8 Membership Promotion Ideas To Attract New Members to your Gym

Mar 15, 2024 - 10 min read
A woman gesturing towards a speech bubble with the text "Join Us", implying an invitation to an event or group. (Gym Membership Promotions)

As a gym owner, spreading the word about your gym is key to growing your fitness business.

In the beginning, your gym will likely get a lot of attention, but that excitement might decrease after a few months.

That’s when you need to have some promotion strategies ready to go to keep the interest alive.

Offering promotions for gym memberships is an effective way to keep your current members happy and to bring in new ones, which can help increase your income.

But with so many promotion ideas out there, it’s important to keep things interesting. This means coming up with new ideas while still using the ones that have always worked well.

In this article, we’ll show you some powerful gym membership promotion ideas that will get people excited to join.

1. Offer Limited Time Discounts

A black chalkboard with "LIMITED TIME ONLY" written in white chalk, emphasizing urgency.

Limited-time discounts effectively increase sales by creating a sense of urgency and scarcity among potential members.

This strategy taps into the psychological principle that people tend to value and desire things that are available only for a short period or in limited quantities, fearing missing out on a good deal.

The time constraint compels consumers to make quicker purchasing decisions than they would under normal circumstances.

For example, your limited-time gym deals could look like this:

  • New Year Resolution Special: Sign up in January and get 40% off your first three months of membership.


  • Summer Body Prep: 30% off 6-month memberships if you join by the end of March.


  • Early Bird Special: The first 50 sign-ups get a 25% discount on annual memberships.

This approach not only boosts immediate sales but can also attract new customers and increase brand visibility through the heightened activity and buzz created around the time-limited offers.

2. Widen The Range Of Your Offerings

A group of people laughing and dancing together in an exercise class, enjoying the moment and each other’s company.

Increasing what you offer at the gym can attract more people by meeting the interests of a diverse group. Your expanded offerings might include:

  • Zumba classes
  • Yoga
  • Group training aimed at seniors
  • Youth fitness classes
  • Dance workout sessions
  • CrossFit for those at advanced levels
  • Cycling classes

Also, it’s important to hire trainers who are certified in these specific areas. Having certified trainers helps in building trust with your members.

At the same time, it boosts your gym’s reputation by showing that you cater to a wide variety of interests with experts who are well-recognized in their exercise fields.

3. Share Your Gym’s Moments on Social Media

A group of friends taking a selfie at a fitness class, showcasing social connection and enjoyment in a group activity.

The main goal is to show people who aren’t yet members what your gym is really like.

You’re aiming to give them a sneak peek into the experiences of being a member – from the training sessions, the types of equipment you offer, what your trainers are like, to the extra features your gym has, like a sauna, boxing area, or even a juice bar.

Highlighting the best parts of your gym is key. To get you started, here are the types of posts you should consider for your gym’s social media channels:

  • Workout Demonstrations: Put up short clips that show trainers or members doing exercises the right way, focusing on good form and technique. This shows the quality of instruction at your gym.


  • Class Highlights: Capture quick, engaging looks at the different classes your gym offers, like yoga, spin, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These should show off the energy and teamwork in the classes.


  • Success Stories: Share stories and before-and-after pictures of members who’ve hit their fitness targets with your gym’s help. This is really motivating for potential members.


  • Facility Tour: Give a quick virtual tour of your gym, showcasing all the equipment and facilities, plus any unique features like a swimming pool or sauna. This lets people see the value of your gym.


  • Trainer Tips: Share short, useful fitness or nutrition tips from your trainers. This not only provides value to viewers but also shows off the expertise of your gym’s staff.

The idea is, that when someone who’s thinking about joining your gym sees videos and posts like these, they’ll be inspired to reach out and want to find out more about what you offer.

4. Create Fitness Challenges

Two women giving each other a high-five, one in a push-up position, in a bright workout space, showcasing mutual encouragement during exercise.

Fitness challenges are all about getting people to become part of this challenge, but the end goal is to turn the participants of these challenges into long-time members of your fitness center.

Here are some of the challenges you can hold:

  • Transformation Challenge: A classic 8-week challenge focused on body transformation, offering participants personalized nutrition plans, workout regimes, and weekly check-ins with a personal trainer. The top transformations win prizes, but all participants receive a discount on their membership if they choose to continue after the challenge.


  • Team-Based Weight Loss Challenge: Create teams within the gym members for a 6-week challenge, where teams compete to lose the most weight or body fat percentage. This encourages camaraderie and a bit of friendly competition, with team workouts and activities. Offer discounted memberships to all participants who want to stay on with their teams.


  • Endurance Boot Camp: An intense 4-week boot camp designed to push participants to their limits with a mix of cardio, strength training, and HIIT sessions. Completers get a chance to win a year-long free membership and everyone who finishes gets a membership discount.


  • “From Zero to Hero” Fitness Journey: Specifically designed for beginners, this 8-week challenge provides a supportive introduction to fitness, including basic strength training, cardio, and flexibility workouts. Graduates of the challenge receive a significant discount on long-term memberships.


  • Ultimate Fitness Decathlon: A challenging and fun 4-week series of 10 fitness events testing strength, endurance, speed, and agility. Participants accumulate points across events, with winners getting free memberships and all participants offered a membership discount to continue training and improving.

These challenges should last 4 to 8 weeks, with the aim of making the people who join want to become gym members.

At the end of the challenge, winners and participants should get some kind of reward or incentive to join the gym.

For more inspiration, you can check our complete guide on online fitness challenge ideas .

5. Host ‘Bring a Friend’ Days In Slow Months

A group of people high-fiving each other in a gym setting, signifying teamwork and fitness enthusiasm.

Did you know your current gym members can be like secret salespeople for bringing in new members?

That’s right, getting friends to talk about your gym is still a really good way to get new people to join.

So, here’s how it goes: on a ‘Bring a Friend’ Day, your members get to bring one of their friends to try out the gym for free of cost.

Your job is to show them around and make sure they have a good time.

Some of these friends might be new to working out, and some might already go to other gyms, so you need to change things up depending on what they need.

Remember, not everyone is into getting a lot of help from trainers; some might just want to do their own thing. Your main goal is to make sure every visitor has a great workout at your gym.

Don’t forget to get their contact info before they head out. This way, you can get in touch later to offer them a special deal on joining the gym for a year.

On top of that, you can make your current members want to bring in new people by offering them something nice if their friend signs up. This could be a free month of gym access or some gym gear.

6. Offer a Free Month of Personal Training Sessions

A personal trainer smiling and clapping for a client who is working out on a rowing machine, depicting support and motivation in a fitness setting.

Some people might not be interested in discounts.

For example, a person with a minimum-wage job in search of affordable gym memberships might be drawn to big discounts.

However, a person with a corporate job, who doesn’t worry much about the cost, might not find discounts that appealing.

Instead, offering a free month of personal training sessions could grab their attention.

This is because a corporate worker might be looking for more than just gym access; they want personal guidance and motivation to get fit.

With a free month, they get a chance to work out with a trainer who helps and encourages them.

If they enjoy the experience, they might decide to continue the personal training sessions as a paying client.

7. Have Special Deals for Each Month

A cluster of colorful signs with the word "deal" on them.

Having different deals every month is a smart way to get new people to join your gym.

These deals are special because they match up with what’s happening that month or the season, making them more exciting. They make people want to sign up fast before the deal ends.

By changing up the deals all the time, your gym stays interesting and people keep wanting to check it out. It also gives folks a reason to think about joining at any time.

Here are some ideas for monthly gym membership deals that could help increase gym membership:

  • New Year: Offer discounts for new memberships in January to capitalize on New Year’s resolutions.


  • Valentine’s Day Special: Encourage members to bring a partner for free on Valentine’s Day.


  • Spring into a New Fitness Routine: Offer discounted personal training sessions to help members freshen up their workouts for spring.


  • Earth Day Outdoor Class: Host a special outdoor workout class on Earth Day to promote environmental awareness and fitness.


  • Mother’s Day Special: Offer discounts or free classes for mothers during the month of May.


  • Summer Shape-Up Boot Camp: Promote a boot camp program for summer body readiness as the weather warms up.


  • Father’s Day Special: Provide discounts or free classes for fathers in June.


  • Patriotic Power Training: Create a patriotic-themed boot camp around the 4th of July.


  • Back-to-School Special: Offer discounts for students and teachers in September.


  • Fall Fitness Challenge: Start a new fitness challenge for the fall season to keep members motivated as the weather cools.


  • Halloween Costume Workout: Encourage members to dress up for a special workout class on Halloween.

These monthly deals can be about lowering prices, doing fun events, or having challenges that fit the month’s theme.

This not only grabs attention but also shows that your gym is all about giving great value and variety to the people who come there.

8. Host a Free Nutrition Workshop

A man holding an apple and a woman pointing to a doughnut in a gym, illustrating a conversation about healthy food choices versus indulgent treats.

A lot of people start at the gym full of energy and do all the exercises they’re supposed to, but sometimes, they still don’t see the results they want. Why?

The reason is often their diet. It doesn’t matter how much someone sticks to their workout plan. If the food they eat doesn’t help their fitness goals, they won’t see lasting changes.

To solve this, you can run a special workshop that teaches about healthy eating. You can include topics like:

  • How to read nutrition labels
  • The right mix of nutrients (like proteins, carbs, and fats)
  • How to figure out your Body Metabolic Rate (BMR) and daily calorie needs
  • Which foods to eat less of or avoid

After the workshop, remember to collect contact details from everyone who attended.

Then, later, you can offer them a chance to join your gym with a bonus: a free nutrition plan made just for them by your nutrition expert or personal trainer.


So, these are a few ideas that have been tried and worked well for gym membership promotions.

If you choose to go with one or mix a few together, what really matters is making sure that the people who are already members, and those thinking about joining, feel like they are getting good value for their money.

At the end of the day, as gym owners you know the people who come to your gym better than anyone else.

So, don’t be scared to think outside the box and create a special promotion that is just right for your gym and the kinds of people you help there.

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Carmen Blanco Moreno

Marketing ES

Carmen is part of Virtuagym's marketing team, where her dedication to fitness and her passion for marketing allow her to stay updated on the latest trends in the industry. Her commitment to wellness and her creativity aim to inspire others to adopt a healthy lifestyle.