Running fitness challenges can be an effective way to generate leads. Whether you’re a gym operator, personal trainer, or run an online fitness business, they’re a top marketing tool. With the right approach, challenges can attract your target audience, establish trust, and generate qualified hot leads.

In this guide, we outline how to generate leads using fitness challenges.

We’re a specialist fitness marketing agency with 15+ years of industry experience, so we know first-hand what works (and what doesn’t!). We’ve helped gyms, fitness studios, and personal trainers to successfully promote their businesses, so our marketing strategies are tried and tested.

Fitness Marketing Ebook Tablet

Fitness Marketing Ideas Mini-Guide

25 fitness marketing ideas for your gym, studio, or online business. Attract new members, get more PT clients & boost your fitness blog.

1 – Get Their Email Address

The first step to generating fitness challenge leads is to capture participants’ contact information. For most types of business, this means collecting an email address when they sign up.

Doing this means you can continue to build the relationship and market to participants, even after the challenge ends. Email is four times better at generating sales than social media so make sure it’s part of your marketing strategy!

You might think it’s enough if they like and follow your social media account. But it’s not…

Only 1-2% of your followers typically see your posts, so it’s not an effective channel for following up. And if your account gets unexpectedly blocked or banned, then you’ve lost your audience completely.

So if generating leads is your goal, then make sure you collect their email address. You can do this by…

  • Running your challenge in email format so that people need to subscribe to get their daily instructions emailed to them.
  • Creating an email opt-in that outlines the challenge instructions (such as an ebook or cheat sheet).
  • Offering bonuses to help them complete the challenge successfully in return for their email (like workout templates or checklists).

We like Podia and Mailchimp as email providers since they’re both affordable and easy to use. But most platforms include opt-in features that enable you to collect emails in return for a freebie.

You might also like… Email marketing for fitness brands or how we grew our 15,000 person email list.

Grow Your Email List Hero
Our Fitness Marketing Roadmap includes an entire module on email marketing and done-for-you lead magnets.

2 – Solve a Small Problem

To set yourself up with high-quality leads, you don’t want just anyone participating in your fitness challenge. You need your target audience of ideal clients to sign up.

And, your challenge needs to prove your effectiveness too.

So, create a challenge that attracts your target audience, solves a small problem, and gives participants a quick win. It’ll plant the seed that ‘if this brand can get this result in 7 days, imagine what it can achieve in 3 months!’.

Small problems or solutions that a fitness challenge can help with might involve…

  • One exercise – focus on one highly effective or transformational exercise, like squats that use several large muscle groups.
  • One achievement – mastering a specific movement like a full press-up or handstand.
  • One habit – like hydrating, eating a protein-rich breakfast or cutting out sugary snacks.

Check out our comprehensive list of fitness challenge ideas.

Focusing on something small will give participants the best possible chance of being successful. If you aim too high, then there’s a greater likelihood that they’ll get overwhelmed and drop out. But helping them achieve a small change will put them on a positive track for the next step…

Giving them something small is also a great gateway to selling something. If you give them a complete solution for free, then there’s no incentive to upgrade to your paid offering.

But helping them achieve a small success will prove your effectiveness and demonstrate that you’re worth the money. It sets you up perfectly to sell your paid fitness programs or gym memberships.

Fitness Marketing Roadmap Hero

Fitness Marketing & Lead Generation Roadmap

Your All-in-One Toolkit to Attract, Engage & Convert More Clients

3 – Tease Your Paid Offer

Teasing your paid offering helps you warm up your leads from the very beginning. It makes promoting your products and services a natural progression from the challenge.

Mention your products or services whenever it’s natural to do so. You can talk about client success stories, describe programme resources, or highlight membership perks if they’re applicable.

For example, if you’re running a weight loss challenge and your paid programme has a dietary component, then mention it. When you come to talk about the nutrition-related step of the challenge, you can also drop in something like ‘sound nutrition is key to achieving weight loss goals – that’s why there’s an entire module dedicated to it in our 3-month transformation programme’.

Teasing your offering ensures that participants are aware of it. Doing this helps educate them about the benefits too.

Warming up leads in this way helps to increase conversions later on. It won’t come as a surprise when you pitch, because they’ll already be intrigued and interested to learn more.

Fitness Marketing Ebook Tablet

Fitness Marketing Ideas Mini-Guide

25 fitness marketing ideas for your gym, studio, or online business. Attract new members, get more PT clients & boost your fitness blog.

4 – Make It Worth Paying For

When you’re running something for free, it might be tempting to cut corners. After all, you’re not being paid for the time and effort you’re putting in…

But your fitness challenge is a taster of what it’s like to work with you, so it needs to impress. Even though it’s free, it needs to be 100% awesome.

Include professionally-designed resources and clear instructions. Ensure there aren’t typos or broken links. Make it as good as you would have if you were charging people for it.

Why? Because quality impresses people. If they think your free products are great, they’ll assume your paid ones must be amazing.

But if your free stuff is average, then they’ll wonder if your paid offering is any better… And those kinds of doubts can hold people back from buying.

So make your challenge so good that people think it would have been worth paying for, even though they got it for free. You can add a price tag or value if you like (e.g. valued at $49).

Delivering a high-quality, professionally run fitness challenge will set you up for strong conversions. It can remove hesitations and concerns about whether your offering is any good, eliminating those objections to purchasing.

List of Strategies For Generating Leads With Fitness Challenges

5 – Have a Strong Follow-Up Process

This step is really important so don’t be tempted to skip it. You need a follow-up process to nurture, persuade, and convert prospects into paying clients.

If you don’t have a strong process, then you’ll fall at the last hurdle. Because all that effort you put into collecting their contact info, demonstrating your expertise, and helping them achieve a goal, won’t translate into sales. Well, not the level of sales it could do if you followed up…

People are busy and they forget things easily. We’ve all been there. You fully intend to sign up for something or buy it during a flash sale, then get distracted and move on to the next thing.

There will be people like this who complete your challenge. They’ll be keen to upgrade to your paid fitness programmes and fully intend to sign up… then forget.

All that’s needed is a gentle reminder and you’ve got yourself a sale!

And then there’s the category of people who are still on the fence. They won’t buy if left to their own devices. But if you follow up, you can help them make that decision to purchase…

What does a strong follow-up process look like? Well, there are a few different options, but the most common ones are…

  • Manual – this is where you follow up in person, either face-to-face, over the phone, or by email. It has the personal touch that enables you to tailor your pitch to their needs and customize solutions. But it can be time-consuming and isn’t easily scalable. Using a proven sales script and assessment process can help.
  • Automated – this typically involves creating a series of emails that are sent automatically at set intervals (like every day for one week). A classic sales sequence might include emails that make people aware of your paid product or service, outline the benefits, address objections, share testimonials, and encourage immediate purchases with a limited-time offer.

By implementing a follow-up process, you get the best possible lead-gen results from your fitness challenge.

Fitness Marketing Roadmap Hero

Fitness Marketing & Lead Generation Roadmap

Your All-in-One Toolkit to Attract, Engage & Convert More Clients

Get The Fitness Marketing Roadmap

Your All-in-One Toolkit to Attract, Engage, and Convert More Clients – Tailored Specifically for Fitness Businesses Like Yours!

The Fitness Marketing & Lead Generation Roadmap is a comprehensive resource designed for gyms, personal trainers, and online fitness businesses. It’s packed with video workshops, marketing templates, step-by-step guides, cheat sheets, and more. We cover:

  • Fitness Marketing Strategy: Build a solid foundation and plan for success.
  • Lead Generation: Attract more clients with effective tactics.
  • Social Media: Boost your online presence and engagement.
  • Email Marketing: Nurture leads and convert them into loyal customers.
  • Advertising & Promotion: Get your message out there efficiently.
  • Content Marketing: Create compelling content that resonates with your audience.
Fitness Challenges That Generate Leads Clients Pinterest
Categories: Marketing

Caroline @ Wellness Creative Co

Qualified personal trainer (BSc Sports Science) & nutritionist (MSc Human Nutrition) with 15+ years of fitness & wellness marketing experience working with global brands.