Whether you’re just starting out or you’re an experienced fitness business owner, running gym promotions is one of the easiest and most effective ways to attract new members, generate new revenue, and increase cash flows.
A well-timed promotion can help you hit monthly sales goals and boost revenue quickly—however, the wrong promotion at the wrong time can end up having a negative impact on your fitness center. Additionally, if you run too many gym promotions, you risk devaluing your brand.
So, where’s the happy medium?
Read on to learn the key ingredients that go into successful gym promotions, as well as 10 gym promotion ideas you can easily implement for your fitness center to help you get over the line.
Key ingredients for a successful gym promotion
To be able to executive successful gym promotions, you’ll need to understand the three core components:
1. Offer something gym members want
The structure of your gym promotions should be driven by what motivates your specific target audience. To do this, you need to understand who that is and what they want so you can tailor the language and messaging of your gym promotions to clearly explain how your products and services can meet their needs and wants.
Before you begin creating any marketing campaigns or gym promotions, you’ll need to invest time to research your target audience, understand their demographics, and learn about what they like, how they like to be communicated with, and where to find them.
2. Time it right to create urgency
As with many things in life, timing is key to successful gym promotions. The right offer at the right time seen by the right people can lead to fantastic results.
A good place to start is to create gym promotions that align with seasonal trends—for example, offering a special discount, available for a limited time only, on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Personalized offers, like sending discounts on someone’s birthday, can also yield excellent results.
A key aspect to consider for successful gym promotions is the element of scarcity. When an offer expires within a set time frame or is limited to a certain number of people, it makes potential members more likely to act and commit to the purchase because they don’t want to miss out.
3. Set a goal for your promotion
Once you understand who your target audience is and what they want, it’s time to define your business goals and what you hope to achieve from each promotional campaign.
Setting clear and measurable goals will help you decide what type of gym promotions to run at various times throughout the year, and defining your goals also provides a benchmark to assess the success of your efforts later on.
Gym promotion ideas
Now that you understand the key components of successful gym promotions, let’s look at some specific examples and ideas you can consider implementing for your fitness facility.
1. Free trial or free class
One of the best ways to attract new gym members is to offer a free class or free trial period. Many people think about joining a gym, but are uncomfortable making a blind commitment—so offering a free class or free trial period gives potential members a risk-free way to see what your gym has to offer and to assess whether the atmosphere is a good fit for them.
Another benefit to offering a free class or free trial period is that it allows you to showcase your facility and what makes it stand out from competitors. Every facility is different, and every person has different needs and wants. You may be able to convert members from other gyms by getting them in the door and using the opportunity to shine by showcasing your unique offerings.
2. Refer-a-friend campaign
Your current gym members can be your best salespeople. If they enjoy their experience at your fitness center, chances are they’ll tell their friends…but why not give them an extra nudge by offering an incentive to do so?
The goal of a refer-a-friend promotional campaign is to motivate members to actively invite friends and family to join your gym—and one of the most effective ways to motivate people is by offering a desirable reward. Popular referral rewards include gift cards, swag, a free week of gym membership, or a discount on a month’s membership.
Many of your competitors may already have a referral structure in place, so think about what you can offer that’s different and may be considered more valuable.
3. Fitness and workout challenges
Motivation and positive reinforcement can go a long way when it comes to fitness.
Who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?
Fitness challenges and competitions are a proven way to boost member engagement and retention. They help your members set challenging yet realistic goals within a time specified timeframe—and when participants start to see the physical results, they’ll also start to associate your fitness club with success and be more motivated to keep coming back.
They also help generate new leads, encourage referrals and maximize customer loyalty.
4. Customer loyalty programs
A great way to attract new gym members and retain current ones is to offer a customer loyalty or rewards program. You can structure your program to reward gym members for attendance, participation, meeting certain fitness goals or milestones, or spending a certain amount of money.
After you decide the focus of your rewards program, you’ll need to decide how you plan to track participation, interaction, purchases or habits. This can be done by using punch cards, a digital points system, or renewal awards offered when members renew their membership or class packages.
5. Partner with other local businesses
Teaming up with the right businesses in your area can be a highly effective way to increase mutual exposure at minimal cost. These types of arrangements allow businesses to leverage both of your audiences to reach more like-minded people and bridge the gap for converting leads.
When discussing ideas, consider how each party will benefit, including consumers. Identify what each business wants and how that can be achieved through the partnership. For example, you could work together to host one-off events, or develop an ongoing partnership
6. Social media contests
Leveraging social media to host a free giveaway is a tried-and-true promotional tactic to increase reach and engagement on social media, in addition to building brand awareness.
Everyone loves the prospect of getting something for free—especially if it’s something highly desirable or expensive.
Due to the high cost of gym memberships, offering one for free through a social media contest is a highly effective way to grab warm leads, and to get third-parties sharing your content and discussing your business.
7. Corporate challenges and discounts
More and more businesses are acknowledging the importance of total body-wellness for optimal employee performance. Developing strategic partnerships with local corporations to offer their employees discounts, the ability to participate in company competitions, and team-building exercises is a great way to secure ongoing revenue for your gym while also improving the health and wellness of others.
Examples of habit-building challenges that contribute to employees’ long-term adoption of positive and healthy habits include drinking a certain amount of water every day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or going for a walk during lunch hours.
8. Special events
Whether you’re looking to spread the word about your gym’s grand opening (or a new product or service offering), add additional streams of revenue, increase your social media presence, or build brand awareness, fitness events are a fun way gym owners can promote their facility and any promotions they may be offering.
If you’re getting ready to launch a new fitness class or just hired a new instructor, consider offering a one-off free fitness class event. It’s a great way to give potential members an experience with your gym before they commit to a membership. You can invite influencers from the local community to your launch event to generate more buzz around your new class or fitness instructor.
Another idea is to host or participate in health and fitness retreats, which can target current gym members and non-members, and can be held at locations all over the world. This level of participation will require more time, planning and monetary investment, but it’s also a great way to build strong relationships that can translate into lifelong members.
9. Pop-up fitness classes
A pop-up fitness class gives gym owners a way to generate buzz in a new location or with a new class offering. These types of events can attract a new demographic, spread awareness in previously untapped locations and generate more brand awareness. Consider using parks or other public spaces by arranging partnerships with local businesses.
10. Holiday offers
The holiday season is an excellent opportunity to attract new members and boost revenue for your fitness center. With so many holidays back-to-back during a few short months—for example, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s and more, gift-giving is on a lot of people’s minds.
Most people will want their gifts to be meaningful and add value to the recipient’s life—and what better way than offering them the gift of fitness. For example, you could run a promotion offering a $75 gift card for $50, or 20% off 10 classes. Other holiday promotion ideas include waiving the registration or joining fee, limited-time holiday membership price, or discounting add-on products and services.
How EZFacility can help
Creating and implementing successful gym marketing promotions is no easy task, but doing so has the potential to dramatically increase the success of your fitness business by raising brand awareness, boosting memberships, improving member satisfaction and engagement, building relationships with local businesses and community residents, and more.
Did you know EZFacility offers a suite of marketing tools that can help you get your promotions out there? Try EZFacility by scheduling a no-commitment demo today.