Despite the fallback health clubs and fitness centers experienced from Covid-19 and the dip in gym attendance, consumers are still wanting a way to meet their fitness goals.

In February, we conducted a survey to learn more about consumer behaviors now that we’ve kicked off the new year. Surprisingly, more people than you might think are wanting to go back to the gym — in person.

Here’s what we learned:

The pandemic remains a big concern to many

The effects of the pandemic are here to stay, and while the majority are willing to return to the gym, some have accepted the new normal of working out from home. We asked in our survey what would motivate them to return to the gym and 27% responded with improved safety precautions and 25% stating pricing promotions.

Make sure to highlight the steps you’ve taken at your gym to increase the sanitation and safety for your members in your marketing materials and on your website. It could be the reassurance someone needs to feel comfortable coming back to your facility. 

Consumers are still wanting to workout at a gym

More respondents than we expected want to return to a gym, with 40% saying they prefer that over at-home workouts. When asked when they plan to go back, 17% of respondents are eager and looking to go back as soon as possible while 23% say they will, only depending on the vaccine.

A majority of those surveyed do and plan to workout at least three times a week — whether that’s at home or at the gym. So be sure to reach them with your strategic advertising and let them know your facility has high cleanliness standards and you are excited to have them join!

We found that the top three ways to influence consumers’ choice of a gym are:

  • Word of mouth 
  • Social media
  • Google ads

The power of good reputation and word of mouth can’t be ignored. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed stated this was the number one way to influence their choice of gym.


Value above all else

According to our respondents, value is the most important factor when choosing a gym. Value and pricing were the highest resulting deciding factors with 70% selecting this over other options such as sanitation, convenience, or amenities. This is why it’s so important to offer your prospective customers a value proposition that is both enticing and unique to your gym.

We asked in our survey what the most important offers were and this is what they told us:

Number 1 – Join for free promotion. This allows potential members to try out your gym without any strings attached. Let them enjoy what your gym has to offer, and leave them wanting more when their free trial is over.

Number 2 – Four weeks for $4. Letting your prospects join your gym for as little as a dollar a week can sound very enticing and will get more people in your doors to try out your awesome facility.

Number 3 – Everyone’s a member in X month. A great idea for giving a taste of what your membership offers its members. Maybe that includes one-on-one personal training or group fitness classes. Whatever that may be, get them excited to try it out.

Look at ways you can reach the people who are eager to return and incorporate that into your marketing strategy. If you need a little help, UpSwell has experts who specialize in the fitness industry and can help establish the right strategy for your health club. Contact us today to get started!

UpSwell Marketing is a full-service agency offering over 20 digital and print capabilities that help small and medium-sized businesses attract more customers while optimizing their marketing budgets. UpSwell, founded in 2020 through the merger of Muscle Up Marketing and Mudlick Mail, has more than 12 years of marketing experience serving over 10,000 clients, executing more than 150,000 campaigns, and a track record of helping clients acquire over 10 million new customers and counting.

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