HOW TO CREATE A LEAD GENERATION PLAN FOR YOUR FITNESS BUSINESS
16 July, 2019
Globally the fitness industry is booming, and it shows no sign of slowing down. With such a high demand for health and wellness services, you may expect to make easy work out of signing and retaining members at your fitness business. Sadly, it is very unlikely to be the case. Whilst you might have some success with attracting clients with little effort in the very beginning, it’s a very short-sighted strategy and one that could soon see you in a spot of trouble.
The true nature of the industry is that gym members will come, and gym members will go, even with a great retention program in place. In fact, Canstar reported that 57% of Australians have tried more than one gym chain in their quest to find the perfect one. So beware that there is a lot of movement amongst members.
Every person that cancels or pauses a gym membership then needs to be replaced with a new gym member, and if you want your monthly revenue to grow then you don’t just need to replace the gym member already lost, but also secure new fitness clients as well.
Bottom line, the key to a thriving gym or fitness business, is the implementation of a quality lead generation plan.
What does lead generation mean? Simply put, it’s finding yourself a new potential client. With each lead comes the opportunity to transition this person from a prospective gym client into a paying member at your fitness club.
How to create a lead generation plan
Our number one piece of advice is to be proactive with your lead generation plan. We already know that gym memberships will ebb and flow, so be prepared and ensure you are consistently generating new leads (and ultimately new members). Don’t be caught out or wait for revenue to drop before hitting the panic button.
The first step will be to identify what channels you could use to generate leads, the most common ones include:
- Your website
- Facebook – both paid and organic
- Google Adwords
- Print Collateral – flyers, posters, signage in and around the gym
- Local advertising – think local newspaper and radio
- Current members – referral programs
Some channels may lend themselves to ongoing lead generation activities, such as your website, whilst others might be scheduled at different times during the year, such as Facebook advertising. Step 2 will be to identify when you need to be generating leads for your business based on what historical data you have available to you. For example, do you find gym memberships drop significantly during the winter months? Or do you have an influx of enquiries at the start of the new year? You should now be aware of some key times during the year when you need to be marketing your fitness business heavily to generate leads (or taking advantage of times in the year when lead generation is likely to yield good results i.e. the New Year).
Identify how you are going to get people interested in your gym. Some common ideas include:
implementing of referral promotions to get current members to recommend friends and family members to you by creating interesting incentives for new members to join – everything from membership price drops, free value adds, free or paid trial memberships, and introductory fitness challenges.
Map your ideas out on a calendar (see our free excel template at the end of this blog) so that you can clearly see your activity across the year, and ensure you are planning an adequate level or promotion, particularly during those key periods you have highlighted in Step 2.
You have already thought about the channels you would use to generate leads, so now let’s think about which ones specifically you will use for each promotion. Jot these down in your planning document, and set yourself a budget too.
For example, if you are going to run a great value fitness challenge to incentive new members at your gym then your plan might look like this:
8 Week Winter Fitness Challenge
1 May – 31 May
CHALLENGE START DATE
CHANNELS & BUDGET
Hero Banner on Website – Free
Organic Facebook Ad – Free
Paid Facebook Ad – $2k
Ad in Local Newspaper – $500
Gym Signage & Flyers – $1500
There is no hard and fast rule as to how you use available channels and which ones are going to be most successful for your gym. As with everything, test and learn as you go. If you find that Facebook Ads are generating you loads of new leads at a low cost, then perhaps you can steer away from print advertising which may be expensive and isn’t generating quality leads for you (or vice versa). It may vary depending on your audience and the type of promotion too. So test, learn, tweak.
It’s time to set yourself some goals. If you are going to meet your revenue/profit targets for the year then you need to understand how many new gym members you need to make this target a reality. Once you know how many members you need to be generating, now we need to understand how many leads we need to be bringing in to the business.
When you start running lead generation campaigns you will start to get some useful data around how many leads each channel is generating, the quality of the leads (how many you are able to turn from a lead into a gym member), the cost of each of those leads, and how many result in a successful gym membership sale. It is here we can start to set some realistic targets around how many leads can be generated from each of your promotions. Remember to allow some space in your planning document to record the results of your promotions. This will help with future planning.
Get implementing! Now you have the plan in place, make sure you stay ahead of your lead generation activity and be prepared as one promotion ends, another is ready to begin. This will ensure a consistent flow of leads into your fitness business, to keep membership sales where they need to be.
Some other important considerations
Look at what lead generation channels you have at your disposal that can be used all year round with minimal effort. Here are a few examples:
- A website is a perfect place to capture a lead. Make sure you have a website that provides great customer experience and provides multiple opportunities for a prospective client to give you their details. i.e. Contact Us must be a page on your site, and you should have enquiry forms throughout your site at prime places where people may be interested in a specific product/service or have a question.
- Social Media is just as important as your website these days. Prospective clients will search your social media channels for information related to your business. Make sure your contact details are up to date on your social media channels, and people can contact you through all avenues such as messaging services. Make sure you are regularly posting content too, it’s a great way to show prospective clients you are a thriving business.
- Your front desk must be prepared for walk-ins and phone enquiries at your fitness centre. Make sure they have a process to follow that promotes a positive experience for anyone coming into contact with your business for the first time and collects the details of anyone inquiring.
- Make sure your fitness business and contact details are visible on all online sites which people may use to search for local businesses such as Yelp, Google Maps, Yellow Pages.
- If you have valuable content that prospective clients may be interested in, why not add it to your website, and request that in order to download people enter their details first. i.e. a free nutritional eating plan.
- Spend some time learning about Search Engine Optimisation, and how you can help improve your ranking in google search so people are finding your website easily. With greater traffic, you will be generating more leads from your website organically.
Download our FREE Lead Generation Planning template by clicking here. We’ve populated it with 12 months of lead generation ideas to get you started!
Need help with lead generation for your fitness business? Find out why More Gym Members is one of the best in the business at high-performance digital marketing campaigns that deliver time after time. Enquire here today.