gym marketing

A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Gym Member Conversion

Gym member conversion should be the goal of sales and marketing campaigns. Here are ten steps to increase your conversion rates and drive revenue!

Monica Hilton
December 14, 2022
A Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Gym Member Conversion
Gym member conversion should be the goal of sales and marketing campaigns. Here are ten steps to increase your conversion rates and drive revenue!

The fitness space is extremely competitive and your prospective members have an abundance of choices. You’ve probably put a ton of effort into your marketing so it’s imperative to place a strong focus on gym member conversion.

Closing the sale might seem like one of the most challenging parts of the entire member journey. It requires a combination of foresight, authority, empathy and sometimes a little gentle prodding.

But it doesn’t need to be complicated and you don’t have to be a used car salesperson. In this 10-step guide, we’ll simplify the conversion process. At PushPress, one of our core values is “help first.” So we’re aiming to help you increase your revenue and show you that you might just have some fun with it too.

Increasing gym member conversion

What Is Gym Member Conversion?

Gym member conversion is the share of audience members your fitness business successfully “converts” into members. Many fitness business owners mistakingly believe that member conversion simply equals the number of customers acquired.

In reality, it must be understood as a percentage. Let’s say a small fitness business only converts 20 customers per year. It can still have better member conversion than a nationwide gym that converts 10,000 customers per year. That is, if the small business only markets to 50 customers, compared to the big gym’s 30,000.

You can determine your specific gym member conversion rate by dividing the number of members gained by the total number of people marketed to. It’s often impossible to determine the total size of your marketing campaign audience. So the formula is more useful for determining the conversion rate of more targeted campaigns. For example, a customer referral program or an email marketing campaign only distributed to a specific mailing list.

10 Steps To Increasing Conversion In Your Gym

There is a tried and true process that results in lots of member conversions in the fitness business. The process should, of course, be modified slightly depending on the specific features of each business, but we’ve listed the ten principle steps below.

1. Define Your Sales Playbook.

Whatever you do, don’t wing it. Before setting out on any marketing campaign, draw up a detailed game plan. Include the details of preparation and assign each task to a team member. Each piece of content you send out should be in the plan.

Your plan is designed to make sure you stay on track. Most people aren’t as good at thinking on their feet as they are at planning in advance. Your prep work will allow you to analyze each step and tweak it based on data.

2. Focus On The Right People.

Marketing campaigns directed at the masses are generally hard to track. In addition, they’re more expensive and rarely as effective as targeted campaigns. Doing some careful vetting of your audience in advance of your campaign will almost certainly help with gym member conversion in the long run.

In short, you’ll probably end up getting a lot out of a little if you only market to the right people. Using a marketing funnel can be a great way to narrow down your audience in preparation for a campaign. This is especially notable for gyms since a certain demographic (people who care for their bodies) is much more likely to respond to your message.

Build a strong gym community

3. Make A Good First Impression.

Your first interaction with a customer is by far the most important one because it’s when they’ll form an impression of you and your gym. Because of that, you want to make sure to open every customer relationship strongly.

Come up with ideas that are friendly, confident and customer-oriented. For example, give them a free gift, like a three-day pass to your gym or a branded coffee mug. Above all, remember to reach out to them instead of waiting around for them to reach out to you.

4. Contact Leads Immediately.

When you get a new lead’s contact details, a quick response is imperative. The narrower the window between their inquiry and your response, the greater the conversion rate.

People appreciate feeling wanted, and contacting them as soon as possible feeds into that feeling. And remember, they may be reaching out to your competitor as well. The one who responds quickest is often likely to earn their business.

5. Consistency Is Key.

Just because someone inquires about membership and doesn’t immediately sign up, they aren’t a lost cause. Joining a gym can often be a big step for people, which means it can take weeks or months. Continue following up until they tell you yes or no, no matter how long that process takes.

Pro Tip: Did you know you can automate lead follow-up to nurture them adequately AND save you time? Book a demo with the PushPress Grow team today to find out more!

6. Make It Personal.

Include at least one personal detail in every communication you have with your customers. People are much more receptive to personalized messages. In fact, Forbes reports that 80% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that sends personalized messages.

Gather as much personal data about your target customers as possible so you have personalization options. This will allow you to customize messaging at later levels of the campaign to further drive gym member conversion.

Personalize gym marketing messages

7. Be Ready To Handle Objections.

Anticipate objections to your messages so you can be respond immediately and confidently. Remember, people are contacting you because they want your help. Generally, their objections may be excuses that you can help them overcome.

If you’re able to show them that you’ve helped other people with that issue and you have a solution to help them, the customer will feel they’re in good hands.

8. Provide Incentives.

Give your potential customers an ulterior motive. People are more likely to “convert” to being a client if there’s something extra in it for them.

Make the incentive worthwhile and make sure they’re aware that it exists. It could be as simple as a gift card for new memberships. Or offer a discount on your branded apparel to increase gym retail sales.

9. Make It Timely.

Gym member conversion campaigns are almost always more successful when they’re available for a limited time. The goal isn’t pressuring the lead, it’s getting them to make a good decision for their health.

If your gym happens to run a successful, limited-time offer, you could even make it an annual tradition. And once you establish a marketing tradition that people in the area know about and expect, build it into your gym referral program plan.

10. Ask For A Decision.

As you’ve probably experienced, some people struggle to make important decisions quickly. Or they won’t voice a decision about something unless prompted. That’s why you must make your CTA (call to action) clear. Tell them what you want them to do (join your gym) and ask them outright for their decision.

Make sure you give them enough time to mull over their options. Too much pressure might lead to panic and a no response so don’t be too pushy. But at the same time, show them how you can help and ask for the sale.

In Summary:

Increasing your gym member conversion rate is crucial for your bottom line. But with a little preparation, it’s simple to achieve. Focus on reaching the right audience and making a good first impression. When people do inquire about your gym, nurture those leads properly and consistently. Be ready to handle objections and be clear about your call to action. By following these steps, your conversion rates will spell success for your gym.

Monica Hilton

Monica is our Content Manager extraordinaire for PushPress. She also owns her gym in Indianapolis, Together We Rise CrossFit, which she opened in 2014 and previously worked in IndyCar racing.

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