As the General Manager or owner of your fitness club, you are constantly searching for different marketing strategies and tactics to determine the best use of your marketing dollars. Some things are going to produce better results than others. Also, understanding the peaks and valleys that exist throughout the year in the fitness industry adds another level of mystery to the equation. When should you sent out more mailers? When should you send less? In the end, you take an educated guess, and you go for it.
Enter Inbound Marketing
By now you’ve probably heard about inbound marketing. It’s the latest thing in fitness club marketing. It’s an innovative methodology that helps very interested prospects find your club online instead of you spending money chasing the wrong people down the street with a “Sign Up Now And Pay Nothing To Join Our Club” offer that they couldn’t care less about. Inbound marketing also comes complete with high-tech, intuitive software that tells you everything you’d ever want to know about visitors to your website. And better yet, the system automatically turns these visitors into sales qualified leads that will bring tears of joy to your sales rep’s eyes!
The BIG question: How much does inbound marketing cost?
The easiest way to answer this is: Your yearly investment needs to be sizable enough so that you can realize a positive return in a reasonable amount of time. That investment will vary considerably based on the goals, plans, challenges, and timeline of your club. Other factors include the type of club(s) you own. For example, is your club an HVLP; is it a highly specialized facility; do you have multiple clubs or a single boutique location?
It’s important to note that inbound marketing includes many different services, all of which work together to generate the maximum amount of leads possible. Eventually, all of these services working in concert will create a pipeline of leads that will be unlike anything you’ve experienced through traditional marketing tactics. Your investment in the inbound system will cover the full gamut of digital marketing services, all bundled together into a single platform.*
As a general rule, the cost of implementing inbound marketing will be similar to your spend on other marketing investments you’re currently making to grow your club. How much are you spending on direct mail campaigns, magazine and radio ads, door hangers, and other forms of traditional marketing? Are you enjoying an increase in lead generation or are you experiencing increasingly diminishing results? The good news is, your existing marketing budget could be comparable to the investment you need to start implementing inbound marketing, but with a much better ROI.
*Note: Ads for Google and social media are not considered a part of the core of the inbound marketing foundation and require a separate budget over and above your inbound marketing investment.