Digital Marketing: How to Drive New Leads to Your Fitness Club

Sara Perry

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December 5, 2022

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category

minute read

PUblished

December 5, 2022

If someone Googles “health clubs near me,” would they find your website? How about your social media? Your leads are not walking through your doors to find more information about your club – they are researching you online.  

More people are turning to the internet to compare your offerings to competitors and see if your fitness club is the right fit for them. Building a smart digital marketing strategy is the key to being their first choice.  

Each online encounter is an opportunity to convert a lead into a member. Optimizing each of those digital touchpoints is a strong first step toward building a digital marketing strategy that converts. We’ll cover the basics and pro tips for each touchpoint, as well as how to make your strategy more impactful.  

What is a Digital Touchpoint?

Before a lead purchases a membership, you need to convince them that your club is the right fit. You provide the information they need to make that decision through customer touchpoints.

A customer touchpoint is any instance where a lead or member interacts with your club. As more leads rely on the internet to inform their decisions, digital touchpoints have become even more important. Any digital encounter from scrolling past one of your social posts, to viewing your website, is a touchpoint (and an opportunity to convert).  

On average, it takes 8 touchpoints to convert a lead to a member. Poorly designed touchpoints can increase the time needed to convert, or even turn leads away entirely. If you want to convert more leads, you need to create digital touchpoints that are accurate, engaging, and easy to find.  

So where do you start?  

Website

A study conducted by the Ecommerce Foundation found that 88% of consumers research a product or service online before buying. With so many leads turning to the internet to research fitness clubs, having a well-designed website can make or break your conversion rate.

A well-designed website should be:

  1. Simple to use
    Your website should clearly explain your club offerings and member experience. Avoid using jargon if possible and focus on answering the questions new leads may have. Use a simple menu to help viewers easily navigate your pages and reduce your load time when possible.
  1. Visually appealing
    Studies
    show that 75% of people base the credibility of a business on how their website looks. Although a website should be easy to use, you can balance that simple design with your brand’s colors, fonts, and images to create a visually pleasing package.  
  1. Aligned with your brand messaging
    Clear and consistent messaging builds trust with your leads. Your website should be an extension of your brand and reflect on your club’s experience. Make sure your tone, messaging, and branding are consistent with each of your digital touchpoints.
  1. Easy to find
    If your leads can’t find your website, they can’t convert. Follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices to rank higher in online searches. Claim your Google My Business listing to show at the top in browser searches.
  1. Adapted for mobile devices
    Roughly 8 in 10 customers will stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and view on mobile devices so you can capture mobile searches.  

Read more: What Your Health Club Website Needs to Engage Members

Digital Ads

You can reach a wider audience through digital advertising. There are two types of ads that can help you build brand awareness with new leads: awareness ads and consideration ads.

Awareness ads target people that have not heard of your club. They are best for broadening your audience and generating new leads.

Consideration ads target those who are thinking about joining a club but have not decided yet. They are best for reaching people that previously engaged with your awareness ads. They help you learn about your leads’ buyer intentions so you can better serve their needs.

Defining your marketing campaign goals will help you decide which type of ad is best for your campaign. To make your ads more engaging, make sure they have:  

  • Clear, highly visible copy
  • An engaging call-to-action
  • An offer tailored to your audience

Define your key performance indicators (KPIs) before running your ads so you can measure how effective your efforts are. Your metrics should be specific and reflective of true progress toward your campaign goals. Avoid relying too heavily on vanity metrics that do not offer true insight into your campaign success.

Read more: Google Ads for Clubs: The Keywords to Bid on & More

Social Media

According to The Harris Poll, 55% of consumers learn about new brands on social media. Many people use their social accounts as tools to research fitness options. These are leads you don’t want to miss.  

Social media is a great tool for sharing what it feels like to be a member of your fitness club. Posting an authentic representation of your club can create an emotional hook for leads. You can create that emotional hook by prioritizing posts about your club’s community, success stories, and member experiences.  

No two social platforms are the same; each social platform has its own set of content guidelines and expectations. However, video and user generated content are often the most impactful types of content. Both have a strong visual hook and high entertainment value. User generated content can also improve your club’s credibility, as 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.

  • To create engaging social content, make sure you:  
  • Spend more time entertaining and less time selling
  • Post consistently without spamming your audience
  • Create content for your target audience (not everyone on the platform)

Text Messages

If your emails are not reaching your leads, you can skip their inbox and speak to them in real- time with text messages.  

Text messaging is the quickest and most reliable way to reach your leads. Texts have a 98% open rate, and 83% of texts are read within 3 minutes of being received.

Clarity and timing are key when texting leads. You are limited on character count, so choose your message wisely. Each text should have a clear purpose and value for your leads. The right cadence will depend on your specific audience, so plan to test and adjust the timing regularly.  

A text should never be the first time you communicate with a lead. Cold texting leads can ruin a member relationship before you have even begun. Always make sure to warm up your leads through other touchpoints before texting them.

Email Campaigns

Email campaigns can help you bypass search engines and social media algorithms to speak directly to your leads. When a lead is on the fence about a membership, a well-built email campaign can convince them to convert to a member.  

Offering your leads valuable content is the key to creating effective email campaigns that do not come off as spam. Not every email in an inbox will get read, so emails solely focused on selling memberships will quickly get lost in the hundreds of other offers. Valuable content should teach your leads something new or solve a problem they have.

Email campaigns work best when they are customized for a lead’s customer journey. Try automating your campaigns to respond to leads as soon as they take a specific action. Quick, automated responses can nurture your leads without requiring hands-on management.  

To create more impactful email campaigns, create emails that:  

  • Speak to a segmented audience
  • Are personalized for each reader
  • Have a motivating call-to-action (CTA)
  • Offer engaging, entertaining, or otherwise valuable content

Read more: Email Marketing ROI: What Clubs Need to Track

Reviews & Testimonials

88% of people trust online consumer reviews as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. When a lead decides which fitness club is right for them, high reviews can be the deciding factor between you and a competitor.  

To improve the credibility and reputation of your club, make sure you:  

  • Regularly monitor your reviews
  • Address any negative reviews
  • Use reviews in your marketing campaigns
  • Make your review process quick and simple

Read more: Why Tracking Member Satisfaction is Essential to Club Growth

How to Optimize Your Channels  

Creating engaging digital touchpoints can get your club in front of more leads. Optimizing those channels for success can make your marketing efforts even more impactful.

Use a CRM

Managing each of your touchpoints on a separate platform can leave you open to mistakes. Consolidating outreach such as your email campaigns and texts into one CRM system can make your marketing more efficient.  

A CRM is a set of digital tools that support your customer relationship management processes. With a CRM, your systems feed into each other and update in real- time. This automated process saves you from manual data entry and ensures your lead database is always up to date.

CRMs can also automate some of your marketing tasks to help you reach more leads with less effort. You can use a CRM to:  

  • Run automated email campaigns to nurture leads
  • Log all your inbound and outbound text messages
  • Create email scripts for birthdays and other important events  
  • Feed your online lead forms directly into your contact database

Read more: 3 Tips for Making the Most of Your CRM

Outsource Your Creative Needs

Not every club has the time or staff available to create custom marketing strategies. Outsourcing your ads, copy, and website needs to marketing agencies can help you bridge that gap. Outside specialists have the time and expertise to create marketing plans that align with your goals and content that converts leads.  

Look for teams that:

  • Know the fitness industry
  • Are easy to communicate with
  • Have options that align with your goals
  • Treat you like a partner, not a customer  

Analyze Your Data

There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. Your club’s experience and your audience are unique. Your leads will respond to marketing that reflects their unique motivations. The only way to find which strategy resonates with them is to test and iterate based on data.

Before you start a campaign, make sure you have defined your KPIs and have systems in place to track those metrics. Email subject lines, ad copy, your website’s menu – nothing should be exempt from testing.  

Gather data while your campaigns are running so you can isolate what works and what does not. Each time you test and hone your tactics, you will get closer to finding the right marketing strategy for your club.  

Read more: Are You Missing Out on Sales Because You Don’t Know Your Members?  

Ready to drive more leads?  

Download the Digital Touchpoints Checklist to see if your marketing strategy is following best practices. This free checklist will guide you through a review of your club’s digital touchpoints so you can make sure you are converting leads.

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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Static and dynamic content editing. A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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Into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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