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November 30, 2018

Facebook Ads: Marketing Your CrossFit Gym & Increasing Memberships

Written by William Imbo

With over 2 billion users worldwide, it’s very likely your target market is somewhere on the social media platform waiting to hear from you. If done right, advertising on Facebook can be one of the most net positive things you can do for your gym business. In fact, you should probably be running Facebook ads year-round. Facebook has a pretty solid guide to get you started on the actual step-by-step creation so we’re going to focus on how your gym can maximize the effectiveness of the ads. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Know Your Audience

Who’s your target market? This is often one of the first and most important questions in any marketing campaign. One way to answer this question is to look at the current members of your gym. What’s similar about them? Are they mostly moms 26-45 or moms with grade school kids, college kids 20-27, men 30-40, etc? Whatever the current make-up of your gym, this is who you’ll likely want to market to – at least for now. Facebook does a great job of allowing you to segment your audience, so take advantage.

When selecting the location of your target audience (which is actually the first step), be realistic. How far is your target audience going to drive to get to your gym? This is going to vary depending where your gym is located, but again, look at your current members. On average, how far from your gym are they?

Make Them a Great Offer

Ok, so you selected the perfect target audience – Facebook puts your ad in front of them, but are they taking notice? If you want the answer to that to be yes, then you need to present them with a great offer.

Remember, we’re trying to keep it simple here. Let’s assume your target audience are moms with grade school kids. For our ad, we’re going to need an image and text (text above and below the image and a headline).

The Image
If I keep mentioning your target audience, it’s because it all goes back to them. The image should speak to them. Why put a picture of a Games athlete working out if your target audience is, at most, going to be intimidated or turned off by it, and at least, simply not going to relate to it and scroll past your ad. Keep it real! If your target audience is moms with grade school kids, then show some moms (or women) working out at your gym. And yes, make sure it’s your gym, not a stock photo. Are you going to need a good high-quality image? Absolutely!

The Offer
You should already have an idea of what’s going to push your target audience to click your ad. Here are some example you can use:


  • FREE! 2 Weeks at CrossFit ABC
  • 50% OFF: Your First Month at CrossFit ABC
  • FREE: 5 Personal Training Sessions at CrossFit ABC

Ad Text:

  • Moms, here’s our gift to you. Claim your 2 weeks free at CrossFit ABC to kickstart your training and get in shape!
  • It’s time for a little YOU TIME! Claim your FREE 2-weeks at CrossFit ABC. Hurry, only 5 left this month.

Get Their Information

Your targeting and ad were so good they clicked the ad. Now what? Well, you need to get some basic information from your future member: Name, email, and phone number. The best way to do this is with a landing page. This page doesn’t have to be overly complicated, they already bought in when they clicked on your ad. They’re likely not looking for anything other than to fill out a simple form and wait to hear back. Here are a few options to create your landing page.

  • On your current website. If you’re using WordPress and doing it yourself, there are a few free (and paid) plugins that make it super easy to create a nice landing page. If you have someone that handles this for you, just let them know you want a landing page on your site. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
  • If you have a Mailchimp account, you can use it to quickly create a landing page. If you don’t have a Mailchimp account, you can get started with a free one.

Follow-up ASAP & Have a Plan When They Arrive

Once a person signs-up to receive your offer, you’re going to follow that up in three ways.

  1. A ‘Thank You’ page that will let them know the next steps. (Consider this an extension of the landing page. If you used Mailchimp, for example, you’ll also use that for the Thank You page).

Example: Congratulations! You just signed-up for 2-weeks at CrossFit ABC – and it won’t cost you a thing except a little time and commitment. Get ready to get in shape. We’ll be contacting you via email and phone within the next 24-hours. (We suggest calling within a few hours of them signing up)

  1. A phone call and email scheduling them for their first session. Make sure to let them know what to wear and what to expect. As the date approaches, make sure to send a few reminder emails.
  2. A great experience. Remember, they haven’t paid you a dime yet – and likely won’t for at least 2-weeks, or whatever your offer is. Give them a great experience and show them everything your gym has to offer – from the community experience to the workouts!

Facebook ads are one of the best tools for increasing memberships at your gym. I hope this article persuades you to run some ads. Start with $30/week and see if you produce any quality leads. Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error but stick to it.

*Note: This is a plan to get you up and running quickly. This Facebook advertising plan is simple but can be very effective. Once you’re up and running, you can begin to delve a little deeper into maximizing your ad dollars through things like custom audiences, retargeting, A/B testing, etc.

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email at

About William Imbo

William Imbo is an Associate Editor at BoxLife magazine, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and holds an MPS in Sports Industry Management from Georgetown University. He is an avid CrossFitter and loves film, music and travel, thanks to having grown up across Europe. A fan of the New Orleans Saints and Newcastle United, Will's favorite CrossFit girl is Helen-least favorite being Isabel.

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