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How To Grow Health Club Business Using CRM and Marketing Automation

Recently, Kelly Card with ABC Financial Services, and Adam Stokar explored the topic of CRM, marketing automation, and artificial intelligence for health clubs and gyms on the Fitness Industry Innovation podcast.

ABC Fitness Solutions works with thousands of health clubs and gyms to help them run their fitness operations more efficiently and profitably using technology tools.

Learn other health club management technology, and marketing tips in The Ultimate Health Club Management Guide

Kelly Card and Adam Stokar both launched fitness technology companies serving the gym industry and as founders, share a long relationship of collaborating on innovation and technology. Here are the 4 insights they shared on how gyms and health clubs can use CRM platforms, marketing automation, and other health club industry trends are shared along with relevant quotes from the podcast:

1. How Lead Management Has Evolved For Gyms And Health Clubs

A lot has changed regarding how health clubs and gyms manage their leads and lead process. In the early days gyms tracked leads with paper, and pen or pencil. Leads were collected from many sources in different ways but not electronically. This made managing lead information very cumbersome and required a lot of manual labor. The gym industry eventually moved to entering lead information into a website or a downloaded application where leads were entered into a database. This was the beginning of the CRM era for health clubs and gyms.

“Putting leads into a database isn’t a big deal anymore. Today, products are focused on what you are going to do with that information in your database.” Adam Stokar, The Fitness Industry Innovation Podcast Episode

2. What is Health Club CRM Software 
  • CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system allows businesses, like health clubs and gyms, to manage member relationships and the data and information associated with them.
  • With CRM, you can store customer and prospect contact information, accounts, leads, and sales opportunities in one central location, ideally in the cloud, so the information is accessible by many, in real time.
  • A CRM system is similarly built around people and relationships. And that’s exactly why it can be so valuable for a health club or gym business.
3. Marketing Automation: What It Is And What It Does For Health Club Operators

It simplifies the complexity of gym marketing. Marketing automation is a set of tools that streamlines the most time-consuming responsibilities of marketing and sales roles. From automating the lead qualification process, and personalizing messages, to creating a central location for digital campaign creation, marketing automation saves marketers’ time and effort.

“Automation is good at some things, and bad at other things, especially in businesses that have people involved in providing a service. How can we optimize an employee’s time by using automation for the tasks that typically distract that employee and waste their time?” Adam Stokar, The Fitness Industry Innovation Podcast Episode

Marketing automation lets you put a digital marketing strategy in place without having to manually handle each and every email, message, campaign, or post. Good automation tools help you identify your audience, design the right content, and automatically trigger actions based on schedules and customer behavior. Once your campaign rolls out, you can focus on other tasks, then analyze and tweak your marketing plan as results start coming in. An automated marketing strategy can save time and resources, driving revenue and ROI while you focus on growing your business.

“How you can automate is first based on what type of business model you are running. Low cost high value. A studio. A keyless facility. If you are a fitness center with a sales team focused on bringing in new business you can use automation to give them qualified leads.” Adam Stokar, The Fitness Industry Innovation Podcast Episode

4. Marketing Automation And CRM: The Impact Of Artificial Intelligence On The Gym Sales Process

Artificial intelligence (AI) enables machines to learn from experience, adjust to new information and perform tasks more like a human. Most AI examples that you learn of today, like chess-playing computers to self-driving cars, rely on deep learning and natural language processing. Using these technologies, computers can be trained to accomplish specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in the data.

“The future is really this next Industrial Revolution of Artificial intelligence.” Kelly Card, The Fitness Industry Innovation Podcast Episode

The power of AI can augment and improve sales performance. McKinsey analysts writing in Harvard Business Review estimate that AI can create $1.4 to $2.6 trillion of value in marketing and sales alone for businesses today.

When it comes to lead management and membership sales efforts at gyms there are plenty of ways to you might use AI to hit your numbers faster or exceed them, provided you have quality data of the right type. Here are some of the top ones that sales pros might want to investigate further. Examples include predictive forecasting including understanding which leads are most likely to close or which prospects should be targeted next. Another example is lead scoring where AI can review large datasets from a variety of sources and share which leads should be prioritized. Sales pro Victor Antonio in Harvard Business Review demonstrated how human salespeople usually approach lead scoring and prioritization in an unscientific way so there is real opportunity to improve sales outcomes by using tools like AI in gyms and health clubs.

“If the AI is good enough, your customer won’t know they aren’t dealing with a person, and that is the ultimate validation of automation for a certain task.” Adam Stokar, Fitness Industry Innovation Podcast Episode

Health club and gym business models are relying more on tools like CRM, marketing automation, and soon AI to process their leads more efficiently and to operate more successfully and profitably. Gym owners should strongly consider reaching out to strategic partners like ABC Financial Services and Club OS to get the expert support and advice on implementing these and other solutions.

Learn how ABC Financial can help you save time and improve productivity with our CRM and marketing automation solutions.


About ABC Financial

ABC Financial is the nation’s leading software and payment processing provider for health and fitness clubs. Its comprehensive offerings include payment processing solutions and advanced health club management tools, such as DataTrak, that allow gym owners and managers to track and manage memberships and member and employee schedules, drive member engagement, and automate payment processing functions. Founded in 1981 by Jim Bottin, ABC Financial’s cutting edge technology and top quality customer service are utilized by more than 7,000 health clubs across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. The company’s software has won numerous design and feature awards, such as Club Industry’s Best of the Best and IHRSA‘s Vendor of the Year.