Flex Those Digital Muscles: Maximize Your Fitness Business’ Online Presence

13 min read


If you build a fitness business, will they actually come? Not without a solid online presence. If you need gym marketing tips to kick your business into overdrive, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explore marketing strategies for gyms and breakdown how to adopt them for your fitness business. With a stellar online presence, lead-generating tactics, and community-building engagement, you’ll be well on your way toward exponential growth.

The Digital Front Door

Your website is your digital front door. It’s the perfect complement to your gym’s physical space, and like it, your website will receive your current and future members. As they walk into your virtual space, set the tone for how you want to be perceived and what you want to communicate.

Make a great first impression.

Use your website to communicate the most pertinent information about your community, including:

  • Homepage. Provide an overview of your gym including its unique features, services, and benefits.
  • About us. Provide information about your mission, history, values, and your team, which helps to build trust and establish credibility.
  • Membership & services. Outline the different membership options and what each includes or any details about the services you offer.
  • Pricing. Clearly describe the cost of memberships (or membership tiers), class packages, and pricing structures (monthly, annual, etc.), initiation fees, or discounts for all the services you offer. This will help visitors make informed decisions and understand the value you offer.
  • Programs. Feature various fitness classes, programs, and available training sessions. Include detailed descriptions, schedules, and any requirements or prerequisites.
  • Trainers & coaches. Introduce your team of trainers or coaches, including their credentials, specialties, and expertise to build trust and confidence in their abilities.
  • Logo. Logos are an indicator members (and potential members) use to recognize your brand. It’s a good gym marketing tactic. Logos help to communicate who you are, what you offer, and establish your credibility.
  • Blog. Share fitness tips, workout routines, nutrition advice, and other relevant, helpful information to establish your authority in the industry. This also helps to keep your visitors engaged with your content.
  • Contact us. Include your physical address, phone number, email address, and links to any social media platforms you post on. Include a contact form for inquiries or appointment requests. Make it easy for visitors to get in contact with you and know what’s happening with your business.
  • FAQ. Address common questions about memberships, classes, facilities, policies, or any other usual questions to provide clarity and save time for visitors and staff members alike.

There are plenty of options available to help you build your own website, but this can still be a time-consuming, limiting process. Zen Planner’s integrated websites make it simple to get the website you need. These expertly crafted, purpose-built gym website templates are fully integrated with our member management software to help streamline your operations.

The Digital Business Profile

Simply having a website isn’t enough. To have a truly effective online presence, you also need a digital business profile, so motivated potential customers — especially those in close proximity — can find you. If your business doesn’t have an optimized profile on search engines, like Google, and crowd-sourced review sites, like Yelp — you’re missing out on the possibility of ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs), which are the webpages served to people after they search for something online. For every search query, the search engine creates a list of results based on factors like the user’s physical location, browsing history, and the search query itself. That’s why it’s important to ensure your information is accurate and up to date.

By creating your profile and keeping your contact information current, you can maximize your visibility.

Your business profile should include:

  • Business Name. Use the actual name of your business and ensure it’s consistent for each of your business profiles (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.).
  • Address. Include the physical street address, not a PO Box. If you have more than one location, create separate business profiles for each.
  • Phone Number. 61% of mobile searches result in a phone call, so include a valid phone number, complete with an answering service or voicemail to field inquiries.
  • Website. Searches usually include a visit to your website, so be sure to include an active URL.
  • Hours. Google displays business hours in SERPs and Google Maps as well, so make sure your operational hours are listed and accurate.
  • Description. Include a detailed, but concise description of your offerings (between 250 – 500 characters).
  • Logo. Include your logo as a point of indication for current and future members to build trust in your brand and establish credibility. If you don’t include a logo, Google will pull a map of your location instead.

After these essential elements are present, consider adding photos and/or videos and encourage your members to leave reviews.

Lead Forms and Management

A strategically placed form, on your “contact us” page, for example, is an excellent method of lead capture. These forms play a pivotal role in converting casual visitors into potential members. By implementing a well-designed form on key pages, you can capture vital contact information from interested parties. Carefully consider the information you need to collect like name, phone number, and email address. Don’t overwhelm your visitor with too many fields. The same type of form can also be used to promote offers to try a free class, week, or consultation. Great offers like these will entice prospective members to fill out the form and visit your gym, which is the ultimate goal.

Your call-to-action (CTA) should be in active voice. Studies show that buttons with the word submit don’t convert as well as action-oriented phrases like Get Started, Try Now, or Reserve Your Spot. Great offers will entice prospective members to fill out your form and visit your business. To make sure they see your offer(s), be sure to add your form — or a button linking back to it — on multiple pages of your website, or in the main navigation.

This direct interaction enables you to build a database of valuable leads. Once collected, those leads can be nurtured through personalized email campaigns, targeted offers, and relevant content that fosters a deeper connection with your brand. This direct engagement not only increases the likelihood of converting leads into paying members, but also helps you tailor your services to better meet their needs, which will boost member satisfaction and retention.

Effective lead management is equally important. Employing a robust lead management system allows you to organize and categorize leads based on their interests, fitness goals, and readiness to purchase. This segmentation will enable you to deliver targeted, tailored follow-up messages that will spur action. Be sure to follow-up regularly with fitness tips, success stories, and exclusive offers to keep your audience engaged.

Lead capture, segmentation, and nurturing are all managed within Zen Planner’s member management software to help you enhance customer engagement and drive business growth in a highly personalized manner.

Gym Email Marketing

After your leads have been captured and segmented, you can nurture them with email marketing. Targeted emails provide a direct line of communication between you and existing and potential members to establish your business as a knowledgeable authority in the fitness world and foster a sense of community and trust. Create a gym email marketing newsletter with a regular cadence to keep everyone informed about things like class schedules and promotions. Promote exclusive discounts, fitness tips, or other announcements as needed. Well-crafted email campaigns encourage social sharing that will amplify your brand awareness organically.

With Zen Planner, you can draft automated emails to send to prospective members who have filled out a form on your website or attended a class. Nurture them through regular communication and turn them into paying customers. You can also improve retention by using email to stay in touch with your existing members. Set-up emails to be sent to members on milestones like birthdays or anniversaries, or to contact members who have been absent from class for a while.

Gym Social Media

Because of its pervasive, influential nature, social media should be a major aspect of your overall online presence. Use it to build trust in your fitness community. Before making the decision to pay you a visit, most people will look you up on their favorite social platform. According to a survey from G/O Digital, 62% of respondents said Facebook is the most useful social network for researching a small business. With 2.9 billion active monthly users, lasting popularity, and great features for small businesses, we recommend you start your social strategy with Facebook.

To start, create a Facebook business page with both a short and long description, hours of operation, contact information, and a business category (be sure to select “gym”). After you’ve created an informative business page, post regularly. Maintain consistent branding, target your audience, use applicable, high-quality images, and incorporate value-driven content that inspires community engagement.

Take things a step further by creating a Facebook group as well. Facebook groups set a wonderful stage for you to build community around your brand. With it, you can bring together gym members, prospects, and like-minded individuals who share an interest in health and wellness. Facebook groups help to foster a sense of belonging and engagement that will strengthen relationships within your community and create a loyal customer base.

Member Testimonials and Referrals

Testimonials from real people are incredibly influential. They inform purchase decisions at a surprisingly high rate. According to a study conducted by PowerReviews, nearly all consumers (97%) read reviews, and 86% allow those opinions to influence their buying behavior.

Because testimonials are viewed as an honest representation of your services, displaying them on your website, social media, and advertising is a way to establish trust with your target audience.

To get started, identify members of your gym who show appreciation or who have made significant progress in their fitness journeys since joining your community.

  • Conduct interviews to capture success stories. Be sure to ask questions about things like benchmarks, goals, and other examples of progress.
  • Use photos to add intrigue and personalization.
  • Highlight compelling quotes.
  • Make sure all participants are willing to sign a consent form allowing you to use their name and likeness in marketing materials.

Use the testimonials you collect on your website, social media, emails, ads, flyers… everywhere. Consider running a featured member of the month campaign to highlight these shining examples of success.

Referrals and testimonials are similar in that they are both positive personal accounts of interactions with a specific business, but referrals are usually relayed casually on a one-on-one basis. They are a low-cost and highly effective way to grow a gym. Referred members tend to make more purchases, be more dedicated to your community, and are more profitable to your business overall.

To spread the word about a new referral program:

  • Add a callout on emails
  • Announce the program on Facebook and other social media platforms
  • Create a flyer or card for members to distribute
  • Have your coaches announce the program at the beginning and end of each of their classes

Member management software like Zen Planner can help you measure the impact a referral program has on your gym’s growth.

Data and Reporting

While collecting and analyzing data can be an intimidating aspect of running a business, it can’t be ignored. It’s imperative to have visibility into your sales funnel to know what is and isn’t working from a financial perspective. Thankfully, you don’t have to crunch these numbers yourself. Effective software like Zen Planner can track tons of useful data about your business and view it on an easy-to-digest dashboard.

Much like a fitness program, fitness business owners must set measurable goals and develop a plan to achieve them. Which means you have to understand your business and which metrics impact it. Zen Planner’s reporting can provide customized visibility into these goals — and your progress — so you can keep track and iterate as necessary for the best results.

Unleash Your Potential with Zen Planner

Most gym owners don’t have the time or resources to try to grow their business and gym marketing strategies alone. Member management software makes member management, engagement, and marketing so much easier. Platforms like Zen Planner allow you to build lasting relationships with your leads and members and easily manage day-to-day tasks using automations that are tailored to your business — all in one solution. Get access to member management, class scheduling, member check-ins, automated billing, and effective, ready-to-use marketing strategies.

Zen Planner’s intuitive platform simplifies every aspect of gym management to help you attract more leads, convert them into loyal members, and keep them engaged for a lifetime. Connect anytime, anywhere with websites, chat, text, a mobile experience, and more.

Zen Planner isn’t just member management software or a customer relationship manager (CRM). It’s a game changer for your gym packed full of growth tools that will help you unleash your full potential.

About the Author: Kelli Sweeting

I'm Coach Kelli, a devoted CrossFit gym owner with 15 years of experience managing my facility, along with owning yoga studios and wellness centers. Beyond the fitness world, I have a passion for cooking, cherish moments with my children and family, and find joy in spending time outside. Having experienced the highs and lows, I'm dedicated to leveraging my expertise to help you grow and succeed on your fitness journey.