Common Mistakes that Fitness Businesses Make in Marketing

The fitness industry has always used various marketing techniques to grow its user base. Nothing new here, but the fitness industry is also one that makes mistakes in getting its message out in an adequate manner.

If we take a sneak peek at other sectors, there are numerous examples of bad marketing. We experience bad marketing daily, just sit in front of the TV for a few minutes and you will see what I mean.

So, we decided to categorize these mistakes into 4 main buckets. (Let’s see if you agree)

Before we break them down bear in mind that marketing is all about generating true demand for your services. Generating demand is basically a mindset, you can’t move forward without knowing where not to step.


4 Common Mistakes Fitness Businesses Make in Marketing

1. Pricing to the bottom

First on the list is using price as a way to attract clients.

Using price as a marketing tactic is a dangerous one. But why do so many companies use pricing as one of their biggest hooks. And sure, some of you reading this are probably thinking, but it works – surely.

Before I answer that, what do you think people think of Planet Fitness?

Planet Fitness marketing is based on price. They offer $1 sign up with $10 per month.

Now, imagine what would happen if they increase their prices and try to target a higher clientele? It won’t work because once you introduce a low price as an entry level, it is going to be hard to increase your prices.

When you go and shop at Hugo Boss, you expect a better service but you will seldom see them using just price as an incentive to buy from there.

My Advice:

Start with a high price if you have to and discount or offer rewards to market your services but do not make the mistake of pricing yourselves to the bottom. It will seldomly work, and even if you do – the clientele you will get will be more work and use up much of your resources.

2. Information Hoarding

A lot of businesses try to fill their leaflets and websites with as much information as possible.

The psychology behind this is that we want to tell the world how great we are and we do not want to miss anything out. But what we do not understand that in trying to populate our websites with as much information as possible we are actually harming our marketing outreach.

The reason for this technique not working is again down to psychology.

With trying to impress our audience we actually confuse them with too much information.

My Advice:

Try this trick. Write a one-page manifesto of how you help your clients/customers and what sets you apart. Once you do that, try shortening that into one or two sentences. Now use that to explain what you do and why your value proposition is much bigger than others.

3. The Simulators

The type of people who I describe as stimulators are ones who try to inspire their prospective clients with the use of emotion in their marketing.

Stimulators, in my opinion are people who notice big brands like Coke / Apple or Samsung do marketing and think, right this is how we impress our clientele. They mostly think that with the use of clever tone of voice and messaging they can motivate people to buy what they are selling.

Whilst the thought is good, always use language that appeals and makes sense. Apple can do smart type of marketing as they have spent millions building their brand.

Smaller companies will find it hard to keep attention unless they have clear actions that they want their clients to take along with clear outcomes.

My Advice:

Begin your messaging with outcomes. Always think of the value you provide and try not to use words like I / Me / We etc. Make your messaging all about your clients, their outcomes and their success.

Try to stick to one or two messages in any campaign, so on your homepage of your website, for example – try just sticking to just 2 CTA’s (call to actions).

4. The ones who use personalization

Personalization is everywhere. Emails often are sent to us with the first name listed – this is companies trying to market themselves as known commodities, i.e. look we know each other, let’s do business.

But personalization, when not done right can be dangerous. Nowadays, companies are trying all sorts of ways to get out attention. Now, I recently signed up for some information for a bunch of family holidays.

On the back of that I got an email from a well known fitness chain who had an offer for me to join their facility – all good until you realize that the location of this fitness chain was 90 miles away from me, with the closest location more than 30 miles.


If you are doing personalization make sure you have a well thought out plan. Do not use personalization unless you are absolutely sure of the information you are using is 100% accurate.

Referring to a John as Jon can have adverse affects on your outreach. Also, list purchasing is a technique often used – try to avoid buying lists as this is an outdated exercise.

So, have you seen any examples that you want me to add here? Let me know by emailing me at

By Rehan Sajid, Director of Growth at turnfitter

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