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How to Market a Gym (15+ Quick Tips)

How to Market a Gym (15+ Quick Tips)

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®) on May 14, 2023 ā€” Updated on November 14, 2023

Learning how to market a gym is one of the most important tasks of a gym owner. After all, you can have the best gym in the world, but your gym won’t be successful if no one knows about it! In the highly competitive fitness industry, effective gym marketing is crucial.

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
If you want to offer an elite service for the end user you need to get with the times and use elite level software that is intuitive, visually appealing, and effective. That is exactly what Exercise.com delivers to its clients.
Jimmy Myers
Owner/Trainer, Relentless Sports Performance

As a gym owner, you need to attract new members, retain existing ones, and establish a strong, recognizable brand. It’s a challenging task, but with the right tools at your disposal, it can become much more manageable. This is where Exercise.com, a the best gym management software, can be your game-changer. It’s not just a platform for managing your gym’s day-to-day operations; it’s also a powerful marketing tool that can help you reach and engage your target audience, both in-person and online.

Read on to learn how to market a gym both online, and in-person, and get more gym marketing ideas, then reach out to us and see how we can help your gym. Want a personalized tour? Get a demo now!

Develop a Strong Gym Brand Identity

Your gym’s brand identity is the foundation of all your marketing efforts. It’s what differentiates you from the competition and makes you memorable to potential members. Exercise.com can help you establish and reinforce your brand identity across all your digital touch points.

With customizable sales funnels and custom-branded mobile fitness apps, you can ensure your brand is front and center in every interaction with your gym, from online sign-ups to workout tracking. Even your email communications can be customized to match your brand, creating a consistent image that builds trust and recognition.

Core Online Mobile Fitness App
“My custom-branded apps have made my life easier and helped streamline my online training, which in turn has transformed into a pretty awesome additional revenue stream for me and my family.”
Tony Gentilcore
Founder, Core Online

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Marketing a Local Gym with Boots on the Ground

While online marketing for gyms is obviously important, figuring out “belly to belly” in-person local gym marketing is important too. Learn more about how to market a gym online, but don’t forget to try these ideas for in-person gym marketing:

  1. Open House Events: Organize an open house event where locals can tour your gym, try out equipment, and meet the staff. Provide light refreshments to make the event more inviting.
  2. Community Involvement: Participate in local events, sponsor local sports teams, or organize community fitness events to build your gym’s presence in the community.
  3. Free Trial Period: Offer a free trial period so potential members can experience your gym before committing to a membership.
  4. Referral Program: Encourage your current members to refer their friends and family by offering them rewards or discounts on their membership.
  5. Fitness Challenges: Organize fitness challenges or competitions that encourage members to bring friends along.
  6. Partner with Local Businesses: Collaborate with local businesses to offer exclusive discounts for their employees or customers.
  7. Member Appreciation Events: Host member appreciation events, such as a members’ day with free classes, prizes, and special discounts.
  8. Workshops and Seminars: Offer workshops or seminars on topics related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness.
  9. Outdoor Classes: Host outdoor fitness classes in local parks or other community spaces. This can be a great way to attract attention and gain new members.
  10. Branded Merchandise: Sell or give away branded merchandise like t-shirts, water bottles, or gym bags. These can serve as walking advertisements for your gym.
  11. Flyers and Posters: Distribute fitness flyers or hang up posters in high-traffic areas around your community.
  12. Free Personal Training Session: Offer a free personal training session or consultation to new members or as a promotional offer.
  13. Showcase Expert Staff: Highlight the qualifications and skills of your staff. This can attract members who are looking for expert guidance and training.
  14. Early Bird or Off-Peak Discounts: Offer discounted rates for members who are willing to come during off-peak hours.
  15. Fitness Demonstrations: Hold live fitness demonstrations in public areas like shopping malls or parks to attract potential members.
  16. VIP Member Program: Create a VIP member program with exclusive benefits to encourage sign-ups and reward your most loyal members.
  17. Health and Wellness Fairs: Participate in local health and wellness fairs to showcase your gym and attract potential members.

Optimize Your Gym’s Online Presence

In today’s digital age, an online presence is essential for any gym. Exercise.com can help you optimize your online presence across multiple channels.

With SEO-friendly gym websites, you can attract more organic traffic from potential members searching for a gym in their area. Social media integrations make it easy to share updates and engage with your audience on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Furthermore, Exercise.com allows you to manage your class schedules and bookings online, making it easy for potential members to see what you offer and sign up for a class or membership.


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Leverage Email Marketing Best Practices for Gyms

Email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching and engaging with your target gym audience. With Exercise.comā€”the best gym email softwareā€”you can easily manage your email marketing campaigns, from sending newsletters and special offers to automated emails based on member behavior.

For instance, you can send automated emails to members who haven’t visited your gym in a while, encouraging them to return. Or you can reward loyal members with exclusive discounts, delivered straight to their inbox.


Here are 10 gym email marketing ideas you can put into action today:

  1. Welcome Emails: Whenever someone signs up for a membership, send them a warm welcome email. This can include information about the gym, the services you offer, and any important details they need to know.
  2. Member Success Stories: Sharing success stories from other members can be a great way to inspire and motivate your gym members. It’s also an effective way to build a sense of community.
  3. Fitness Tips and Advice: Regularly share fitness tips, workout plans, and health advice. This can help your members achieve their fitness goals and keep them engaged with your gym.
  4. Upcoming Events and Classes: If you have any special events or new classes coming up, let your members know. This can be a great way to promote participation and increase attendance. Read More: Gym Event Ideas
  5. Member Milestones: Celebrate member milestones, such as a one-year gym anniversary or achieving a personal goal. This shows your members that you appreciate them and are invested in their progress.
  6. Special Offers or Discounts: Occasionally offering members special discounts or promotional offers can be a great way to incentivize member loyalty and increase renewals. Read More: Best Gym Software with Loyalty Programs and Rewards
  7. Gym Updates: Keep your members informed about any updates or changes at your gym. This could be new equipment, changes in opening hours, or new staff members.
  8. Surveys and Feedback Requests: Regularly ask your members for feedback. This shows them that you value their opinion and are always looking to improve your services.
  9. Personalized Workout Plans: If you offer personalized workout plans, use email to deliver these plans to your members. This adds value to their membership and can help keep them motivated.
  10. Birthday Wishes: Send your members a special message on their birthday. This simple gesture can go a long way in building a stronger relationship with your members.

And, with Exercise.com, you can also send out SMS (text) messaging campaigns and in-app notification push messaging campaigns just as easily as sending out an email.

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Utilize Gym Member Referral Programs

Word-of-mouth referrals are one of the most effective ways to attract new gym members. With the best gym referral management software, Exercise.com can help you implement a referral program, allowing you to reward members who bring in new clients.

Not only can this bring in more members, but it also fosters a sense of community and loyalty among your existing members. With Exercise.com’s referral tracking tools, managing your referral program becomes a breeze.

Personalize Gym Member Experience

Personalization is key to gym member satisfaction. By personalizing your interactions with your members, you can make them feel valued and appreciated, which can boost member retention and positive word-of-mouth.

With Exercise.com, you can easily personalize your communications based on each member’s behavior and preferences. For instance, you can send customized workout plans, offer personalized discounts, or send birthday greetings. And, using Exercise.com fitness software automations, you can make these member touch points happen automatically!

Gym Marketing Automations

Learning how to market a gym effectively requires a well-rounded strategy, spanning from brand development and online presence to email marketing, referral programs, and personalization. Exercise.com offers all these capabilities and more, providing gym owners with a comprehensive solution for all their gym management and marketing needs.

Don’t let your gym get lost in the crowd. Stand out and attract the members you want with the powerful marketing tools of Exercise.com. Ready to take your gym marketing to the next level? Book a demo today and see the power of Exercise.com in action!

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Gym Marketing Case Studies

While the following case studies are composite examples and not real names, they illustrate how real gym owners have successfully used the Exercise.com platform for marketing their gyms.

Case Study 1: Optimizing Online Presence with Sarah’s Fitness Studio

Sarah’s Fitness Studio was struggling with low online visibility. After subscribing to Exercise.com, Sarah utilized the platform’s customizable, lightning fast fitness landing pages. These new pages converted more traffic from potential members searching online for a local gym. The integrated class schedule and online booking also made it easier for prospective members to join her fitness classes, significantly increasing her online leads and member sign-ups.

Read More: Best Gym Landing Page Software

Case Study 2: Enhancing Brand Identity with Mike’s Weightlifting Gym

Mike’s Weightlifting Gym had a strong brand identity in its physical location but struggled to translate it into the digital space. Using Exercise.com, Mike was able to create a customized mobile app that echoed his gym’s brand. The consistent branding across digital platforms improved recognition and trust among current and potential members, leading to increased membership renewals and sign-ups.

Read More: Best Gym Mobile Apps Software

Case Study 3: Personalized Member Experience at Laura’s Wellness Center

At Laura’s Wellness Center, Laura wanted to provide a personalized experience for each member. By using Exercise.com, she was able to send personalized workout plans, discounts, and birthday greetings to members based on their preferences and behavior. This approach not only improved member satisfaction and retention but also encouraged word-of-mouth referrals, boosting her gym’s membership.

Case Study 4: Referral Program Success with John’s CrossFit Box

John’s CrossFit Box was looking for ways to attract new members. John decided to implement a referral program using Exercise.com. The platform made it easy for him to track referrals and reward members who brought in new clients. As a result, his gym saw a significant increase in new memberships, and existing members appreciated the rewards, strengthening their loyalty to the gym.

Case Study 5: Email Marketing Efficiency at Emma’s Yoga Studio

Emma’s Yoga Studio had a large email list but wasn’t utilizing it effectively. After subscribing to Exercise.com, Emma used the platform’s email marketing tools to send regular newsletters, special offers, and automated emails to members based on their behavior. This proactive approach kept her members engaged and encouraged inactive members to return, leading to higher class attendance and member retention.

Lani Hudgins
Excellent choice for my business! I tried nearly all the “major” platforms and found Exercise.com to be the most intuitive.
Lani Hudgins
Certified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Coach

Ready to take your gym to the next level? Get a demo!

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How do I market my gym on social media?

Marketing your gym on social media involves creating and sharing engaging content that resonates with your target audience. This might include workout tips, success stories, behind-the-scenes looks at your gym, or live Q&As with trainers. Remember to encourage interaction by responding to comments and messages. Social media is also a great platform for promoting special offers or events at your gym.

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How do you target a gym audience?

Targeting a gym audience effectively requires understanding who your potential members are and what they want from a gym. Consider factors like age, fitness level, interests, and location. Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, you can tailor your marketing messages and channels to reach and resonate with them. This could involve targeted social media ads, personalized email campaigns, or community outreach initiatives.

Do gyms need marketing?

Yes, gyms absolutely need marketing. The fitness industry is highly competitive, and effective marketing can help a gym attract new members, retain existing ones, and build a strong brand. Without marketing, a gym may struggle to stand out from the competition and could miss out on opportunities to grow and thrive.

How can I advertise my gym?

There are several ways to advertise your gym. Online methods include social media advertising, email marketing, search engine advertising, and content marketing through a blog or YouTube channel. Offline methods could involve print ads, direct mail, radio ads, or local community events. The best approach will depend on your target audience and budget. You can also work with and review the best gym marketing agencies if you need some expert help.

What makes a gym stand out?

Several factors can make a gym stand out, including unique fitness offerings, a strong community atmosphere, superior customer service, and a memorable brand. Also, providing a clean, well-maintained facility with up-to-date equipment is crucial. Additionally, implementing cutting-edge technology, like a user-friendly mobile app or personalized workout plans, can also set your gym apart.

What is the role of branding in gym marketing?

Branding plays a crucial role in gym marketing by differentiating your gym from competitors and building recognition and trust with potential and existing members. It includes everything from your logo and color scheme to your values and the overall experience you provide. A strong, consistent brand can make your gym more memorable and attractive to members.

How important is an online presence for my gym?

An online presence is essential for any gym in today’s digital age. It’s often the first place potential members look when searching for a gym. An effective online presence includes a professional, user-friendly website, active social media profiles, and online scheduling and booking capabilities. These elements can help attract new members and provide convenience for existing ones.

How can I use email marketing for my gym?

Email marketing can be a powerful tool for gym marketing. It allows you to communicate directly with your members, providing them with updates, special offers, and personalized content. By segmenting your email list, you can also tailor your communications to different groups of members, making your marketing efforts more effective.

Can a referral program benefit my gym?

Absolutely! A referral program can be a highly effective way to attract new members. By offering rewards or incentives for referrals, you not only encourage your existing members to bring in new members but also show appreciation for their loyalty and support. This can enhance member satisfaction and loyalty, while also bringing in new members to your gym.

How can I personalize my gym’s member experience?

Personalization can greatly enhance a gym member’s experience. This can range from creating individualized workout plans to adjusting the gym environment according to member feedback. Personalization can also involve customized communication, such as birthday messages or personalized discounts, which can make members feel valued and appreciated.

How can I use Exercise.com to enhance my gym’s brand identity?

Exercise.com offers customizable websites and mobile apps that allow you to maintain a consistent brand image across all digital touchpoints. This includes everything from the colors and logos on your website to the content and design of your mobile app. By maintaining a consistent brand image, you can increase brand recognition and trust among potential and current members.

How can Exercise.com improve my gym’s online presence?

Exercise.com helps optimize your online presence by offering SEO-friendly websites that attract organic traffic. The platform also integrates with social media platforms, enabling you to share updates and engage with your audience effectively. Furthermore, you can manage your class schedules and bookings online, providing convenience for potential and existing members.

How can I leverage email marketing with Exercise.com?

Exercise.com offers robust email marketing tools that allow you to send newsletters, special offers, and automated emails based on member behavior. You can use these tools to keep members engaged, encourage inactive members to return, and reward loyal members with exclusive discounts.

Can I implement a referral program using Exercise.com?

Yes, Exercise.com allows you to easily implement and manage a referral program. You can set up the platform to reward members who bring in new clients, fostering a sense of community and loyalty among your members while also attracting new members to your gym.

How does Exercise.com allow for personalization in member communications?

Exercise.com enables personalization in member communications by allowing you to customize interactions based on each member’s behavior and preferences. This could involve sending customized workout plans, offering personalized discounts, or sending birthday greetings. Personalization can enhance member satisfaction and retention.

Can Exercise.com help me attract new gym members?

Exercise.com offers a range of marketing tools designed to attract new gym members. From SEO-friendly websites and social media integrations to referral programs and personalized communications, Exercise.com can help you reach and engage your target audience effectively.

How can I use Exercise.com to retain existing gym members?

Exercise.com can help retain existing gym members through personalized communications, rewarding member loyalty, and providing a high-quality, branded digital experience. By making members feel valued and appreciated, you can boost member satisfaction and retention.

Take Your Gym Marketing to the Next Level

Effective gym marketing is an essential aspect of running a successful gym. From establishing a strong brand identity and optimizing your online presence to implementing a referral program and personalizing the member experience, there are several strategies you can employ to attract and retain members.

While these strategies can be implemented independently, a comprehensive platform like Exercise.com can significantly streamline and enhance your marketing efforts. Exercise.com not only provides you with the tools you need to manage your gym effectively but also empowers you to market your gym in a way that resonates with your target audience, both in-person and online.

Are you ready to elevate your gym’s marketing strategy? To see firsthand how Exercise.com can revolutionize your gym marketing, book a demo today. Harness the power of technology to attract, engage, and retain your gym members more effectively. Don’t wait, take the next step in your gym’s success story today.

Overhead Squat FMS
“We went live with our Fitness Business Management software at four locations. Everything is working great. The import and export are easy and the guys are really liking the look and convenience of the platform. From both my side and the user side the platform has exceeded our expectations.”
Mike Contreras
Founder & CEO, FMS HS

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Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning SpecialistĀ® (CSCSĀ®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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