Running impactful gym promotions can be a great way to boost revenue quickly. If you need to hit a monthly sales target, then well-timed promos can help get you over the line. But doing them too often can also devalue your brand, making people less likely to pay full price. So what’s the best approach?


In this article – we share the 8 most effective types of gym promos plus 12 calendar-themed gym promotion ideas to pick and choose from…





Types Of Gym Promotions

Promotions can be a great way to introduce scarcity and encourage potential customers to sign up immediately. There are lots of different formats your gym promos can take…

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  • Buy one get one free (BOGOF)
  • Refer a friend
  • Complimentary day or week trial
  • No joining or activation fee
  • Get something extra (e.g. gym bag, PT sessions, meal plan)
  • Free upgrade (e.g. from off-peak to peak)
  • Free bonus (e.g. personal training, supplements)
  • Discounts (check out our pricing article for more info)

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Timing Your Gym Promos

Do you run marketing campaigns on a monthly basis? Or just have special offers now and again?


However you choose to structure your gym promotions, it’s important to consider seasonal trends. By understanding fluctuations in demand, you can create well-timed and therefore more effective promos.


Tools like Google Trends can show how demand for gym memberships and personal training changes throughout the year. Unsurprisingly the biggest peak is at the beginning of January when people commit to New Year’s resolutions.


Increase Gym Revenue TileHowever there are also smaller peaks at the beginning of March, July, and end of September which you could take advantage of. It’s also worth noting that demand will vary between the northern and southern hemispheres, since the summer surge will be at different times.


Other things to consider are gym-related awareness days, religious holidays (like Christmas and Ramadan) and discount days (like Black Friday or China Single’s Day).


Depending on the type of holiday, you may want to develop a special offer or avoid promoting during that time entirely. Going against the grain can sometimes make you stand out more – just ask Patagonia, REI, and Pieminister.


As a rule of thumb, we recommend using promotions every 3 months to take advantage of trends or holidays. Spacing them out quarterly allows you to boost your sales at opportune moments – for example running gym membership promotions in advance of the financial year-end. But without overdoing them which can devalue your brand and train customers to expect a discount as standard.


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12 Calendar-Themed Gym Promotion Ideas

To help you get started, we’ve put together 12 calendar-themed gym promotion ideas that you can try for yourself. Whether you want to drive more member referrals, increase loyalty, or get a few more leads, here are some effective options…


  • Jan – What makes you different?
  • Feb – Collect 10 stamps
  • Mar – Referrals on demand
  • Apr – De-stress
  • May – Summer body
  • Jun – Fresh fruit flyers
  • Jul – Boost Facebooks posts
  • Aug – Free friends
  • Sep – Autumn relaunch
  • Oct – Healthy habit challenge
  • Nov – Black Friday
  • Dec – Pay nothing until January


JANUARY – What Makes You Different?

At this time of year, most people don’t need convincing about the importance of fitness – New Year’s resolutions and holiday guilt take care of that. So you just need to convince them to choose your gym over your competitors.


Differentiate Your Fitness BusinessFocus your promotion on the aspects that make your fitness studio or health club different…


Maybe it’s specific facilities (such as a pool) or the company values that differentiate you from others. Be super-focused with your messaging and you’ll have ideal clients queuing up to join.


You might also like… 5 Ways To Use The January Fitness Rush To Your Advantage


FEBRUARY – Collect 10 Stamps

After the craziness of January there’s often a dip in attendance. Promos at this time should focus on keeping people coming back (especially those January newbies) and establishing a gym routine. So learn from coffee shops, and give cards to members that get stamped every time they attend.


If they visit 10 times during the month, then reward them with a free class, PT session, or swag. Consistent attendance in the first month is linked to longer retention, so incentivise them to make exercise a habit!


MARCH – Referrals On Demand

March sees another peak in demand, so take full advantage by running a referral promotion. The key is to make it easy for members to refer their friends, family, and colleagues.


One way to do this is by creating online vouchers that are free to access, so people can share them with friends and family. Offer a variety to appeal to different types of people and interests, such as…


  • Swim & Sauna Day For 2
  • Group PT Session
  • PT Starter Class Pass


APRIL – De-Stress

April is Stress Awareness Month, so why not promote all your wonderful de-stressing services.


  • Remind existing members about your sauna, spa, and pool facilities.
  • Encourage them to try your yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi classes. 
  • Hold free relaxation workshops to attract new members and create a ‘de-stress’ package to offer them at the end.


You Might Like ⇒ This extensive list of health and fitness awareness days so you can plan promos around other key dates in the wellness calendar.


Fitness Challenge Ideas TileMAY – Summer Body

Unless you’re in the southern hemisphere, May is the ideal time to begin your ‘summer body’ themed promos. Starting at this time gives people enough time to actually see results before their beach break.


Running group fitness or weightloss challenges can help members reach their goals and build a community. Offering 6-8 week transformation programs is a proven way to get existing members re-engaged and attract new members to sign up.


JUNE – Fresh Fruit Flyers

When it comes to gym membership promotions, stop handing out printed flyers and get creative with fresh fruit instead! Head down to a busy area that’s within walking distance of your gym club and give out fruits with complimentary passes tied to them.


Strawberries, peaches, melon, blueberries, passion fruit, cherries, and pineapple are all in season during June, which means they’ll be cheap to buy and irresistible to passers-by.


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JULY – Boost Social Media Posts

July sees another small peak in demand, so take full advantage by paying to boost your Facebook, Instagram or TikTok posts. This will multiply the reach and impact of anything you plan to promote.


Gym Advertising Ideas TileIt’s incredibly effective since you’re able to target your ideal client very precisely, at a time when you know there’s demand. Include a lead magnet or form to capture people’s contact details who show interest.


AUGUST – Free Friends

August is a traditionally quiet time of year since most people are exercising outdoors or on holiday. This makes it the perfect time to boost attendance by giving members the opportunity to bring a friend along for free! Be sure to collect their contact info and follow-up afterward to convert visiting friends into paying members.


SEPTEMBER – Autumn Relaunch

The end of September sees another small spike in demand. Use the change in seasons and increased interest as an opportunity to launch new products or services.


Offer free sessions, taster samples, and introductory pricing to encourage members to try something new. Bonus points if you can theme it around pumpkin spice lattes or changing leaves!


OCTOBER – Healthy Habit Challenge

As colder weather and darker nights draw in, it’s the perfect time for members to renew their gym routine. Encourage this by running a 30-day challenge that’s designed to develop healthy habits.


Gym Membership Retention Strategies TileGive them daily tasks via email, social media, and in-club instructions, so they get back into the swing of exercising consistently.


This will give your retention a boost and help keep people loyal throughout the upcoming holiday period.


NOVEMBER – Black Friday

Black Friday has become one of the biggest shopping days of the year, with people expecting BIG discounts. It’s the one time when offering price promotions is universally acceptable and unlikely to devalue your brand.


So, consider offering a serious bargain that’ll draw in new members during the holiday lull. If you opt for discounting, then 20% is the minimum you should offer to make it attractive.


Alternatively you can also maintain your base pricing but offer extra bonuses on top. For example, members who commit to a full year up from could receive additional bonuses like PT sessions, meal plans, or sports massages.


DECEMBER – Pay Nothing Until January

At this time of year people are often busy with Christmas prep so fitness takes a backseat. Use this quiet time to fill your pipeline for next year by offering new members a free or discounted month. This reduces the risk for them and ensures you start the new year with a healthy crop of existing members.


Gym Promotions & Ideas For The Year Ahead

Gym Marketing Plan PDF Template TileThe key to running effective gym promotions is to plan ahead. Identify your promo ideas at the start of the year so you can create the marketing materials in advance and communicate the plan to your team.


If you’re looking for other ways to promote your gym business then check out our free fitness marketing ideas. It covers 25 of the best fitness marketing tactics that don’t cost anything to implement!


Fitness Business Templates & More

Our ready-made templates make it quicker, cheaper, and easier to promote your fitness business. They can improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns. If you aren’t an experienced marketer, then templates also provide a useful guide for you to follow.

Fitness Business Templates

Whether you run a gym club, fitness studio, or personal training business, these templates will save you time and effort. They’ll help you to plan and organize your promotional activities so that you generate more revenue. You’ll get 40+ templates covering sales, marketing, and business start-up resources.


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Caroline @ Wellness Creative Co

Qualified personal trainer & nutritionist with 15+ years of fitness & wellness marketing experience.