Haven’t Figured Out How to Market Your Gym This Fall?

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  • Haven’t Figured Out How to Market Your Gym This Fall?

Here’s a Great Checklist to you get started! 

We know designing a seasonal marketing plan can be daunting. It may seem easier to wait until after the holidays to encourage new sales. Don’t think like that. Promoting your gym business is like exercise – consistency creates results that lead to great success. The challenge is in overcoming the negative self talk.

To help you get started on this onerous task, we’ve prepared a simple overview of the primary ingredients you’ll need to promote your health club this fall.

First, what’s it going to be? Paid advertising or a referral campaign?

The two are carried out slightly differently, but the end result is the same — new members through the door. Obviously, paid advertising is more expensive than referral marketing, but if you know your target market well, it can prove very effective — especially geo-targeted digital media, which we will talk more about in next week’s blog. However, establishing a strict budget is important with paid advertising, because you could easily outspend the number of clients actually drawn.

At the same time, if your gym suffers from a lack of local awareness, a challenging location, or is undergoing a management change or something similar, advertising is a good choice. Paid advertising is invaluable for luring new customers, but its most important function is to build awareness of your brand and product. This approach can fix more than one problem at a time. 

You don’t have to lose clients this fall!

Reach new customers through referrals

A referral campaign, (which in advertising is called “internal marketing” ) relies on your reputation and relationships with current members. Although usually less expensive than a paid advertising campaign, an internal promotion requires more cooperation among employees, and certainly increased effort by owners: Unless you are large enough to employ a dedicated marketing coordinator, you’ll be the one hanging the posters in the locker rooms!  

Here’s a checklist to follow for each marketing strategy

Paid advertising campaign:

  • Establish budget
  • Select media (online, email, traditional)
  • Decide campaign offer(s)
  • Plan advertising calendar
  • Create and approve creative
  • Inform and educate staff 
  • Track results

Internal campaign:

  • Establish budget
  • Designate campaign coordinator
  • Select communication mode (SMS text, email, social media, posters)
  • Decide campaign offer(s)
  • Create and approve creative
  • Rally staff to support campaign 
  • Track results

Time your promotions to maximize sales

Happy National Holiday Day!  — Wrapping your ad campaigns around holidays is always an easy way to structure both the time and creative for any promotion. The serious challenge will be how quickly the days go by, and in what can seem like lightning speed, you’re left building another one for the next holiday.  Additionally, you’re asking individuals to decide on a gym membership within a specific timeframe at the same moment they’re planning a dozen other activities.

Taking it one season at a time — Spreading your campaign across the fall might feel less effective than tying it to a three- or four-week blowout but, it’s not. Designed correctly, the campaign could be the slow-release boost your gym needs to pick up new clients during a traditionally slow time of year. By advertising throughout the season, you benefit from repeat exposures. Your ad is there even before they’re ready to visit. And then, when the potential member is rethinking their fitness goals, your advertisement is there again. It’s called consistency. 

Results come from the urgency or value weaved into the offer. And remember, even if you’ve chosen to run a promotion for a season, the actual offer can change. 

Autumn leaves falling into a big pile of other leaves

Holiday offer examples: 

  1. “It’s the season of fitness at XYZ Gym! Tour our gym in October and receive one free personal training session as our thanks for putting us on your to-do list.”
  2. “It’s the season of fitness at XYZ Gym! Buy five yoga classes in the month of November and receive five free classes to give to a friend!”
  3. It’s the season of fitness at XYZ Gym! “Sign up in December and receive a free month for both you and a friend!”

Don’t forget to plan New Year’s resolution promotions, too.

Many gyms see New Year’s as a gold rush, but truly, they’re just making up for lost sales from November and December. Decide now what your New Year’s offer will be and align it with your current promotions.  Don’t make it more valuable to wait until January to join your gym. Vow to stop the holiday bleed by actively pursuing and persuading new and current members in the throes of the season. You, better than anybody, know fitness is a 12-month vocation — no one gets healthier or stronger by taking two or three months off every year. Remind your clients and yourself through a well-thought-out and planned promotional campaign. 

Gym Insight 

At Gym Insight, our gym membership software provides a clear, transparent picture into your company’s financials, and offers a platform from which to run your business effectively. Our software is built in-house, by fitness club owners. There are no cumbersome third-party plug-ins or complicated protocols, and it’s available for a single, low monthly subscription price — no hidden fees, no links to your payment processor. Call us today for a free demonstration on how we can lower your sof