When it comes to health club marketing, there is truth to adage that says, “you have to spend money to make money.” If your small gym is on a tight budget, this can be a big problem. We have put together some great low budget marketing ideas for small gym’s that get results.

fitness email marketing

Email Marketing

Email marketing is a very inexpensive and effective way to market your health club. In fact, email marketing’s low cost and high ROI make it an essential tool for marketing any business. Consider these numbers:

  • 92% of US adults use email, and 70% have used a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the past seven days.
  • Constant Contact reports that for every $1 spend on email marketing, you can expect to earn $38 of revenue on average.

If you have not already started doing so, create opportunities on your health club’s website and other online touch points for members to opt-in to your gym’s mailings. These member contacts provide a great list to target with marketing emails promoting new products, special, or important events.

fitness social media posting

Social Media Posting

Social media posting is a powerful way to reach new and existing customers. Another great thing about social media posting is that it can be done completely in-house, so there is no added cost associated. You just need to make sure that you allocate the proper amount of time needed to create the posts and manage or reply to any comments or questions from social media users. Try to post content that fans of your social media pages will want to share and repost. This will greatly increase the reach of your posts. Examples: Show a new machine, or a new technique, or even perhaps a healthy recipe.

fitness marketing content

Fan Created Content

Social media is a visual platform and fans love to see engaging photos. Running your small business may not allow you the time or budget to create professional quality photos of your products and services to post on social media, and you may not have the time to do it as well. A great way to fix that is to encourage your social media fans to post photos of your products and content. Encourage this by offering in-house discounts or entering them into a weekly or monthly drawing. For example, have a promotion where you randomly choose one social fan’s post per week to receive to a free t-shirt or smoothie.

fitness member reviews

Member Reviews

The internet runs on reviews.  When customers research a business, they turn to Google and Yelp. Data shows that 91% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, and 68% percent form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews. Create a process that encourages your members to leave reviews, monitors the reviews they leave, and improves or replies to any negative reviews you might receive. Train your front desk employees and personal trainers to encourage your members to post reviews. Offering a little incentive for online reviews can help as well, such as a free water bottle for a 5-star review.

fitness member referrals

Member Referrals

If you want to further tap into word-of-mouth marketing to grow your gym, develop a referral reward program and encourage your fans and members to bring their friends and family in. Successful health clubs of all sizes have been utilizing member referral programs your years as an essential piece of their fitness marketing. A basic member referral program works on the strategy of offering your existing members extra benefits or rewards for referring new members. For example, if an existing member refers 1 new member, they get a free month added to their membership. This continues for each member they refer, and you may want to sweeten the reward for the more new members they refer.

health club member mailers

Member Mailers

Social media posting is a powerful way to reach new and existing customers. Another great thing about social media posting is that it can be done completely in-house, so there is no added cost associated. You just need to make sure that you allocate the proper amount of time needed to create the posts and manage or reply to any comments or questions from social media users. Try to post content that fans of your social media pages will want to share and repost. This will greatly increase the reach of your posts. Examples: Show a new machine, or a new technique, or even perhaps a healthy recipe.

fitness in-house marketing

In-House Marketing and Branding

If you are spending money to bring new members into your health club, you want to make sure that they have a positive experience. While at your gym, you members are a captive audience so make sure that all of your services and amenities are professionally and constantly branded. From signage and banners to the color of your paint and carpet and your employee attire, make sure that all of it consistently and accurately represents your brand. The accessibility of online apparel printing has made it very affordable for businesses in any industry to purchase branded t-shirts or clothing in bulk or in small runs. Online direct-to-print promotional products can be found for virtually any industry, including health club t-shirts and hats or  something completely niche, such as motorcycle t-shirts or cups for cat lovers.

By fully utilizing these low budget health club marketing techniques, you can successfully promote your gym with very little money invested. As your gyms’ membership base and revenue begins to grow, you can then consider investing other popular fitness advertising strategies that can bring in great results but require a higher budget such as fitness direct mail, ppc marketing, and paid ads on social media.