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10 Gym Membership Marketing Ideas To Drive New Member Sales

Interacting daily with gym and owners of martial arts schools, I know the business can be challenging. Even if you have great instructors, a good location, and run an efficient business, there is always an ebb and flow that you can’t control.

Members move, lose jobs and can’t afford it, or simply lose the drive to exercise and stay in shape. Many friends I have who own martial arts schools have mentioned how they lose students in groups. Often families or multiple children from the same family. They’ve lost interest or are seasonal students because of other sports or activities. This can be a big blow to the business and the bottom line.

It is critical for a business to stay on the offense in regards to member acquisition. Maintaining consistency attracting new members and students with fresh gym membership marketing ideas.

I always want to provide as much value as possible to our clients and the readers on Sushi Fitness. For this article I brought on a guest blogger who has years of experience in sales and marketing with a diverse collection of fitness centers.

Ron Benamor is a Sr Sales Manager for Motionsoft. Motionsoft is a premier management software for clubs, studios and wellness centers. Motionsoft is a cloud based software designed to help their customers acquire and retain more members and improve their bottom line by optimizing their health club operations.


Ron was gracious with submitting this article called:

10 Gym Membership Marketing Ideas To Drive New Member Sales

When evaluating the performance of your marketing campaign, ask yourself, “Did I get more leads? Did new member sales increase?” If the answer is no, then you need to re-think your marketing strategy.

Next time your brainstorming marketing strategies, leverage these 10 ideas for a campaign that drives new member sales:


1. Sell Stories

People don’t buy products, they buy stories. The same holds true for gym members. People don’t want memberships, they want to be healthy, live longer, and feel better. When advertising, sell stories to your prospects. By doing so, you help rationalize the decision to purchase a membership. Great stories are remembered and revered, they create a connection and help form the essence of your brand.


2. Become A Thought-Leader

Creating self-serving content about how great your health club in regard to  ‘brand awareness’ is ineffective. Instead, focus on content that provides real value to the prospective gym member. For example, create a workout video with your trainers that will help inspire people to exercise. Even better, hold a free Zumba class at a local park. Perhaps they won’t purchase a membership immediately, but the next time they consider it, you’ll be at the top of their list!


3. Get Personal

Every person is different; therefore, the key is to find out how you can get individuals to stay — not the masses. Find out what each individual member needs, what they like, what results they want, and how your gym can help them achieve those results. As I’m sure your trainers create personalized fitness plans for their clients, bring that same uniqueness to your gym membership marketing and retention ideas.


4. Ask For Referrals

How did you meet most of your friends? Through other friends! Health clubs obtain new members in a similar manner, you just have to ask. Offer an incentive or hand out free guest passes to your members. Referrals are a cheap, yet highly effective method for acquiring new members.


5. Sell ROI

Never hesitate to flaunt the ROI of a gym membership. Offer members a free personal training session and tell the trainers to up their game. Remind members why they joined your gym in the first place. Follow up training sessions with rewarding comments, “You just burned 300 calories!” or “Do this twice a week to reduce cholesterol.” Remember, health is wealth. Those who truly want to get in shape will pay the price, but only if they are fully aware of the benefits.


6. Ask Questions…Before They Leave

Hit the floor and ask members questions about the equipment, the feng-shui, the staff, or the Zumba instructor they just trained with. Asking good questions will give you greater insight into your members’ perceptions of your health club. Be preemptive, don’t wait until the problem happens to ask!


7. Leverage Data

Gathering data can help you analyze trends, behavioral patterns, and habits related to your membership base. Leveraging data will allow you to follow-up with strategic decisions that can improve operations. Data helps you analyze the past as well as maximize the present. Perhaps most importantly, it can give you control of your future.


8. Always Be Testing

Successful marketing strategies vary at each location. Even within the same organization I’ve seen the same marketing campaigns produce great results at one location, and be a failure at another. Test your marketing initiatives to see what works best for your club.  For instance, in email marketing always conduct A/B split testing to monitor which subject lines get you the most opens or clicks.


9. Prioritize SEO

Search Engine Optimization and accelerating organic growth is essential for facilitating sales. It is more than likely that a member found your gym by doing an online search for local gyms. Research claims SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. Hire an expert or outsource an SEO optimization firm to guarantee that your company ranks higher organically in search engines.


10. Remember the 80/20 Rule

As Pareto’s Principle states, 80% of your results will come from 20% of the work. In sales and marketing there are multitudes of actions you can undertake. Make sure you prioritize marketing initiatives that have the capacity to generate the most sales. Worry less about the ones that are solely for “brand awareness.”


In Conclusion

The challenge of health club marketing lies in figuring out how to inspire your target market to believe that your gym is the right choice. Successful marketing campaigns do more than generate awareness: they create interest, persuade action, and ultimately, increase sales. So have a sales-first mentality when strategizing to ensure that your health club marketing campaign is effective and increasing new member leads.

gym membership marketing ideasRon Benamor is a Sr. Sales Manager for Motionsoft and a graduate from the University of Maryland with a degree in Economics.

When Ron’s not busy selling and marketing Motionsoft’s cloud-based solution, he spends his time playing sports, trading stocks, reading books and hanging out with friends. Connect with Ron on LinkedIn, and if you have questions on how Motionsoft could help your business you can email Ron at:

I want to thank Ron for taking the time to offer us some experience and sharing these tips with us. If your business is brand new please look at our article about starting a gym or martial arts business.


If you’re a gym or business owner share with us some of the marketing ideas you’ve tried for generating sales. 

If you’re looking to talk with someone about marketing for your business please click the link below to access my calendar.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Jason

    Excellent article, well written and great at informing us about the topic, have booked marked this page in fact !
    Many thanks Jason

  2. evans

    Great article on gym marketing… In the marketing industry, regardless if the fact that you are marketing à product or a service, there are always a great number of competition out there so to stay at the top one must look for strategies to attract new customers to him.In respect to gym marketing,here in this review are the ten best gym membership marketing ideas you can use to boast your gym business m..hope they help you grow…

    1. Lee Goupil

      Very true, the gym and fitness industry is incredibly competitive. Marketing strategies have to be constantly updated and new ideas tested. What worked last year might not work this year.  

  3. edahnewton1

    Hey nice article you have there. This article just came in at the right time, I have been struggling with growing memberships in my gym. This article has indeed given me some strategies on how to get back my customers back and ways to search for new clients, I will definitely put these into practice and will keep you updated via this site on the outcome. Thanks.

    1. Lee Goupil

      I’m glad this article found you at the right time and I thank you for your feedback and kind words.  We’d definitely appreciate you following up and letting us know if the gym membership marketing ideas in this article were able to help your business. 

      Take care and good luck!

  4. Justin

    This is an interesting post on how to retain customers and gain new ones.  

    It is true that with martial arts studios and gyms of various types, that people do tend to come in and out frequently.  

    Your ideas for how to maintain and increase traffic coming into business are insightful and I believe crucial if business owners want to stay in business.  

    I also think it all comes down to relationships that we have with the people. 

    I wonder if there would be less people walking away if there was more of an emphasis on developing relationships and keeping people engaged on a personal level?

    1. Lee Goupil


      Ron provided some great tips and I couldn’t agree more with what you said as well. 
      The fitness industry can often be a revolving door of members. Retention is just as important as acquisition. Especially now with the amount options consumers have including home gyms and online training. 
      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. 

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