How to Crush Your Local Big-Box Gym
This week's message may very well help you and your club from being crushed and pounded by the next big-box gym to hit the area.
We want you to be encouraged and excited to realize that, YES, you can and will not only compete with the newest game in town; but you'll be positioned to grab more than your fair share of memberships.
We recently discussed the important differences between MARKETING and ADVERTISING. We strongly encourage you to build out a systematic marketing strategy to create lots of great things to say about your club, say them powerfully and get the messages out often. Once this strategic component is built, you can focus on the tactical resources you'll need to advertise.
As a student of great marketing, you have come to learn that a great ad will do a heck of a lot more than scream "Low Price!" with a photo of a world-class athlete ripped to the max. You will build advertisements that follow the Marketing Equation:
Interrupt with hot buttons,
Engage with benefits,
Educate why you're better, and
Offer something of value and low risk.
What we are saying is that you first need to "call out" to your prospect. You first and foremost have to grab the attention of those even thinking about joining a health club. Second, you need to immediately let them know that you are the solution to
their needs; to announce the benefits of your club. Third, prove to the reader that you are their best option; we call it 'differentiation'. Lastly, you need a call to action; a step that someone can take that is low risk to see if they can really trust you and what you're saying.
9 Simple Steps To Crush Your Competition
For every 10 gyms and clubs that fail in the US, the first sign of the Grim Reaper is a drop in response to your advertising. We aren't talking about the typical seasonal drop you may get at times during the year or a 10% fall-off from the month before. What we are talking about is a real stretch of flat-lining; you know, a couple of months back to back torture where making payroll is not so certain.
We hope you've never been there. It ain't pretty. Let's make sure you never experience it, or if you have and managed to swim to shore, you never get that gut-wrenching feeling again.
Step #1: Use present tense, second person.
Don't say "Members look and feel great at Fran's Fitness Factory"
Say "You will look and feel great at Fran's Fitness Factory"
When we review your ads we look for you - you - you!!
Step #2: Use sub-headlines.
It catches the attention of 90% of your readers who are just
glancing your postcard or ad. It is great spot to highlight your
low risk offer.
Step #3: Say it in plain English.
Successful copy copywriters employ the KISS system -
"Keep it simple, stupid". When it doubt, leave it out.
Step #4: Choose simple words.
Use short and simple words to express what you mean. Everyone
understands short words and do just as good a job.
Step #5: Give away free information.
Remember this one rule - Free information first, sales speak
second. It is a good way to get interest in your club.
Step #6: Arouse curiosity.
The best ads arouse curiosity instead of satisfying it. Don't
"give the secret away" before someone shows interest.
Step #7: Do not say "call to speak to our salesperson".
The kiss of death. Especially in our industry. You want to put
the membership purchase on their terms - not yours.
Step #8: Make every ad a complete sales presentation.
Many times owners are afraid of too much copy in an ad. If you
follow the marketing equation, the ad will cover the first and last
word needed for someone to take the next step.
Step #9: Urge the prospect to act!
This seems so obvious, but it is widely overlooked. You want your
prospect to do something...tell them! Tell them what to do. If you
can give them a definite reason to do it now, all the better.
What we are suggesting is that you can apply all 9 of these principles to every form of advertising you create. To have a system. Think of all the different ways you advertise today - newspaper ads, magazines, flyers, banners, letters, postcards, your website and any other means you use to get people to read your marketing and to join your club.
Take some time this week and review your advertising [might as well grab some of your competitors' ads, too]. Does it follow the Marketing Equation? How many of the 9 principles do you use in all aspects of your club advertising?
Need help or a second set of eyes on it? Send it to us firstname.lastname@example.org for
a complimentary critique and suggestions.
'til next time...