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9 Strategies to Generate More Gym Membership Sales Leads 

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As a gym owner, you know that generating new leads is an integral part of running the business. New leads mean new clients which results in more revenue. 74% of companies say that converting leads into customers is their top priority. The fitness industry is saturated and competition is high. Whether it’s a pilates studio, boutique fitness center or high-end gym, the struggle is the same. 

How can you beat out the competition and get fresh new fitness junkies through the door? Lead generation might seem like a huge task but with the right strategies, patience, and some hard work, you can raise your number of members through effective lead generation. In this article, we discuss nine strategies you can utilize to generate more gym membership sales.   

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Why Do You Need a Lead Generation Plan for Gym Memberships?  

A lead generation plan forms an essential component of your marketing strategy. When it comes to gyms, increasing your number of members is at the heart of the business. An effective lead generation plan is one of the quickest and simplest ways to achieve this goal. 

Before creating your plan, look at all the tools that you have available and make sure to utilize every one of them. This might look like a combination of strategies. The best and most effective strategies use different techniques and tools. Whether you focus on Facebook ads to generate leads or put a lot of effort into a referral program it’s down to you and what you think will be the right option for your facility.  

Gym Membership Sales Plan: Define Your Goals and Objectives 

Your lead generation plan should underpin and strengthen your overall business. In order to create the most effective plan, you need to define your goals and objectives. This may look like a top-level goal with a set of objectives that support the main goal. By pinpointing your goals, it will help your plan to be more focused and ready to start expanding your membership base. 

For some marketing advice, check out the podcast Seeking Wisdom from Drift. Hosted by Director of Marketing and CEO of Drift, the duo delivers a simple and personalized approach to lead generation. The company is at the cutting edge of strategy and its podcast is no different. Listen to the episode The One Thing That Kills Great Marketing (And How You Can Fight It)

9 Effective Ways to Boost Gym Membership Sales Leads 

Do you want more gym members but not sure where to start? You can’t just rely on one tactic to fill your sales funnel and boost your membership base. Here are nine effective ways to gain new leads for your gym and generate more membership sales. 

1. Branded Website and App 

It’s simple, your business needs a dedicated, branded website. Although there’s a temptation to skip building a website especially if your social media presence is already thriving, try to avoid that temptation. Social media is, of course, crucial but it compliments an already existing website. A website with strong branding and domain name helps to build awareness, capture leads and manage online bookings.

When it comes to websites, mobile design is crucial. 57% of all mobile users would not recommend a business if the mobile website is unresponsive and poorly designed. In today’s world of technology, both a branded website and app can impact your lead generation. The average U.S adult spends 2 hours and 55 minutes on a smartphone each day. Apps account for 89% of mobile media time.  

2. Set Up a Referral Program 

Referral programs are an excellent lead generation strategy for gyms. It can be a powerful marketing tool when used correctly. By leveraging word of mouth marketing, you turn your members into your own personal cheerleaders. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust referrals from people that they know and are four times as likely to make a purchase when referred by a friend. 

A referral program is a way to get new members through the door by leveraging your existing membership base. Generally, it includes an incentive for the referrer and the referee. Keep your referral program simple and promote it across your social media channels, website and in-person at your gym. To get you started, we’ve put together a detailed guide on everything you need to know to start your own referral program and make it successful. 

3. Social Media Strategy 

With over 40% of the world’s population on social media, there’s a potential reach of 3.2 billion users worldwide. It’s no secret that these days your social media strategy is a crucial part of your marketing efforts. Most people access Facebook around eight times a day with 68% of Americans using Facebook. You only need to glance at social media marketing statistics to know that you need to be using social media effectively to reach and engage with new users. 

Maintain brand consistency across all your social media channels. Find out where your potential members hang out online, so you can reach them more easily. You can generate multiple leads by sharing content, pushing paid ads online, generating organic content through Instagram stories and more. Some great online advertising platforms to use include:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Twitter Ads
  • Instagram Ads

There are a ton of ways to use social media in your lead generation plan. For some outside the box lead generation strategies, we chat with micro gym owner and fitness business consultant Stuart Brauer on our Glofox podcast.  

4. Ratings, Reviews, and Testimonials 

Whether it’s finding a place to eat dinner, your next hotel stay or which gym to sign up to, reviews hold power. 93% of consumers read local reviews to see if a business is good or bad. Only 3% of buyers don’t factor reviews into their buying decisions. Ratings, reviews, and testimonials from real people add to the authority of your business. It’s proof that your business delivers so well to the extent that members take time out of their day to leave a review. 

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Humans are social beings and your potential members are no different. Reviews are the place to go to say whether you love or hate a business. Some of the top places online for leads to check reviews include Google, Facebook, and Yelp. This is the place where a potential client will try and gauge if they will be a good fit at your gym. If a potential member wants to join a fitness community and all your reviews rave about your community-vibe and tribe feel, then they are much more likely to visit your fitness facility.  

Positive reviews help to minimize some obstacles that may stop someone from coming to visit your facility. They also serve another purpose, which is to help with search engine rankings. When a client leaves a review, this gives you the opportunity to reply and engage with users. 41% of consumers say that if a brand replies to a review, it shows that they really care about their customers and clients.  

5. Host Challenges 

To attract leads in the first place, you need to capture the interest of your target audience. A lead magnet is something your target user sees value in and would be willing to give you their details for. A great lead magnet is hosting a fitness challenge. This type of challenge can be open to everyone, particularly non-members. 

A fitness challenge might last between 6-12 weeks which gives you plenty of time to build a relationship with potential members. The more one-on-one time, the better. This gives you the chance to show prospects everything your gym has to offer from exceptional customer service to professional fitness instructors that deliver results. Instruct your staff to pay extra special attention to non-members and bring them into the community by introducing them to your current members. 

6. Email Marketing 

Email has the potential to drive customer retention, generate leads as well as a number of other marketing benefits. But, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without its challenges. 62% of marketers believe that personalized messages is one of the most effective ways to use email with 17% believing plain text email is the least effective. Marketing professionals agree that personalized content brings in business. 

Email campaigns and marketing still have a place in lead generation plans for gyms. But, it seems that sending the same email to every individual isn’t going to cut it anymore. In order to engage users and reach potential members, you need to personalize content. Make sure to use your email signature to its fullest potential. It should include all necessary contact information and social media handles. Use every tool you have access to as a way to generate more leads.  

7. Start Creating Content 

Often your prospects will see your website before they visit your business. So, how can you stand out online in a very competitive landscape? One way is to create high-quality content on your website and social media channels that engages users and retains their attention. Blog content creation is a top priority for 53% of marketers

Podcasting has become an increasingly popular way to reach your audience with 45% of internet users around the world aged 25-34 listening to podcasts. Regular content online helps to increase awareness of your business, establish authority, and drive more targeted traffic through relevant keywords. 

Here are some of the best performing types of content marketing you could incorporate into your marketing and lead generation plan:

  • Blogging 
  • Video 
  • eBooks
  • Infographics 
  • Interviews
  • GIFS and memes 

8. Position Yourself as an Industry Expert 

The majority of members sign up to your gym because they want to make a change. Maybe they want to get fitter, lose some weight or just feel more confident. Clients are much more trusting and comfortable with experts. The reason they join a gym rather than work out at home usually has something to do with the equipment and professional fitness instruction. 

You can position yourself as an expert by sharing valuable content that shows your expertise without selling your services. One way to do this is by using your content marketing tools to really communicate and position yourself as an industry expert. Share content through your social media channels and website. Content like “how-to” videos, webinars, and podcasts are a great way to show your authority in the industry. 

9. Keep Track of Your Leads

Once you start generating leads, you need to keep track of them to make sure they don’t drop off the grid. Tracking lead activities might include recording email campaigns and website and in-app engagement. When you think of tracking leads, your mind might pop to a time-consuming spreadsheet but that doesn’t need to be the case. 

Gym management software can help to keep track of leads and reduce the time it takes to nurture leads. With all the information you need in one place, you can find out exactly what stage a prospect is in the sales funnel and where you need to implement an action. Whether you’re a gym owner, personal trainer or want to open a boutique studio, gym management software can help with running all aspects of the business. If you’re thinking of implementing new gym management software or upgrading your current software, find out how to choose the right system for your fitness business here

In Summary 

Lead generation might seem like a big hurdle but with the right strategies, you can create an effective plan to boost your gym membership sales. Simple strategies utilizing all the tools you have available can maximize your lead generation potential. By nurturing and leveraging your existing member base, growing your online presence and engaging with your target audience, you can create an effective lead generation plan that brings in new members and increases revenue.     


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Owner at Carpe Diem BJJ

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