Techniques For the Marketing of Fitness Centers

Techniques for the marketing of fitness centers have changed just a bit over the last half-decade. They take far more advantage of the power of the Internet than was the case in the past, for one thing. So, any fitness center that doesn’t utilize it as best as it can is being a bit unwise. In this matter, any marketing plan should accept the digital reality and build from there.

For the most part, there’s little real difference in marketing of fitness versus marketing of any other thing except that fitness is a more personal issue to most folks. They want to know what the center will do for them and their issues. All the successful centers and franchises get this, which is the reason so much of the kind of marketing of fitness you see is dedicated to one-on-one messages.

If a good fitness centers adheres to that precept, it’ll be able to understand how important it is to have a well-designed and properly working website up and running. The site should be written so that it can relate to people in a personal way while also assuring people in a more general way that the center is well-run and knows what it’s doing.

A fitness center’s goal should be that it becomes thought of as the expert center for fitness in the area. Not only should the website contain regularly updated fitness articles, but those articles should also be disseminated on the Internet. They can be submitted to various article directories and the like, which will help to increase visitorship to the website. They can also help increase the chances of people visiting the center, too.

All successful centers also tend to use other forms of Internet and local advertising, when they make sense. Most start out locally with Internet ads and then begin to push out in a wider area in a planned manner. And a press release is done for any significant event, such as a grand opening or the hiring of new staff or creation of new programs. Realistically, none of this will cost much, relative to their benefits.

Good fitness centers make sure they work with a consultant who has a background in the ways of Internet marketing to the right audience. They make sure the website is set up for smooth operation, and they can help with press releases. Additionally, consultants can help design a coherent and logical Internet marketing campaign. Lastly, they’ll help with article submissions and dissemination.

A fitness center also needs to ensure the more traditional forms of marketing such as flyers, brochures and newsletters are looked after. All of these things are also easily transferred to email list mail-outs, too. The emails can be obtained from list brokers, to start, and then built up from the center’s own website, eventually. And they’ll include something valuable in the emails, like a free diet and exercise program, for example.

Fitness Center for Children

Everyone needs to exercise, including children but unfortunately, not everyone does. Children today prefer to sit in front of a television playing video games instead going outside to play ball, ride bikes, etc. A fitness center for children is designed to help younger people stay in shape by exercising. Many times these particular fitness centers will have activities and special fitness equipment that are geared towards children. This equipment may include a trampoline, floors that are covered in foam mats, and even active video games. The purpose of these centers is to help children stay fit and reduce their risk of developing childhood obesity.

According to the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), childhood obesity from 2007 to 2008 has increased 6.5% to 19.6% for children from the ages of six to eleven in the United States. In twelve months, childhood obesity has tripled. According to experts, it is recommended that children from the age of two should get at least thirty minutes every day of physical activity. This exercise can be enjoyable such as chasing and playing catch with the dog, playing in a playground, or anything that gets them up and moving. If your child is a couch potato who prefers video games, check out a fitness center for children.

In these centers, you may find exercise equipment that is designed for children but in many cases, there are organized activities that involve workshops and classes. A fitness center for children may have adopted parent participation classes. This will help the parents stay involved in the fitness education and fitness of their children.

Some of the special classes and activities that may be offered at a children’s fitness center can include:

• Martial arts classes like karate
• Rock wall climbing
• Strength training
• Yoga
• Dance
• Cheerleading
• Gymnastics
• Basketball
• Supervised weight lifting for older children

They may also offer classes on motivation and nutrition. They may also have an achievement system that rewards the children for attaining certain achievements. A children’s fitness center may also host a child’s birthday where supervised fun activities for the children attending the party.

The fitness center not only offers something for children but it also offers something for the parents. Some fitness centers may offer a parent’s night out once a month or even a fun night once a week. These events will usually average four hours giving the parents a chance to eat out, take in a movie, and more. During these times, the fitness center offers games and activities for fun but no set exercise programs. It is like a big party. Some of the activities may last an hour or two during regular hours so this also gives parents time to do things.

Three Fitness Center Software Features You Must Have

If you run a fitness center, then you must take advantage of software to manage and build your business.

The fact is that the right fitness center software can not only save you time, but also improve your customer service.

3 Fitness Center Software Features You Must Have

  1. Swipe Card Technology
  2. E-Commerce / Online Membership Purchasing
  3. Direct Response / Email Marketing

All three of these fitness center software features not only save you and your staff time, but also improve customer service AND directly work to increase your revenues.

Software Features in Detail

1. Swipe Card Technology

This is a no-brainer. A member swipes the card upon entering your fitness center or your staff person does it. It’s fast, therefore convenient for your members.

However, and this is important, your member’s purchases and visits are automatically tracked to that member’s electronic profile in your database.

Tracking your members’ visits and purchases gives you a huge opportunity to both serve them better and sell them more products and services. This is where the next two must-have features come in to play.

2. E-Commerce / Online Membership Purchasing Capability

There are two aspects of e-commerce you can deploy as a fitness center owner. First, you can sell goods online via an online store. Second, you can sell memberships, gift cards, and packages online. The second option is critical, the first, being an online store is desirable.

Why not give prospective members the option to buy a membership directly online?

I’ve been a member of several gyms, and I’m always amazed at the hassle I had to go through when getting a membership. Sure there are liability matters to cover – but great fitness center software will also include e-waivers your members can electronically sign.

When someone wants to join your health club, don’t make it a required hassle to visit with a “sales rep”. Simply let them buy immediately. Of course, have sales reps available to answer questions.

Take this a step further by offering packages – classes, personal training, set number of visits, etc. The more you cater to your members, the longer you’ll retain them and attract more members.

What about an online store?

You likely sell gear, clothing, and maybe even supplements in your facility. Why not extend your store to your website?

You get traffic to your site, therefore, with minimal hassle, you can generate more sales. Your members can buy online and then pick up their items during their next visit.

You can promote your online store beyond your membership to make more sales and get more exposure to your fitness center.

In my view, having an online store selling clothing, gear, and supplements is a terrific revenue generator. After all, you have inventory already. You also have staff – often sitting around doing nothing except waiting to serve members. Let them fulfill orders.

The fact is there are fitness-oriented e-stores online making a fortune. Why not get a piece of that market?

3. Direct Response Email Marketing

This is a huge topic, but I’ll keep it brief.

The fact is if you aren’t actively marketing and communicating to prospective and current members by email, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.

Once you have a membership database, and you’re able to track their visit and buying trends, you can market more services and even products to them. However, use the information you have on them and target specific services and products to them. Don’t sell female goods to men and vice versa.

A great fitness center software program with email software will be able to segment your members – which means you can do precision marketing.

Don’t forget about prospective members. Once a member visits your site, you should capture their email address.

To do this, you need them to give you their email address. You entice visitors to give you their email address by offering something they want. Give them free workout videos, books, reports, discounts, etc. Their contact information is worth a lot. Email marketing is a numbers game.

The larger your list, assuming your list is into fitness, then you can sell to them.

Even if those prospective members don’t become a member, you can sell them you goods off your e-store… that is if you set one up.

If you book private appointments, you can send reminder emails to those members. This cuts down on no-shows. No-shows are expensive because it’s lost valuable time.

As you can see, these 3 fitness center software features all work together to save you time, provide great customer service, and increase your revenues.