To bring new members to your gym, use the full range of marketing methods available to you, like social media marketing, direct mail, radio advertising, telemarketing, SMS marketing, and viral marketing.

As a gym owner, you constantly need to attract new members. This is more important than ever, since global events have sent gym membership statistics on a downward trend.

Many of the marketing tools that will help you increase your membership are internet-based. Online marketing strategies offer numerous advantages over traditional marketing, such as enhanced targeting, lower costs, more manageable costing, and broader potential reach.

However, some traditional types of marketing, such as direct mail and radio ads, are still effective when used the right way. For many gyms, the best approach is to use a combination of marketing methods for the best results.

Let’s look at how to make the most of these marketing strategies to increase your gym membership.

1. Social Media Marketing

Social media provides opportunities for you to get your message to a vast audience. With social media marketing, you can also target your ads to help make them cost-effective. Here are ways you can use social media marketing to your advantage.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Pay-per-click (PPC) is one of the most affordable and effective online marketing methods. Not only is PPC affordable and effective, but it’s also fairly easy to create your own ads, further adding to its affordability and accessibility.

With PPC marketing, you only pay a small amount—usually just a few cents—when somebody clicks on your ad. In addition, you pay nothing if nobody clicks on your ad, no matter how often it is displayed.

Advertisers can also ensure their ads are shown to specific groups of people according to criteria like recent browsing history. For example, you can ensure that your ads are shown only to people who have recently used terms like “gym memberships” in Google searches.

Being selective about who sees your ads helps make them highly targeted and cost-effective.

While you will often encounter PPC on social media platforms, it is also common on other platforms, especially Google.

Publish Great Content

Social media is an outstanding platform for sharing content. Blogs, articles, video, and just about any other mediums are easily shared on your social media accounts for all to see. The ability to share like this presents exciting marketing potential.

For one thing, great marketing content will help ensure your prospects and existing members get the right message. Such ease of communication helps make it easier for you to attract new members and boost sales. But it gets even better.

When your followers see content they like, it’s easy for them to share it with friends and family. This sharing helps ensure your content becomes visible to a wider audience, giving you a considerable boost in visibility online.

The right content can even go viral, meaning it gets seen by millions of people in some cases.

Of course, not just any content will have the desired impact. The best content will typically help the reader with a problem or be useful in other ways. Useful content is more likely to be shared, and it helps build your relationships with your prospects and clients.

Use Analytics

In social media marketing, everything is done digitally, so there are a variety of metrics you can track. Social media marketing platforms typically give you access to feedback on information like how many people saw a particular piece of content, how many “liked” it, how many shared it, and so on.

Such information can be an absolute treasure trove to marketers.

Using analytical data can give you insights into which type of content your audience prefers, helping to guide your future content strategy for maximum impact.

As well as helping to steer your social media content strategy, social media analytics can also help guide your overall business strategy. For example, if your analytical data tells you that most of your audience falls in a particular age group, you can adjust your products so they appeal to that age group.

Direct Communication

Thanks to social media, we now have a direct communication tool that lets us speak with huge numbers of people at once. If somebody has a question, you can answer it quickly and easily, helping to create a positive experience for your prospects.

Creating a positive experience will help build your relationship with them, making it more likely they will join your gym.

Another significant advantage of social media marketing is it can act as a member services channel. The ability to communicate so easily means problems can be solved quickly, helping you keep your members happy and loyal.

2. Direct Mail

Direct mail can be an affordable and effective method of getting your marketing materials out to many people. It involves creating marketing material and sending it directly to members and prospects by mail where they can read it when it reaches their mailbox.

Direct mail is beneficial for numerous reasons, including:

High Open Rates

One of the greatest advantages of direct mail is the high open rates. The more people who open marketing content, the more people will convert, helping to boost the ROI.


Direct mail is tangible, unlike email which can easily be missed or lost in your inbox, so every piece of mail is more likely to be noticed.

What makes direct mail even more effective than email is that there’s no junk box to contend with. Also, not all direct mail is disposed of immediately. It may be kept around and possibly stuck to the fridge with a magnet as a reminder for when people eventually get around to going to the gym.


Direct mail performance rates are fairly easy to track. For example, you can include a coupon with your marketing material so you’ll know which content people are responding to. Such trackability helps you calculate your ROI as well as helping to guide your future campaigns for the best effect.


If you’re sending direct mail to people on your database, you’re likely to have details on people in that database. You can use these details to your advantage by targeting your campaign for the best results.

You can create several versions of marketing material to send according to which categories your criteria fall into and ensure each version is sent to the most appropriate prospects.


Marketing messages generally need to be to-the-point to ensure readers can digest the message easily. While the same is true for direct mail, the medium does allow for materials that are richer in detail while still helping you get your message across clearly.

Low Competition

Many companies have turned away from traditional marketing methods and switched to digital marketing instead. With less direct mail being sent, people will receive less marketing mail, making it more likely that yours will be noticed.

Different Types of Direct Mail

Another benefit of direct mail is that there are numerous types you can use, helping you customize your campaign to suit your needs. Below are just a few examples of the types of materials you can use.


Flyers are a relatively inexpensive way of getting your message out to a wide audience. Today, flyers are affordable to print, giving you a powerful tool to help get your brand noticed.

They are typically designed to be eye-catching to draw people in and encourage them to read the rest of the content. Flyers can also be handed out in public places, helping to extend your reach further.


Postcards help make for a quick and effective way to get information out to many people. Typically, they are best used to help keep existing members updated on planned training sessions and other events.


Letters are usually a more formal communication method and are used for more official messages. For example, you might use letters to help explain shifts in policy or gym membership rates.


There are few better ways of getting feedback than surveys. Such surveys can be used to gain information about what your members think about your gym, helping you improve your services to encourage your members to stay with you for longer.

You can also include response forms in the mail to encourage more people to reply.


Newsletters are effective at helping to keep your client base engaged. Such materials are regularly sent to your email list, whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly, with news of recent events, promotions, and other important information.

Sending newsletters will also help when it comes to re-engaging with members who have grown lax in their gym attendance or let their membership lapse, encouraging them to use your services again. All it takes sometimes is a reminder and people will be more than happy to start using your gym again.

How to Make Your Direct Mail Campaign Effective

Direct mail can be very effective, but it needs to be done right. Below is a brief guide on what it takes to build a direct mail campaign that will help your gym flourish

Step 1. Create Easy-to-Read Material

Direct mail marketing content should be easy to read. It can be very tempting to use fancy fonts and elaborate designs, but doing so can make your content difficult to read. Before approving any designs, go through them and ask yourself if the message is easy to absorb.

Step 2. Run Tests

Even the best designed direct mail content is not guaranteed to hit the mark, potentially resulting in a failed campaign and lost investment. As such, it’s a good idea to undergo a test run first to get an idea of what works best.

Have some relatively small batches of materials printed up and send them to prospects. Make sure to use tracking tools like coupons to gauge which content is most effective before launching the full campaign.

Step 3. Proofread

Typos and other errors are easy to miss, and they can make your content appear unprofessional. Make sure you proofread your content and, once you’ve done that, proofread it again.

Printing your content and reading a hard copy is a good way to catch errors you might miss on the screen. It’s also a good idea to have other people proofread your content to spot anything you’ve missed, as it can be easy for your eyes to jump over the same errors repeatedly.

There are numerous grammar check tools online that will help you spot any errors that make it past your human proofreaders.

Step 4. Utilize Your Website

A website is one of the most potent conversion tools a company can have. As such, your direct mail campaigns can be much more effective if you involve your website address in your strategy.

Add your URL to your materials so people know where to find you. You can even try offering deals with your direct mail that prospects can redeem through your website.

Not only will this help boost membership numbers, but it will also help you track how successful your campaign is.

Step 5. Send Follow-Up Mail

People are often not in a position to join your gym straight away, no matter how much they might intend to. In the meantime, any marketing materials can find themselves in the back of cupboards where people are likely to forget about them.

With this in mind, it makes sense to send follow-up mail to re-engage people who might have drifted away.

3. Radio Advertising

Radio advertising is a great way to reach out to people locally and further afield. When used right, radio advertising offers numerous advantages, including the following:

Wide Reach

Local radio stations have an audience of thousands or even millions of people. Such a broad reach allows you to get noticed by many people for a relatively small fee. When advertising on local radio stations, you can also be confident your reach isn’t too wide, making your campaign cost-effective.


Radio advertising is relatively affordable when compared to some other advertising methods. Of course, prices will vary considerably, but in some cases you might be able to run a local radio campaign for just a few hundred dollars a month.

In addition, audio ads are often less expensive to create than other types of ads, such as video.


Not only can radio advertising be affordable, but you are also not usually tied in for long periods. This flexibility gives you the option of halting a campaign if it’s not working out for you. This is particularly useful for smaller businesses that can’t afford expensive campaigns that don’t work out.


When running radio campaigns, you can choose from ad spots at different times of the day, allowing you to target your audience better. In many cases, radio stations will give you breakdowns of their audience’s demographics at certain times of day, helping you get your ads noticed by people most likely to join your gym.

How to Make an Effective Radio Ad Campaign

The right radio ads can have your gym accepting a rush of new membership sign-ups. Here’s a brief guide on how to create a radio ad campaign that hits the spot.

Step 1. Grab the Audience’s Attention

One of the downsides of radio advertising is that the audience is usually preoccupied. People will often turn the radio on while they’re doing something else, like doing the housework or commuting to work.

As such, it’s important to ensure your ad grabs people’s attention so they listen as opposed to your ad being nothing more than background noise. Therefore, your ad should start boldly and clearly for people to notice you.

Step 2. Create Visuals

Another downside of radio advertising is the lack of visuals. It helps if your ad encourages listeners to create their own mental images to overcome this.

For example, explain how your gym is beneficial to listeners and how it can help make them look and feel better, and they will start to picture themselves with the results they might gain from your gym. Once a person can see themselves using your gym, the decision to join becomes easier for them.

Step 3. Keep It Simple

Again, people tend not to pay full attention when listening to the radio, making it more likely they will miss your message. However, you can overcome this to an extent by keeping your ads as simple as possible.

Stick to the basics in easy-to-follow language that people can absorb without too much effort. It’s also good to ensure that background sounds don’t drown out the message of your ad.

Step 4. Use Jingles

Many radio ad campaigns use jingles, and for a simple reason — they work. Jingles are catchy and easy to remember, and many listeners will remember a jingle regardless of their interest in a product.

Not only are jingles catchy and easy to remember, but they can also incorporate your message, web address, or phone number, making it easier for people to absorb and contact you.

4. Telemarketing

Telemarketing can be a very effective marketing tool, provided it’s done right. For telemarketing to be successful, you will need a database of people that roughly fit your target persona. You will also need various tools and an affordable and reliable VoIP connection or similar.

Here are some of the benefits of telemarketing.

Highly Interactive

Telemarketing is a highly interactive marketing method. After all, callers get to speak directly with prospects. Such interaction helps make it easier for callers to answer questions that prospects might have and close a deal.

What’s more is that closer interactions help companies create a rapport and build a relationship with prospects.

Sell From a Distance

Not only is telemarketing interactive, but you can also interact with other people over long distances. Callers can get in touch with prospects further afield without spending time and money traveling when compared to visiting prospects in person. Selling this way extends a gym’s reach in terms of distance and volume.

Measurable Results

When telemarketing, it’s easy to measure results. For example, it’s easy to compare the number of calls made against the number of sales, helping you gauge how well your campaign is going. You can also measure how well individual callers perform and experiment with different scripts to find the best solution.

Reach New Members

Telemarketing is a good option if you want to reach out to potential new members. With the right database, you can also call potential prospects that are more likely to use your gym. For example, if you can get a database of people who have expressed an interest in gyms or other types of exercise in the past, then that is more likely to give you good results.

How to Create Effective Telemarketing Campaigns

As effective as telemarketing can be, you’re unlikely to get the desired results if you don’t use the right strategy. Below are a few tips on which strategies are most likely to work for you.

Step 1. Use The Right Data

A good database is one of the most essential aspects of any telemarketing campaign. Your database needs to include people who fit your target audience’s demographics, otherwise the people you’re calling will have no interest, and you’re unlikely to get the results you want.

Step 2. Create Scripts

Give your agents scripts to use on every call. Using a standard script will help ensure your agents are on the same page as you and that they know what they need to say. You can also try adjusting scripts and get feedback on the results to help you fine-tune your strategy.

Step 3. Empower Agents with Tools

Telemarketers will perform best when they are armed with the right tools. Such tools include customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that give callers access to all the member information they need.

Telemarketing tools can also help boost productivity thanks to tools like auto-callers, which allow the caller to spend less time dialing and more time closing deals.

Step 4. Offer Incentives

Telemarketing can be hard work. The role is labor-intensive and frustrating when many people are slamming the phone down on you. As such, it can be easy for agents to lose enthusiasm for the role, making it a good idea to offer incentives such as commissions on sales.

5. SMS Marketing

SMS marketing involves sending text messages to people on their phones. The method is easy and effective thanks to various tools. SMS marketing offers numerous advantages, such as:

High Open Rates

When done right, SMS marketing usually offers high open rates. Open rates are high because people typically have their phones close to them, and it takes just a moment to open and read a message. With high open rates, there’s also a greater chance of conversions.

Wide Reach

Over 301 million people have smartphones in the United States alone, giving you a vast potential reach. Your reach is also helped by sending messages to many phones at once at the click of a button.

Instant Delivery

SMS messages are received almost as soon as they are sent. Such speed means you can reach a vast audience in just a second, boosting your productivity considerably. Instant delivery also means you can send messages at times when your prospects are more likely to open and read them.


With SMS marketing, prospects can also reply directly to your messages. Such a feature makes it easier for you to get feedback on campaigns while also making it easier for you to react to what your members want.

You can even organize polls to help get your members more engaged while also gathering their thoughts on particular topics.


SMS messaging is a digital marketing method, meaning every action can be easily recorded. For example, you can get information on how well certain content performs, helping to guide your future content.

With tracking, you can also get information such as who hasn’t opened your message or who hasn’t replied, allowing you to send appropriate follow-up messages.

How to Create Effective SMS Marketing Campaigns

SMS messages may be easier to create and send than other types of marketing, but you still need to take the right approach for them to work. Below are a few steps you can follow to ensure your SMS campaign helps attract new members to your gym.

Step 1. Keep the Message Simple

SMS isn’t the best medium for sending complex messages, so it’s a good idea to keep it simple. Not only will a simple message be easier to read on a phone, but it will also help ensure your message is easily understood.

Step 2. Don’t Overdo It

There’s often a fine line between marketing materials and spam. If you send too many messages to your prospects, your marketing efforts will soon begin to fall into the second category. Be sure to send messages only when you have something of value to say and don’t send them too often.

Step 3. Send Texts at the Right Time

While SMS open rates are high, that does not necessarily mean your recipients can read them. If you continually send them at the wrong time, your campaign is less likely to work for you, and you will run the risk of alienating your prospects.

Send messages outside of typical working hours and not too late at night to avoid irritating recipients.

Step 4. Invest in Tools

Investing in the right tools will help make SMS marketing much easier for you. Tools like ClickSend or SimpleTexting will help you send as many messages as you want at a click of a button. SMS marketing platforms will also offer analytics that will help you refine your campaign.

6. Viral Marketing

Viral marketing in this instance involves having your existing members or prospects tell others about your gym. Here are some of the main advantages of this marketing method.


People tend to trust recommendations from friends and family, making viral marketing potentially very effective.


The costs involved with viral marketing are usually very low, especially compared to other marketing methods. Such affordability helps make this method ideal for businesses that are just starting out and have limited budgets.

Wide Reach

A successful viral marketing campaign can reach a large audience. Not only will your current members recommend you to prospects, but those prospects may also recommend you to their friends and family, and so on.

How to Create an Effective Viral Marketing Campaign

There are few moving parts to a viral marketing campaign, with little to no content to produce and most of the work being done by your members. However, there are a couple of steps that will help your viral marketing campaign work.

Step 1. Create Flyers

Creating flyers to give to your members will help get your message across better. You can include details of any deals so you won’t need to worry about your members remembering the information when recommending you. And they are also more likely to remember to recommend you if they have flyers with them.

Step 2. Offer an Incentive

People are more likely to do what you ask if you give them an incentive. In this case, the ideal incentive could be a discount on membership fees. Such discounts will only need to be granted if a recommendation results in a new sign-up, meaning you spend nothing upfront.

Start Marketing Your Gym Today

The marketing methods that will work best for you depend on various factors such as your budget and what our goals are. In many cases, it’s best to use a combination of different approaches to get the best results. 

Some of the tips mentioned above apply to specific marketing methods, but there are others that apply to marketing in general.

These include understanding your audience to know which content will resonate with them best. It’s also a good idea to create content that helps your audience in some way to help build trust and develop your relationship with them. Last but not least, a call to action (CTA) should be used where possible to help compel your audience to convert.

Apply these tips and those mentioned above to your marketing campaigns, and you will be on your way to attracting many new members to your gym.