If you own a health club today, it’s pretty much a given that you must also create a gym website. In fact, internet research has become so commonplace that you simply can’t afford to miss this piece of the marketing puzzle.
A full “97% of consumers use the Internet to research products or services in their local area. What specific online research tools do they use? 90% use search engines, 48% use Internet Yellow Pages, 42% use comparison shopping sites and 24% use vertical sites” (source: www.smallbusinesssem.com).
(NOTE: The focus of this article is how to sell a gym membership with website marketing. For free ideas on improving member retention and other topics important to health club owners, visit this link: http://www.cuecd.com/articles.asp.)
Obviously, any health club website must include the basics: name or logo, address, phone number, email address, Facebook page and hours of operation. Be sure to include lots of high quality photos or even video to help draw interest and convey a sense of atmosphere.
On the other hand, you should avoid long paragraphs and lots of text. People typically don’t read everything on a page, and will instead scan for bullet points. You should also avoid “page clutter” and giving too much information.
In short, make your gym website easy to read. Try to communicate the “personality” of the gym. If your health club is a light, breezy and FUN place to be then get that point across with pictures, video and a few bullet points. If the personality of your gym is more serious, a real nose-to-the-grindstone-let’s-get-results-NOW kind of place, then you should put that into words using the same mix of pictures, video and bullet point communication.
Of course, the real secret to how to sell a gym membership with website marketing is to remember that the goal of a health club website is simply to generate leads.
Did you catch that? The best-looking gym website in the world is worthless if it’s not generating leads for you, because leads turn into dollars.
Fortunately, one of the many benefits to having a health club website is that you can have a ‘lead robot’ working for you 24/7. To accomplish this goal, on the website you must provide an opportunity where prospects can print a free 1-week pass to your gym. There’s no expiration date, and no cost or obligation of any kind. However, to access this coupon page, each person must first type in their name, address, email address and phone number. This information is then forwarded to you, for follow-up. A quick phone call will allow you to set an appointment with the prospect
This follow-up phone call, which you should place as soon as possible after they’ve printed their 1-week free pass, might go something like this:
Hello. Is __________ there?
Hello, this is __________ from ABC Gym. How are you today?
You entered your name on our website to receive a FREE 1-week pass at ABC Gym.
Had you heard about us before you found the website?
Let me give you a very brief summary of ABC Gym and what we do. Basically, we help people lose fat and tone up with the best 30-minute workout.
ABC Gym also offers nutritional counseling, and lots of other extras that make exercise fun.
__________, we’d like to get you started on your 1-week free trial membership as soon as possible. We’ve found that the best way to do that is to invite you in for a tour of the facility. That way we can make sure you’re comfortable with the equipment, and we can answer any questions you may have. It looks like we have __________ and __________ available, which one would work best for you?
Good. Okay, we’ve got you down for __________ o’clock on __________. Do you know where we’re located?
Great. We’ll see you then!
These follow-up appointment-setting phone calls are usually very easy to make, simply because the prospect is the one that initiated contact with you. They took the first step to request information, so they are by and large extraordinarily easy to book for a tour. Once they’re in the gym for their scheduled tour, the selling is up to you.
Leads from the website have several distinct advantages over other types of leads:
1) You automatically have their contact information.
2) They have reviewed the website and are thus familiar with what you offer.
3) They automatically have a physical reminder (printed coupon) of your gym.
4) Website leads require a small monetary investment for you to acquire.
5) Website leads require zero time investment for you to acquire.
Depending on how aggressively you advertise your website, you have the potential to receive dozens of new leads each week. Best of all, these leads are delivered right to your email box! Although the sky is the limit regarding how you let people know about the website, some tactics include:
1) List the web address in your Yellow Pages ad.
2) Show the web address on your brochure.
3) Print the web address on all of your coupons.
4) Hang a banner advertising the web offer in front of your gym.
5) List the web address on all business cards.
6) Give the web address on your voicemail or answering machine message.