Marketing a gym in a competitive environment can be a real challenge. In 2020 and 2021 gyms and personal training facilities were some of the hardest hit businesses in the economy.
As such no gym has money to waste. Every pound that is spent on advertising and marketing has to be doing its job properly and has to generate a result.
On the other hand many people have found their health deteriorating over the last year. The interest in joining local gyms has grown exponentially as gyms and other businesses open. Many people are looking into fixing many of the issues stemming from sitting at home for the last 12+ month.
This is likely to remain a reality for at least a year or two in the future as many of the bad back and weak core related issues will come to light with some delay.
Local gyms around the UK have been using leaflets delivered to residential households for decades in order to advertise their services. Let’s have a look at 5 ways you can do so as well and make every pound count.
1) Discount codes
Racing to the lowest price in the market and dragging the value of our services (and the profit of our gym) down is not a sound business strategy for everyone. Especially at a time when prices will most likely be rising across the board.
However well designed discount codes on leaflets do work. Before we move ahead with this idea though we need to pay attention to the most important element in this strategy - the ‘well designed’ part.
Discount codes must have a single goal. They need to entice people into trying your services and visiting your gym. They should not be used to make it cheaper for your clients to use your services long term.
Discount codes must focus on giving your potential clients extra motivation to come to your gym and see how you work - nothing else. The codes should be one use only and only for new clients.
Discount codes have other great advantages in the context of leafleting campaigns beyond just their ability to motivate people to respond to your leaflets.
If you design your codes properly you can track which areas are people responding to your campaign the most or which specific leaflets have the most impact if you are using multiple designs.
Simply develop a unique code for each aspect you are looking to track. Then track the numbers of each code claimed and enter this into your database or spreadsheet.
You can use this data to plan your future campaigns, track which parts of your town are the most responsive to your marketing and steer your design process.
This allows you to add another level of sophistication to your leaflet campaigns and collecting data long term will help you save money in the future by making your efforts more efficient.
The last thing worth mentioning relating to this topic is the fact that your discount code should not dominate the design of your gym leaflets. It should be visible but your branding and your unique gym identity should be what leads the design.
2) Social media and QR codes
Even though delivering leaflets is a completely ‘offline’ marketing technique it can drive people to your various online platforms.
Restaurants are already using this system to get people to visit their profiles on food delivery apps.
As much of the gym marketing world is very visual - social media platforms like instagram have been a big part of many people’s strategies.
Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat are very difficult places to stick out and drive traffic organically for any gym. There is a huge competition present on these channels.
On top of this, even if you manage to bring people to your profiles organically much of the traffic is not going to be from your local area.
The whole world is watching and as such many people that will be watching your content are not going to be close enough to you to visit your gym location regularly.
Your leaflets can include QR codes that bring the recipients in your local area directly to your social media channels.
These can then act as one of the authority-building tools your gym uses. People can browse your feed, see images of your premises, see the results your clients are getting and learn from the fitness tips you are sharing.
This way you can easily get local people that have a real potential to become regular clients at your gym visiting your social media and following you.
If you decide to go this route it is important that your social media content strategy is well done and that you post regularly.
In this format an active social media account with quality and relatable content can help you build trust with potential new clients in a way almost no other technique can.
3) Work on your website
We’ve already touched on your social media, online presence and how it can interact with your offline marketing in the form of leaflets including QR codes.
Having a high quality social media content strategy might come naturally to many gym owners. The gym business tends to be full of young people and much of the conversation around marketing in the last five years has been focused on social media.
An important part of your online identity that you mighe easily overlook in this is your gym’s website.
As local business websites get fewer hits and the marketing managers see larger numbers coming to their social media the focus naturally shifts to where the traffic is going.
This is a trap you probably want to avoid. Your gym’s website is still very important.
The fact that the number of clicks you get on your website is lower than the number of clicks on your instagram profile doesn’t mean that your website is not an important element in people deciding whether they should use your services.
Don't obsess over traffic
You don’t need a million people looking at your gym’s website every month. You need the right people to get the right information from it.
Your website is still one of the most important ways of sharing information about your gym with potential clients.
You can use it to share the profiles of your personal trainers and their education.
You can explain your gym’s training philosophy way better on your website than on your social media profiles.
You can include a booking system for your classes and one-on-one training session with specific trainers at your gym..
Do not underestimate your website and the impact a quality website can have on the marketing of your gym.
You can send your clients to your website through a QR code on your leaflet the same way you can send them to your social media profiles.
4) Distribute leaflets advertising your gym
Finally we get to the actual physical act of delivering your leaflets to the homes of potential clients that live close enough to your location to become regular customers.
The most important things to consider when we discuss leaflet distribution are the following.
Putting together some quality photography, a clean design and a single QR code are way more effective ways of structuring your leaflets than listing all the classes you offer.
Your leaflet is meant to entice people and communicate what is unique about you. It is not meant to be a great source of information about absolutely everything that one can do at your gym.
Shared distribution (to privately owned residential homes)
Leaflets are best distributed on a shared basis. This means that your company will deliver your leaflets together with one or two other unrelated clients.
This helps keep costs down and does not affect response rates. You should also be delivering your leaflets to privately owned residential homes only. A good leafleting company will be able to provide you with both of these services.
5) Don’t stop
It is generally advised to have your leaflets delivered multiple times every year to the same areas. The area doesn’t have to be large but keeping constant pressure on the most key parts of your local area is the way to use leaflets.
Repeated exposure is a big part of marketing and you should take advantage of it. Identify the crucial times in the year when people are most likely to be responsive to your marketing and focus on those.
A good company that focuses on leaflet deliveries can help you structure your drops in a way that is sensitive and allows your drops to work in the long term.
If you have any questions about any of the ideas we shared in this blog feel free to contact us here.