Three steps to more fitness memberships

- April 2nd, 2012

(Note: Today’s post is from guest blogger Joy Gendusa, owner and CEO of direct mail marketing firm PostcardMania.)

Three steps to landing more fitness memberships

There is so much advice out there about marketing, and if you read enough of it, you probably have the idea that marketing is some mystical art that works every now and again for reasons unknown. But that just isn’t the case. Marketing can be consistently productive — and even predictable — if you follow the right outline. And it’s really pretty simple.

Here are the three steps to landing more memberships for your gym or fitness company …

1. Identify your target market

Of the three steps involved in creating a successful marketing campaign, this is the least glamorous — and most important! If you skip this step, or don’t take it seriously, you will most likely fail in your marketing. And if you don’t fail, you certainly won’t get the most for your money.

When trying to identify your target market, your best source of information is your current customer base. Are they mostly 20-somethings? Middle age? If you are an established business, you may even have multiple target markets. For example, your gym atmosphere may attract a younger crowd, but you also offer health classes for the elderly in the mornings. In this case, you would have two different target markets — and each would require their own marketing campaign.

Whatever the case is with your business, you need to figure it out. Who is the most likely to respond to your advertisements? Go ahead and create your ideal customer in your head. Do they have a family? How much do they make? Are they fit already? All these questions help you narrow down exactly who you want to target with your marketing materials.

2. Promote to your target market

Once you have an idea of who your target market is, you need to find a way to actually target them with your marketing. Personally, I don’t know of a better or more effective way to do this than postcards.

The reason is that you can obtain a targeted mailing list that ensures every one of your cards goes to a legitimate prospect in your target population. These are raw leads, which means they are probably not looking for you — yet, based on reviewing your customer database, we already know they are likely to want what you have to offer simply because other similar folks did!

Once you have a list of prospects that fall into your target market population, all you have to do is mail to them. The key to this is consistency and perseverance. The more someone sees an ad from your business, the more likely they are to respond to it — especially if you have done your research in the targeting phase. This means the more you mail, the better your return will be. And as you grow, you can begin to widen your scope and target different markets as well.

3. Follow up with new leads

So now you know who your target market is and you’ve sent them a direct mail postcard. What now?

Well, you field their calls. People are going to respond, which means they are going to call you or go online for more information. You need to be ready to collect their contact information so you can follow up with them. This means at the very least you get their name, email address and how they found out about you (so you can verify the effectiveness of your campaigns). You can do this over the phone simply by asking, and online by requesting that they fill out a form to get a discount or more information, etc.

Once you have their info, you should have an email follow up system in place that keeps your name in front of them and warms them up into a sale or membership. At the very least, this should be a monthly email newsletter. Ideally, it should be an automated-response “funnel” system that sends them periodic emails based on what phase of the sales process they are currently in. Meaning, if they actually had a dialogue with someone in your organization but didn’t buy yet they are hotter than someone that simply downloaded a free report. Depending on this activity or lack thereof determines which email “funnel” they are in and what message you send them. But that’s fodder for another article.

If you take these steps seriously and are consistent and persistent with your marketing, they will work and your business will grow. I’ve seen it literally thousands of times in my career. Target. Promote. Follow up. This is how you build a thriving fitness business and pump up your membership.

About Joy Gendusa

Joy Gendusa is the owner and CEO of direct mail marketing firm, PostcardMania. Joy began PostcardMania in 1998, with nothing but a phone and a computer, never taking a dime of investment capital. Joy originally started PostcardMania as a full-service postcard marketing company helping clients create turn-key marketing campaigns with graphic design, printing, mailing list acquisition and mailing services. Since then, PostcardMania has expanded to offer its clients more services including website and landing page design and development, email marketing and full marketing evaluations — all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice.

In 2010, PostcardMania reached more than $19 million in annual revenue and the company now employs more than 190 people, prints 4 million and mails 2 million postcards each week, and has more than 50,000 customers in over 350 industries.

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Fitness 4×6

Categories: Fitness

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2 comments

  1. Michael says:

    This post makes me laugh because anyone who is even remotely associated with the Health & Fitness industry knows these 3 steps. They know who their customers are, they promote to them accordingly and follow up with nauseating frequency. A multi-billion industry doesn’t need advice from the owner of a direct mail marketing company.

    Industry Gurus like Bedros Keuilian, Canadian Craig Ballantyne and Professional Strongman Elliott Hulse have revolutionized fitness marketing by not only using these 3 steps, but expanding on each one with much more creativity than a post card or direct mailing system. They utilize social media, email marketing, Ebooks, conduct seminars and give away a plethora of free information to anyone interested in Health and Fitness.

    Joy and her PostcardMania company should get out of Fitness Marketing entirely because the 3 gentleman I have named are light years ahead of her antiquated steps on generating more fitness memberships.

  2. Amanda says:

    Hi Michael,

    We have worked with almost 600 fitness companies, creating direct mail campaigns, landing pages and Web sites. In the above images, you can see the success that we have had—wrote 284 contracts and made $38k from a direct mail campaign! We are crazy about marketing and appreciate the tips and references you provided. We, too, just want to help others in your industry! No matter how basic!

    Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! Amandaj@postcardmania.com

    Thanks,
    Amanda

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