The days are growing shorter, and there’s no denying that we are marching steadily toward a new year. Though the calendar won’t read January 2020 for a couple more months, now is the time to begin thinking about targeting new year’s resolutioners that are interested in joining a gym. Most new members don’t make the decision to join the gym on January 1 but rather begin contemplating the idea months in advance. Make sure your gym is on their radar by utilizing these effective digital marketing strategies to gain new members in the New Year.

Tell an Emotional Story

Deciding to embrace a healthier lifestyle isn’t just a decision for the physical body; it’s a decision of the mind and heart, too. One effective way to target potential new members is to include an emotional story in your digital marketing campaign, whether it’s the personal story of one member’s journey to a healthier life or a larger story about how healthy individuals are better at serving the community. When a potential new member can relate to the subject of your marketing campaign and, better yet, feels compelled to act because of it, you’ll know you’ve hit the emotional note just right.

Identify the Underlying Motivating Factors

It’s easy to assume that those looking to join the gym are motivated by weight loss alone, but if your marketing campaign only focuses on those wanting to slim down, you’re missing a huge opportunity to attract new members. Weight loss alone might not motivate a potential member to join the gym, but building enough cardiovascular strength to play soccer with the grandchildren might be the tug at the heartstring they need to get them through the door.

The strength training opportunities your gym offers might fall on deaf ears to another potential member, but the opportunity to grow stronger and slow the muscle loss that comes with aging could be what motivates others to join. When it comes to marketing, think less about what potential clients want from their gym membership and more about why they’re moved to join the gym in the first place.

Appeal to Those Looking for a Fresh Start

There’s a reason all the treadmills are full come January 1—the holidays are over and members old and new are using the turn of the year to make a fresh start. While it’s no revelation that a fresh start is often what motivates new clients to sign up for a membership at the beginning of a new year, you’d be amiss to ignore it completely in your digital marketing campaign. The promise of a fresh start has lead people to forge oceans and cross mountain passes, and it can certainly lead new members through the doors of your gym for the first time.

Create How-to Videos

There are dozens of ways to get fit these days, and with the advent of online exercise videos, many people are choosing to start their fitness journey in the comfort of their own home. Reach those individuals that may not be ready to face the gym by creating how-to videos to post across your website and social media channels. Once you’ve established yourself as a trusted expert and a resource for healthy living, people will be more likely to seek you out in person when their time comes.

Join With a Friend

Who doesn’t like the buddy system? No matter how inclusive and welcoming your gym environment is, walking into a new setting for the first time, especially after years of inactivity, can be extremely intimidating. By creating social media marketing campaigns that let potential new members know they don’t have to go at it alone, you’ll be addressing one of the barriers to attracting new membership.

Offer Discounts or Sign-Up Perks

Along the same lines as running promotions that allow new members to sign up for less with a friend, discounted classes or BOGO personal training sessions are a great way to hook new members. After the financial crush of the holiday season, many people are hesitant to add another bill, but offering limited-time discounts or perks can motivate those that want to join a gym but worry about the cost.

Make It as Easy as Possible to Sign Up

If you want to get new members through the door, it’s important to make it as easy as possible to sign up for your services. Sign up buttons should be visible and accessible on all of your social media channels and your website, and potential members should also be allowed to sign up over the phone or by using your app. In your marketing campaigns, make it clear how easy it is to join your gym. If your only course of action is to get people to the membership desk in person, you’re cutting out a large chunk of potential new members who won’t always find their way to your gym to join.

More Than Just a Gym

It’s not just a trimmer waistline or more defined muscles that new members are seeking; many are motivated to join because of the social aspect. Make sure potential new members know about the ways your gym offers a sense of community by promoting volunteering opportunities, hiking clubs, friendly fitness competitions, 5K walks and other socially minded events offered at your gym.

Address Barriers

For many potential members it can feel impossible to add time at the gym into their already packed schedule. Address these barriers in your social media marketing campaigns directly by promoting your gym’s wonderful child care facility, early opening and late closing hours, flexible class times and affordable membership rates.

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