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7 Ways to Inspire People to Join Your Gym in the New Year

Join Your GymEverybody plans to join a gym at New Year's, right?

Right. Actually, 38% of people's new year's resolutions are "weight loss" related. Which makes New Year's one of the best times for growing your gym.

But how do you make sure people choose your gym over thousands of others? Of course you can always stand outside during the holiday shuffle, twirling a sign. But that's not effective. Unless you're this guy: 


To help you out, we put together a list of 7 ideas for getting a head start on making sure your gym makes it to people's New Year's resolutions lists:

1. Start Advertising Before The End of The Year

Most gyms use traditional advertising to get the word out. If you do, you should consider running a "New Year" ad campaign in December and through the first two weeks of January (arguably the busiest time for gyms). Run ads on Facebook, offer special discounts for joining before the end of the year, hang fliers at local businesses, etc. Whatever you do, get started well before New Year's Eve.

2. Re-Engage Past Gym Members

Every gym has a long list of members that never came back. New Year's is the ideal time to re-engage lost members. Try sending out a newsletter blast to your previous members and offer them a discount, or show off your new equipment, or highlight a recent gym event they missed. When they see what your gym has been up to (and that you're offering them a discount) they will want to come back. 

re-engage lost members

3. Launch a New Year's Referral Challenge

74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions [Ogilvy]. What better way to bring new people to your gym than through your current members? To encourage your members to tell their friends about your gym, offer them some kind of incentive (like a challenge). The challenge can be what ever you want, just be creative. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Whoever brings the most friends in a month wins a free month of membership for themselves and a friend.
  2. Anyone who brings 5 friends to class wins the chance to design and lead his/her own workout class.
  3. When you bring a friend on "bring a friend day" you'll be entered into a contest to win a massage. 

consumer trends

4. Offer a Brand New Fitness Class

The start of a new year is for new beginnings. To help your gym standout, offer something new and out of your comfort zone. If you're a Crossfit box, consider a yoga class or a salsa dancing class. If you're a yoga studio, host a weightlifting class. Your willingness (and irresistible charm) to try something new will be attractive to visitorsIf all else fails you can always do a chair climbing class...

Disclaimer: Don't fool new people into joining your gym. If you don't intend on keeping the new class, be sure to tell people and briefly describe what the regular workout looks like. 

5. Partner With a Local Gym to Host a Combined Class

The holidays are for loving your enemies 😇. Hosting a joint class or competition with a local competitor can build valuable relationships and strengthen your community as a whole. If you each host a class at your location, you can both talk about your gyms and invite people to join.

Two of our Causely members (Crossfit Maximus and The Grind Shop) recently got together for a joint class. Here's the whole group together:

build community at your gym

6. Review and Update Your Local Online Listings

People search for gyms and businesses online. So, make sure your gym's online listings are up-to-date and accurate. We recommend using Moz Local to check your listings (don't worry it's free). Also, if you haven't added your business to these search engines, you might want to get started:

  • Acxiom
  • Citysearch
  • Facebook
  • Factual
  • Foursquare
  • Google
  • Localeze
  • Superpages
  • YP
  • Yelp

7. Host a Community Social Event

Finally, have some fun by hosting a social event at your gym. The event doesn't have to be fitness related. Set up corn hole, roast some hot dogs, and have indoor winter cookout. Invite the entire community! Just be sure to have a stand with some information about your gym. Once you get people to your gym, you can charm them into joining your gym 😉.

New Years is a major opportunity for growing your gym. If you can't manage all of these ides, just try one or two. Anything is better than nothing, and just a little effort to get your gym's name out there will help remind people to work off their holiday sloth.

Need a Better Way to Tell People About Your Gym?

At Causely, we help businesses spread awareness and engage their communities by supporting great causes. Every time someone checks in on Facebook at a Causely location or tags that location on Instagram, it generates a donation to a great cause. Click below to learn more about how Causely works. 

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Sarah Werner

Sarah wins the “off the grid” award on the Causely team. She aspires to live in a secluded cabin, surrounded by acres of pine trees and howling timber wolves, so she can finally write her award winning novel. In the meantime, due to the limited availability of her dream spot, she’s focusing on marketing, content strategy and storytelling for Causely. She has 5+ years experience in marketing and 10+ years in writing (27 if you include her childhood scribbles).


John Rougeux

John is an ambitious man who loves a good challenge. If you ask him to go for a hike, you’ll end up hiking the entire 2,000+ mile Appalachian Trail. If you ask him to go for a run, he’ll sign you up for an Ironman. No challenge seems to be too tough for this guy. John is the CMO and Co-Founder of Causely where he’s helping turn Causely into the most charitable company in the world.

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