In this article we are going to discuss a few strategies that you as a CrossFit gym can apply to gain more customers and grow your business. Don’t worry, it’s not re-inventing the wheel or rocket science, but they do require action on your part. Let’s dive in!
I, myself, have a membership to a CrossFit Affiliate and can vouch that it is one of the most interesting paths to fitness that I’ve ever tried. However, it’s not for everybody and it does in fact intimidate a lot of people. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do right now to get them in the door.
#1 – Offer a Free Trial
Product demos are highly effective. How else can you see if you like something before investing in it? Potential members may not have any clue what a wall ball or barbell is, how your coaches operate or what a CrossFit class entails. and getting a good feel for the center before they commit to signing up.
One thing many people new to CrossFit notice is how expensive it can be. Many gyms charge ridiculous prices regardless of how often you plan on visiting. This is a great way to lose potential members and leave them with a lasting negative impression.
When someone shows interest in joining or wants more information, offer them a trial pass to come down and try out the facility. This can come in the form of a free week, X number of visits, etc. Give them the same experience of your paid members and be sure to treat them like a valued member from day 1 and exceed their expectations with great customer service.
When handing out free visitor passes, have a quick registration form to take down the person’s name, email address and phone number. If you have the ability, register them as a trial member on your system, take their photo and give them a membership card with their free visits. Instant WOW factor and they will feel part of the place before they even sign up!
You want to make this process seamless and do it for all new parties considering joining. Here are a few ways you can implement it:
Make it part of the tour
Once they are done filling out some contact information, give them a quick tour of the facility. Nothing crazy, just the overall layout so they feel more comfortable when coming to a class. When done, hand them their pass and tell them you look forward to seeing them soon.
Create a banner and opt-in form for your website
The banner or button you use needs to be eye catching and easily accessible. Make sure that when the visitor clicks it, they can enter in their own information so you can contact them. This can be done very easily via free tools from OptInMonster.
As soon as they submit their details an automated email is sent with a link to download their free pass. The potential member can then print the free pass and bring it into the gym.
The real benefit of capturing details via an opt-in form is that after they download the free pass, you can continue to market to the client via an automated email series over a period of time. This enables you to build a quality relationship by adding value, providing free tips and useful information.
Add the same or similar banner/button to your Facebook page
If you advertise a Facebook company page, simply follow the same steps above for Facebook.
#2 – Start a Member Referral Program
A member referral program is a powerful strategy to attract new members to your gym. Here’s the key: Simplicity. If it isn’t easy to use, no one will use it (including yourself).
Why not print off some free pass cards and give them to your current members.
Each member can easily hand out the free cards to their friends and family. The interested parties can then bring the cards in for validation.
On the cards include name, email, phone number and the name of the person they’re referred by. If you like, you can offer the referring person a free month of membership or discount per person referred starting next billing cycle.
Depending on your resources, you can also create a ‘Refer a Friend’ form on your website and/or Facebook page. In this scenario, the member simply enters their details in the form along with the contact info of the friends and family that they want to refer. The family member receives a personal email from their friend with a free trial offer along with a download link including the free pass card. The card can be brought into the facility for validation and the referrer will get credit if the prospective member pays for a membership.
#3 – INVEST IN A MODERN WEBSITE
This one actually shocked me. I cannot believe how many unattractive websites still exist in 2017. These days there are resources everywhere to get your website to look the part, even if you don’t know how to code! After all, first impressions are everything.
Here’s a rough estimate: about 3/4 of prospects will do a search on Google to find the closest CrossFit gym to their location and check out the website BEFORE coming down for a visit. Another 20% will be referred by family or friends and 5% will drive by and drop in to have a look.
Ask yourself what impression are you making to the 75% of prospects who check out your website? Does your site show up on the front page of Google search results for your area? Has your site been updated with the latest schedule and class information? Do you have compelling images to showcase your facilities or do you just have a bunch of boring text and links? If your website is old, boring and outdated then it’s natural for people to assume that your gym is also old, boring and outdated!
A fresh, modern and up to date website is critical in making a great first impression when people land on your site.
The average member at a CrossFit gym is worth over $1,000 per year. If 75% of your potential members are getting a poor first impression from your website and going somewhere else, how much money are you missing out on each year?
Updating your website should be listed as the number one priority in your marketing budget!
#4 – START A FACEBOOK PAGE
Facebook is by far one of the most effective marketing methods for generating new members, adding value to current members and increasing membership retention. Every CrossFit gym should have a Facebook Page!
As of right now, Facebook has more than 700 million users worldwide and on average a user has more than 200 friends. These days people spend more time on Facebook than any other website (including Google!). It’s no surprise that when used correctly, your Facebook Page can generate enormous amounts of traffic and interest in your gym.
If you really want to step up your game, you can look into creating a custom Facebook page to take your marketing efforts to a whole new level!
#5 – INTERVIEW CANCELED MEMBERS
The Health & Fitness industry has very high member turnover (especially early in the year). However, only a very small percentage of gyms actually survey their members when they cancel. This simple process can provide some very valuable information about your member satisfaction, staff performance and facilities. Sometimes, you can even address the member’s issue and get them to retain their membership. The survey can be completed as the member fills out a cancellation form.
Here are some sample questions:
- How long have you been a member?
- What is your reason for cancelling?
- How would you rate the staff? (rate 1 to 5)
- How would you rate the facilities? (rate 1 to 5)
- Any other comments or feedback?
A good exercise would be to review the feedback weekly and address any issues you can. Members often see things from a different perspective and can highlight areas that you can improve. Often times making simple changes and improvements can have a big impact on client retention.
The short list of tips above are all simple to implement and are by no means an all inclusive list. Often the simplest strategies are the most effective, but they are also often overlooked. These strategies will go a long way toward increasing your membership numbers and retaining your current clients. However, this all means nothing and are just words, unless you TAKE ACTION!
We offer a wide variety of services to assist you in your Marketing campaigns. Anyone who is interested in developing a specific plan for their CrossFit gym can benefit. If you are interested in a consultation please reach out to us here or on Facebook.
Our Services include:
- Website Creation
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- Custom Facebook Fan Pages
- WODIFY Integrations
- Search Engine Optimization
- Lead and Traffic Generation
- Sales and Communication
- Facebook Advertising
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- Personal Training Business Systems
- Graphics and Logo Design
- Membership Sites
- Shopping Carts
- Content Management Systems
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When it comes to online and offline marketing for CrossFit gyms, we are the best in Arizona!
If you have a great marketing strategy for gyms, please let us know in the comments.