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This is the fourth article in a five-part series that details exactly what you need to market your fitness center and make it a success.
Getting the word out about your fitness center takes more than simply printing postcards and launching a website. You have to get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time. Here are some tips for fitness center marketing distribution:
Direct mail is the best way to reach your members. A calculated direct-mail campaign represents an investment in profit and should be approached with dedication. Consult a list broker or use the mailing list building tools available at PsPrint, develop a database of your own customers, and define a mailing list comprised of likely prospects.
Repetition is key: Instead of a one-postcard campaign, develop a strategy that incorporates multiple direct mailers during a six-month period. This contributes to your fitness center branding efforts and allows you to develop long-term relationships. By the time you launch your incredible offer, you'll have established trust and credibility and will earn a higher response rate.
Week One: Send a brochure introducing your potential clientele to your fitness center. Offer a personal tour at their convenience. Add value by including a panel with tips for specific fitness goals.
Week Six: Send a flyer or newsletter that highlights recent news about your fitness center. Include photos (with permission) of your members enjoying the amenities. A "Meet the Staff" section, complete with photos and qualifications, can lend trust and confidence.
Week 12: Send a booklet that covers all the services you offer and tips and tricks for specific goals. One page, for example, might be about weight loss and how members can use your gym as a weight loss tool. Another page might be about basketball tips, and include information about entering your basketball leagues or tournaments.
Week 18: Send a calendar with images of members in action, complete with special tournament dates, discounts, etc. Don't forget to brand on every month!
Week 24 Send a direct-mail postcard inviting potential members to tour your facility. Include a special time-limited discount to anyone who takes a tour.
Week 30: Send a follow-up greeting card to everyone who took a tour but did not sign up immediately after. Include a voucher or gift coupon to express your appreciation, and offer to personally answer any questions potential members might have.
You can deploy advertisements online or in the yellow pages, newspapers and magazines; as well as on the radio, television, billboards and any number of published mediums. You can also take your ads "street side" by placing flyers and posters on community bulletin boards, and university, office and industrial social hot spots. Word of mouth is the most powerful advertiser, so make sure friends, family and colleagues know what you do and are prepared to spread the word for you. You should consider handing out stickers and business cards to everyone you know for distribution.
Test, track and tweak - these three Ts will help you develop winning fitness center marketing campaigns. Always test different variations of your marketing materials on small portions of your mailing list before launching the full campaign. Sometimes a single word change can make a big difference in your return on investment.
Track your response rates and record who responds so you can further define your target demographics. Tweak your subsequent marketing materials to cater to this audience. Keep a database of customers and respondents, and evaluate recognizable trends so you can customize your offers. This is just another form of knowing your customers, but from an analytical perspective it allows you to make intelligent business decisions based on honest, proven statistics.