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Ten Health Club Marketing Tips to Drive New Member Sales

If your marketing strategy is not leading to more leads and sales then it39s time to rethink your strategy Photo by Thinkstock

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When evaluating the performance of your marketing campaign, ask yourself, "Did I get more leads? Did new member sales increase?" If the answers are no, then you need to re-think your marketing strategy.

Next time you are brainstorming marketing strategies, leverage these 10 ideas for a campaign that drives new member sales:

1. Sell stories. People don't buy products; they buy stories. The same holds true for gym members. People don't want memberships; they want to be healthy, live longer and feel better. So when advertising, sell stories such as these. By doing so, you help rationalize the decision to purchase a membership. Great stories are remembered and revered, all while helping to form the essence of your brand.

2. Become a thought leader. Creating self-serving content that talks about how great your health club is for the sake of 'brand awareness' is ineffective. Instead, focus on content that provides real value to the prospective gym member. For example, create a workout video with your trainers that will help inspire people to exercise or hold a free Zumba class at a local park. Perhaps they won't purchase a membership immediately, but the next time they consider it, you'll be at the top of their list.

3. Get personal. Every person is different; therefore, the key is to find out how you can get individuals — not the masses — to stay. Find out what each individual member needs, what they like, what results they want and how your gym can help them achieve those results. Try this: have your trainers create personalized fitness plans for their clients centered on their individual goals and level of experience.

4. Ask for referrals. How did you meet most of your friends? Through other friends. Health clubs obtain new members in a similar manner. All you have to do is ask. Offer an incentive and more than likely, the new member will at least ask a few friends. Referrals are a cheap, yet highly effective method for acquiring new members.

5. Sell ROI. Always flaunt the return on investment of a gym membership. Offer members a free personal training session and tell the trainers to up their game. This way, the member remembers why they joined your gym in the first place. Follow up training sessions with rewarding comments such as, "You just burned 300 calories!" or "Do this twice a week to reduce cholesterol" Remember, health is wealth. Those who truly want to get in shape will pay the price, but only if they are fully aware of the benefits.

6. Ask questions…before they leave. Take a page out of the restaurant business. Hit the floor and ask members questions about the equipment, the feng-shui, the staff or the Zumba instructor they just trained with. Asking good questions will give you greater insight into your members' perceptions of your health club. But don't wait until the problem happens to ask.

7. Leverage data. Gathering data can help you analyze trends, behavioral patterns and habits related to your membership base. Leveraging data will allow you to follow up with strategic decisions that can improve your operations. Data can help you analyze the past as well as maximize the present. But importantly, it can give you control of your future.

8. Always be testing. Some things work, some things don't. But the fact remains that the success of marketing campaigns will vary from gym to gym. So, make sure you test your initiatives to see what works best for your club. For example, in email marketing, always conduct A/B split testing to see which subject lines get you the most opens or clicks.

9. Prioritize SEO. Search engine optimization (SEO) and accelerating organic growth are essential for facilitating sales. It is more than likely that a member found your gym by doing an online search for local gyms. Research claims SEO leads have a 14.6 percent close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7 percent close rate. Hire an expert or outsource an SEO optimization firm to guarantee that your company ranks higher organically in search engines.

10. Put first things first. There are so many things you can do in marketing, so make sure you prioritize. Spend the most time on marketing initiatives that have the capacity to generate the most sales and worry less about the ones that are solely for brand awareness. Thorough planning and successful execution of your thought-leadership conference is much more important than tweeting about it.

The challenge of health club marketing lies in figuring out how to inspire your target market to believe that your gym is the right choice. Successful marketing campaigns do more than generate awareness: they create interest, persuade action and, ultimately, increase sales. So have a sales-first mentality when strategizing to ensure that your health club marketing campaign is effective and increasing new member leads.

BIO

Ron Benamor is a sales and marketing associate for Motionsoft and a graduate from the University of Maryland with a degree in economics. When he is not busy selling and marketing Motionsoft's latest cloud-based solution, MoSo Club, he spends his time playing sports, trading stocks, reading books and hanging out with friends. Connect with Benamor on LinkedIn.

This article was created in collaboration with the sponsoring company and our sales and marketing team. The editorial team does not contribute.