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Grow Your Club Membership in 5 Simple Steps


If it seems like there’s a fitness club opening in your area every week, well, there just might be. Today, there are more fitness clubs in the U.S. than ever. Unfortunately, there aren’t more fitness club prospects than ever. If you want to grow your club’s membership, you need a smart, strategic acquisition plan.

Here are five tips to help make yours a success:

  1. Understand your market and your members. Some prospects will be a great fit for your club. Some won’t be. Focus your marketing efforts on the former. Keep in mind, your future members will look a lot like your current ones. So make sure you understand your current members’ demographics, psychographics, etc. and target prospects with similar profiles. You might be surprised just how many different profiles you have.
  2. Trust the data, not your gut. You have lots of data on your current and past members. You’re bound to have data on campaign performance. You may even have data on prospects in your area. Use all that data to adjust your targeting, messaging and offering. It’s a data-driven, marketing world. Data doesn’t have to be intimidating if its broken up into measurable parts.
  3. Choose the right channels. TV spots or Facebook ads? PPC or DM? There are literally hundreds of marketing channels and counting. Utilizing the right ones, at the right times, will help grow your club’s membership. Consider your budget, target and objectives, then let the data help you decide.
  4. Inspect what you expect. You rely on your sales team to convert leads to members. Are they making all the calls they should? Reaching out as quickly as needed? Getting interested  and qualified prospects in for visits? It’s important to understand how your team handles leads — and to ensure all team members know their goals.
  5. Want to beat the competition? Don’t be the competition. These days, most clubs offer modern equipment, quality service and competitive pricing. What most don’t offer is that little something extra. The personal training pass giveaway. The weight loss challenge. The hopping holiday party. Experiences like these get people to join your club, and set yours apart from the thousands of others.

Look for reasons to celebrate and be remarkable. Make sure to create an environment that makes others want to go out and share it.


As founder of the Fitness Portfolio Business for Epsilon, Greg Dowd has led and grown the organization over the last 15 years. He can be reached at greg.dowd@epsilon.com or visit epsilonlocal.com.


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