Wellness Partners

How a Free Women's Fitness App Can Help Your Gym Attract New Members

Jun 24, 2024
Last Updated Jun 24, 2024

More than 86 million people use fitness apps in the U.S. They're especially popular among women, with research indicating they constitute 75% of all health and fitness app users.

That means creating a workout app for women could be the secret to getting more of them into your gym. Doing so will help you connect with new and existing clients digitally, opening up new opportunities for in-gym conversions.

Building free workout apps for women may sound daunting, but it's easier than you might expect. 

How Creating a Free Workout App Can Improve Your Gym Business

Developing a fitness app can be expensive, so offering one for free can feel like the wrong financial decision. However, the long-term benefits of building an app for women should eclipse your costs.

Increased Brand Awareness

First, the app you build will make new people aware of your gym. People engage with fitness apps frequently. If they see your gym name and branding each time they do, it'll help you get more potential clients into your marketing funnel.

Lead Generation

Your users will have to submit their email addresses and other information when signing up for your app. These become new leads for your business, which you can work to convert within and outside of your new app.

Client Retention

Building a fitness app for women won't just help you find new leads. It'll help you hang onto more of your current members, too. Apps are a way to provide value beyond in-person visits. You can set up features for accountability, workout tracking, and more to keep your members engaged with your gym even when they're not in it.

Additional Revenue Stream

Even though your app's base version will be free, you can still market income-generating services through it. This makes even a free app a good source of additional revenue.

For example, you could offer in-app upgrades for users who want to access more detailed at-home workouts led by your best instructors. You can also promote premium in-gym services through your app, such as personal training from instructors whose videos you feature in the app's free section.

Key Features of a Gym's Women's Fitness App

You have room to customize your gym's new app based on your branding, clientele, and goals. However, effective women's fitness apps typically include the following four pillar features.

Tailored Workout Plans

Many women download fitness apps to find free workout plans they can follow from home. Include tailored workouts available for women at different points in their fitness journeys, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

It is also smart to create tailored workouts based on popular women's fitness goals. These could focus on a general goal, like burning fat, or a specific body part, like strengthening the core.

Workout Library

Your app can also include all of the detailed instructions women need to follow the workout routines you share. That means including video examples of movements, step-by-step instructions, and form demonstrations, where applicable. These instructional materials can keep women using your app by making it easier to follow their chosen plan.

Progress Tracking

You want your new fitness app to be something women can use daily to achieve their fitness goals. That means adding a progress-tracking section so users keep coming back to update their journeys. 

Include sections for logging workouts, weight, and measurements. You might also include a feature that helps women visualize their progress over time so they can clearly see how your app has supported them as they pursue their fitness goals.

Community Features

Finally, you can improve user stickiness by adding a social element to your app. That can mean forums where women talk about their journeys or a posting feature with a personalized feed like a social media platform.

Gym-Specific Integrations

Once women start using your app, you'll want to make it easy for them to transition their fitness efforts to one of your physical gyms. Here are three integration opportunities to help with that.

Class Schedules and Booking

Make it easy for users to see your class schedules and book upcoming sessions in your app. You can even suggest in-person classes based on the workouts someone completes in your app.

Trainer Profiles

Trainer profiles show your gym's expertise and help to encourage personal training bookings. Highlight trainers who focus on different fitness journeys and activities to appeal to the broadest group of women possible.

Push Notifications

Push notifications remind users to return to your app to resume their fitness journeys. You can use them to send daily reminders to log activities, promote upcoming in-gym events, and share motivational content.

How to Develop and Market a Free Fitness App (Step by Step)

There are two phases to launching a successful fitness app for women — development then marketing. You'll find step-by-step instructions for each below.

Phase 1: Development

The first step is to build your app. You'll need to complete a few steps before you start coding.

Step 1: Define Your Goals & Target Audience

Begin by considering what you want to achieve with your new app. It could be generating more leads, increasing brand awareness, or retaining more of your existing clients.

Also, go beyond "women" when considering your target audience. What ages will your app appeal to most? What kinds of exercises do they do? Are there other demographic factors that could impact what kind of app you need to achieve your goals?

Step 2: Feature Planning

Once you know who your app is targeting, you can start planning features that appeal to the demographic. Most apps will benefit from including core features like a workout library, progress tracking, and nutritional guidance.

You can also add unique features to your app based on your goals and target audience. This can include a community forum, integrations with in-gym classes, and the option to contact trainers through the app.

Consider monetization when planning your app's features. For example, if you're going to show ads, where will they go? If you're going to encourage in-app purchases, what features will help to improve conversion rates?

Step 3: Development Approach

Once you've planned your app, there are two main ways to start building it. The first option is to build your design from a template. This is usually cheaper and faster but less customizable. 

The alternative is to custom-design the app from the ground up. This will take longer and be more expensive, but you should get an app better aligned with your branding and goals.

Step 4: Branding & Design

As developers start working on the technical aspects of your app, you can begin thinking about branding and design. For example, your app name should be memorable and reflect your gym's brand strategy. You'll also want colors, fonts, and images that align with your company's style.

Step 5: Testing & Launch

The final step in this phase is testing your new app to find problems and fix bugs. Consider internal testing and focus group feedback to get the full spectrum of opinions. Once you're happy with those results, you can submit your app to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Phase 2: Marketing

Developing a great app for women isn't always enough to attract them as users. For that, you'll need to follow these marketing steps.

Step 6: Pre-Launch Buzz

Begin by getting people excited about your upcoming app launch. You can post about it on social media, share sneak peeks, and even offer early access to small groups.

It can be fun to do a countdown to launch day. You could share a new feature daily and promote the app by offering special deals or prizes to early adopters or people who help you spread the word.

Step 7: In-Gym Marketing

You'll also want to market in your gym. Doing so will ensure existing clients discover and get value from your new app. This can mean hanging posters around the gym, sharing ads on your in-gym TVs, or telling trainers to talk about the app with clients.

Step 8: Ongoing Marketing

After launch day, you'll want to continue advertising your women's fitness app to new users. There are many ways to market fitness products, including:

Targeted social ads: Use demographic targeting on Facebook and Instagram to reach ideal women clients.

Influencer partnerships: Offer incentives to get local fitness influencers to post about your app.

Email newsletters: Keep women appraised of ongoing development and new app features like special promotions and new workout content.

App store optimization (ASO): Include relevant keywords in your title, descriptions, and screenshots so more people find your app through digital stores.

Finding New Members

Creating a great free app can be a highly effective way to increase your gym membership. But it's far from your only option — you can also consider partnering with Wellhub!

An impressive 90% of Wellhub members are new customers for our partners. That could mean reaching a whole new demographic for your upcoming app or thousands of potential members for your gym.

Connect with Wellhub to learn more about how joining our network can boost your business!


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Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


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