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Health Club Marketing Tips 
Monday, October 24 2011
Tired of Marketing That Just Flat Out Doesn't Work and
Wastes Your Valuable Time and Money?

I met Tom about 2 years ago.  We bumped into each other at my local club during a workout.  Tom's one of those "regulars" you see all the time.  Keeps to himself.  Doesn't talk much.  He's just serious and intent on what he's doing.
  
When you look at time you'd say he's a pretty together guy.  His weight is under control.  He's in shape and I think he works in the area and comes in about the same time I do, 6:00pm before heading home.  While I had seen him around quite a bit, we never said more than the obligatory "Hey, how's it goin'?"  But that day two years ago was a huge turning point
 
Tom always worked really hard at the gym.  He moved from piece of equipment to equipment, jumped on the treadmill, hit the abs machine, pumped a little free weights.  You know guys (and gals) like Tom.  They're all over your club.  It was a good thing he was around that evening.  I was on a bench doing presses and got "stuck".  Real stupid move on my part and luckily Tom saw me and gave me a hand.  It was the last time I ever benched without a spotter.
  
We got to chatting.  He was telling me how frustrated he was.  Over the last year he saw no improvements.  He was even working out longer and harder than he had in the past.  With no success.  Everything was the same or worse - strength, endurance, speed...everything.  I then asked him a few questions like "What's been your strategy?  Your plan?  Are you doing anything new to get better results, faster?" 

What Tom Told Me Next Is the Secret to Your Success
 
Tom said "I've tried everything.  You name it and I've given it a shot.  I go from one thing to another hoping that it will be what I need to take it to the next level."  He paused, and then sighed "I'm frustrated and tired.  I have no strategy or plan.  You see me around the club; I just go from one thing to another hoping and praying to see improvements.  Everything that used to work no longer does.  It sucks." 

I remember that moment as if it were yesterday.  It brought total clarity to not only fixing Tom's problems, but also to exactly what club owners want and need to dominate their markets and be the best club in their towns.  What Tom and I talked about next has been applied to every successful club I know.  It is the secret to marketing and financial success for health club owners across the country. 
 
Tom's Solution is YOUR Solution

Tom only needed a few things to fix his problem.  He was too close to the situation to see it himself.  It took 5 minutes with me (after he saved me from getting crushed on the bench!) to open his eyes and get him on the path to success.  Of course, I didn't realize it at the time.  But Tom thanked me just a few weeks later when I saw him again at the club. 
 
Tom and I talked about a few things that lead to success

  1)  You do only what's TESTED and PROVEN
  2)  SYSTEMATIZE it so it's simple and repeatable
  3)  TRACK your progress - incremental improvement 
       leads to exponential growth
 
Revealed: The Solution for Those Who've "Tried It All!" 

That conversation with Tom was very revealing.  It pointed out and clarified exactly what club owners need to be successful and to dominate their markets.  If YOU want to make more money, save time and do the things you really want to do, once you're headache is cured, then you'll need to do what Tom did.  You'll need to take a stand and make a few changes. 
 
Here's exactly what the winners in the industry do:
 
  ^ Integrate all of your marketing and advertising
  ^ Start with your first points of contact - front desk, sales team and website
  ^ Eliminate trial and error marketing experiments
  ^ Use only what's tested and proven to work in the past
  ^ Systematize and streamline everywhere (KISS)
  ^ Implement Lead Generation Systems
  ^ Systematized your Sales Tools and Closing process
  ^ Get a Member Retention Plan in place
  ^ Create Up-Selling systems
  ^ Get it working automatically 


You can build it yourself or have it done for you.  You'll know what's best for you. Do your research and trust your gut. It's usually right! 

But don't be like Tom.  If nothing changes...nothing changes.  Do it now for your financial and emotional success.  

'til next time...




Posted by: Profit Partner AT 08:16 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, July 30 2011
Have Postcards and Direct Mail Died?
 
How to Create Marketing  that Get People to Take Action,
Become Your Prospects and Join Your Club
 
Remember the good old days of health club marketing?   You would have your printer throw 5,000 over-sized postcards out into your community and then watch people come thru the front door over the next week or two.   You would tour them and they would join that day. Sadly, it's not so easy any more.
 
What changed over the past 10 years?
 
In a word - EVERYTHING.   People get 5 times more junk mail today than they did 10 years ago.   Worse yet, there are more gyms today from which to choose in your area.   Even the way people look for a club has changed, thanks to the internet.   As a result, there is more "noise" and distractions causing people to have a shorter
attention span
.   How can we possibly get their attention?

Let's start with your typical prospect and what goes through their heads each day.   What do they do with their mail when they get home?   If they are like most of us and probably you, they sort it - bills, personal, magazine and "junk" for recycling.  What goes in junk?   Flyers. Ads . Bulk letters. Other crap; and all that other NOISE.

Guess which pile your postcard goes into
...
 
You are praying that of the 5,000 people who get your expensive postcard, 1,000 don't put it in recycling right away.  You are then hoping of those, 100 are even THINKING about joining a health club.  And finally, you keep your fingers crossed that 25 of them either call your club (to likely ask you "how much does it cost?") or maybe
actually come walking through your front door.
 
So, I ask you - How's that working for you these days?  Not so good, I imagine.
 
For most clubs with limited advertising budgets, I would stay away from postcard mailings all together.   There are better ways to drive traffic and sell more memberships than postcard mailings.  For some clubs, postcards may prove to be part of a well constructed and integrated marketing strategy.
 
So if you are going to do postcard mailings, at least give yourself a fighting chance to break through the noise, get your marketing noticed and get people who are actively seeking a club membership on your radar screen.
 
Here's how to do it:
1. Keep your postcard simple.  The goal is to get people to take
the next low-risk step of getting to know your club better.

2. Highlight the benefits of membership; not the features of your
club.  People want to lose weight, get fit, have fun and feel
energized.  They could care less about your club or you.

3. Have one (1) offer that requires someone to register or download
it from your website.  Not 3 offers.  Not 5 offers.  Just one.

4. Set up a landing page to receive the people who log on to your
site.  Ask for their Name and Email address only.  Deliver to them
their coupon to redeem your offer (7 days free, Free Training
Session, $100 of Enrollment Fee, etc.).

5. Make the offer time sensitive.  Create a sense of urgency.

6. Drip market on them.  Encourage them to come experience your
club first hand.

7. Monitor your web sign ups and be patient.
People who get your postcard and are ready to join this week will come in right away; regardless of your offer.  Your postcard may be enough to get them to drive over to your club.  For the other 97%, you want to capture their information, give them something of value and let them go through the typical buying cycle.
 
Old marketing is dead.  You must adapt your marketing to the way people want to buy. 
 
Remember, people HATE being sold, but they LOVE to buy.  Do it on their terms to crush your competition. 
 
Until next time...



Posted by: Profit Partner AT 06:33 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, April 30 2011
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 info@myprofitpartner.org for
a complimentary critique and suggestions.
 
'til next time...



Posted by: Profit Partner AT 05:17 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 04 2011
Most Owners Have No Clue How to Measure
if Their Marketing is Working
 

It's not easy to tell if your marketing and advertising is making you money.  We know that most people take anywhere from 30 to 90+ days from the time they decide to get off their butt to the time they sign an agreement with you. If you run a full-blown campaign to drive new membership sales, you may not see the full effects until late summer or fall of 2010. Here's how to measure success of your campaigns and lead generators...

Follow the Money Trail
Your prospects leave a trail that we can follow.  You never have to guess as to what works and what doesn't work. Like a good detective, let us show you how to track someone from the moment they appear to the time they join your club.  Once you put your tracking system in place, all you need to do is look at the results every few weeks to see what works (and more importantly to see where you can make improvements).
 
If you can trace the path of your prospects, you'll save a ton of money on 'trial and error' marketing.  And it's not hard.  In fact, all you need to know the answer to are the following five campaign success questions:
 
1. How many people called my club?
2. How many people dropped by my club?
3. How many landed on my campaign landing page?
4. How many of those people toured?
5. How many of those who toured joined?

Follow this trail with every campaign you run. You'll never guess as to what your ROI was from the investment you made.

Not All Campaigns Are Created Equal  

We talk to owners and ask them to define a campaign and we'll often hear, "A campaign is centered around a strong direct mailing to the community."  Yes...and no.  Part of the frustration with marketing is what we like to call "wide net" vs. "targeted bombing".  Targeted bombing is the concept of spending a boat load of cash on printing and postage and then hoping and praying you'll get results.  There is a better way.
 
A successful campaign doesn't have to break the bank.  You need to take the Theme of the campaign and apply it everywhere in your club for a set period of time.  You may include posters, banners, table top displays, flyers, print ads in magazines and local papers, and maybe even a direct mail piece.  But here is where most campaigns fail - many clubs fail to integrate the campaign into every facet of their sales and service process.
 
Make sure your campaigns are fully developed, explained and tested in these areas, before you launch:
 
A) Have a landing page on your website where people go for more
    information and details,
B) Make sure your Front Desk Team has a script of all details for
    calls and drop ins,
C) Have your staff track drop-ins and call-ins who have responded
    to the campaign.

How'd You Do?

Give yourself credit where credit is due.  Make sure your analysis is done properly.  Here are some actual statistics from a recent client campaign:
 
 Calls to the Club:  64
 Drop-Ins:  27
 New Web Visitors:  88
 Tours:  22
 New Sales:  17
 
The cost of the campaign was $3,750.  It included banners, flyers, lead boxes and a few other tactical pieces to drive new leads from the community and from members.  This club sells memberships for $49 a month, or $500 paid in full.  How well did the campaign perform for this owner?  Let's take do the math.
 
The quick 'down and dirty' would lead you to think pretty crappy.  17 new members at $49 a month is $833 dollars.  Spend $4 and get $1 back.  But that's bad math!

This club's lifetime value of a membership is $882 (18 months at $49 a month).  That's $14,994 for $3,750 spent.  A 399% return on investment. We wish our stockbroker could match that!
 
Plus, the club also had 88 new leads from their website that subscribed to the e-Newsletter and Free Pass.  They received a series of messages from the club, encouraging them to come in for a free trial.  They are still in the buying cycle. No other area health club evens knows these people are looking at memberships.  But you do... because you captured their information when they stuck their hands up!
 
The moral of tracking the success of a campaign?  You can't just base it off the number of new memberships you get in the first 30 days.  You are not giving you and your marketing the proper credit!
 


'til next
Posted by: Profit Partner AT 07:26 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, February 22 2011
14 Money-Making Marketing Ideas,
Programs and Tactics You Can Use
Right Now!

 

Need some new marketing ideas to take your club from good to great?  Profit Partners has 14 money-making programs and tactics that have been tested and proven throughout the USA, Canada and abroad.

 

Take 5 minutes NOW to watch this brief video.  See how many of these 14 time-saving and money-making strategies would work in your club.  So shut your door, mute your phone and focus on new health club marketing ideas for the next few minutes.
 
                       

Until next time...
















Posted by: Profit Partner AT 08:31 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, December 19 2010
How to Sell More, Keep Your Sanity and Grow Your Club 


Have you ever been fishing? Our offices are about 1 mile from the Atlantic
and occasionally, we see those Day Trip boats at the marinas.

You know, the ones where you just show up with about 100 other people
and they set you up for 4 hours on the high seas. They give you the poles
the bait
...everything. Then you go out and bob around with 100 lines in the
water
. All of a sudden, it seems like 20 or 30 people have there poles bent
over with fish on!

Selling Memberships is Like Fishing on a Party Boat

The more lines you've got in the water, the better chance you've got to
hook an evasive fish (or prospect). Seems logical to me. We've seen it on
the boats and in the clubs. Think of all the ways we can actively pursue
new business and improve member retention
. Just like if we have more than
one line in the water, we'll catch more fish
. We can treat sales the same way.
 
Throw Out At Least A Dozen Lines Off Your Boat

Until someone comes up with the magic formula to have people flocking through
your door, you better have a lot of lines in the water. When we say 'lines' we
mean things like educational brochures, tip sheets, seminars, guest trainers,
newsletters, follow up systems, member referrals and many more.
 
If you use a wide-range of of approaches every month to increase your sales,
I promise you'll have great results. Will all of them work all of the time? Heck NO!
All the more reason to have as many 'lines in the water' as you can to catch
more fish
.
 
The secret to selling a lot of memberships is to have as many 'lines' in the water
as possible. Make sure you're doing a lot of different things to make sales. When
some don't work well in any given month, it won't matter. Other things you are
doing to make sales will be working for you.
 
Do More Things to Make More Sales
 
Here is a list of offers and promotions to get your brain going. Don't overlook the
simplest and most obvious. Sometimes they'll have the most powerful effect and
make you the most money, quickly. Here you go:

Client testimonials
Free trial passes
Nutrition tip sheets
Fitness tip Sheets
Diet tip sheets
Powerful website
Member referral program
Educational brochure
Special reports
Sales person closing guidebook
Front desk prospect tips
E-Newsletter for members
Automatic follow up for prospects
Contact management for members
Seminars
Guest instructors or trainers
Bundling of services
Low risk offers
Direct mail campaign
Business partnerships
Corporate marketing program
Using Unique Selling Points
Press releases
Community programs
  
We could list 20 more, but you get the idea. How many lines can you fish with?
First, make your list. Then, determine if you have all the 'poles and bait' you
need.

If you are short on good ideas, get help. 

'til next week...
Posted by: Profit Partner AT 12:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, November 13 2010
Get Your Club Filled in the Afternoons 

 
Is your club missing members from 2:00 in the afternoon until the after work crowd rushes in?  Do you have a sales associate who could use a kick in the pants?  Looking for something to put wind in your sails this winter
 
If you have answered yes to any of these questions...read on.  We'll show you how to get a 2,000% ROI or more in less than 3 days.
 
Market to Your Target Market

Profit Partners works closely with their clients to focus on very specific and targeted markets with their advertising.  Your dollars are few and precious so we advise you to spend them wisely and where you will get the biggest bang for the buck.

If you have a few sales associates who could use either a kick in the pants or just a change in routine or if your gym is too quiet and sparse during the afternoons, you can fix that.  And here is how.
 
Follow These 10 Easy Steps

A target market program does not have to be rocket science.  Actually, we have found that the simpler we can make it, the more effective it is and the easier it is for you to track your results.
 
The steps below will help you get started.  Your sales team will be busy, your club will become busier and you'll pocket some more cash.
  
    Here is What We'd Like You to Do...

Step One:  Identify your target.  Get a map of your community.  Draw a circle around a 3 to 5 mile radius.  That is your geographic area.  Any marketing and advertising outside that area is money flushed down the toilet.
 
Step Two:  Who could work out in the early and late afternoon?  We suggest teachers, administrators and staff.  Also possibly municipal workers, local businesses and shift workers.  Branch out here.  You need to think about public schools.  Private schools. Vocational and technical schools. Colleges and universities.  Secondary, middle and elementary.  Get the picture.
 
Step Three:  Pick 2 or 3 to start.  Make them big ones.  You want schools that employ at least a few dozen teachers, staff and administrators.
 
Step Four:  Prepare a powerful, one-page letter that follows the Marketing Equation addressed to the Administrator or the Principal.  Make sure it Interrupts, Engages, Educates and gives a Low Risk Offer.
 
Step Five:  Create a flyer to be read by teachers, administrators and staff.  You will want to make it powerful and very simple for these people to take the next step to try your club.
 
Step Six:  Have 100 flyers printed for each school to go with your letter.  Your 'package' should look professional and neat.
 
Step Seven:  Have your sales associate role play with you.  You pretend you are the Administrator.  Have them rehearse a 1 minute speech that would be given to the Administrator explaining who they are, why they stopped by, what they have and why they should distribute the flyers to each person's mail box.
 
Step Eight:  Have the sales associate hit the road, stop by the school unannounced (late morning before lunch is the best time of day), and ask to speak to the top dog.  If they can't get the top dog ask for his or her assistant.  Make a short and professional presentation with a lot of smiling, thank them and then get back to the club.
 
Step Nine:  Track activity.  Make sure you have identified some way to capture the calls and drop-ins from people from the school.
 
Step Ten:  Calculate your results.  You should know how many people called or stopped in, how many toured, how many joined and what the ROI was for this program.  It should take all of 30 days.
 
How One Club Made Over 15 Grand in a Week

As you can see from above, any health club, owner and staff can nail these ten steps in 3 days or less.  It is a matter of whether you want to or not.  Will this be just another good idea that sits on the shelf?  That is your call.

One of our clients had a very nice return on this program and they only spent about 7 days on it.  This club is located in a suburban area and had over 12 schools to choose from within a 3 mile radius.  They needed afternoon activity in the club and they wanted to take one of their best salespeople and get them exposed to Corporate Sales and this program was a perfect training ground.
 
Here is the breakdown of the results:
   3 letters and 300 flyers delivered
   11 Calls and 29 drop ins
   33 tours
   26 memberships sold
         Revenue produced:  $15,600  (26 x lifetime value of $600)
         Cost of materials:    $89

The question to ask yourself is: "Do you want more afternoon activity in the club and can we make your sales team better and stronger?" 

'til next time...


Posted by: Profit Partner AT 12:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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