What is a gym sales funnel, and why do you need one?

12 min read
This article provides a blueprint of the fitness business sales funnel. Implement these strategies in your business to boost your revenue and profitability!

This article provides a blueprint of the fitness business sales funnel. Implement these strategies in your business to boost your revenue and profitability!

Generating leads and persuading them is the key to success in every industry. Sales funnels have always existed for businesses. Online approaches have only increased their potential and streamlined the process. Whether your gym already has an online presence or not, the sales funnel is a critical element. A robust sales funnel can help with acquiring, retaining, and nurturing your gym members. 

An illustration of a fitness business owner talking to customers on the phone.

As complex as it may sound, building a gym sales funnel isn’t tough. All you need is proper guidance, a few marketing tools, and an understanding of your audience. We’ll go through the elements that you need to build a successful sales funnel. However, let’s start with what a gym sales funnel is. 

What is a gym sales funnel?

A gym sales funnel is a strategy to bring clients to your gym. It involves reaching out to potential customers, gaining their interest and trust, evaluating their needs, and closing the sale. 

The process of reaching out consists of developing content, sharing stories, and online ads. The next step, garnering interest, focuses on your services and their benefits. This step is often facilitated through visual storytelling, emails, and gated content. 

Below that, a subtle part of the gym sales funnel is called “evaluation”. It revolves around analyzing whether your services are parallel to the requirements of the prospect. Which, essentially, is building ideal customer personas and USPs, and sticking to them.  

The final parts at the bottom of the funnel require the negotiation and closing skills of your sales representatives. 

Why do you need a robust gym sales funnel?

Most gyms are lenient toward not building an online presence. They rely on word-of-mouth alone and exhaust their reachability pretty soon. This strategy limits the potential of scaling your business in most cases. On top, with fewer client inflow, the low retention rates of gym members harm the business in the long term. 

Increased conversion rate and less wasted time

With a robust sales funnel, you can pretty much sum up which prospects are worth your time and which aren’t. Analyze their position on your sales funnel and determine your sales approach. If they still aren’t hot, give them a few more cycles to nurture.  As the prospects climb down the funnel, you can encounter more people with genuine interest to join your gym with a year-long contract. 

Better price point prediction

Depending on the position of prospects on the sales funnel you can determine the best pricing strategy for your gym. Many of your leads will fall off the sales funnel after they’ve been informed about the pricing structures. You can leverage the metrics to make changes to the price point or the services offered—gaining a significant advantage over your competitors. 

Understanding ideal customers

The most common denominator of demographics may be used to determine the profiles. With the data available on each customer's demographics and requirements, you can develop ideal customer personas. Customize your sales approach depending on the available persona. It may also help you curate your website content. Depending on what keywords your ideal customers are using, create your website content around that. 

Developing better content 

Use the sales data to develop content that your future gym members may like to see. For instance, if your sales funnel gets the most attention from individuals interested in aerobic or cardio exercises, bring out content like: 

  • “7 best aerobic exercises to train for the next marathon”
  • “The aerobic secret to weight loss in 3 months” 
  • or something similar. 

However, try to stay relevant and cash out on the latest trends with your content. We’ve discussed more on that later. 

Improving on weak areas

Sales funnels are great for understanding the weak areas of your approach. You’re able to pinpoint where your prospects are exiting from the funnel. Therefore, it’s possible to improve these areas to reduce the bounce rate and strengthen your sales and marketing strategy. 

For example, your prospects may abandon the funnel after talking to your representatives about the “50% festive offer”. In that case, you need to change your approach and give them a more realistic offer to work on.

Building a gym sales funnel

With the what and why out of the way, let’s discuss how to build an effective sales funnel. The pillars of any sales funnel are:

  • Awareness

  • Interest

  • Evaluation

  • Negotiation

  • Closing

  • Renewal

You need to customize and optimize every step of the funnel to be effective for your gym. In this section, we’ll go through the basics of each strategy that can strengthen your sales funnel. 

Focus on your website

Your website is the topmost part of your sales funnel. Whatever marketing strategy you may take, it’ll end on your landing page. Optimizing your website to welcome your audience is the least you can do to generate more leads. 

Optimize your landing page with the exact keywords that your audience is arriving here for. If you’re relying on paid ads for traffic, consider the keywords you’re most effective with and use them to make your audience comfortable. 

If web content is your best source of traffic, optimize them and the whole website with AMP, mobile optimization, and relevant keywords to cater to the most. 

Moreover, make your website easily navigable and quick to access. Don’t let interested individuals bounce to your competitors just because they have a better-functioning website. Use breadcrumbs on your payment and catalog pages to let them easily navigate to the detailed gym membership pages.  

Landing pages should be as refined as possible. Use as many visuals and infographics on the page to gain the trust of your audience. If possible, consider adding e-books, case studies, and transformation stories to your website. 

Define your target audience

Be careful with your gym’s target audience. You must remember that you can’t cater to every fitness enthusiast and athlete with the same sales strategy. 

Defining a target audience starts with defining who your target customers aren't. If you’re targeting individuals with weight gain issues and eating disorders, don’t try to appeal to track cyclists who are more likely to go to specialized gyms for their needs.  

Additionally, if you’re using search ads for marketing, use the metrics available on Google Analytics or similar platforms to understand who you’re appealing to the most. Personalize your sales approach to sit parallel to their requirements. 

However, you may not have a specific target audience segment if you offer diverse services. You’re better off creating multiple ideal customer personas in those cases. As discussed, analyze who your most loyal customers are and conduct research on them to build the profiles. Train your sales executives to cater to the needs of the specific target customers as per their preferences.  

Offer valuable content and build awareness

After you’ve successfully defined the target customers, you must offer valuable content to them. Keywords research and competitor research comes in handy to facilitate content marketing for your sales funnel. A few content ideas that are effective for gyms are: 

1. Blogs

If you want to bring organic traffic to your website through SERPs, blogs are your best bet. Regularly generate and upload articles on your website on relevant topics to harvest the interest and confidence of your audience. Define a brand theme and stick to it while generating blog posts on your gym website. 

2. Infographics

Infographics are visual highlights of statistical findings that may intrigue your target audience. Typically, infographics are uploaded on social media pages and with blog posts as pivotal content to gain attention. For your gym, you may conduct personal research on your existing clients to find significant results to generate infographics. For example: “89% of our clients continue beyond 6 months and lose an average of 10 lbs per month”. 

3. Ebooks and whitepapers

Fitness enthusiasts often like to read through data-backed detailed content that dives deeper into the science of exercise and diets. If you have significant knowledge about your industry, you may develop whitepapers on a particular topic. For instance, you may write a 50-page downloadable ebook describing DOMS and healing. You may also gate ebooks and whitepapers to generate leads for your sales funnel. 

However, don’t limit yourself to a single ebook. Consider regularly offering your audience new information to stay relevant.   

4. Visual content

Websites are mostly centered around written content. While most industries function well on articles and posts, gyms and the overall fitness industry are more visually intrigued. Your potential gym members are attracted to transformation videos, workout clips, and success stories. Ensure that you’re developing visual content along with posts and articles to create an effective sales strategy. 

Use content to generate leads

The fundamental objective of gym sales funnels is to harvest the contact information of potential clients. How you handle the clients after their information is shared is a different story. To generate leads and have enough inflow of prospects in the funnel, consider gating your whitepaper and popular posts behind a gate. The gate asks for a few basic info and the contact number of the leads to contact them in the future. 

These strategies are involved in the “awareness and interest” process of the sales funnel where a particular prospect is just starting to take notice of your gym. Let’s now discuss the other funnel levels going deeper toward closure.  

Nurture your leads

Lead nurturing is the practice of keeping a moderately hot lead in the loop while the sales team understands their true intent and works towards closing the deal. Major lead nurturing strategies include personalized emails, follow-up calls, and social media communication. 

Typically, leads are ranked and sorted based on their position in the sales funnel to facilitate lead-nurturing strategies. While personalization may be the key, your growing business may not have the luxury to do so to a great extent. Consider automating email marketing for best results. 

Compel the leads to take action

The bottom of the gym sales funnel is the most lucrative and the most critical part of the prospect’s journey. The cold leads have already fallen out of the funnel, and you’re now left with potential clients. However, you also are competing with others on a tight margin. 

As the remaining leads are quite warm at this point, a little push in the right direction with discounts, offers, and better customer service can prove to be effective in closing the deal. 

Product comparisons work wonders at this point of the funnel. Leads, at the bottom, often try to compare products through reviews and other channels to finalize their choice. Offer them exactly that without letting your weaknesses be exposed. Focus on the benefits of your gym and try not to bully your competitors. Be as detailed as possible. 

Reviews, testimonials, and personal stories empower the leads to choose your services more confidently. For gyms:

  • Free trials

  • Review comparisons

  • Personal transformation stories

  • Promo codes

  • Roadmaps

  • Free screening

  • Webinars

  • Free diet consultancy

  • Video classes 

  • And other promotional services are quite effective

The best you can do is hand over the leads at this stage to your sales representatives. They’re responsible for bringing the leads to the gym floor and convincing them to get the premium package available. 

Optimize your sales funnel strategies 

Creating a sales funnel is quite different than maintaining its effectiveness. With consistent testing and tweaking, you can optimize the gym sales funnel to increase accuracy and revenue. 

A/B testing

Constantly tweaking your content for better conversion and ROI is the key to optimizing your sales funnel. While you can’t A/B test everything, you can change email subject lines, CTAs, designs, and forms to see what resonates with your audience better. 

Analyzing potential issues

If your sales funnel is working as expected with most of the warm leads reaching the lower half, but failing to convert, you should consider optimizing the sales approach. Training sales executives, understanding the buyer’s persona, and email automation tools may come in handy with low conversion issues. 

Funnel metrics

Analyze the metrics available at every stage of your gym sales funnel to optimize the strategies. 

For starters, SEO, ranking, and online ad metrics are used to assess the awareness and interest stage. 

In the mid, organic traffic, CTR, email open rates, form abundance, dwell time, and bounce rates are critical to understanding the lead’s true intent. 

At the final stage, conversion rates, ROI, and revenue-related metrics may help you optimize the funnel to cater to the prospects better. 

Utilize your social media profiles

Constantly improvise on your gym sales funnel with data available on your social profiles. At the nurturing stage, communicate with your leads through social media platforms. If possible, target their demographic with your content and trends. You may also build awareness of your gym through social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok.  Upload exercise videos, food recipes, transformations, and achievement stories to reach more hot leads. 

The bottom line

At the initial stage, developing a gym sales funnel requires defining your audience, having a website, and building awareness. Later, the interested prospects are turned into leads through personalization, visualization, and lead nurturing. Finally, sales representatives are engaged to close or renew the deals. 

Frequently asked questions about gym sales funnels

How to grow your gym business? 

Growing your gym business requires increasing the retention rate, building a gym sales funnel, and providing quality services to your members. 

What are the stages of the gym sales funnel? 

Awareness, interest, evaluation, negotiation, closing, and renewal are the pillars of a gym sales funnel. 

How important paid ads are for the gym sales funnel? 

Paid brand awareness ads often prove to be very powerful for gym sales funnels. With metrics available to analyze real-time user behavior, you can optimize your sales funnel according to that data.  

Why develop buyer personas? 

Buyer personas help your sales team approach the leads with a better strategy and increased success potential. 

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