Using Facebook Retargeting Ads to Grow Your Gym Membership

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As a small business owner [yes, you’re a gym owner, but first you need to think like a business owner], you work hard to get people to come to your health club’s website. However, as with most purchases, it takes eight to 12 touches to turn a gym prospect into a member. But in general, many visitors to a website come once and never come again. This is where Facebook retargeting ads might be the best use of your gym marketing dollar.

Through Facebook retargeting health clubs can find people who’ve visited their gym’s website and then using their data find their Facebook profiles. Then by crafting ads that speak to this targeted prospect on Facebook, you can bring them back to the site in hopes of getting them to take action ranging from scheduling a tour to signing up for a membership.

And with 1.62 billion people on Facebook daily, there is a very high likelihood that your health club’s prospects are going to see your gym’s Facebook retargeting ads.

And the truth is that Facebook retargeting ads work. And work well.

  • When you retarget visitors to your gym’s website with display ads on Facebook they are 70% more likely to convert into customers.
  • Retargeted ads have a click-through rate (CTR) that is 10x higher than the CTR of a standard display ad.

Create convincing Facebook retargeting ads

However, they only work if you use the right messaging for your audience. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when creating Facebook retargeting ads for your gym.

1 – Remind them why they came in the first place

If you’ve seen the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore Rom-Com “50 First Dates,” you’ll understand that most of your prospects have the memory of Lucy Whitmore —they need to be reminded about you all the time.

They may have come to your gym’s website last week after thinking about the chocolate cake they scarfed down after dinner. By this week, not only have they forgotten the cake, they probably have forgotten which health club they went to after their Google search for “best gym near me.”

This is a great job for retargeting. You can set up retargeting ads that remind the people who did visit your landing page for weight loss classes but failed to claim the offer of a free pass that is on the page (you do have landing pages and offers, correct?), so they come back to you and engage. You have seen these countless times when immediately after searching for running shoes, your Facebook page has ads for Brooks, New Balance,, or whatever page you may have stopped at.

Remember, they may have some recollection of visiting your club’s website, so you don’t need to beat them over the head. Just an image and perhaps a line of “Are you still looking for the best weight loss program in town?”

This way, you have triggered their memory and, hopefully, had them claim that free pass or contact you for more information.

2 – Make it urgent

The best thing about retargeting ads is that they know who you are and what you do—they have been to your website at least one time.

However, what your gym’s retargeting ad can do is create a sense of urgency. When they came to your site previously, they were just browsing. But if your retargeting ad creates a sense of urgency in its call-to-action (CTA) such as, “Be one of the next 10 to join now and get your first month free,” you have created an actionable item with a do it now or lose it impetus.

3 – Show ‘em something else

Sure, that person may have come to your website to see about your weight loss program. However, they didn’t join then, so maybe they need something else and just don’t know it.

Perhaps have your retargeting ad show them your personal training, spinning, or yoga programs. That might hit something that the initial search missed, and you just might get a new gym member out of it.

Retargeting is a mix of art and science. It can take some trial and error to get it right, but in the end, it can provide a great return on your gym’s marketing dollar.