specific days and time of days to display your ads if you know enough about your target audience to know exactly when you might catch them scrolling social media. The only downside to this is that scheduling is only available for lifetime budgets, as opposed to daily budgets.



The next step to tackle in getting your ad set up is the individual ads for each of your ad sets! Now you need to start thinking about your ad, what is going to capture the attention of your target audience?

It’s a good idea to test multiple ads at the same time to give you the best chance of achieving your desired results. Remember you can always pause ads that aren’t performing how you’d like and keep high performing ads active.

Here are some of our top tips to get you started:

It’s all about the wording

Make sure you use attention grabbing, action-orientated wording. Think about your target audience, what would grab their attention?

People scrolling social media will have a short attention span and are often scrolling through whilst on the go, so you’ll need to get your message across in a couple of lines and encourage users to click for more details.

Include your location in your headline

Although Facebook has great location targeting capabilities, it can still go wrong. Start off by entering a realistic mile radius for your audience and be sure to include your location in the header of your ad to evoke the attention of local users.

Have a call-to-action

The use of a call to action allows you to reflect the offer you are trying to share with your audience. By being upfront and specific from the outset, users will be taking a more defined path of action and you’ll be more likely to achieve your objective.



Adding a sense of scarcity to your offer is a proven and timeless sales technique. The scarcity tactic targets the audiences fear of missing out and evokes and action that they may not do otherwise. This is a really great tactic to apply to your Facebook ads.

Look at the difference in the wording of these two ads:

OPTION 1: Join now and get £20 off with the code NOFEE.

OPTION 2: Join before October 31st and get £20 off with the code NOFEE.

By adding in an expiry date to your offers you are placing a limitation on the offer you are advertising. This will make encourage your audience to take immediate action to ensure they take advantage of the offer before time runs out.

This is a simple sales psychology. By creating a sense of urgency, you are encouraging your target audience to take a particular action in a particular time frame. You have the option to either limit the time that your offer is available, or limit the number available – that’s up to you and the service that you offer, you could even choose both if you wanted!

Giving something a sense of exclusivity makes it instantly more desirable, and the perceived notion that it is of a higher value.



Although the wording of your ad is a crucial part of ensuring it’s success, you also need to select an image to go alongside it. This image will be the first thing that your target audience will notice and ultimately will be the deciding factor as to whether they choose to stop and read your ad or not. So it could be said that this is the most important part of your ad.

Social media is incredibly visual, so when it comes to selecting images to use within your ads you have two options: pay for stock photos; take your own photos within your facility.

Although taking your own photos is desirable as it gives you the opportunity to showcase your facility and make the ad seem more personable, however getting a good quality photo to use is much easier said than done. Lighting is everything as well as ensuring you have a photo which can be optimised for all different devices.

You also need to consider what your target audience would want to see. For example, if your gym is tailored toward older men looking to maintain their fitness, a stock photo of a 20 year old flawless male would be inappropriate and unrelatable to your target audience. You’d be much better off finding a photo of someone older exercising either from a stock photo supplier or better yet, a photo taken in your own facility.

You might also consider using a video instead of an image if you know someone capable of video editing. This gives your target audience that opportunity to understand what your business is about and will bring your ad alive. However, as Facebook videos auto play in the newsfeed, it is key to make them eye catching and compelling. You also need to remember that it is up to the audience as to whether they have the sound on or not, so your video needs to work with sound as well as without.


When your audience is selected, schedule defined, ad written and visual chosen – it’s time to decide where exactly you’re going to send your leads who click on your ad. There are a few questions you should be asking yourself here:

  • Where will leads go when they click on my ad?
  • What happens when a lead submits a form following my ad?
  • What I’ll do with leads who do not complete the desired action?

Although you choose to send your leads to just your Facebook page or homepage of your website, you should ideally create a dedicated landing page. A landing page enables you to create a page which is an extension of your Facebook ad, continuing the offer that you originally grabbed their attention with.

Your landing page should give users the option to take advantage of the offer which they were shown on your Facebook ad, for example if you were advertising a discounted membership, they should be taken straight to a page where they can purchase the membership – with the discount code automatically entered if possible, or repeated on the page and users reminded they will need to enter it. This will make the decision making process much easier and users will more more likely to follow through on the call-to-action.



When setting up your Facebook ad the last step you will come across is adding your Facebook pixel.

The Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimise ads, build targeted audiences for future ads and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.

The perfect place to add your Facebook pixel is on a customised thank you page. Not only do thank you pages add value to your customers by showing them how much you appreciate their interest or purchase, it also gives you the chance to provide your audience with more information. For example, try and upsell another product or service, educate leads on your gym with a brief explainer video or mention an additional limited time offer.

When more and more conversions happen on your website, Facebook will get better at delivering your ads to people who are more likely to take certain actions, this is known as conversion optimisation.

The top takeaways of the benefits of adding the Facebook pixel are as follows:

  1. Measure Cross-Device Conversions: Understand how your cross-device ads helps influence conversions.
  2. Optimise Delivery: Ensure that your ads are shown to the people most likely to take action.
  3. Create Customer Audiences: Dynamic ads help you automatically show your website visitors the products they’ve viewed on your website.
  4. Learn About Your Website Traffic: Get rich insights about how people use your website from your Facebook pixel dashboard.



Now you’ve selected your audience, defined your schedule, written your ad and chosen your visuals – it’s time to consider what are your next steps?

If your ad is performing well, it might be time to consider increasing your budget to try and reach more people. The most effective way of doing this isn’t just to increase the spend on one single ad, so you are better off by duplicating the ad which is performing well and having multiple duplications of the same ad running at the same time, each with a small daily budget which Facebook will optimise to ensure its getting maximum exposure amongst your target audience. You will also have the option to tick ‘leave existing reactions’ each time you copy your ad which we would recommend doing so that all interactions on your ad are also copied across which new people coming across your ad for the first time will find encouraging.

Another option to consider is retargeting your Facebook ad. Unsurprisingly there will be a large number (roughly 75%) of your audience who will see your ad, click through to your landing page and for whatever reason, choose not to take you up on your offer.

There will be numerous reasons why they would have decided not to sign up, so trying to decipher this isn’t important. What’s most important is that due to the inclusion of the Facebook Pixel, you will be able to segment your audience in order to see those people who didn’t follow through with your offer and therefore show the ad to them again.

This time you make subtle changes to your ad in an attempt to try and engage these people a second time round.

To find out more about retargeting your Facebook ads and the process in which to do this, take a look at our ‘Run A Successful Facebook Ad Strategy For Just £1 A Day’ webinar for a more in depth guide.

What You Need To Make A Great Gym Website


In todays society having an online presence is incredibly important in order to attract new customers. It gives your audience an easy way to find out everything they need to know about you whilst also having the ability to compare what you offer with similar companies – without even needing to leave their own home.

There are countless tips available online on how to make a website that works and although a great deal of these are valuable which you might want to implement into your website, but we will be candid with you. There isn’t a perfect formula to a successful website.

What is important is that you should ensure that you have a clear picture in your mind of the type of client that you are trying to attract, and you should then design and structure your website in accordance with that.

You only have one chance to make a first impression, so it’s crucial that your website attracts and adds value to your customers and potential prospects.

A successful website can be broken down in to three key actions – planning, presentation and content and when done correctly will be your foundation to lead generation and the greatest piece of kit in your armour.



Website creation or website updating is an exciting adventure to embark on and although you may feel like you want to get it up and running as soon as possible, you need to make sure you don’t let this excitement get ahead of you as it may damage the end outcome.

You need to make sure your website ticks the fundamental boxes of working as a lead generating machine. Does your website provide prospects with a strong, clear and compelling call to action? And does your website contain social proof in terms of customer testimonials of real members achieving results?

Making sure you can answer yes to both of these questions once your website has been built will show you are on the path to success.

Start by planning your website and identifying what your end goal is, and then most importantly think about your target audience and what they would be looking for in order to be attracted to your website.

Make a list of keywords that you think your target audience will be searching for on Google and start planning the design and visuals of your website to suit that of your target audience. For example, if you plan to target older women looking to stay active, you should use photographs that resonate with them as opposed to using images of young 20 year old females who are visibly very athletic.



Within the first seven seconds of meeting, people will form a solid impression of who you are and some research suggests a tenth of a second is all it takes to start determining traits like trustworthiness. You might think just applies to in person meetings, but you would be wrong. The same applies to your website.

When it applies to the online world, visitors spend roughly 7 seconds or less on 90% of the websites they visit so making an impact is crucial.

You need to capture your visitor’s attention instantly, so make your homepage crystal clear.
1. What do you do?
2. Who do you do it for?
3. Why is your service the best?

Have a headline which is short, snappy and gets your visitor straight to the point. If you’re not sure whether what you’ve written is clear enough then its time to test, test, test!

Testing your website is a great way of not only seeing if features work, but also the perfect way to determine whether your website gives the reader enough information within the first seven seconds. Ask your friends to visit your site and see whether they are able to understand what your business is and what your business does in a short amount of time. If they get it right first time, perfect! If not, you need to make changes in order to make your website clearer.



Getting visitors to your website and making a good impression with a clear, concise and well designed home page is only half the battle. You then need to turn these visitors into leads. What can you do or offer to your visitors to encourage them to interact with you?

90% of visitors to your website aren’t ready to purchase straight away, which is something you should bare in mind when

building your website. So think about things you can offer to them such as free sessions or consultations, these low barrier offers are a way of nurturing your visitors into become a paying customers by promoting to them through their submitted details.

The way to do this through your website is by using a variety of CTAs. A CTA is a call-to-action and consists of a button or a line of text that prompts your visitors, leads and customer to take action.

A CTA can be quite literally anything and can be placed anywhere in your marketing, on your website, email, even in your blog posts. Maybe you’d like to encourage your visitor to sign up for a free consultation, book a class or watch a video, whatever it may be having a call-to-action is a must for a high converting website.


So you’ve got your visitors to your website and grabbed their attention, so keeping them on your website is the next step. We’ve discussed having call-to-actions in order to engage your visitors and guide them down the path to conversion and something that makes up some of these CTAs is your content.

Without content it’s harder to tell your story, attract your target market or explain the problems you solve and how. So developing content that is clear, easy to read and of interest to your customers is incredibly important.

The content you produce should work together with your brand and website design to provide a seamless and compelling experience. And more importantly, it needs to have a good readability factor. Ensuring that visitors to your website find your content easy to read will allow your reader to move through your content quickly and with ease.

Adopt the use of bullet points, subheadings and short sentences in order to boost emotion as well as structure any of your ideas into a quality piece of content.



In this modern age people are accessing the internet from a variety of devices, whether that be on their desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. In the last couple of years smartphones have surpassed the desktop in internet browsing, so as technology continues to evolve it is safe to say your online business should be too.

The impact this has on your website is huge, this brings forward the consideration you need to have that your website needs to be, not just viewable, but optimised for all types of devices.

Responsive web design will ensure that no matter what device your audience view your site on, it will display the content in the most effective way. Depending on how your website is built, this optimisation might be done for you! Websites built within WordPress often have basic mobile optimisation, but for more complex website designs, some custom mobile design might be necessary.

Regardless, it is important to remember that having a website design which is mobile & tablet friendly may be the difference between a successful and non-successful website.



Now you’ve got your visitor to your website, it’s time to make that 7 second impression count. You want your visitor to figure out exactly what it is you offer and who you are by your landing page alone, so here are your landing page essentials.


First and foremost your logo needs to be on the site. Usually placed at the top within your menu bar or in a prominent location. You don’t want your logo too large but make sure its large enough so people know who you are!


Right at the top of your landing page, whether that be in the menu bar or placed somewhere at the top which is visible before the user has to do any scrolling – show your visitors what it is you want them to do. And make it easy for them to do it! The best websites are direct and uncluttered so don’t place scattered CTAs all over your page, you might confuse your audience.


Just below your fold, its time to present a little more detail about what you do. Keep it concise, yet with enough of a description that users don’t need to search for more information. So what are the top things you offer?


Make sure to let pictures do some of the talking. Using bright, well lit and focused material provides you with the chance to showcase what you offer so your visitor can have an idea of what you do without having to delve deeper.


You’re confident in what you have to offer, now is your chance to use the words of your clients to help bring in new customers. Display testimonials to begin building trust with your prospects and create a sense of familiarity.



Websites are designed to push clients towards actions, not to allow them to wander aimlessly, leading themselves to confusion. Although you hope to entice your visitor to click your call to action whilst just on your landing page, you will need to include other elements just in case your audience do want to explore and find out more information.

Similarly, including other content can also be beneficial to your current members and help with retention. So what pages should you include? Here are our top recommendations:

  • About Us/Company History
  • Meet Our Staff
  • Discover Our Facilities
  • Discover Our Classes
  • Pricing/Membership Options
  • FAQs
  • Contact Us
  • Blog



With your website often being your member’s first impression when it comes to your club, this means it needs to be fast, look great and most importantly, get them signing up there and then.

At Ashbourne, we build amazing gym websites that will help you get discovered on Google and get your members signing up online.

And the best part is, we’ll handle all the hosting and keep your website completely up to date, so it’s one less thing for you to think about.

If you’d like to find out more about how we can help transform your existing website or get you set up with a great website from the beginning, do not hesitate to get in touch!

Evolve Your Gyms Marketing Strategy During COVID-19

Man reviewing data

Lockdown comes to an end tomorrow! We can hear the sighs of relief and excitement across the country.

And although this now means the introduction of a stricter tier system, you can begin to relax a little knowing that no matter whereabouts in the country you may be – your facility is able to open it’s doors again, whilst following the guidelines appropriate to your location.

It’s important to remember that crisis similar to those of the COVID-19 pandemic leave a long-term psychological impact on people and therefore even now you have been able to open your gyms doors again and some type of normality begins to resume, it will take time for many people to adjust back to how things were before.

Digital experiences such as online classes which have replaced typical in-person gym experiences are likely to stick around long after the crisis and therefore adjusting your focus to meet the needs of your potential members ‘new normal’ will be crucial. You would be wrong to assume all customers will return to the buying place they were at prior to COVID-19, so start turning your attention to how you can amend your marketing strategy to suit the new needs of your audience to give your gym the greatest chance of attracting new members during this difficult time.



If you don’t have time to read the blog, then you can always download our COVID-19 marketing strategy guide right now, and discover ways in which you can market your gym during the ongoing pandemic to continue attracting new members.



Although you will be opening your gym’s doors again, many people will still be uncertain about returning. The lockdowns were only ever a temporary measure, however their introduction forced people into an unusual situation where their daily habits and routines came to a halt. This subsequently resulted in many people’s needs changing meaning that even once lockdown is in the rear view mirror, not everyone will feel comfortable returning to an environment like a gym, even with social distancing and increased hygiene measures in place. Underlying health conditions may also prevent some of your typical audience from returning and therefore it is crucial to identify individual consumer needs and take steps to address or prevent them before they impact your membership numbers.

Offering online fitness alternatives enables you to engage with members and continue providing health and fitness guidance to the community. So start thinking about what you can offer members on a purely virtual basis, so people who aren’t yet ready to dive back into in-person workouts and group classes can still utilise many other aspects of being a gym member whilst they slowly ease back into the notion of attending your facility.



Gyms and fitness studios across the country have quickly turned their attention to harnessing the skills of their instructors and person trainers to provide digital workouts and classes for their members.

You as a gym owner have the opportunity during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to create an entirely new membership option to entice new customers, accessing your fitness guidance entirely online. Even if your current and potential members aren’t ready to return to your facility once you have reopened, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to engage with your fitness content at all. So allow people the opportunity to continue engaging with your gym on terms that they are comfortable with.


Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or through video conferencing apps like Zoom; live streaming is a great tool to reach out to your members! Trainers could run classes at the same time each day. Get your members involved and for those that aren’t members of your gym now, it’s a great way to capture their attention and convince them to join your club even if their not yet ready to attend in person. You can also record these live streams and turn them into on-demand video content for your members to continue utilising.


Use pre-recorded workout videos to offer your members a form of exercise that they can do at any time. Those with children may not be able to join you during your live streams at specific times, so it’s a great way to engage those with time constraints. You can use video through an email campaign to reach only your members or reach out to non-members through social, similar to the live stream workouts.


Provide healthy recipes to keep your members engaged and to help them carry on their health transformation that they started at your club.



With people spending more time at home than ever, the time they also spend on their mobile devices is increasing and the use of online platforms is on the rise.

Video-streaming platforms and social media allow people to connect with the outside world and stay informed so it’s the perfect time to build your gyms online presence with social media marketing.

The use of social media allows you to connect with current members as well as being used as a selling mechanism so be sure to show all sides of your business, as you don’t know who will be taking notice! Post regularly, with varied content and you’re sure to get engagement from current and potential members.

Having a strategy and plan in place with be much more effective than posting spontaneously, so get your team together and start brainstorming some ideas and mapping out a social media schedule.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Re-introduce your team and let them tell their stories of lockdown
  • Share how you looked after your staff and members during lockdown
  • Workouts targeted at easing back into the gym after an extended break
  • Motivational quotes
  • Members transformation stories
  • Member goals
  • Share how you’re staying COVID safe
  • Class instructor social media takeover to show behind the scenes



When your gym or studio is ready to reopen, one of the biggest obstacles you may face is reassuring people that your facility is safe to return to or attend and that they should feel comfortable in doing so.

During your closure you should have paid particular attention to communicating your plans to keep your gym COVID safe utilising your social media channels, your website, emails and SMS. And it’s just as important to continue communicating your safety protocols once you have reopened to ensure your current members and potential new members feel safe in considering coming to your gym.

Clearly define the measure you are putting in place and go the extra mile above social distancing and 1 way systems. It’s time to focus on your customer experience more than ever and focus on instilling confidence in your members and provide them with the means to cope with the situation. Be empathetic to those people who are slightly more concerned and reserved than others and prioritise safety first and foremost. This might disrupt how your gym and any classes were previously run, but by taking the approach of putting your members above all else and providing them with the guidance and reassurance they need, your gym will stand out and you’ll be able to build a loyal customer base.

  • Use the provided hand sanitiser on entry to the gym and regularly throughout your workout
  • Clean all equipment using the provided cleaning stations before and after each workout set
  • Socially distance at all times and don’t gather in groups
  • Respect other members’ space during their time in the facility
  • Arrive dressed in your gym gear, ready for your workout
  • Limit your workout to one hour to allow as many people to use the facility as possible
  • Follow any signage that you see throughout the facility
  • If you have COVID symptoms or have been in contact with someone with COVID symptoms, then do not enter the gym for the following 14 days
  • If any time you see anyone not following the rules, then please inform a member of staff



Unfortunately due to the overwhelming unpredictability of COVID-19 and no realistic sense of what the future may hold, many people have opted to cancel their gym memberships for a range of reasons.

Although some businesses have been fortunate enough to reopen and employees return to work, there are still many who face uncertainty over their employment and may be place on the government furlough scheme resulting in a real fear of economic downturn. This has resulted in people trying to save where they can and as a result cancelling monthly subscriptions, such as gym memberships, as it is not deemed as an essential monthly outgoing.

Even if you gave your members the option to freeze their memberships during your temporary closures, you will have noticed that some of your members will have proceeded with cancelling their memberships anyway as a precautionary measure.

For the majority of these people, their financial positions will have hopefully become more certain than it was back in March and they might be ready to start back up their monthly subscriptions again. So now you are ready to reopen again, turn your attention to marketing to those people who cancelled their membership pre-COVID. Create a tailored (and discounted!) re-joining offer for them and send out targeted emails and SMS to try and entice them back to your facility.



With so many businesses having been effected by COVID-19, it is important to try and lift one another up. Although this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, a marketing strategy you might like to introduce is partnering up with other businesses in your local area to see if you can leverage off each other’s customer bases.

Perhaps there is a café just around the corner from your gym, you could offer their customers a discounted reopening membership rate and in return they could offer one free coffee to all of your members. In times of hardship like 2020 has seen, these types of cross promotion can lead to an ideal win-win scenario where your gym not only benefits, but you can also help keep another local business afloat as well.

And you don’t have to just think about businesses within a certain mile radius if you’d rather spread your net a bit wider. Consider partnering with online companies as well. Small businesses need support now more than ever, and creating a mutually beneficial partnership agreement may be what you both need. This would work particularly well with a small fitness boutique or emerging protein supplement. Don’t be afraid to think big!



No one can predict what’s to come next in this global pandemic, or when it will come to an end. But one thing is for certain, everyone, including businesses (large and small), families and individuals have felt the effects of it and have had to face it’s challenges head on.

Something that is so easy to say and has a large impact is thank you. Don’t forget to thank your members for sticking by you. Many of your members will have returned to your gym when you were able to reopen following the first lockdown and will have continued to support you when the news of a secondary temporary closure was announced.

They have followed the rules and guidelines set out in your facility to ensure that everyone was in a safe environment. It is due to their commitment and vigilance that your gym was able to successfully reopen once and it will be down to them again when your gym reopens again in the next few days.

Many of your members will have also opted to continue paying their membership fees in order to take advantage of any online classes you offered during the lockdown. They are the lifeblood of your business and without them, you simply wouldn’t be here.

So show them your appreciation for their ongoing support, it may be something as simple as sending an email. But make sure if feels personal. Posting on your social media is all well and good, but it often lacks that personal touch. So be sure to get in touch with your members on what feels like a more 1-2-1 basis, you might want to offer them some freebies, but that isn’t always necessary. Sometimes all it takes is a simple email expressing your gratitude.

Do what’s best for you and your fitness business.



For the majority of gym owners, this will be your second time reopening following a lockdown this year. This is likely to make you feel much more confidence about your reopening, although it doesn’t mean the fitness industry is out of the woods just yet. Navigating your way through the rest of this pandemic will continue to present you with challenges, and ensuring that you maintain healthy memberships numbers will be your main focus.

We at Ashbourne Membership Management are here to help you every step of the way, so please do not hesitate to get in touch and see how we can partner together to take your gym to the next level.

And until then, we wish you the absolute best of luck in reopening your gym and keeping your members healthy and happy.

How To Maintain Engagement With Your Members Throughout COVID-19

Although the end of the most recent lockdown is in sight, the introduction of the newly revised tier system still has a great impact on gyms and health clubs across the country with group classes still unable to go ahead. And many of your members may still be hesitant about returning to your facility whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing.

During an incredibly uncertain time, the fitness sector continues to be confronted with the challenge of trying to keep their members active and engaged – outside of the gym!

Finding solutions to keep your members engaged during this time is crucial, providing them with resources and frequent contact, however this shouldn’t just be seen as a short-term fix. The more ways your members’ can engage with your club, the more enhanced their overall experience and satisfaction will be. So you need to have ideas that work as a long-term solution.

Although this may be a new challenge you are facing, remember that to your members, you are still the expert! Many of your members see you as their source of all information relating to their fitness and health. Use your knowledge to inform your members and give them recommendations as to what they should do when exercising at home. Many people will feel demotivated and want to give up, so do your best to make sure this isn’t your members!



If you don’t have time to read the blog, then you can always download our maintaining engagement guide right now, and discover ways in which you can encourage interaction with your members amongst all the uncertainty.



Whether your club will be remaining closed or getting ready to re-open it is crucially important to maintain clear and regular communication with your members. To not only keep them informed, but to also help them feel reassured.

But beforehand, you need to define your brand’s voice. Think about what you want to say and more importantly how you want to say it.

As a gym or fitness studio, you will have already identified what your goal is and what you hope to bring to the fitness industry which sets you apart from your competitors, but it’s time to think about taking that one step further.

What is your purpose? 

You need to communicate your value and deliver high-quality content to your members and remember how powerful social media and the internet can be! But only if used correctly.

Your members are ready and willing to hear from you, so utilise the communication channel which works best for your audience whether that be via email, SMS, social media or your website. By making the right choice of communication method you are more likely to build a rapport with your members.



Keeping your members informed is one thing, but that isn’t enough to keep them actively invested in your gym. You want to keep your members motivated and provide them with a dose of normality, so offering them regular content is vital to keep them moving and boost their engagement.

Gyms and fitness studios across the country are quickly turning their attention to harnessing the skills of their instructors and personal
trainers to provide digital workouts and classes for their members.

So don’t let physical distance stop you keeping your members in check. Create a timetable to release content to your members so they have something to look forward to and continue to look to your facility for their health and fitness information.

Live Stream Workouts

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or through video conferencing APPS like Zoom; live streaming is a great tool to reach out to your members! Trainers could run daily classes at the same time every day. Get your members involved and for those who aren’t members of your gym now, it’s a great way to capture their attention and convince them to join. Live streams can then be saved and turned into video workouts…

Video Workouts

Use pre-recorded workout videos to offer your members a form of exercise they can do at any time. Those with children may not be able to join you for your live stream at specific times, so it’s a great way to engage those with time constraints. You can use video through an email campaign to reach only your members or reach out to non-members through social, similar to the live stream workouts.


Provide healthy recipes to keep your members engaged and to help them carry on their health transformation that they started at your club!



Online Fitness Classes For GymsVirtual classes and online training and support has come out as king during a year of virtual services.

While these have proven to be very successful at keeping members paying to some degree, and cementing your gym in your customer’s mind even whilst you’re closed, this is still unchartered territory for so many clubs and gyms.

But whilst hosting an online class might sound easy, there is certainly a great deal to consider in order to make sure you are providing your
members with a valuable, quality experience. And although your customer experience is at the forefront of your mind, you as a business owner, must also ensure you consider your business needs and choose a streaming platform that is not only reliable, but also cost effective.

To discover more about the cost-friendly platforms available, read our blog about the best platforms available to host your online gym classes.



During isolation, times of lockdown and when members are not ready to return to your gym, it is easy for your members to feel isolated and alone. Many people turn to exercise to increase their mood and the motivation they get from others – whether it be your trainers or fellow members can be really encouraging.

This is your chance to bring your members together and create an online community. Encouraging your users to interact with the content you produce and make available is a great way to foster two-way conversations between your club and your members. On your social media pages your trainers can set challenges to your members or feature “workouts of the day” and ask your members to comment with their videos or pictures using specific hashtags to bring your online community together.

Social media channels, such as Instagram, also feature interaction tools such as polls, questions and sliders via Instagram stories, making it easier than ever to ask your audience a question and get real-time responses. For example, you could host a weekly “Let your members decide workout” and ask your online community what type of workout (i.e. strength or cardio) they would prefer that day. Give them a 60-90 minute window to answer and then host a workout based on the most popular response.

This not only allows your members to feel valued but also gives them the opportunity to receive what they would feel as tailored training from your club.



Staying motivated to visit your gym or complete your workout is hard enough, even when gyms are open! So imagine how much more difficult this is when you are required to stay at home, with no fitness trainer in sight to provide you with encouragement. It’ll come as no surprise that to encourage your members to keep training, it is going to require a little extra effort, not only from them but from you and your team.

Many people rely on their routine to maintain their motivation, so offering a class schedule which almost mirrors your typical gym
schedule will be beneficial to your members. It will feel familiar to them and therefore will be much easier to maintain, as you’re not expecting them to show up at times which may otherwise be out of the ordinary.

You also have a prime opportunity here to utilise your coaches and personal trainers. The likelihood of your team being less busy than usual is high when your gym is closed or you are unable to host group classes, so try to utilise their skillset elsewhere. Give them the task of becoming ‘Accountability Coaches’ to those individual members or groups that might need extra support and encouragement to stay active and continue maintaining or reaching their fitness goal.



It’s easy to see the negative side of the ongoing disruption to the fitness industry and the uncertainty this brings to gym owners and gym goers, but it is important to focus on the positive outcomes this time can in fact provide.

With your clubs doors having been closed, you’ve been able to spend time looking at any repairs or upgrades to your equipment which you might have been delaying as it would typically cause disruption to your members. But now has been the perfect time.

With the help of schemes such as the government business interruption loan scheme, it might also be possible for you to invest in your facility and have something for your members to look forward to when they individually decide it’s the right time for them to come back.

And of course, make sure to keep your members updated on every club development that happens during your closures and even once you have reopened again. This will help you build up a buzz between your current and potential members as they patiently wait to get back inside of your newly improved facility.

This doesn’t need to be expensive either, even giving your club a little facelift with some redecorating is often enough to build excitement amongst your members.



Unlike most club management services which just give you some basic software and collect your direct debits, the team at Ashbourne knows that there’s a lot more to managing a successful club than simply collecting payments.

From debt collection, to web design, marketing ideas and more – the entire team at Ashbourne Membership Management is at your disposal to help you succeed and master every single element of being a successful gym.

If you want to chat about what we offer, or simply run through how we can help your particular health club, then get in touch with us and our sales manager Grant will be back in touch to talk through everything.