What Fitness Center Promo Would Work for You?

I'm a manager of a very small club in a very small town. The owner doesn't like to spend too much on this place, so I have to be creative. I'm fairly new, so I haven't done much in the way of marketing.

My main goal is to increase our membership. I have done some research and have some ideas, but before I put together a marketing plan, I thought it would be helpful to see what type of promotions do you know of & what would/could/did work for you?

I would so much appreciate your ideas! So don't be shy...



  • JasonDetwiler
    JasonDetwiler Posts: 364 Member
    Barbells loaded with copious amounts of weight, chalk, and some veiny people.
  • LauraDotts
    LauraDotts Posts: 732 Member
    Cheap. Really really cheap.
  • estrange22
    estrange22 Posts: 210 Member
    Free two week trial and a session with a trainer to give you a free one month work out plan would be nice!!! It always sucks to go to a new gym and the trainer will show you how machines work but that's it. if this was done for me, I would pay after two weeks so I could continue the training plan with all the required equipment. Make sure y'all have all the "real" weight lifting equipment or else you should work somewhere else!
  • Lize11e
    Lize11e Posts: 419
    A pay by the month plan instead of a "Membership". I will not go to a gym because I can't find one where you don't have to 'join'. I can't stand the thought of someone having my checking account information and I also refuse to pay a whole bunch up front.
  • AnnaVee84
    AnnaVee84 Posts: 345 Member
    My gym allows me to take a non-member friend with me to the gym and now I have two friends who will sign up for their own memberships - it was a great way to work out together, introduce them to the gym and see how it could fit into their lives.

    Also we are able to bring non-member friends to the new "kickoff" gym classes and special events like Halloween Zumba class, super fun! Nothing works better than word of mouth from a friend :smile:
  • Joreanasaurous
    Joreanasaurous Posts: 1,384 Member
    What about contacting businesses and offering a discount or promotion? That's how I joined my first gym, LA Fitness offered us a discount through my work.
  • geebusuk
    geebusuk Posts: 3,348 Member
    Good range of exercise classes - especially in winter I find them excellent motivation to do 45mins/hour of exercise.

    Tell me prices straight up - gets me up when they insist on showing you around (wasting my time etc) before the simple act of telling me the price. This always puts me off.
  • LauraDotts
    LauraDotts Posts: 732 Member
    Evening programs. Not everybody can work out between 9 AM and 5 PM.
  • Walternator
    Walternator Posts: 11 Member
    Start a 5K in your town and use it to promote your gym: Give away free 2 week passes (include a joiner fee waiver if you charge one). Offer C25K training classes leading up to the event.

    Also, once you get them in the door, you want to keep them so: Don't hire fat trainers, Keep the Gym spotless with plenty of wash bottles around the equipment, Fix broken equipment promptly. (I say these things from my own experience).
  • katiedid1226
    katiedid1226 Posts: 233 Member
    WOW!!! I knew you guys would come through for me! Great ideas!
  • mirthfuldragon
    mirthfuldragon Posts: 124 Member
    This bit is not so much a membership drive function, but rather a membership retention program:

    Every year (or 6 months, or whatever the period is), a free or reduced body assessment / personal training session or three. I would love to have that bonus. Most gyms have that type of bonus for new members, so I can always not renew and simply go to your competitor for that bonus.

    Also, my gym allows me to pay monthly or annually, but the one time payment discount is only 5%, so I pay monthly, and my gym gets the privilege of paying the credit card processing fees each month. The one-payment discount should be 25% or 30%, converting future payments to present day cash value, and it should save in processing fees for the gym.
  • IronSmasher
    IronSmasher Posts: 3,908 Member
    If they would sell a couple of benches and a smith machine so I'd have more room to lift weights and do double unders.
  • olerolls
    olerolls Posts: 70 Member
    Groupon/Living Social promotions seem to work very well around here... 4-6 weeks of membership for a low price brings a lot of new members. Sure, they won't all stick around but quite a lot do.

    I joined the boot camp I now go to as a Groupon buyer and am totally addicted after my 6 weeks and started a full membership.
  • geebusuk
    geebusuk Posts: 3,348 Member
    On keeping people - good staff that connect with their customers.
    Ironically, for me this was staff that didn't entirely like where they were working at the expensive Gym I used to go to - but meant I got on well with some of the fitness staff.

    On that - if you're running classes, keep an eye on who 'works' for the class and keep them.
    Noticable that the Friday lunch time spin class numbers significantly dropped when the popular young girl was replaced by a floundering older woman with scratched CDs ("I don't know what's up with the player", she'd say as she wiped them on her sweaty shirt - yet other people either did fine or brought an mp3 player to plug in.) The Monday evening bloke was overly enthusiastic and annoyed me - but people liked him enough that his lesson was always packed.