In our new era of streaming and virtual lifestyles, digital fitness is playing a huge role in the billion-dollar fitness industry and is pivotal for future success. Brands are seeing an upturn in online courses and virtual gym experiences that don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

We conducted a consumer survey to find out what customers really want, what factors are affecting gym attendance, and what would motivate them to rejoin or renew their membership to a gym.

In our survey, we found that 64% of consumers prefer to workout at home or outdoors versus working out at the gym —meaning virtual fitness is officially here to stay.

Continue to focus on offering valuable virtual fitness courses

The way consumers workout is evolving and although virtual fitness is here to stay, there are still plenty of ways your business can boost your membership base. Virtual fitness training can be incorporated into your membership benefits, with access to one-on-one personal training from home and group sessions with one of your star instructors. If your gym doesn’t have virtual fitness offerings, you could be losing out on potential members.

In our survey, we found that people are more willing to pay for monthly memberships than they were earlier in the year. On average, our respondents were willing to pay $41 each month, a 17% increase compared to earlier in the year, while the millennial generation is willing to spend the most.

Use a targeted approach toward millennial consumers

Millennials are a arguably the most important demographic in the industry to target in your marketing strategy. Although millennials are also the most cautious about the COVID-19 pandemic (23.01% vs 17.95% of Gen X), they are also the least likely to write off the gym, with only 13.81% stating they will not return.

We found that 25.52% of young millennials cared more about the amenities of a health club than they do vaccine or mask mandates (21.76%). They want meaningful experiences and valuable services from fitness brands.

Keep these top three factors that consumers consider when joining a gym in mind when you plan for your 2022 marketing strategy:

  • Value and pricing (66.79%)
  • Convenience (56.74%)
  • Sanitation (44.50%)

Listen to your consumers and pivot your 2022 marketing plan

In our survey, 71% of our respondents said they plan to exercise more as a part of their 2022 resolutions. Pricing promotions are the number one motivator for consumers to return to the gym with 21.82% compared to 19.17% for the mask mandate and 15.75% motivated by extra safety precautions.

We also found, however, the number one reason consumers would not return to their previous gym was lack of sanitation. Although safety precautions are not the number one motivator for choosing a gym, it is still extremely important to your members to maintain best practices for cleanliness.

By implementing new promotional offers into your marketing plan and focusing on what your customers want most out of your gym, you’ll attract even more new members. We recommend a multichannel approach to your marketing strategy by combining the top three influential advertising channels for choosing a gym: Social Media (33.2%), Google (24.2%), and Direct Mail (14.2%).

Check out our digital booster program if you’re looking to increase your customer reach and see sustainable results. You can also reach out to one of our fitness marketing specialists to get a free marketing assessment!

June 1st - September 3oth

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*This offer is for customers who have not previously used UpSwell’s digital marketing services for PPC Search or Social Media Ads. The Digital Splash promotion requires a minimum 3-month commitment to either social media ads or pay-per-click, and a media spend of at least $1,000 per channel. A one-time new customer set up fee of $150 will be charged upon signature of the contract. Contact UpSwell Marketing for details.