Lead Generation Ideas for Gyms: Engage and Convert Prospects

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April 15, 2024

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category

minute read

PUblished

April 15, 2024

A trainer and a member talking inside a gym

Delve into lead generation ideas for gyms, ranging from leveraging digital marketing to optimizing follow-up communication. Whether you're a fitness industry veteran or new to the game, this session equips you with the tools and tactics necessary to attract, engage, and convert leads into devoted gym members. Revolutionize your gym's growth strategy today. 

Guests

  • Matt Henman, Senior Team Lead, Client Executive at Club Automation.
  • Amy Simpson, Senior Director of Revenue Operations at Club Automation.   

Key Takeaways 

(00:07:59) – Immediate Response Time is Critical for Lead Conversion

If you can connect with your leads within one to three minutes, you have a 98 percent better chance of converting them to a new member. If you let 30 minutes go by, we see a huge decrease in conversion percentages so much so that you go from a 98% to 62% in your chances of converting that member within 30 minutes.  

And then after that, it falls rapidly. So, if you let a day go by between connecting with that web lead, you are down to about 17%. We start off with that high, and that high only really lasts a few minutes.  

That does take automated tools where you have these web forms out on your website, and they relate to your CRM. Immediately, there is a follow-up text message and email that goes out with the hope that the first text message or email is engaging and asking a question.

“If you can connect with your leads within one to three minutes, you have a 98 percent better chance of converting them to a new member,” suggests Amy Simpson  

(00:10:02) Automated Communication Tools Enhance Lead Engagement  

Amy Simpson:

If your lead wants to respond digitally, they can respond to that email or that text message. Now, there are additional tools that can create a phone call that gets triggered to the club and allows the team to answer that phone call and be voice-prompted.

The voice prompt would say something like, “Matt Henman just filled out a new web form on your site. Press 1 to connect to Matt Henman now.”

Then as a salesperson, if I press 1 to connect to Matt, immediately, I am calling Matt shortly after he visited our website and submitted interest in coming in for a tour, starting a pass, or about a specific program.

I am much more likely to convert Matt and get him to come into the club right at the time that he expresses interest. This is before the procrastination factor or just the timing of being able to get started on your fitness program reduces interest.  

Matt Henman:

We want to streamline and automate all of that to make sure that you have that immediate custom outreach that when the lead fills out that form, the phone begins to ring and you have somebody on the other end of the line, making that person feel excited to come in, join the club, and give them a great experience.

Over time, this has shown a 46% increase in lead-converting using that hot lead notification system. Getting those people in the door to experience what you have to offer is important. The other part of that is training and customizing your lead flow.

 “We want to streamline and automate all of that to make sure that you have that immediate custom outreach that when the lead fills out that form and give them a great experience,” says Matt Henman.  

(00:14:06) – Customized Outreach and Follow-Up Strategies Optimize Lead Conversion 

Everything is based on relative timing. If somebody comes and checks in on the guest register, we know that they have been in. They are no longer a web lead, and we are going to start talking to them like “thanks so much for coming in, we can't wait, hope you had a great workout.”

We are going to drip communication via text, email, or phone call over their lead journey, converting them to a member and continuing into their member journey to drive the actions and behaviors that we want our members to follow. It is valuable that we are connected in three different mediums.

The consumer will tell us what they prefer. They will respond to that text, answer the phone, or the email, so that we are not solely relying on phone calls. We know in today's world, people are texting. They are going to shoot a quick text back.  

Full Transcript 

Kayla Canon: (00:00:00)  

So to kick things off, welcome. We are having our webinar all about driving and engaging leads.  

And today with us, we have Amy Simpson and Matt Henman, and they are going to get ahead and introduce themselves and get started. If you have questions throughout the webinar, just drop them in the Q and A or in the chat, and we'll have time at the end to go over some questions. So with that, uh, take it away, Matt and Amy.  

Matt Henman: (00:00:29)  

Hey, thanks so much, Kayla. Again, my name is Matt Henman. I'm a Strategic Relationship Manager here at DAXKO, VFPNext. I've worked in various roles in the fitness industry for over 24 years.  

I started, being passionate about fitness in high school, working in the front desk, then moved from a fitness manager, regional fitness manager, general manager, manager and owning partner. I just love the people that I've gotten to work with, people that I've gotten to meet.  

Today at VFPNext, I oversee our client executive and our Customer Support Team for the locations that we work hand in hand with and to deliver results on our CRM and guest management.

Amy Simpson: (00:01:14)  

Awesome. Thanks, Matt.  

My name is Amy Simpson. I have, worked in the fitness industry for over 34 years. I guess my first job when I was 16 was in the fitness industry. And then, I went to school and got my master's degree in fitness. I have just been passionate about it ever since.  

I'm a co-founder of the VFPNext c system and work really closely in my new role as Senior Product Manager with the teams at Club Automation, Motionsoft and CSI, helping, clubs and our customers dive into working with their leads and members to help engage both groups of those people with their various brands.  

With that, we're going to kind of kick it in and get started with our topic.

Of course, we want to focus on engaging with prospects and there are so many ways, to reach out and engage with prospects. But today, I think it really starts with digital marketing. Our customers are searching for clubs online. They want to look at and see what locations are close to them quickly within their fingertips.

So, it's no surprise to anyone on this line that 67 percent of the searches in the search results, you click on the first one that you see, or the fist two or three, up to five. If you go to Google and you search for your brand or for fitness clubs in your area, what you're wanting to see is your brand close to the top of the list so that you're able to reach out and connect with prospects immediately when they do a Google search.

Matt Henman: (00:03:36)  

One of the best places to really explore that is jumping out to google.com, doing a search for your website, but also understanding that you have different extensions of your website, whether it's your Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube channel. There are different places where people are going to learn about your club, your business.

And so, take a little bit of time, go out there and find out where you lay in the in the Google Analytics or the digital marketing SEO and then really understand that your website is your first impression. Those clickthroughs are the most important thing so that we can begin to help you engage with those prospects.  

Our VFPNext team works hand in hand with the automation side to get everyone who's on your website, on Facebook or anyone that is interested to make sure their impression passes into their system. And then, we can follow up effectively.  

Amy Simpson: (00:04:40)  

Yeah, Matt. And then from there, that communication to those leads is so critically important. You have your various web forms that sit on your website. Maybe you're offering a guest pass, or you have a special program that you're offering a place for your leads to express interest in that path or that program.  

From there with those leads flowing automatically into your system, you can pick up that communication cadence and speak to them specifically from where they came from.

You might have a slightly different voice and type of communication or offer that you want to talk to your Facebook leads about. If somebody reaches out, via an Instagram post or ad, you probably have a different offer or language that you want to communicate with them.  

We're seeing that by having this automatic communication, you're thanking someone immediately after visiting your site expressing interest.  

That immediate turnaround and connection is resulting in a 20-20% increase in conversions and new member joins, by using this follow-up automatic communication and not letting any of these leads slip through the cracks without ongoing communication.

So, as we roll into that I know, Matt, that you had come up with this problem.  

Matt Henman: (00:06:39)

Yeah. I know that, Amy, you've been working so hard on our implementation and helping me understand by search engine optimization, making sure that my web leads are coming into the system.  

I have all these leads, but I don't know or I don't respond to them fast enough and so, I'm losing them to competitors. How would you help me with that?  

Amy Simpson: (00:07:03)  

Yeah, that’s a great question. It all boils down to timing. 78% of customers are going to buy from the company that responds to them first.  

On top of that, we've done a lot of digging into these metrics and looking at how much time is reasonable to allow to pass between when somebody visits your website and when you have your first person-to-person conversation with that lead.  

It's really stunning when you look at the data, because what we're seeing is that within the first three minutes, the conversion percentage goes down significantly.

So, within one to three minutes, if you can connect with your leads, you have a 98 percent better chance of converting them to a new member. And then if you let 30. minutes go by, (in a club, we're hopping, we're moving. the pace at inside, um, the club for the team is very fast) we're seeing a huge decrease and conversion percentages so much so that you go from a 98% to 62% in your chances of converting that member within 30 minutes.  

And then after that, it falls rapidly. So, if you let a day go by between connecting with that web lead, you're down to about 17%. So, we start off with that high, and that high only really lasts a few minutes.

What's really important from there is that your systems that you have in place, put the tools at your team's fingertips to allow them to connect with new leads as quick as possible, hopefully within that sweet spot of one to three minutes, definitely under the five-minute range.

So that does take automated tools where you have these web forms out on your website and they're connected with your CRM so that, immediately there's a follow-up text message and email that goes out and with the hope that that first text message or email is engaging and asking a question.

Amy Simpson: (00:10:02)  

If your lead wants to respond digitally, they can respond to that email or that text message. Now, there are additional tools that can create a phone call that gets triggered to the club and allows the team to answer that phone call and be voice-prompted.

The voice prompt would say something like, “Matt Henman just filled out a new web form on your site. Press 1 to connect to Matt Henman now.”

So then as a salesperson, if I press 1 to connect to Matt, immediately, I'm calling Matt shortly after he visited our website and submitted interest in coming in for a tour, starting a pass, or about a specific program.

I'm much more likely to convert Matt, get him to come into the club right at the time that he expresses interest before anything else or seeps into the procrastination factor or just the timing of being able to get started on your fitness program.  

So with all of that, I think the next question that I hear a lot is that “I'm trying to call my leads, but I'm not reaching them at their best time. I’m calling them. I'm getting voicemail and I'm never able to connect with them. I wonder, Matt, in your experience, how are you helping clubs overcome this problem?”

Matt Henman: (00:11:54)

Yeah, this is probably one of the things I do. There are some components of my world in launching a customer training and supporting a customer. This is the most fun for me because I get to see them succeed. So Amy, the easy answer out of the gates is our immediate custom outreach. Amy, you talked a little bit about the hot leading notification.  

Once that lead fills out the form, the staff phone begins to ring. We make sure to optimize and train your team that may go straight to the front desk. You may assign a dedicated person that if this phone rings, they’re going to be able to call and follow up, press 1, and connect right to the person.  

We also have everything laid out in the VFPNext agenda. The gentleman sitting in his laptop, he's looking at that person's information as his phone is ringing. We want to streamline and automate all of that to make sure that you have that immediate custom outreach that when the lead fills out that form, the phone begins to ring and you have somebody on the other end of the line, making that person feel excited to come in, join the club, and give him a great experience.

This, this over time has shown us a 46% increase in lead-converting using that hotly notification system. Getting those people in the door to experience what you have to offer is really important. The other piece of that really comes into training and working with the different organizations, different club groups that we work with is customizing your lead flow.

You have your web/social lead forms, your automated communication from guests that are coming in and registering, guests that are taking their tours, the digital enrollment component, and the membership follow up. In all of that customization, we're trying to make sure that you have all these leads.

Matt Henman: (00:14:06)

We're trying to get a hold of them in really understanding the best time and cadence to follow up with those folks. All of these customized tracks are dedicated to them filling out the web lead form, that hot lead call notification went out, but it's also sitting at the top of the agenda for somebody to pick up and make that follow-up call until they've been scheduled with an appointment into the club.

And then. everything is based on relative timing. If somebody comes in and checks in, on the guest register, we know that they have been in. She's no longer a web lead and we're going to start talking to her as like “thanks so much for coming in, we can't wait, hope you had a great workout.”

And then, we're going to drip communication via text, email, or phone call over their lead journey, converting them to a member and into their member journey to drive the actions and behaviors that we want our members to follow. It's valuable that we're connecting in three different mediums.

The consumer will tell us they'll respond to that text message, or they'll answer the phone, or they'll respond to the email, so that we're not solely relying on phone calls. We know in today's world, people are texting. They're going to shoot a quick text back.  

I use sports analogies. I like to call that the 32 dive. Everything in fitness, uh, to me in my career was a 32 dive. It doesn't run the play. That way we can make sure that we're connecting to those people that are interested as quick as possible, depending on the medium that they want to connect with. So, Amy, we have problem number three.

“We offer free trials, but we don't have the bandwidth to reach out immediately after the free trial. How would you answer that one?”

Amy Simpson: (00:16:09)

Yeah. Awesome. We're running with shorter benches, right? We have fewer players, fewer team members that are still trying to get, the job done. And so, these free trials are awesome. It's something that we've done in the fitness industry forever, at least based on my experience, longer in the industry than I'd like to imagine.  

But ultimately, at the end of the trial, the whole concept of a trial is that you take the pressure off, like when they decide not to join on their initial visit for whatever reason or if they want to scope it out and try out the club.  

So, we want to ensure that at the end of that trial, we give them every opportunity to join and that we are connected with them. Having an automated system that can automatically sit on your computer and basically works like your personal assistant will tap me on the shoulder and say:  

“Hey, Amy, don't forget, today is Matt's third day on his trial. Reach out to him. Hopefully when he came in and took a tour with me, I started him on a pass. Hopefully I, I booked an appointment, or I know what he's interested in doing in his three days, in the club.”

There are all sorts of tools included in the VFPNext system that can actually send a text message to alert me that Matt has checked in on his active path and I can go out and try to greet him on the floor.  

Amy Simpson: (00:18:14)

But if all my other attempts fail, just having that reminder, (that's part of my daily agenda that I'm working on my computer every day) that prompts me to follow up with Matt on the last day of his trial, as well as sends him a text message and email with the link for him to join right there.

That way, if I fail to connect with him in the club, or on the phone, he still has these other opportunities to get involved in and stay active with this program that he started on the trial that we had in place.  

Some of that automatic communication has some top tracks in there and having the voice within each one of these text messages or emails that go out.  

Matt spoke about that already to our prospects based on whether they visited the club. If they were on a 1-day pass or a 3-day pass or a 7-day pass, our cadence, our language might be different with each one of those groups.  

Being able to really customize those talk tracks for our prospects that use the free trial and then once that trial is expired to not forget about them just because they didn't join, during their trial or the day that trial ended [is important]. We want that communication to continue, or, uh, those groups on extended period.  

I know we're kind of coming to the end of our time here, it was really fast. I wanted to take an opportunity and open it up to any questions. And Kayla, I think you might help us if there are some questions that came across in the chat.  

Kayla Canon: (00:20:30)

Yeah, we had a few. So, I'll read off the two that we got.

If anyone wants to drop any questions while we're talking, feel free to. But the first one is:

Once we assign a pass in the club, can we book an appointment to follow so the guest not only starts on the communication mentioned, but also has an appointment on the day of the pass expiration?

Amy Simpson: (00:20:52)  

Yeah, really great question, definitely a best practice.  

So, if I start a three day pass for Kayla, then I want to go ahead and book an appointment with her on the third day of her pass, so that I have the opportunity to meet with her at the end inside the digital guest register on the same screen where you would assign the pass, you can also go ahead and book that follow-up appointment.

If I know Kayla is interested in our boot camp classes and she's coming in for her 5 PM boot camp class, maybe I want to meet with her just prior to, her boot camp and I go ahead and put that appointment on the books.

By doing that. Kayla will also get an automatic appointment confirmation that reminds her that we're going to just touch base real fast before her boot camp class. I might just walk her to class and then hopefully register her for a membership right at that time.  

Kayla Canon: (00:22:09)

Thanks for that, Amy. We got another question that said:  

What type of clubs are these features offered to? And I know that when I was looking at registrants, we had pickleball clubs, we had multipurpose, we had all of it. Can you guys explain a little bit of what this is offered for?  

Amy Simpson: (00:22:27)  

Sure, definitely. The way the system is set up and designed is that it works for any club and any size. We have customers that, that really don't have a sales team. I know that I kind of come from the background where we had between three and seven sales seats.

Now, we work with customers that have a traditional sales team, but we are also working with more and more customers that have one or two sales reps. And so, regardless of the size of your team, usually the size of the sales team, is dependent on the volume of new leads that are coming in.

But what we're finding and what we're seeing is that all teams have been shrunk post COVID. And so, we're managing lots of items and tasks. The system ensures that there's no lead that slips through the crack. When I say lead. I'm, I'm talking about leads who are interested in converting to members. But as soon as you sell somebody a membership, then that’s not the end of your sales relationship with that member. You're selling them on being involved in the club, on getting involved in programming, and getting involved in personal training. You want to dig into what their interests and their goals are in those timeframes.  

And then ultimately, maybe you sell Pickleball, or that is your membership, or Pickleball is an add on to the fitness membership. Depending on the environment that you sit in, we have these talk tracks, these communication tracks, that cover the basic blocking and tackling that we can roll out and help your brand put in place for you regardless if you're a big box, small box, or have multiple boxes, multiple stores, or somewhere in between.

We are allowing that automatic communication so that you can focus on making the phone calls, building the relationships and letting those text messages and emails go out automatically on your behalf without having to think about it.  

Matt Henman: (00:25:17)

And maybe I'll add a little bit just quickly to that is one of the things I love about what we do. I can answer to the question of like everybody. but that's the easy answer.

One of the things I love is our team, our client executive team, where as a company within VFP next, we've designed best practice talk tracks for those different kind of business models in the fitness industry.

But initially, once you get started with the VFP, we're going to do an intro call so we understand what your business is, what you need, what your business is, what your website looks like, all those kinds of pieces to understand best way to get things launched to make sure that you start seeing results.

You start seeing those leads come in, you start seeing those membership conversions, and then you start driving those member behaviors. That's one of the things that I think is just really special and unique with our client executive team, uh, and the onboarding process.

Kayla Canon: (00:26:28)  

One more thing, which is kind of just a good general question, that goes into our next slide too, is how do you get more information? So we got a question. Can we share this information with you guys, the PowerPoint? We also, do plan on sending a recording out to everyone, especially those who missed it orcouldn't make it.  

I'm also going to drop my information in the chat. Feel free to reach out to me directly. If you want more information and I can get you connected or you're welcome to drop your name in the chat with like, “yes, I want to learn more.” We can definitely get you connected with an expert, whether it's Amy, Matt, or another one on our awesome team.

Definitely, we can provide more information. We'd love to, and with that being said, also, we have more webinars coming up. So, next time we're going to have a webinar all about streamlining member management. So, just keep your eyes open for some information from Club Automation on when and where and who this will be presented by, but it will definitely be in the coming weeks.

And then we're also going to have a third one, all about admin and the all the behind-the-scenes stuff to make sure that your staff is having the best experience as well. It's kind of a three-part series talking about the leads, which we just talked about today, the members and then the staff.

So again, you'll be getting more information from me, and emails and whatnot, and we can pass forward all this information. I just wanted to give a big thank you to Amy and Matt for joining us today and talking to everyone. And then everyone who joined. We really, and always appreciate getting to talk with you guys.

Amy Simpson: (00:28:03)

Thanks, everyone. Thank you.  

Kayla Canon: (00:28:06)

Bye, everyone.

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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!

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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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