Lead magnets are a valuable tool that can generate a ton of new email addresses to feed into your gym’s marketing funnel. However, there is quite a lot of work and expense involved in setting up a lead magnet. The last thing you want is to spend hours creating a lead magnet, only to end up with a poor response rate, resulting in an unsustainably high cost per email address. 

If you produce a freebie that nobody wants, you are essentially flushing money down the toilet. This article is going to help you avoid that situation. 

I’m about to reveal the six lead magnets that have been proven to get the best results for gym marketers. If you use this information to guide you in your choice of lead magnet, you will be far more likely to unleash an avalanche of responses that you can channel into your marketing channel.  

Here’s an overview of what we’ll cover …

  • What is a lead magnet?
  • Criteria for an effective lead magnet.
  • Importance of the landing page
  • Lead Magnet #1: 14-day Gym Trial
  • Lead Magnet #2: Nutrition Ebook
  • Lead Magnet #3: Webinar
  • Lead Magnet #4: eCourse
  • Lead Magnet $5: Fitness Workbook
  • Lead Magnet #6: A Quiz

What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is something that you offer to people for free to entice them to give you their email address. It may be in the form of a document, such as an ebook, report or white paper, or it could be a free trial, a product sample or a graphic template.

At the dawn of the internet age, people were willing to give away their email address at the drop of a hat. But that behavior has changed. No one enjoys an overstuffed inbox crammed with messages that they have no intention of opening. As a result, people are far more protective of their email address nowadays. You have got to offer them something that they see real value in to get them to share it with you.

Having to work for an email address should be seen as a good thing. After all, there’s no point having a huge email list of people who aren’t really interested in what you’re offering and, as a result, never open your messages. By creating something of real value, you’re going to end up with people who are motivated and engaged. 

The most obvious place to put your lead magnet offer is on the homepage of your gym website. You should also place social media ads that are targeted toward specific market segments. 

Criteria for an Effective Lead Magnet

Before we get to the specifics of our six lead magnets for gyms, here’s three criteria that all gym  lead magnets need to adhere to.

It needs to solve part of their problem … but not all of it

The lead magnet needs to solve a problem for your target audience. But only part of that problem. If you solve all of it, they will have no need for your services. For example, if you are giving away a complete home workout ebook, you will be empowering them not to join your gym. So, your freebie should provide them with a start to solving their problem but then lead them to the gym to complete the process.

It needs to be unique

Your lead magnet needs to be unique enough that something similar can’t be found with a simple Google search. That means that your content must be more in-depth, and targeted than your average YouTube clip or fitness website article.  

It needs to establish you as an expert

Every aspect of the lead magnet, from the design and layout of your landing page to the actual content, needs to get the message across that you are an authority on solving the problem that they have, be it building muscle, overcoming a plateau or losing body fat. 

Importance of the Landing Page

There is a three step process to getting email addresses from a led magnet:

  • An advertisement
  • A landing page
  • The lead magnet itself

Your advertisement should be tailored to a specific audience on Facebook and Instagram with an irresistible offer that gets them to click through to the landing page.

When they arrive at the landing page, people are either going to be further drawn in so that they readily supply their email address or they’re going to be deflated by what they see and give it a miss. What they see on that landing page, then, is the make or break of the whole exercise.

Your lead magnet needs to grab the attention of the visitor long enough to get them to hang around long enough to get the sense of what you’re offering them for free. For that to happen your lead magnet landing page needs to do the following:

Have a Compelling Headline

Your headline needs to do two things:

  • Grab the visitor’s attention
  • And let them know what they’ll get from you

You can take the guesswork out of your headline by putting it through a free headline checker here.

Clearly Describe the Value You’re Presenting

The visitor will only give up their email address if they are convinced that they will get something of real value from you. To convince them of that, you need to, in just a few words, present their problem, and then show how your free offer will fix it. 

Make it Simple to Opt In

Once the visitor makes up their mind to opt in, you need to make the process seamless and free of any surprises. You shouldn’t need more than a first name and an email address. You don’t need to know what their fitness interests are because your advertising will already be targeted to specific niches. You’ll have different ads and lead magnets, for example, for bodybuilders than you do for pregnant moms. 

Adding a surprise element to a landing page is a big mistake. I’ve been to landing pages that, after I’ve filled out the first name and email address boxes, a second box pops up requesting further information, including my phone number. Every time that has happened, I have clicked out of the landing page. So, if you don’t want to lose email addresses at the final hurdle, do not annoy the visitor with nasty surprises!

Make your Click Through Button Positively Actionable

The job of the landing page isn’t done until the visitor clicks through to get the lead magnet. The wording on the button matters. You should make use of positive action words, such as ‘Download Now’ or ‘Grab Your Report Here’. These are a lot more compelling than the generic ‘Submit’, which is more about what you will get from the transaction than them. 

5 Great Gym Lead Magnets

14-day Free Workouts Pass

Offer a 14-day free pass to the gym in exchange for a person’s email address. Email the coupon to them and encourage them to bring the coupon to the gym with them. Many gyms offer a 7-day free trial for newbies, so doubling that offer will establish a point of difference. 

When your new member comes into the gym, it’s up to you to lavish them with the service that will entice them to keep coming back. Make sure that you have a staff member available to guide them, providing a tour of the facilities and giving them a starter workout at their level. If the person is a beginner to exercise, just give them a few moves to get their muscles engaged. Set them up for the next workout by explaining that you have only covered their upper body this time and will provide the balancing lower body moves next time. 

Encourage the person to come in at least 4 times over the period of their 14-day trial period. Every visit there should be a staff member who can give them personal attention. In my gym,  I had a really engaging and personable trainer whose primary job was to take care of people who were making use of the free trial offer. Every time the person came in, she would  guide them to a slightly more progressive workout, so that they were seeing improvement already. She’d also introduce them to a new feature of the gym every time. 

After two weeks, the new member has had enough time to develop a pattern and to see that this new aspect of their lifestyle will work for them. If you’ve been nurturing them the right way, you’ll be able to seamlessly convert them into a paying member. 

Nutrition Ebook

Nutrition goes hand in hand with your gym services but, unlike a home workout course, doesn’t compete against it. Of course, there’s a ton of nutrition information available for free online, so you need to make your content unique and enticing. 

People love to gain access to secret tips or behind the covers exposes. Leverage your position as a gym professional to provide the inside story on an aspect of nutrition. For example, here’s an ebook I used a few years back …

The 8 Pre and Post-Workout Nutrition Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Workouts … direct from a gym owner who’s seen it all!

That lead magnet was targeted toward guys in the 18-35 demographic with the goal of building muscle and strength. It generated a lot of email addresses that fed into a targeted email series with a lot of specific, targeted muscle building content. At the end of each email there was an incentive to come into the gym. 

A quick tip here: if you’re marketing to the muscle building crowd, include anecdotes from the golden era of bodybuilding in the 70s and 80s. Anything to do with Arnold Shwarzennger in his heyday is golden!

This example also shows that, when it comes to lead magnets, you need to provide different offers to different audiences. After all, a woman who wants to lose 30 pounds isn’t going to be enticed by an expose on pre-workout nutrition. Provide her with a 30-day meal plan instead. Of course, your email list should also be segmented so that the follow up messages to each group are different. 

Webinar / Online Workshop

A webinar is a seminar in which you are presenting compelling information to help your audience solve a problem. Webinars are a great lead generation tool that can generate a ton of email addresses. 

Webinars can be either live or evergreen. Usually they start as a live event and are then repackaged for later use as an ongoing lead magnet. Both methods work well but the advantage of the live event is that you can make use of people’s fear of missing out by pushing that there are strictly  limited numbers for the event. 

Webinars are not as hard to set up as you might think. You can do them on Instagram or Facebook Live. They will allow you to reach a lot of people and the content can be replayed and repackaged over and over again. They can also get people talking about you and what you have to offer. If you’re able to present people with information that produces an ‘aha’ moment in their brain, they will talk about it to others. Suddenly, you’ll have this buzz going where you’re being portrayed as an authority in the fitness space. 

Don’t worry if you’re no Tony Robbins when it comes to public speaking. You don’t have to be. What you do need is plenty of passion and a great topic. Here are eight gym webinar topics that have proven themselves as successful lead generators:

  • How to Lose Fat Without Depriving Yourself
  • How to Stop Stress from Messing with your Hormones
  • Ditch Your Pain Meds; Pick up Some Weights.
  • How Overtraining May Be Killing Your Gains
  • How to Rank Every Exercise  from 1 to 10
  • Why You Only Need to Be Doing One Exercise Per Bodypart
  • 8 Common Gym Exercises that Are a Waste of Time
  • Why Healthy Fats are the Key to Mental Sharpness

Your job as the webinar host is both to teach and to inspire. That’s why it is important to talk on a subject that you both know a lot about and have a passion for. 

Webinars are far more powerful than anything written because they allow your potential customers to interact with you as a living, breathing human being. 

An online workshop is similar to a webinar, except that, rather than you doing all the talking, it is more interactive. It usually involves the participants doing some activity or exercise under your instruction. If you’ve got a nutritionist on staff, having them hold a healthy cooking workshop is bound to be a winner. 

Lead Magnet #4: eCourse

An ecourse is a series of emails that are sent out over a number of weeks to deliver the various parts of a complete course. The course content could be delivered in the body of the email, as a pdf attachment or as a video. Video, not surprisingly, is the most appealing, but also the one that takes the most time to produce.

The benefit of producing a video course is that you are able to showcase the gym as you use it as the location for filming. There is a lot of scope for video course topics that are specific to different niches. 

You can get really specific to add value to a group. One gym that I’m familiar with offered a lead magnet in the form of a Physique Contest Prep video course. The interesting thing was that, among the many new members who were generated, were about two dozen guys who switched gyms. 

Lead Magnet #5: Fitness Workbook

A Fitness workbook is a training journal that keeps track of a person’s workouts and nutrition as they work towards their fitness goals. It’s packed with tips on everything from goal setting to motivation, workout recovery, cheat sheets and meal planning. 

A fitness workbook provides plenty of scope to inspire and encourage people to join the gym to take their progress to the next level. For a very reasonable price you can employ a freelance graphic designer on Fiver or Upwork to create an engaging, professional fitness workbook that can be emailed to people as a pdf attachment. 

Lead Magnet #6: A Quiz

Quizzes, when done the right way, make very powerful lead magnets. People have an innate desire to learn more about themselves and a quiz provides an engaging, fun way to do it. When it comes to fitness, there is all sorts of quizzing scope. You can create a quiz to allow people to learn what their body type is, what their genetic potential for muscle building is, how they should balance their cardio and strength training and what their ideal time of day to work out is.

A quiz lead magnet usually works a little differently to other lead magnets. Rather than providing their email address to access the lead magnet, the person completes the quiz on the landing page. Then, to access their results they need to provide their email address. The results of the quiz are  then emailed to the person. 

Here are six tips to create a quiz lead magnets that generate results:

  1. Creative outcomes – people take the quiz to learn the outcome. So, make the outcome as meaningful as possible for the audience. When it comes to fitness, I recommend a training or nutrition outcome that categorizes the person according to a training or nutrition continuum. For example, their results might indicate that they will respond best to a weight training program that sees them using 6-10 reps 70 percent of the time and 10-20 reps 30 percent of the time.
  2. Make the quiz target audience specific – a quiz that is too generic will result in a low quality lead that will produce a disappointing conversion rate. The more specific the outcome, the more meaningful it will also be to the target audience.
  3. Make it short and to the point – once you’ve grabbed the attention of your visitor and got them started on the quiz, you don’t want to lose them on a quiz that is too long or too boring. Keep the quiz short and sweet. 
  4. Make it easy to respond to – provide multi-choice answers and easy to use tick boxes.
  5. Keep the participant engaged with image questions, especially those where they select the image that best relates to themself.
  6. Make sure that the quiz platform you’re using is compatible with your website. 

You should include your quiz (or at atleast a link to its landing page) on your website homepage. You should also advertise it on Facebook Ads and Instagram


A compelling lead magnet will generate a steady stream of email addresses that you can feed into your marketing funnel. The six lead magnets that I’ve outlined in this article are all proven winners. Here’s a reminder of what they are:

  • Lead Magnet #1: 14-day Gym Trial
  • Lead Magnet #2: Nutrition Ebook
  • Lead Magnet #3: Webinar
  • Lead Magnet #4: eCourse
  • Lead Magnet #5: Fitness Workbook
  • Lead Magnet #6: A Quiz

By analyzing your different target markets you will be able to decide which lead magnet type will work best for each niche group. Ideally, you should have several lead magnets running at the same time, each one for a different target market. The emails generated from each lead magnet will then be funneled into a different arm of your marketing funnel so that they receive targeted emails.

At the end of the day, the key to a successful lead magnet campaign is a compelling offer, a kick-ass landing page and premium content that delivers. Get that mix right and you will have a steady stream of leads coming in that you can steadily convert into paying members.


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