Here are some health club marketing tips I’ve gathered over the years that work to help grow any health club anywhere. I’ve also included some tips that help the sales force to get quality leads from your marketing efforts.
In lean financial times many small businesses cut back on marketing when looking at expense cutting, this is a mistake for those who do it, and a blessing for those who don’t because the competition has dwindled.
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For ex-members still on your records I suggest you run a Special Exclusive Offer only for them. All you do is offer them an obligation free, One Month Free Membership to give you a second chance at proving yourself to them. Run a promotion (and don’t hesitate to use the words in the last sentence in your emails and letters). Then you can run this promotion on an automated email campaign and also a mail out (I suggest hiring a skilled copywriter to set up your emails, letters & envelopes).
This offer helps you get another chance to win those members back again and do a better job at keeping them this time around.
Then in the future, you can use this method every month for those members you lost in the previous month (Obviously don’t email people who have canceled due to moving or illness.)
Drop Boxes for Health Club Marketing
As you may well already have experienced drop boxes in the pizza shop and fish and chip shops and other local businesses provides a consistent source of fresh leads for your club for next to no expense.
If you are not drop box marketing already and want to start then the best and cheapest competition to run is the chance to win a One year free membership to your club. For maintenance of the box simply give the responsibility to one or two staff members to check weekly as part of their job requirement.
HOWEVER the newest concept in drop box marketing is Online Drop Boxes…
Most of your potential clients are here surfing for answers to their health and beauty problems. Online is an incredibly precise marketing media because you can target your niche like no where else. (This article is a good example of targeting).
How To Create and Online Drop Box
1. Buy a domain name (yearly cost of $1-$15) (If you already have a website add a new separate page for this drop box)
2. Get a hosting account to host your new domain name (from $5-$30 a month) (unless you already have a site)
3. Get a membership to an automatic email responder service ($20 + per month).
4. Sign up for a Google AdWords account for advertising (get an AdWords specialist to help you here so you don’t pay too much per click)
If a lot of that seems too much then talk to a web designer or internet marketer to get you set up.
Google AdWords is paid advertising on Google (to look at Google AdWords in action simply do a Google search on any topic, and where it says ‘Ad’ those are the paid ads). Costs vary from 5c a click all the way to $50 a click or more (don’t worry the health club niche doesn’t go up to $50 a click).
When you advertise on search terms that are specific (relevant) and local (you specify what locality you want to advertise in) you are on the right track to paying lower cost per click.
To get started: simply open a Google AdWords account and follow the instructions.
A Tip: If you want to stand out from the crowd and dominate your competition in your local area you should definitely advertise in Yahoo.com and Msn.com paid advertising too. Not many (if any) health clubs do this, most only stick with Google.
Search engine usage split percentages as of September 2021 (stats by Statista)
Google 86.64% Bing 6.79% Yahoo 2.75%
I recommend you pick up that good quality extra business in the other two search engines where you’re competition isn’t hanging around.
So to advertise online you will need a basic website. If you don’t have a website yet simply set one up using the model in the Drop Box section above to get a page going then place your ads follow up all those new leads.
The way Yellow Pages makes money for businesses has changed. Studies are showing that people often don’t contact business directly from a yellow pages ad, and that most people are now using Yellow Pages as a middle man on the way to your website. It’s important you stay in Yellow Pages directories, both online and offline, for that reason.
Online Yellow Pages
It would be wise to invest in a top placed listing which sees your business show at the top of the page for your local search category. In your attempt to save money you can’t count on people to look down the page further to find you, especially if you are located in an area with lots of competitors. What happens with online Yellow Pages is most shoppers will click the first or second ad and then leave yellow pages before they even looked down the rest of the listings on page. So it pays to get a listing near the top. The investment is more but it will pay for itself ten fold.
Offline Yellow Pages
I suggest you invest in having an ad written by a professional copywriter. Your add needs to include an irresistible call to action such as ‘Call Us For A Chance To Win (something)/Get a Free Diet Report/Free Fitness Consultation (you choose)’. It pays (literally) to stand out and be different, by giving away something valuable free as a ‘Call To Action’ makes your ad shine in the eyes of the shopper.
And yes, the biggest ad sells the most and gets the most response! Don’t be stingy. Big ads get attention.
To sum up the winning formula for Yellow Pages ads…
1. Get a professional copy writer to write your ad
2. Include a call to action Eg.“ Call Now For A Free Fitness Assessment/Report etc.”
3. Buy a big ad (it will pay for itself as with better placed online ads)
NOTE: If your yellow pages rep suggests that you change the design of your professionally done ad, you need to tell them you want nothing changed! I mean it! It’s your business not theirs, often reps are not qualified marketers or copywriters. That above ad formula is a winner (try it this year and prove it for yourself).
Local Yellow Pages Listings (when you have a text listing only)
Make sure you are in BOLD CAPS. If your business is in plain text, you look just like all the others in your areas so how can a shopper distinguish which club is the biggest and best? BE the biggest and best by adding bold (it seriously only costs a little bit more money, we’re talking maybe $20-$40 more a year).
I recently stumbled upon a product that blew me away at MoreNewMembers.com. The reason it blew me away was firstly because he stole my idea haha, no not really, it’s just that I’ve been in and out of the fitness industry for years and developing something like ‘Instant Health Club Marketing System‘ for health clubs had crossed my mind. Anyway, the second reason it impressed me was because of the depth offered, I mean Pat seriously is leading the way for health club follow up systems by using digital media to its’ fullest potential.
It’s a system of pre-written emails, pre-designed online forms, pre programmed software, pre-written advertising, plus back up staff for follow up, and it’s all done for you. You just need to switch it on and you’re in business.