How to Improve Your Gym Sales Funnel with Automation

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February 9, 2024

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category

minute read

PUblished

February 9, 2024

Member paying for a service inside a fitness club

Lead management expert, Matt Henman, shares industry-leading insights on optimizing your club’s member acquisition and retention strategies. Learn how to leverage technology and effective communication to draw in new members while keeping current members engaged.

Guest

  • Matt Henman is a lead management expert at Club Automation, a leading cloud-based software provider that helps the health and athletic industry manage their clubs more efficiently.

Mentioned in the Webinar

Key Takeaways

6:20 – Empower Your Staff with Automation

The complete member strategy is what we’re going to focus on today. The first step as we look at that is asking “how do we empower your team and staff?”

As you're engaging those prospects and people are knocking on your front door, you want to make sure that you're engaging those prospective members with outreach tools and consistent communication. You need to ensure that your team can use the tools that are available and power the day-to-day follow-up with those potential prospects.

The goal as we build things out with our customers is 80% automated and 20% staff-driven. In the marketplace as you look at hiring, training, and developing your team, there are a lot of responsibilities that your team members have. And so, automating 80% (text, e-mail, and communication flow) and giving your team that 20% interaction makes relationships come to life.

 “As you’re engaging prospects, you want to make sure that you’re engaging prospective members with outreach tools and consistent communication,” says Henman. ‍

16:40 – Automate Follow-Up to Drive Leads in the Funnel

By automating a lot, we've seen an increase of about 20% of those prospects that have come in. They've been interested but they're actually now making the decision to be part of your community.

Passes and free trials have been a staple in the industry for years, but it's really all about that follow-up. Making sure that none of those free trial guests really fall through the cracks and having that technology in place with that automated follow-up and make sure that you've got a really good safeguard that you're communicating with, with folks that you've spent great marketing money to create a great experience on that initial visit.

From there we've talked about, hey leads come in, guests come in, but the next step is really making sure that you have a convenient membership process.

20:40 – Offer Digital Orientation to Improve Retention

When I say prescriptive digital orientation, it can look different depending on your facility, your club, what area of fitness you are serving. A lot of times when you hear orientation, you think about kind of the personal training side of the business.  

But this may be a new member wanting to go through an orientation of sorts for what you offer whether it's tennis courts, swimming lessons, pickleball. You know, all those different pieces.  

The digital orientation is a software tool that allows your team to walk through your digital training process. It makes PT orientation and the new member onboarding experience digital. So, your team has a tool to walk through just like I'm doing today with you to make sure that they're building value. They’re saying the things that they need to say when they need to say them. You've got a great way to scale with your training.  

It's really important to think about what digital orientation looks like. We know that those members who go through that are 13% more likely to be retained longer than those that join who don't have that interaction with the team. On top of that, I think the big number here that jumps out is we know that those engaged happy members are going to spend and, more importantly, participate more.

“Members who go through [digital orientation] are 13% more likely to be retained longer,” says Henman.

Full Transcript

Marissa: (3:05)

Now it’s my pleasure to introduce our distinguished speaker, Matt Henman. Hi, Matt. Matt brings with us more than 17 years of experience in business development encompassing leadership roles across various profit and nonprofit organizations.

With nearly two decades of experience in the fitness industry, Matt combines his deep understanding of the industry with his expertise in lead management. His extensive career includes serving as Vice President of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) brand of VFP and Vice President of Customer Services. Currently, he’s leading the client executive team at Daxko. Matt is very excited to discuss sales funnel managing and converting your leads to members today. Without further ado, let’s begin our journey with Matt. Matt, take the virtual stage.

Matt: (3:49)

Thanks so much for us. I appreciate it. And thanks for everyone who's hopped on so far.

I know you're taking time out of your day, so I'm going to hopefully make this as empowering and engaging as possible. Let’s open this up from my lens in the fitness industry.

I came into fitness when I was a 16-year-old kid, around 300 lbs. I was unhealthy, I was overweight and as a 16-year-old, it is not a great place to be. There was a gym being built about 20 miles from our family farm and I got a job at the front desk. I was really thankful they hired me. As I got that job, I began to experience what community means in the industry as a front desk employee and as a member.

By the time I was a senior, I had lost [weight]. I got down to about 225 as an all-state player in football, basketball, and track. But really, it was the relationships and that environment at that fitness facility that had a huge impact on my life.

That's what's carried me into loving fitness. I love empowering our team members and customers to create the best experience they can. So, I just wanted to share that with you because that's my personal experience.

We're going to talk about your complete member strategy and we're going to start at the top with this funnel. As we look at your marketing engagement tools as we kind of go through this as a company, really educating you, showing you, helping talk through what member strategy can look like.

First, we want to talk about the top of the funnel. How do we engage your leads? How do we make sure that as soon as that person submits their information or knocks on your front door that we're engaging as quickly as possible?

And then, what tools can convert those leads into happy members, making it easy for your team to manage and then of course, retaining those happy members, right?

We want to make sure that your members are happy and a part of your community as they get onboarded. That complete member strategy is what we’re going to focus on today. The first step as we look at that is asking “how do we empower your team and staff?”

Matt: (6:26)

As you're engaging those prospects and people are knocking on your front door, you want to make sure that you're engaging those prospective members with outreach tools and consistent communication. You need to ensure that your team can use the tools that are available and power the day-to-day follow up with those potential prospects.

The goal as we build things out with our customers is 80% automated and 20% staff-driven. In the marketplace as you look at hiring, training, and developing your team, there are a lot of responsibilities that your team members have. And so, automating 80% (text, e-mail, and communication flow) and giving your team that 20% interaction makes relationships come to life.

Prospects take the time to fill out your web lead forms. As you respond quickly, we want to make sure that that they know you care and having that technology in place that helps you respond in under a minute is the new standard.

With this competitive landscape in the health club industry today, it's important to know how long it takes for your club to respond to your prospects. We take 80% and automate these responses, and make sure that they are going out to industry standards.  

Starting this new marketing engagement tool can be overwhelming for your team. When you talk about CRM and sales enablement tools. This is a marketing engagement tool. It's big words, there may be lots of baggage there, but our goal is to help you and your team simplify things.

So, if we empower and train your team, we build this communication strategy together. You've got what you need to make sure that you're engaging with your leads more efficiently and faster.

Let's talk a little bit about how we engage those leads. The first official step in the club experience is having people that are walking in and bringing their friends through the front door – physically and virtually.

Matt: (9:09)

We want to make sure that we engage those prospects in the community via various outreach tools and communication methods. So, we’ve got this picture of this girl who’s coming in. She’s going to get a great workout. She’s at the front door, but the front door looks different today.

When we talk about kind of the first high-level picture, we want to look at our website, that’s the new front door. What does our digital marketing look like?

As we work together with this marketing engagement tool, we’re working with the web development and digital marketing team to make sure that you have good search engine optimization and organic search coming in.

We want to make sure we look at your website, we look at your digital marketing, we're optimizing your website so that we're really making sure that you've got people coming into that top of the funnel.

And then as those folks are interested, whether it's Facebook, Instagram, other social media mediums that you're using that we have really good messaging connected to those to make sure that they immediately feel like, “oh hey, this person cares and this organization really wants to have that relationship or that conversation with me.”

Matt: (10:39)

So how does that convert leads to members?

As soon as those leads or prospects come, 78% of them would buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first.

Those prospects take time to fill out your web lead form. When you respond within the first minute, it creates a positive experience and a feeling that you care for them. Having that technology that allows you to respond within that minute and standard gives you a competitive advantage in the industry.

So, we've talked a little bit about people who are requesting information and bringing in their friends as they knock on your front door. We're going to talk first about that lead, or prospect that that went out on that new front door, your website. As we create your communication journey, we're going to talk about the mediums of text message e-mail.

As soon as they fill out that form, there should be an immediate text that says “hey, thank you for knocking on our front door, we can't wait to see you” Or an e-mail giving a little bit more context.

We've got a marketing landscape where we can have a little bit more in-depth information about our organization. The next piece to automate things. You've got two points, the first is automation of text, and e-mail. The next one is as soon as that person submits that form with our marketing engagement technology, we can immediately make that phone ring.

So, the prospect fills out the form, the sales staff phone begins to ring. We can connect that.  We can transfer that call to the front desk, whether it's your general manager or someone from your member experience team, but as soon as that person fills out that form, that phone rings. They can then pick up that phone.

I think one thing that's also valuable is they're not immediately connected. When they answer, it's going to say, “hey, this is Matt, he requested a free pass. Press 1 to connect. “And when they answer, they know the prospect’s name and where they’re coming from. Once you press 1, you’re immediately connected to that person.

Matt: (13:03)  

The facilities and clubs that have been using this have seen a 40% increase in web lead conversions by simply making sure that we have some of those automation pieces in place.

This is a great chart to show results not just in the fitness industry, but generally speaking. that the first to connect with that a prospect wins if they have the kind of speed to communicate with those folks that are reaching out

And then, as you go through, you can see that if you don’t reach them the next day, one of your competitors might already have. We want to empower your team to have some automation in place to make sure that we’re within that one to three-minute mark as they submit their information.

Matt: (14:03)

So, as we bring that to life, we talk about engaging prospects digitally. But I think it's important to have a great look and feel on your website, that your website matches your in-club marketing.

This gives a lens into prospects submitting their information on your website. From here, we've got great tools on the marketing engagement side that allow your key team members to have a dashboard and log in.

This is just a quick visual where they can see who they need to call and follow up with today. Any incoming text messages would be available in the chat board. Instead of the team using their personal phones to text somebody (which you don’t want) you've got everything in a controlled environment so that communication between the customer and your staff is all in one place.

This is where they can go in. They can make phone calls and create appointments for potential clients. As they come in, we've got an image down here on the bottom that talks about our guest sign in. So that's how we know that that person is at the top of the funnel and is interested in what your facility is all about.  

Once they come into your facility, it's important to make sure that we're collecting digital waivers, and any kind of communication, you may need as we're checking them in.

That’s all digital. The days of pen and paper are long gone, but we’re also working towards messaging our prospects once they come in our facility and submitted their information like, “hey, we can’t wait to see you” or “we hope you had a great workout” once they’re checked in.  

Matt: (16:02)  

By the way, before you leave, check out X Amenity or Y Amenity so that we can kind of create that conversation. And again, that's all part of blending your journey and what you want those key things to look like as you communicate out, like your value proposition for those folks that have visited.

So, follow the guests. We talked about the speed to initially connect with those folks that are at the top of the funnel. And then in the next section, we'll talk about those folks that came in for that free trial and they're interested. We’ll talk about what your follow up process looks like.

So by automating a lot of that we've seen an increase of about 20% of those prospects that have come in they've been interested but they're actually now making the decision to be part of your community.

So passes and free trials have been a staple in the industry for years, but it's really all about that follow up. Making sure that none of those free trial guests really fall through the cracks and having that technology in place with that automated follow up and make sure that you've got a really good safeguard that you're communicating with, with folks that you've spent great marketing money to create a great experience on that initial visit.

From there we've talked about, hey leads come in, guests come in, but the next step is really making sure that you have a convenient membership process.

Some of our customers and clubs are seeing that more than 40% of their membership sales are coming from online, and we’ve seen that dramatic shift in the industry over the last 3 years. People want to join online in the comfort of their own home.  

And so, it's important that you have that integrated communication strategy where if somebody requested a free pass or more information, you point them to your website and other mediums that serve as your new digital front door.

Matt: (18:18)

And then, when we do get to that point where they've experienced the facility or they haven't come in for their free pass, it's time to just go ahead and have really good follow up like “hey, if you're ready to get started, here's where you can do that from the comfort of your own home.”

And then of course in club, we want to have a great convenient membership process to really sign them up for a membership on the spot. But what’s our process? It's not about the membership. It's about making sure that that member stays and is part of the community.

So, how do we make sure that we retain those happy members? 70% of consumers would say how well a company understands their individual needs and tax their loyalty.

Matt: (19:06)

So, it's really important as we look at your digital marketing, marketing enablement tools, the ability for your team to follow up, and some of that automated piece to know your members, know the community, and speak to that individual based on their needs.

It's important for your team to follow up as we look at your digital marketing, marketing enablement tools, and automated pieces to know your community and speak to each individual member based on their needs.

So, as we look at kind of your post membership like “hey this person's now a member, what does that member journey from a communication and follow up lens look like?” Is it really easy to make sure that pickleball is the most important thing in your community? I know the club I'm at, they've got some pickleball courts and they're always full.

But that may be a place where you're really meeting those individuals and saying like, hey, now that you've become a member, make sure you check out the pickleball court reservation process. Now, you make sure that that online person, that member who just joined online may or may not have stepped in the four walls of the business gets invited to everything that we have to offer.

Matt: (20:15)

And then I think that the takeaway from this is understanding as we're looking at your new member follow-up.

What are the key things that differentiate you in the community and what are your community needs where we can speak to that that impact that member of loyalty?

So, I think that's key to look at the other pieces we look at that are a possible prescriptive digital orientation. When I say prescriptive digital orientation, it can look different depending on your facility, your club, what area of fitness you are serving. A lot of times when you hear orientation, you think about kind of the personal training side of the business.  

But this may be a new member wanting to go through an orientation of sorts for what you offer whether it's tennis courts, swimming lessons, pickleball. You know, all those different pieces.  

The digital orientation is a software tool that allows your team to walk through your digital training process. It makes PT orientation and the new member onboarding experience digital. So, your team has a tool to walk through just like I'm doing today with you to make sure that they're building value. They’re saying the things that they need to say when they need to say them. You've got a great way to scale with your training.  

It's really important to think about what digital orientation looks like. We know that those members who go through that are 13% more likely to be retained longer than those that join who don't have that interaction with the team. On top of that, I think the big number here that jumps out is we know that those engaged happy members are going to spend and, more importantly, participate more.

So, we know that we’re doing the right actions and the right activities, we're going to have positive results on revenue. But if we have participation and we have a healthy community, that's what really drives that spend. That's what really drives the revenue.

So, we looked at a study, 100 plus health club locations, 400,000 members to really determine the impact of consistent engagement.

Matt: (23:05)

We're kind of wrapping this all up together and we found that those members that are happy, engaged, and had a seamless process from walking in to being part of the community start seeing a 231% increase in their lifetime spend in the club.

If your membership is, you know, $100, we've got an extra $131 a month that they're spending and we're seeing that kind of increase value over the average. I want to walk through, and make sure that you have a great plan to engage your leads and engage those prospective members. The front door looks different. We want to really empower your team to use 80% automation and 20% one to one to keep it real, and authentic to convert those leads into members. And then, we want to think through what our process look like to retain happy members through that automated lens.

Thanks so much for listening to me, spending some time with me today, Marissa, I'm going to pass it over to our team, but are there any questions? You can take it through the chat or we can kind of open it up to questions.

Marissa: (24:39)

I don't see any questions coming in yet, but I'll give another minute. So, if anyone has any questions, we're happy to answer some questions. Otherwise, we can wrap up and thank you for your time.

All right, well then. Matt, I believe we can wrap up. This is recorded, so we will send this recording out post this event. Thank you all for attending. It's been a pleasure to share with you. Thanks all.

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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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