Well…it's good old January. You know what that means, don't you? Tons of weight loss and health club TV, radio and print advertisements are being thrown at your members daily. Everywhere you look, a different company is claiming it can give your members a quick, easy and simple way to burn fat, lose weight or get in shape. With the onslaught of all this advertising, if you don't make your nutrition marketing pieces stand out, they'll quickly get tossed in the trash, just as fast as those annoying Viagra e-mails are deleted from inboxes across the Internet.

Here's the good news — there are only three components to an effective nutrition marketing piece and you can easily use all of them to create a message that immediately jumps out at your members. Not only that, but if you include these three components in all your nutrition marketing materials, you'll get a much greater response and more members will enroll in your nutrition program.

SAY IT IN THE HEADLINE

The first component you must have in your nutrition marketing materials is a compelling, benefit-driven headline. I've addressed the importance of headlines in previous articles, so I'm not going to “beat a dead horse” — not that I'd beat a live one — but the headline is 80 percent responsible for whether a member reads the rest of your nutrition advertisement. If the headline on your nutrition flyer, brochure, postcard, letter or poster is the name of your club, the name of your program or anything else that doesn't immediately convey a huge promise or benefit to the member, eight out of 10 people won't read it. The best type of headline for your nutrition marketing materials is one that promises to deliver the chief benefit the member is looking to experience or one that promises to help the member avoid the main thing they're most afraid of experiencing (as it relates to their fitness, of course). This is why segmented database marketing is the most effective, because you can speak specifically to each segment's needs and desires.

MAKE AN OFFER

The second component needed to create a nutrition piece that gets a tremendous response is an irresistible offer. Most health clubs have marketing materials that just advertise their nutrition program without making any type of special offer, let alone an irresistible one. Any marketing piece that doesn't contain some type of offer attempts only to brand the nutrition program, and that's not the type of marketing that I recommend for your club's in-house marketing. Make sure that your marketing materials make some type of offer for the members to get started in your program, such as discounts, free personal training sessions and frozen dues for the length of the program. The more exciting and irresistible you can make the offer, the greater the response will be.

INSTRUCT THE MEMBERS

The third component every nutrition marketing piece should contain is a Call To Action (CTA). A CTA is a clear and specific set of instructions for what the members should do after they've decided to take advantage of your offer. Don't leave it up to the member to decide what to do next. Tell them, and be crystal clear. The more specific you can make your CTA, the better the response you'll get. Your members are silently begging to be led and now's your chance to lead them in taking advantage of your offer.

You'll be shocked at how much better your response rates become when you include these three simple components into every one of your nutrition marketing materials. If you include a compelling, benefit-driven headline, an irresistible offer and a clear and specific call to action in all of the marketing materials for your club's nutrition program, the advertising being done by your competitors won't have even the slightest impact on the amount of new clients you enroll this month in your program.

Todd Brown, CCN, CSCS, MES, is the director of personal training for the seven New Jersey WOW! Work Out World facilities. He can be reached at tbrown@workoutworld.com or 732-390-7390 ext. 19.

Market for Response

Follow these three tips to get your members to respond to your nutrition ads:

  1. A compelling, benefit-driven headline.
  2. Have an irresistible offer.
  3. Call to Action — a set of instructions for what members should do when they take advantage of the offer.