Many health club owners think that the key to successful marketing is driving heaps of traffic to their website, hoping for some sign-ups and hoping they will recover the cost of the marketing to get traffic there in the first place. This “spray and pray” approach just doesn’t cut it, especially if you are looking for loyal, long-term members.
The following are three ways in which you can successfully nurture your leads and ultimately convert them into long-term members:
1. Capture each lead’s attention and details. How are you currently getting new leads at your gym? Do you advertise in a local newspaper, hand out flyers or rely on word of mouth? Typically, prospective members go to your website to scope out your gym before they actually call and make an appointment for a tour. You must capture those people’s contact information when they take that online tour. Does your website have an area where these leads must give you their contact information, such as a place to sign up for a newsletter or equivalent offer? Clearly state the benefit to them for offering their contact information to you.
By capturing at least their e-mail address and name, you have a way to follow up and communicate with them. The fact that they put their details into your website qualified them as more than just site surfers.
- Capture each lead’s details with something that would be of interest to them (an e-book, an e-newsletter or a bonus).
- Spruce up your website so the key benefits of your facility are crystal clear.
2. Education-based marketing. With the explosion of social media, YouTube and effective search engines, all the information we need is literally at our fingertips. We are in the information age where consumers are hungry for information that will make their lives happier, easier and more productive. So what does this mean for your club?
The key to warming up leads starts with offering them information that will benefit them, delivered frequently and consistently. This builds trust and familiarity. Educate members about why your club is the best option for them while also providing them with great tips and advice that they can easily start to implement.
- If you don’t already have one, set up a biweekly or monthly newsletter full of quality information for new leads as well as members. Give valuable advice they can use and offer reasons why your gym is the best option for them.
3. Unique added-value features. If you are driving leads to your website and are not capturing their details, then you are making a grave mistake. Marketing is not hoping that people sign up on their first contact with you. It is a specific process in which you regularly communicate, educate and wow your leads to join your club.
All fitness facilities are essentially the same in the eyes of many people. One facility may offer extra features or fancier equipment, but prospects think that if the price or location is right, they can basically get the same end result at any club.
Does your website offer potential members a clear-as-day reason for choosing your facility over others? What is going to make your gym stand out from the rest? What are you doing in your club to wow potential members so they know that you care about them actually getting great results in your club?
- Offer something that is unique to your club and that boosts your prospect’s gym results, such as running a special 90-day challenge for new leads that offers a money-back guarantee if they are not satisfied and provides them with advice on all areas of wellness (nutrition, stress, goal-setting, etc). This is a great way to convert “on the fence” leads into gym members.
- Offer the first 10 new member sign-ups each month a free six-month subscription to a fitness magazine.
These extra perks are enough to get new sign-ons and create a better relationship with new members. Ultimately, members join a club to get results, so if you can find ways to help them achieve their desired goal, then you will create a loyal, long-term member.
Nalisha Patel is an industry consultant who uses psychology and persuasion to help clubs increase member retention and boost fitness results for members. She has a bachelor’s of science degree in exercise science and psychology. She can be reached at nalisha@MagneticMemberRetention.com. She is offering a free white paper titled “Seven Wickedly Effective Ways to Get and Keep Members” to help you increase your club profits. Discover on page 4 the single biggest reason members quit. Find out if you are making this mistake in your club and how you can instantly correct it. Go to http://www.MagneticMemberRetention.com/free to download.