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Emails have proven to be an effective way to hook prospects, but only if they contain a clear and meaningful value. So how do you create a message that relays that clear and meaningful value?
Once you overcome the first hurdle of getting prospects to open your email, you need to make sure your email includes wording that encourages them to do something (a call to action), such as find out more about the offer. You can do that with wording such as:
- Reserve a spot because space is limited
- Stop by and try a free class/group training today
- Schedule a one-hour fitness assessment with a personal trainer (a $65 value)
Your offer must be valuable, actionable and measurable. Track your success rate with your health club management system.
The message that comes with the pass could say something such as: "This pass entitles you to FREE member privileges and support." Make sure this prompt stands out visually so that when recipients skim the email, they will be drawn to it.
Refrain from using the old school method of trying to sell them something right away. Instead, acknowledge them individually and build trust with them so that you show you have their best interests at heart. Doing so fosters a positive relationship.
The value offer must be catchy enough for the prospect to respond, and it must give them enough information to understand why your club is special. This helps them form a perception around the special value you offer. Make a great impression to make them want to join your club.
When designing the value offer for the pass, figure out what you can offer them. The more features included in your offer, the more valuable your pass will appear. This doesn't mean you need to spend a ton of time creating new features or programs. Don't just add to have more.
Here are three ideas of features you could offer that would add value:
- Training programs, group exercise content and other offerings or services that you have already created. What currently works to get people to renew training packages or first-time package purchases from existing members? Talk to your members and find out why they are "ponying up" the big bucks. What keeps your personal training members engaged? Prospects like to hop on that moving train, and they will want whatever is working for your current members as well.
- An interview you did in an industry magazine or video from one of your super-star trainers featuring the top 10 things prospects should do to get in the best shape of their lives, including an easy starter workout routine. In short, look at what you already have to save the time and frustration of creating something new.
- Partnerships with non-competing businesses in your area. These partnerships should be of interest to people looking to start living a fun and healthy lifestyle: perhaps a Natural Grocers, a supplement store, massage studio or movie theater nearby. Partnering with local businesses that offer products that compliment a healthy lifestyle doesn't cost you anything and you add value. You all get leads; it's a win-win.
After creating your value-add pass, make sure you have a plan for how to care for the prospects that come into your club. Your pass gave the perception that your club was special "because you care," and now it's time to show them you care enough to start building that relationship. Many club operators fail at this step because they do not have a plan in place to service the prospect. Too often, prospects are left cold trying to figure out what to do on their own, and as a result, they never join.
Above all else, do not try to close prospects on the first visit. You worked hard to get them in the door to begin with, so don't chase them away. Prospects prefer a non-confrontational, consultative approach that shows you care about their goals and you'll be there every step of the way to make sure they achieve those goals. You not only want to drive guests into your club, but you also want to make them successful and keep them in the club. Your group exercise instructors and trainers should acclimate guests into your club culture. This is the time of the year when you want guests to stop being doubters and make them successful – to feel their inner champion. You want them to smash those fitness goals and achieve more than they ever thought they could. And when they fall in love with fitness, as well as the community you have created, you will have members for life.
Christie McPherson is client training manager for ASF Payment Solutions. She spent a number of years in a senior management role on Wall Street working with mutual funds. McPherson has been with ASF Payment Solutions for 15 years as a client training manager and focuses on providing the best systems training in the business. Product development and system quality assurance are also an integral part of her responsibilities at ASF. She enjoys working with a staff that genuinely cares about helping clients grow their businesses and is happy to promote teamwork, fitness and a healthy lifestyle, which fits her core values as a certified Schwinn cycle instructor. She can be reached at Christie.McPherson@asfpaymentsolutions.com.