4 Pro Tips To Make Your Next Gym Referral Program Explode

Without a steady stream of new faces, your fitness studio could be in for a rough time this year, making it harder to keep good staff, fix equipment, put on parties for member retention and smash your business profits. Steve Grant explores.

With over 5,000 gyms across Australia and New Zealand alone, STANDING OUT in a competitive fitness industry isn’t easy. So, let’s talk about gym referral programs and according to a new study by Nielsen, ”why 92% of people trust recommendations more than ads!”

So, what's a Gym Referral Program, Anyway?

Think of it as a buddy system for gyms. Your current members become your gym ambassadors, recommending to their friends, family, or co-workers. Offer them a sweet deal – a discount, free trial, or some cool perk for every new recruit they bring in. It’s a win-win. Your current member feels like a champ, and the newbie feels like they’ve just hit the jackpot.

4 Golden Reasons I LOVE referral programs in my gym

Keep 'em coming back

Referred customers stick around 37% longer than members who hear about you somewhere else. Build that community vibe.

Wallet-friendly advertising

Referral leads are cheaper and better quality than paid ads from Facebook or Google.


People love feeling part of a tribe. Referral programs build loyalty and make members feel appreciated.


Referred customers spend 16% more over their gym life.

4 Pro Tips to make your next gym referral program explode

Keep It simple

Don’t confuse your members with gym referral acrobatics. Make the incentive clear and easy to snag. Don’t make your members jump through hoops. Make sharing a breeze. Links, images, referral cards – let them spread the love effortlessly. Remember, simple is sexy.

Make it worth their while

Make it juicy. Offer discounted memberships, free apparel or supplements, Personal Training sessions, foam rollers, massage guns or even Apple Air Pods—thank your members for the hustle. Keep them in the referral game.

Shout it from the rooftops

Designing a great call to action is ONLY step one. Step two is the most important – Telling your members. Email, SMS, post everywhere on social media and display signs in the gym – shout about it everywhere.

Keep score

You wouldn’t lift weights without tracking your numbers, right? Track referrals, sign-ups, and conversions. Use easy, cheap software like XODA or old-school methods; just keep tabs.

In a nutshell, gym referral programs can turn your gym into a bustling community and beef up your bank account.


Steve Grant

Steve is a gym owner in Sydney and the Director of Gymhub mentoring, which helps gyms grow, so they can work less make more money, and have more fun.