The myth is that word-of-mouth marketing is all a gym needs to market to new customers, however times are changing. There is more competition in the fitness world than there has ever been which begs the question, “how can I get customers to MY gym and get them to stick around?” We have compiled a list of marketing strategies fit for a gym that will drive customer acquisition and encourage customer loyalty.
1) Local SEO
Utilizing local SEO could be a game-changer for your gym. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. Studies show that more and more people are searching for things “near me,” including a gym. It is imperative that your gym take SEO into account when planning your marketing. Using local keywords, creating local citations and setting up a Google My Business are a few ways to ensure that your gym is ranking higher on Google. Keywords are the terms that people will type into search engines to find your gym, 72% of the time when users search for a business online they will visit that business within 24 hours. Citations are other online references, such as local listings, that will also aid in higher search engine rankings. Some of the most common local listing sites are, Yelp, Facebook and Trip Advisor. If you can score some good reviews on these sites it will also benefit your SEO (and accountability) tremendously!
2) Referral Programs
Let your members market for you! If you feel like word-of-mouth is the easiest way to acquire new customers, create a referral program. The program can be run through your gym’s mobile app or pushed out on social media. By creating a referral program, it will allow current members to invite family and friends in to try the gym. According to a report by Nielsen, 92% of people trust referrals from people they know. Referral programs should be run for a limited time only to entice consumers to jump on the offer. If the program is available all year, customers are more likely to procrastinate signing up. A few ways to keep customers in the loop about referral programs is posting on social media, billboards or a direct mail campaign.
3) Host Events
If you host events that are free and open to the public, you will be introducing new, potential customers to your gym. They will be able to engage with employees and other current members, as well as, experience everything your gym has to offer! Local events will cost your gym little to no money and are presenting your brand in a welcoming atmosphere. New customers will be able to see themselves as a member, prompting them to even sign up for a membership at the event! At the least, hosting a birthday party or ‘open gym’ event will allow you to gather contact information of potential customer so you can continuously market to them.
4) Email Marketing
Another way to stay in touch with current and potential customers is sending a monthly newsletter. Tie in the monthly newsletter with motivational tips or educational information with a promotional email that contains an offer. Collect email addresses at the front desk of your gym so all customers, new and old, can get added to your email list. Consistently reaching customers that are dragging their feet on starting a membership will get two emails a month, keeping your gym top of mind! With two emails a month, you will have a much better chance of converting one-time visitors to members. Welcomemat offers an email marketing program that will reach hundreds of potential customers each month. We also include monthly reporting detailing amount of opens, clicks, bounces, etc.
If you’re ready to market your gym with a promotional mail campaign or reach customers each month via email, CLICK HERE to get started!