The Biggest Marketing Mistake Clubs Make

When you think of monthly club promotions, what do you think of?

  • Sign up for X amount of $ and get free enrollment?
  • Refer a friend of family member that signs up and get this month free?
  • Zero dues for 30 days if you sign up this month?
  • Get the Super Duper Deluxe Membership when you sign up for Basic?
  • blah blah sign up bloppety blah blah?

You get the message here? Sign up, sign up, sign up!

The biggest marketing mistake clubs make is ignoring the top of the sales funnel.

marketing-mistake.jpgHere are the facts:

  • 85% of people that are exposed to your club via the Internet or whatever outbound tactic you use are not even looking to sign up with any club, much less your club. “Sign up” offers are a moot point to these people. This is the reason your mailers are not a viable means of engagement in 2016and into the forever future.
  • 12% to 14% of people that are exposed to your club are looking to sign up to a club but not necessarily yours. A sign up offer could entice these people to move forward but probably not. These people aren’t quite looking for the deal yet. They’re looking for your club’s trustworthiness. Is your club the resource that can help me reach my fitness goals vs other clubs in the area? A “sign up” offer usually has nothing to do with the decision these people are making. They’re not looking for the deal, they’re looking for credibility.
  • 1% to 3% of people are looking for “the deal.” They’re ready to sign up and if the offer is appealing enough, they’ll take advantage of it.

So when you mention the words “Sign Up” you’re essentially marketing to 1 to 3% of people that engage with your inbound or outbound campaigns. Even though this strategy will result in sign-ups, this is not a good strategy; your success will be short-lived and you’re only catching approximately two fish when you have a hundred hooks in the water. You can achieve much greater success with your club promotions if you don’t ignore the top of the funnel and focus more attention on engaging people on an educational or helpful level rather than a “get in my damn club right now” philosophy.

Shift Your Strategies to get More Members

The world has changed. You can no longer hard sell people as easily as in the past. Establishing trust within your demographic is the key to bringing in truckloads of new members. If you focus on the top of the funnel you’ll be developing content that visitors will engage with, making your club THE fitness resource in your area.

The fitness industry is a “give it to me now” industry and, although future stability is important, it seems to be never as important as the here and now. A more methodical approach is needed for stability and growth. Instead of leapfrogging to the bottom of the funnel it’s better to strategically plan out your strategies from top of the funnel to the bottom. This way you’re grabbing visitors that aren’t interested in your club, developing a trustworthy status with them, and within a short period of time, making them members. True, they probably won’t become members overnight but as you establish credibility you will shorten the length of time it takes for people to get from the top to the bottom of the funnel.

5 Steps to Converting People From the Top of the Funnel*

  1. Make sure your members and non-members are segmented correctly through smart forms.
  2. Create more free download offers – Workout PDFs, guides, posters, workout calendars, etc. Stuff that people can download without getting hounded by your sales team like they would a trial pass.
  3. Deliver the offer through email – Give TOFUs the offer in their email via a download link. Use that email real estate to also tell them about a BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel) offer that will get them into the club.
  4. Use an automated system to stay engaged with the prospect over the next seven days – Once you deliver the offer in Step 3 you should send reminders of the BOFU offer two more times until they come in (or not – see Step 5).
  5. Break up with the prospect – Yep… break it off. Too many clubs spend too much time chasing clients they will never get to come into the club. You should have a clear timeline for follow-up procedures with prospects. Set your engagement to span a series of five to seven days and clearly communicate the length of time the offer stands. Then stop following up and stop wasting your time on people that will never sign up.

5 Steps to Converting People From the Top of the Funnel*

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