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Best Practices To Build Your Gym Membership Pipeline

May 2021

How has your gym membership pipeline looked this year?

So far, 2021 has looked a bit different from past years. Most clubs experienced a lackluster New Year rush but then saw an uptick in new joins in the early spring. These uniquely post-COVID trends have made it important for club owners and operators to get savvy in their sales and marketing practices to responds to these shifts to create a gym membership pipeline they can sustain year-long.

Since pent-up demand for healthy lifestyles has ballooned, clubs have an opportunity to step in and capture new prospects, reengage canceled members, and capitalize on former members from other locations. Luckily, there are ways to leverage technology to continue to nurture your leads and attract them to your club.

Here are some best practices you should consider for your club looking into the second half of the year.

Attracting New Gym Leads

Part of bringing new members to your club means attracting new leads. There are several touchpoints you should cover in order to get new people through your doors. Let’s take a look at the essentials.

new gym member joins

Utilize Your Data

During the pre-acquisition phase, it’s important to utilize data to understand your member demographics. Once you understand your existing member base, compare that to who is currently signing up for new memberships. It’s important to prioritize your marketing efforts on the segment that will be most likely to join. For example, our recent data has shown women are driving new member joins which may create opportunities your club can take advantage of with the right marketing and communication strategy.

Automate Your Outreach

On average, it takes six calls to bring a lead into the club for an in-person visit. Leverage a CRM and lead management tool to automate your outreach, streamlining your nurturing process while making the points of contact needed to move relationships to the next level.

Consider every stage of the process and how you can reduce friction in the buying process. By linking prospects directly to your online join form, you can alleviate some of the barriers to conversion. Take it a step further with automated emails, SMS, and phone call cadences and you can boost member conversion rates and help your sales team keep the outreach process moving along.

Segment Your Audience

Just like you tailor marketing outreach to your leads, segment your audience to craft targeted, tailored messages that resonate with them. Consider what methods of engagement are working for your audience, then duplicate those successes. Leveraging analytics and targeting features like those found in GymSales helps create brand messaging that connects with gym members.

Allocate Your Gym’s Marketing Budget

Carefully evaluate your club’s marketing budget and what segments you need to be focusing on right now. Then, apply that budget based on who your leads are, and where they originate.

Did they find you on social media? Hear about you from a friend? Come to your website through a search engine? What demographics are you attracting?

Tailoring your marketing spend to each unique demographic is much easier when you track these key metrics through your gym CRM.

Market to Your Leads Based on Their Buying Stage

Keep your brand top-of-mind with leads who may have checked out your club online, but then moved on without taking action. You’ll want to make sure you market to them based on where they are in your sales funnel. With the right CRM or technology platform, you can filter your leads to segment and prioritize communications based on your their stage in the buying journey.

Follow Up Quickly

Timely follow-up is the key to converting more leads to members and can have a major impact on your closing ratio. Following up within 30 minutes of an inquiry boosts your chances of conversion by 28%. Develop a measurable plan for having your team follow up quickly with lead inquiries.

Upselling Your Current Members

One important part of creating revenue for your club is from your current members. Many gym owners don’t consider their members to be warm leads. But the fact is, your members are the most likely audience to buy more services, such as specialized training and VIP memberships.

Let’s look at some of the things you can start doing right away to move your members into higher-tiered memberships.

Leverage Your Club Technology for Members

Just like leads, you’ll want to tailor your brand messaging to a specific member’s position in your sales funnel. Use your member management system to segment your members, then create personalized tracks based on their tags.

For example, in GymSales you can create messaging for weightlifting enthusiasts or runners based on their interests. Tagging specific groups of leads in this way allows you to create a personalized and automated sequence based on those interests.

Just like your content, tailor the Calls to Action to direct your member’s next steps. Make sure you make purchasing a new service as easy as possible, with as few steps as possible.

gym member upgrades

Set Up Referral and Alumni Programs

Consider implementing a Refer-a-Friend program for your members that is integrated into your sales funnel. You can track the member’s engagement, as well as that of the lead they bring in, and then reward them for their referrals with specialized offers or discounts.

In addition to referral programs, consider setting up an Alumni program for former members who left on good terms. Life happens, and that sometimes members need to cancel or freeze their memberships for a while. The best candidates are often people who love your brand, but whose life circumstances just changed for a little while.

It’s important to incentivize these former members, who we often forget are warm leads. Consider an Alumni outreach program for those former members with the option to grandfather them back in at their previous membership rate when they return.

Create Processes for Tracking Success

Ensuring you have the technology capable of standardizing operating procedures for your team will help you focus on results and increase efficiency across your brand. Make sure you and your sales staff can access and utilize reporting and analytics to quickly adjust your strategy as the year goes on. With a gym CRM like GymSales you can filter lead sources, you can determine which of your channels and strategies are most effective and increase your ROI.

When consumer demand happens, you’ll want your club to be prepared. Are you setting up your operations to capture the most opportunities? Be intentional about the processes you’re creating and the time, energy, and resources you’re spending in order to set yourself up for success.

Need help creating and preparing for your gym membership pipeline?

ABC Fitness Solutions is ready to support your club’s growth. Reach out to one of our experts and let’s get you started.