Gym owners are passionate about helping people achieve fitness goals and live healthier lifestyles. Attracting and retaining gym customers is essential to that goal. Attracting new members is important, but retention efforts are critical, with 50% of new members giving up in the first six months, according to a report by 

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of marketing a gym. Embrace it as an opportunity to share fitness passion, connect with people, and build a community of like-minded individuals.

Listed below are 20 marketing ideas for gym businesses:

  • Provide Free Private Training Sessions: Offer complimentary one-on-one sessions as a way to showcase a gym’s expertise.
  • Host a Six-Week Challenge: Structured programs motivate participants to achieve specific goals and foster engagement with gyms.
  • Run a Raffle or Competition:Create a contest offering participants a chance to win a prize to generate excitement. 
  • Provide a 7-Day Gym Pass: Allow potential members to try services before committing to membership.
  • Offer Free Meal Plans or Nutritional Planning: Help members adopt healthy eating habits to support a fitness journey.
  • Make Video Courses: Create informative and instructional video courses covering a range of fitness topics.
  • Increase Sales by Using Gym Influencers: Use fitness influencers to increase visibility and engagement with a target audience.
  • Create a New Google My Business Account or Make Updates: Setting up an account increases visibility online while ensuring accurate information. 
  • Launch a Program for Affiliates: Use partnership with other businesses to engage new audiences and exchange incentives or provide commissions.
  • Make a Website that is User-Friendly: Develop a website that is easy to navigate, visually pleasing, and provides essential information.
  • Host Classes with a Specialization: Offer specialized fitness classes that cater to specific interests or fitness goals.
  • Boost Online Presence by Utilizing Google My Business & Google Reservations: Leverage online tools to increase online visibility and allow for easy booking.
  • Promote Your Gym on Social Media: Use various social media platforms to promote a gym business and engage with the online community.
  • Participate in Co-Marking for Gyms: Collaborate with other businesses to jointly promote services.
  • Participate in or Support Local Fitness Events: Use local events to promote brand visibility and community engagement.
  • Run Display Ads on Youtube or Google Adwords: Target specific demographics or interests to drive traffic to a gym’s website.
  • Send Newsletters or Email Campaigns: Keep members informed about updates, promotions, fitness tips, and upcoming events with regular communication.
  • Conduct Referral Campaigns:Encourage current members to refer friends, family, or colleagues to a gym while offering incentives to do so.
  • Launch a Fitness Blog: Regularly publish informative and engaging content to gain a position of authority in fitness.
  • Conduct a Quick Survey: Collect feedback and insights from current members to gain an understanding of preferences and needs.

1. Provide Free Private Training Sessions

Offering free private training sessions attracts new members and show off a gym’s expertise. Create a landing page on the gym website and promote the offer on social media or through email marketing to generate a buzz.

Keep the steam going by scheduling sessions during off-peak hours so potential members get a personalized experience. It’s essential to consider the costs and potential downsides of offering free sessions before diving headfirst into free private training sessions.

The costs of a trainer’s time and any required equipment for the session need consideration. People who aren’t interested in a long-term commitment is a potential downside. Still, showcasing a trainers’ skills and generating excitement around a gym make it a worthwhile marketing effort. 

2. Host a Six-Week Challenge

Motivate current members, attract new ones, and build a sense of community by hosting a six-week challenge! Use a hashtag challenge as a promotional gym tool. Create a unique expression like #SixWeekSweat to encourage participation and generate excitement.

Decide on a theme for the challenge, such as weight loss, muscle gain, or endurance training to get started. Promote the challenge on social media and make it competition worthy by offering prizes or recognition for the winner, encouraging participants to share progress online and support each other. 

Providing a fun and engaging challenge helps people achieve fitness goals while fostering a sense of loyal community around the gym. Hosting a challenge does require planning and resources, so make sure that’s in the budget. 

3. Run a Raffle or Competition

Running a raffle or competition is another great way to promote the gym. Costs are associated with a prize, but a well-executed raffle pays off with new member sign-ups. Consider offering a month of free membership, fitness packages, or a prize with branded merchandise.

The key to a successful raffle or competition requires participants to submit contact information, share a post on social media, or bring a guest. Offering Incentives, such as a reduced rate for members who refer guests that join the gym, encourage better engagement. 

There’s always the risk that someone with little interest in signing up wins, but gym advertising still pays off with new leads gained. The friendly competition or excitement from a raffle is a fun way to engage the community and generate interest. 

4. Provide a 7-Day Gym Pass

Offering a 7-day gym pass is a gym advertising strategy with power. A free pass is a chance to build trust and loyalty with potential members, as it shows confidence in the services’ value. 

Create landing pages for the gym’s website or social media channels. Use paid advertising or email marketing campaigns to promote the gym. A local business partnership, such as a meal-prep facility, also helps to distribute promotional material for the offer. 

The cost of the 7-day pass approach varies based on size, marketing strategy (if paid advertisements are used), and the number of passes provided. It is worth noting that a 7-day gym pass increases the likelihood of converting potential customers to long-term members by up to 70%. 

5. Offer Free Meal Plans or Nutritional Planning

Consider offering free meal plans or nutritional planning to entice potential members. Healthy planning showcases a gym’s commitment to promoting overall health and wellness while providing members looking to get in shape with an added benefit. 

Create an in-house meal plan for free or partner with a nutritionist to take the gym promotion to the next level. Offering nutritional planning as a service sets a gym apart from competitors as one that attracts people interested in a holistic approach to fitness. 

Host a launch event with a cooking demonstration for a promotion gym tool with anticipated excitement. Before implementing a nutritional marketing strategy, consider that there may be costs with the partnership or the time and resources needed to develop and distribute nutrition plans. 

6. Make Video Courses

Increase a gym’s online visibility and reach through social media and video-sharing platforms such as YouTube by providing educational video courses. Video courses effectively generate new leads and attract new members by positioning a gym as an authority. 

Demonstrate expertise with various topics, from nutrition to workout routines and injury prevention. Promote the video content on the gym’s website, social media platforms, and as part of an email newsletter for a wider audience and greater reach to attract new members. 

Creating high-quality video courses is time and resource-consuming. It requires investment in equipment or a hired professional. Time will be spent developing and filming courses, so it’s important to remember that during a video course gym marketing tactic. Offer a free trial at the end of each video course to encourage sign-ups. 

7. Increase Sales by Using Gym Influencers

Researching and choosing an influencer who aligns with the gym’s brand or values is an effective marketing strategy to reach a larger audience. While an influencer is a more costly investment, depending on the influencer’s notoriety, make the relationship mutually beneficial to get the most.

Create a specific promotion or campaign that encourages people to join the gym. For example, offer a discount for people who sign up using a unique code provided by the influencer. The code helps track success and incentivizes the influencer to promote the gym. 

It’s important to remember that partnering with an influencer has varying costs. Prices depend on the influencers level of fame and audience. The increased exposure and potential sales is well worth the investment if done correctly. Do research first. 

8. Create a New Google My Business Account or Make Updates

Creating a Google My Business account allows a gym to manage its online presence across the search engine and its various platforms. The Google marketing tool is free to use and ensures important information is accurately displayed. 

A Google My Business account also helps with local SEO efforts, as Google uses the information to generate location-based search results. It is an essential tool when someone searches for a gym near them. 

Take the Google My Business marketing strategy a step further and pay for Google Ads, which operates on a pay-per-click model. A per-click approach allows gyms to pay anywhere from a few cents to several dollars, but only when someone clicks on the ad. 

9. Launch a Program for Affiliates

Use fitness enthusiasts, influencers, or gym members who will tap into their network to promote a gym through an affiliate partnership. The key to success here is to provide affiliate partners with the necessary resources so they can create monthly gym promotion ideas. 

Indicate an openness to affiliates with a landing page on the gym’s website that outlines the program details and benefits. There are affiliate marketing platforms such as Commission Junction or Clickbank to help manage an affiliate program, track referrals, conduct payments, and communicate with partners. 

Affiliate marketing is a helpful way to reach new clientele and increase gym revenue. Consider the cost of commissions and any money that will be paid with a monitoring program before committing to an affiliate gym marketing strategy.

10. Make a Website That is User-Friendly

A website is the face of a gym on the internet, so give it a good one. A user-friendly, easy-to-navigate, and aesthetically pleasing website provides a gym with credibility and makes it stand out. If customers have a pleasant online experience, they’ll expect one in person too. 

A well-designed website is also crucial for search engine optimization, leading to higher rankings on the results page and increased visibility. Optimizing a site for conversions to increase sales and revenue is an essential marketing tool for any gym. 

Website gym marketing tips are also a cost-effective way to promote a gym business. A basic website with a few pages can cost as little as a few hundred dollars. Make considerations for ongoing expenses, such as hosting fees, domain registration, and website maintenance. 

11. Host Classes with a Specialization

Offering unique classes that cater to specific interests sets a gym apart from its competition. Hosting a specialized course is a great way to market a gym and attract new members. It provides a valuable experience for current members, who will bring new members. 

Offer yoga for athletes, circuit training for seniors, or kickboxing for stress relief. Hosting specialized classes leads to increased revenue and long-term memberships from people who had a fun experience. 

Remember that specialized instructor or additional equipment need to be available. Specialized class helps differentiate a gym from competitors. Devote staff time to promoting and managing the new courses. 

12. Boost Online Presence by Utilizing Google My Business and Google Reservations

Google My Business is an essential tool for local businesses and a powerful marketing tool too. With a Google My Business account, customers can find a gym easier and communicate more efficiently online. 

The Google Reservation feature allows gym owners to manage class schedules and accept reservations directly from the account. It’s a great tool to attract new customers and increase sales with easier “book now” features in the search request.  

There are very few drawbacks to having a Google My Business account, but an important consideration is its public atmosphere. Expect great reviews and potentially negative ones too. Take some time on the platform to really connect with consumers. 

13. Promote Your Gym on Social Media

Social Media is everywhere. TikTok alone has more than a billion active users who check in daily. Social Media platforms offer a way to engage and connect with an audience in a more personal and authentic space, building trust and brand awareness, which is effective gym advertising. 

Various platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, offer targeting tools that allow businesses to reach users based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. Targeting controls help attract people who are more likely to be interested in joining a gym. 

Creating and maintaining a strong presence across multiple platforms requires significant time and effort, so it’s no easy task. Having a clear strategy, consistent schedule, and engaging content costs time and potentially monetary resources if a strategist is hired.

14. Participate in Co-Marketing for Gyms

Collaboration is a practical gym marketing idea between two businesses with similar interests. Find another organization that targets a similar audience and join efforts on marketing initiatives that promote both brands. 

Co-marketing allows a gym business to tap into new channels from a partner. For example, going with a nutritional brand to create a joint promotion that offers a free consultation with gym memberships mutually benefits both businesses.

Co-marketing is a cost-effective strategy that helps build brand awareness, attract new customers, and generate sales. Both businesses can promote each other face-to-face with clients and online, sharing the marketing costs. 

15. Participate in or Support Local Fitness Events

Sponsoring, hosting, or participating in events such as charity runs, fitness challenges, or community health fairs highlights a gym’s commitment to promoting healthy living while reaching new potential customers. Event-based gym marketing effort also pays off with new relationships and an expanded network.

Take to social media and email marketing to promote participation in an upcoming fitness event. Use signage, flyers, and word-of-mouth to increase marketing efforts. Encourage members to attend so a united front is presented. 

Sponsorship tactics significantly benefit gym promotion, but they also comes with sticker shock. Sponsoring a fitness event requires monetary investments, such as promotional materials including flyers, banners, branded t-shirts, and additional staffing requirements. 

16. Run Display Ads on YouTube and Google Adwords

Target a specific audience through the use of images, text, and videos by running display ads in YouTube and Google AdWords. Display ads on YouTube and Google AdWords are highly trackable and measurable, making necessary adjustments easy to refine the approach.

A significant advantage to running display ads is the ability to customize a budget with a bid strategy to ensure the most value for advertising dollars. With Google AdWords, ads are created that show up in search results when people search a specific term. 

One drawback is the highly competitive market for display ads on YouTube and Google AdWords. High-quality video and visual content is needed to stand out among competition. It’s important to track the return on investment to ensure a positive impact from advertising efforts. 

17. Send Newsletters or Email Campaigns

Sending regular newsletters or email campaigns is a necessary monthly gym promotion idea. Regular communication ensures the gym stays at the forefront of members’ minds. Keep members informed about promotions, events, new classes, and personal training opportunities. 

One of the most significant advantages of an email campaign is its cost-effectiveness, as emails are sent at little to no cost. Moreover, email marketing allows audience segmentation to target specific groups with personalized messages, which leads to increased conversion.  

There are a few tips to consider. Sending too many or irrelevant emails leads to subscribers feeling fatigued and decreases open rates. Additionally, ensure compliance with anti-spam laws and obtain consent from members before sending emails. 

18. Conduct Referral Campaigns

Harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing with a referral campaign. Offer a free month of membership to both the person who refers a new member and to the new member themselves. A referral campaign approach incentivizes current customers to spread the word. 

The best part is referral campaigns don’t have to be expensive or complicated. A tracking system ensures the program is working, but tracking system costs are minimal.Highly motivated members ready to share their experience are a referral campaign’s greatest asset.

Referral campaign gym advertising programs are a highly effective way to acquire new customers. People trust recommendations from friends and family over traditional marketing efforts. 

19. Launch a Fitness Blog

A fitness blog establishes a gym as an authority figure in the industry as it provides customers with high-value content related to fitness and healthy living. It also improves a website’s online visibility leading to increased traffic and potential new members. Get started with a few ideas, such as workout tips, routines, or health recipes and fitness trends.

Use a fitness blog to engage and connect with a target audience. Share success stories, promote gym events, and create a community around your gym brand through content. 

Creating engaging blogs for regular distribution does require some consideration. 

It is challenging to get content seen online. Invest in some tools and resources to help manage a successful strategy. A marketing strategist or freelancer is required for writing not conducted in-house. 

20. Conduct a Quick Survey

Conducting a quick survey is a promotion gym tool to consider. Gain insight into the customer base regarding preferences, expectations, and perspective of recent experiences to use as part of a larger gym marketing strategy. 

Introduce the survey with an explainer and keep the questions short. Ask specific questions that are focused on needed information and vary the format of delivery. Avoid asking for personal information and thank participants for their time. 

Use an online tool such as SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to help create and distribute the survey. Elicit responses on various platforms such as email campaigns, social media posts, or in-person to gain perspectives from a large population.

Conducting a survey doesn’t haven’t to be expensive with free tools, but it can be time-consuming to create. Response rates tend to be low without proper incentivization. However, questionnaires are a valuable tool to help develop deeper gym marketing ideas based on feedback. 

Why is Marketing Important for a Gym?

The fitness industry is highly competitive, with numerous fitness centers vying for the attention of potential members. There are newer entrants in the market, such as boutique fitness studios, online workout platforms, and the rise of home gym equipment post-pandemic. 

Moreover, gyms are frequently located near one another, making it easy for potential members to compare prices, services, and facilities. Consequently, advertising in gyms requires a strong marketing strategy for owners to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Who is the Target Market for Gyms?

A target market varies depending on a gym’s offerings and location; however, in general, the target market for gyms is adults aged 18-44, both male and female, who are interested in fitness and leading a healthy lifestyle with fitness goals in mind. Goals include weight loss, muscle gain, sports as a hobby, or stress relief. 

What’s the Biggest Problem in Attracting People in Your Gym?

One of the biggest problems in attracting people to your gym is overcoming the fear of the unknown. People who haven’t worked out in a while, or ever, may feel intimidated by a gym atmosphere, which hinders motivation to try something new.

What is the Most Essential Marketing Idea for Opening a Gym?

Establishing a strong brand identity is the most essential marketing idea for opening a gym. Brand identity sets the foundation for all other marketing efforts and helps build trust and credibility with a target market. A consistent and recognizable image makes customers feel more confident and comfortable choosing one gym over another. 

What are the Benefits of Using Different Marketing Ideas for Your Gym Business?

Listed below are the several benefits to using different marketing ideas for your gym business:

  • Diversifying marketing efforts to reach a wider audience and attract new customers while retaining existing ones.
  • Using multiple ideas increases visibility and exposure to potential customers in different ways. 
  • Vary marketing ideas to target other customer groups with tailored messaging and offers specific to the demographic. 
  • Using a mix of marketing ideas to balance cost and effectiveness, as some strategies are more expensive than others. 

Is There a Drawback of Using Different Marketing Ideas for Your Gym?

There are a couple of potential drawbacks to using different marketing ideas for a gym. Trying to implement too many strategies at once can result in a lack of consistency in efforts, as resources are depleted. 

Additionally, using multiple marketing ideas requires a larger budget and more resources. It’s essential to carefully consider which marketing ideas are most effective for a specific gym and prioritize those to ensure resources are maximized.


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