Whether you’re using Facebook, Google, or another social platform, you can try a campaign with very little financial risk. With an investment of just $100 initially, you could test an ad’s effectiveness with regard to clicks and opt-ins.
What’s more, photos and ad copy can be changed in real time to improve their efficacy. Katherine Quinn, a customer service coach at Sneeze-It, a digital marketing firm based in Fairfield, NJ, that specializes in the fitness industry, notes the impact that quick refinements can have.
“A new client of ours, who was creating their own online ads, was achieving a click-through conversion cost of $26,” Quinn says. “With some analysis of their target market, we changed the photo, and, literally, two words in the copy. The conversion cost dropped to $8! When you target the right audience, monitor and measure results, and make the necessary adjustments, it’s possible to spend less to get more members with digital advertising.”
For a lead generation strategy that’s even more aggressive and diverse, consider creating, and leveraging, partnerships with influencers and thought leaders in your target market.
As an example, Vida Fitness, headquartered in Washington, D.C., whose primary market is ages 27 to 39 in the metropolitan area, has had great success with both local and national bloggers.
Mentions in various blogs by Bitches Who Brunch, a group of women who blog about fashion, vacations, and lifestyles in Washington, D.C., New York, and Chicago, has been a great way to reach their audience, says Aaron Moore, Vida’s director of operations.
In addition, mentions by local bloggers and neighborhood associations have also been very effective. If your club serves the family market, check out PeachJar, based in San Diego, CA, a national organization that advocates for after-school programs, and offers a digital flyer program that enables clubs to market directly to the parents within a specific school district.
To find more digital marketing opportunities locally, simply identify the associations and organizations that represent your target market and inquire about online advertising. You may find a new approach that’s inexpensive and very effective.
Managing Your Prospects for Better Outcomes
For a club operator, there’s no bigger frustration than spending good money to generate a qualified lead and then not know if your salespeople are doing the proper follow-up.
Old-fashioned paper systems made that process cumbersome, and, frankly, many salespeople detested it. These antiquated methods were also difficult to monitor, and, because the information was often lost when an employee left, accurate sales statistics were hard to generate.
Fortunately, today’s CRM (customer relationship management) software programs remove the inefficient paper trail, and allow for accountability and protection of the lead, regardless of the staffing situation.
“Many of today’s clubs don’t have full-time sales staff,” notes Tock. “And, often, those with sales teams have eliminated the sales manager position for budgetary reasons. As a result, a good sales CRM system that automates the process is essential.”
Such a system is different, and separate from, club management and billing software, as it focuses exclusively on tracking prospects. The three common club sales software programs are Gym Sales, Club OS, and In-Touch.
Beth Saroka, the owner of Onslow Fitness, in Jacksonville, NC, has purchased and used all three in recent years.