How Your Gym Can Use Digital Marketing to Boost Membership

Small and independent gyms are under increasing pressure competing with large national brands and budget gyms, fitness apps and online personal trainers promising they can provide the same results at home. If this sounds like one of the challenges your business faces you can use digital marking to boost membership sales and improve retention.

In that past, the way gyms would attract more members was with paid advertising that included newspapers, local magazines, yellow pages, flyers, and mailers. Essentially, they would cast a wide net to reach the largest number of prospects possible. Nonetheless, the internet has decreased the effectiveness of these traditional methods. Today, when considering a product or service, the typical person will go online to do research. Therefore, your website, directory listings, social media profiles, online reviews, and other facts of internet life will all impact people’s decisions.

Why Digital Marketing Can Help Grow Gym Memberships

Through digital marketing, you can reach out to those most interested in joining a gym. Moreover, you can target your messaging to those who look like your ideal customers. Digital marketing can grow your brand awareness, identify you an authority, and make your gym the obvious choice. Would that be of benefit in your situation?

The first stage is identifying your target. This begins by knowing your ideal customers. Which groups are responsible for most of your business? Does your gym attract stay at home moms? Is most of your business coming from corporate types? Are they primarily looking to lose weight or are they more the fitness enthusiast type? Consider for a moment Planet Fitness. Their success relies on targeting those who want to lose weight, but are intimidated by what they think the inside of a regular gym looks like. Understand these four things about your members and potential members:

  • The demographics of your member groups
  • Your members’ fitness goals, needs, and motivations
  • What or who influences their decisions
  • How you can solve their fitness problems

Digital Marketing for Your Independent Gym

Once you know who you are going to talk to, you need to set up the channels of communication.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Ensure your website adheres to SEO best practices, especially when it comes to Local SEO. This will help ensure your website ranks well within search results and will boost your organic/free website traffic.

2. Content Marketing – Consistently sharing valuable fitness information using a blog, social media profiles, email newsletters, and more can grow your reputation, draw traffic, attract more leads, and help will membership retention.

3. Inbound Marketing – Essentially, inbound marketing combines web design, content creation, social media, and other strategies into creating a sales funnel that gently guides your audience through the customer life-cycle, from target to active member.

4. Social Media Marketing – Using informative or entertaining posts, images, and videos, social media is an effective way to promote your business, distribute your content, and stay connected with your audience, customers, and fans.

5. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – Using paid advertising is a reliable and predictable way to attract visitors to your website. Whether you are using Google AdWords or Facebook’s native advertising, you pay for the traffic you receive.

6. Email Marketing – Many small and independent gyms effectively make use of opt-in email subscriptions and newsletters to communicate with prospects and their membership. When done right, this is this is one of the best ways to promote content, discounts, and events.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about how your gym can use digital marketing to boost membership, or a related topic, please contact us.

Sanjay Salomon of caught up with Fitli CEO and founder John Cline

When looking to shed a few extra pounds or get in shape for warmer weather, consumers can turn to personal trainers to help them meet their fitness goals, boost their endurance or raise the flexibility bar. Today, new solutions are helping fitness professionals gain more flexibility in scheduling sessions and accepting payments.

For the November Tracker’s feature story, PYMNTS caught up with Fitli CEO and founder John Cline about helping personal trainers and other fitness professionals accept payments, and the “chicken or egg” challenge of pitching a fitness marketplace to customers while simultaneously encouraging instructors to join the platform.

To read the story, visit here.


Kicking off November with a few product updates

We are making the rounds today with several random improvements that many have been asking for.  Onward and Upward.

Waiver – Click Required

For our more risk averse customers, we’ve made a small enhancement to the online waiver functionality.  As the title says, you now have the option to require that the client click on your waiver link in order to accept the waiver.  Nothing can guarantee they will read it, but at least you can go a step further and increase your legal protections.  This is probably the part where we should have a bunch of small print saying we are not lawyers and in no way assert that our product will protect you from lawsuits… yada yada…  Learn more here

User Role – Give them data

For most of you, the user roles we have previously provided work well enough.  But, not everybody is the same.  We’ve added a new role which includes ‘Reporting’ along with the Professional Full Access profile.  Knowledge is a powerful tool. Yield it wisely. 🙂

Package & Membership Deep Links

This is the first of probably many ‘deep links’ that we will be developing over the next several releases.  What is a deep link?  It’s a link that you can generate from Fitli that you can put on your website and take users directly to a specific page within the application.  The first one we are launching tonight will allow you to generate a link to either a list of all packages and memberships or a single package/membership.  This is useful if you’d like to promote you packages/memberships on your website and have a “buy” or “purchase” button which will take the user directly into the Fitli purchase flow for that item.  See a bit more on the help desk.

Customer Export

Yes.  You read right.  You can now click a button and get a full export of your customer list in CSV format.  This export will include all data that you have in the system about this customer from contact info to notes.  Use this file to load directly into your email program such as Mailchimp of Constant Contact to keep things in synch.  This one is kind of self explanatory, but if you want to read more, you can do it here.

Don’t forget. Save money with our new Annual Billing option

Many of you may still be on a Free Trial.  Others are on a Monthly Billing Plan.  We are introducing Annual pricing.  Of course, you save money by going Annual.  So, if you are pretty happy and expect to be with us a while, the Annual Plan may be a good option.  See the Annual Pricing options at the Pricing Section of the website. Then, if interested, just send a message to to let us know you’d like to change.

Help – Easier than ever

We are always happy to answer your questions.  But, we are not available 100% of the time and we know that one or two of you like to figure things out for yourself.  You probably already know we have a help desk.  We keep mentioning it.  Now, you can get there directly from the Fitli app from the pull down menu in the top right on the web.  If you are super excited and can’t wait, go now and  Visit the Helpdesk!