Does the First Impression of Your Club Matter?

first impression

Have you ever thought about what people think as they drive by your club every day? I’m very sure that you’ve put a lot of work into the presentation of your club and your brand. At one point, the thought of your first impressions in the local market kept you up at night.

Whether you opened the doors to your club yesterday or 30 years ago, the degree of which you think about your club’s first impression to the public levels out as the stability of your membership base becomes more consistent. The importance of keeping your club’s presentation always stays in the forefront, but it quickly becomes second nature.

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So it’s 2015, what is the first impression do people form about your club today? Or, better yet, when you think of “first impressions” what do you think of?  How clean the outside of your building is? The light up logo outside? The friendliness of your front desk staff? How many places your logo present around your city?

The fitness industry is a rather traditional industry and the mainstay tactics that have been used in the past to create a great first impression are still in full swing today.

But Did You Know?

Today, eighty percent of people that decide to make a lifestyle change to look and feel better will search the Internet first before driving over to or calling your club. Yes, they might have seen your club hundreds of times driving home after work but the fact is that your club probably won’t register until they see your club’s website online. 80 percent of the public’s first impression of you is not the presentation of your actual club; it’s your club’s website.

Members, prospects, and visitors need to realize consistent branding on and offline.

How important is your website to you? Do you consider it when you think about your image? In this day and age, it can be argued that your website should be your first consideration, and the look and feel of your club should be a direct correlation to your website. Members, prospects, and visitors need to realize consistent branding on and offline.

Be THE Health Resource for Members and Prospects

For your club(s) to grow now and into the future, you must put your website at the top of the food chain and command the most attention in your particular area(s). When people visit your website, it needs to look visually appealing and give them what they’re searching for in just a few seconds, or you could lose them to the competition. Five percent of your website’s visitors are ready to join a fitness club (not necessarily yours) and they’re doing research online to find out what your club has to offer versus other clubs in the area. You most likely have one (1) chance to make a great first impression and grab your visitor’s attention.

By the Numbers

Think about it, if your website averages 8000 visitors per month (members and non-members) – 400 of those visitors have the genuine potential to take the next step and become a member of your club. If your website gives a great first impression, it should be efficient at converting anywhere from 30% to 50% of those 400 visitors into leads. Out of those 120 to 200 leads, your sales team should be able to convert 20% to 30% into members; 24 to 60 new members per month. Is your current website effectively converting visitors to leads at this rate?

Here is a Five-Point Checklist for which to Evaluate Your Website’s First Impression Capabilities:

1) Is your website antiquated? – People that browse your website instantly know whether or not you’re keeping up with today’s design standards. If you haven’t updated your website in the last three years, you could be losing people left and right.

2) Do you have versatile offers? – People that visit your website are at different stages of the buying cycle. Simply having a trial pass on your website and a discount offer is not going to cut it. 80% of the visitors to your website are just doing research and not looking for any deal or selling tactic. If you only have these two offers on your website you are converting up to 75% fewer people into leads than you should be.

3) Do you have a blog? – The number one reason people visit your website is to get advice or find information regarding fitness. Your blog is a priceless tool you can use to show your authority in the market over your competitors.

4) Do you have LOTS of landing pages?Landing pages convert visitors into leads. The more landing pages you have on your website, the more leads you will receive.

5) Do you give your visitors a clear direction? – The technical word for this is “information scent”. When visitors come to your website, you must give them the ability to find what they are looking for right away.

The shift has happened. The Internet provides prospects total control of their browsing experience. If they don’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll bounce, and they may never come back. A consumer’s first impression of your club is literally at their fingertips. Make sure you’re taking care of your online visitors just as well as you take care of visitors at your club.
Inbound Marketing for Your Health Club