6 effective marketing strategies for gyms

Nov 20, 2023 | Marketing sports centres

In today’s competitive industry, gym owners need to deploy effective marketing strategies to attract and retain users. They have plenty of gyms to choose from, so that standing out from the crowd is essential.

To help you boost your gym’s membership and stay ahead of the competition, we’ve compiled six effective marketing strategies for gyms. Let’s see them!

6 effective marketing strategies for gyms

1. Create a unique seamless experience

First impressions matter. When potential users walk through your doors, they should be attract by the atmosphere and services your gym provides. Creating a unique and seamless experience is the key to retaining users and attracting new ones. Some aspects you can start working on are:

  • A modern and well-maintained facility. Ensure your gym is clean, well-lit, and equipped with state-of-the-art exercise machines. Regular maintenance is crucial to create a welcoming environment.
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff. The interactions your staff have with users can significantly influence their gym experience. Train your staff to provide excellent customer service and support.
  • Engaging group fitness classes. Group classes are a great way to foster a sense of community. Offer a diverse schedule of classes led by experienced instructors.
  • Extra amenities. Consider amenities like smoothie bars, saunas, or childcare services to cater to the diverse needs of your users.

*We reveal the 4 most common mistakes in user loyalty: 4 Factors Affecting customer Loyalty in Your Sports Centre

 2. Retarget to encourage sign-ups

In the digital age, retargeting is a powerful tool for converting potential users who’ve shown interest in your gym. Retargeting allows you to keep your gym fresh. For example, if someone visits your website, views membership packages but doesn’t sign up.

Let’s see a three basic steps strategy:

  • Set up retargeting campaigns in Google Ads. These enable you to re-engage potential users who have interacted with your online content.
  • Show tailored ad content. Highlight your gym’s unique selling points and promotions. For example, if a user viewed your personal training packages, retarget them with personalized ads promoting those services.
  • Implement smart tracking and analytics. To measure the effectiveness of your retargeting efforts, ensure you have proper tracking and analytics tools in place. This data can guide you in refining your retargeting campaigns.

Practical example of this marketing strategy for gyms: 

Let’s say a potential user visits your gym’s website, explores the range of available fitness classes, but doesn’t sign up. By implementing a retargeting campaign on Facebook, you can create custom ads specifically promoting those classes. So that you target the potential user who showed interest. This personalized approach can significantly increase the likelihood of them revisiting your site and signing up for the class.

 3. Start a referral program

Harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing through a well-structured user referral program. Satisfied users can be your best strategy, helping you bring in new sign-ups and creating a sense of community. Don’t know where to start your referral program? Here are two ideas:

    • Reward existing users for referring friends or family to join the gym. Offer enticing incentives, such as free months of membership, exclusive classes, or gym merchandise. The more attractive the incentive, the more likely users will actively refer others.
    • Create a tracking system. Develop a system to track and acknowledge your top referrers. Recognizing and rewarding the most successful referrers can encourage healthy competition among users, motivating them to actively participate in the program.

     4. Share success stories

    As we said, the best marketing often comes from your own users. Share their success stories, transformations, and testimonials to inspire potential users and build trust.

      You have to create a culture of accomplishment within your gym. How?

      • Collect success stories through interviews, photos, and videos. Regularly reach out to users who have achieved their fitness goals and ask them to share their journey.
      • Showcase these stories on your website and social media. Make these stories highly visible to prospective users. Use different formats like written testimonials, before-and-after photos, and video interviews.
      • Offer incentives to users who are willing to share their journeys. Encourage more users to come forward with their success stories. You can offer the incentives like discounted membership fees or exclusive access to certain classes.

       5. Use targeted advertising

      Invest in targeted advertising to reach potential users. Social media and search engine advertising can be powerful tools in your gym marketing strategy. You can start with these 3 steps:

        • Identify your ideal user: Understand the demographics and interests of your target audience. This information will help you create highly focused ad campaigns.
        • Tailor ads to their interests and demographics. Everything. Craft ad copys, visuals, and calls to action should be aligne with your target audience. Here is an example, if you want to attract more young professionals, tailor your ads to highlight convenient hour schedules.
        • Measure the performance of your ads. Regularly monitor the performance of your ad campaigns. Adjust your strategies based on data, such as click-through rates and conversion rates. Tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights can provide invaluable insights.

         6. Make data-driven decisions

        Data is your gym’s best friend. Track and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) to make informed marketing decisions. The 3 keys to monitor KPIs are:

          • Use analytics tools to gather data on user behavior and campaign performance. Implement analytics tools such as Google Analytics to collect data on your website’s performance. Monitor which pages receive the most traffic and where visitors drop off.
          • Adapt your marketing strategies based on the insights you gain. Review your data regularly and use it to inform your marketing decisions. If you notice that a particular class has low attendance, consider modifying the schedule or marketing that class more effectively.
          • Test different approaches. A/B testing allows you to experiment with different marketing approaches and evaluate their effectiveness. For example, you can test two versions of an email campaign with different subject lines to see which one generates more sign-ups.

          *The key to the success of your gym is to give your users just what they want. Take a look to this article: What do customers value most in a gym?


          In conclusion, these six marketing strategies for gyms can help you attract and retain users in a competitive fitness sector. A holistic approach that combines these strategies can make your gym stand out, engage your current users, and attract new ones.

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