One of the biggest problems fitness clubs seem to have is communicating with their members in the right way at the right time. Since it directly impacts how many leads you get and how many become members, mapping out a communication strategy is essential for your gym’s growth.
In ASF and Club OS’s most recent episode of our webinar series, Talk Data to Me, lead conversions and communication tactics are exactly what hosts Sarah Pellegrino and Nick Hahn discussed. If you missed the latest episode, you can watch it or read our recap below to get their insider tips!
What is Your Lead-to-Member Conversion Rate?
Your lead-to-member conversion rate is the rate at which leads are becoming gym members. For example, if you have 100 leads and 10 sign up for your club, your conversion rate would be 10%. Lead to member conversion is an important key performance indicator (KPI) to track, as it allows you to gauge whether your marketing and sales tactics are working.
To get an accurate idea of your conversion rate, you should measure your leads and conversions within a specific period. Nick recommends 30 days as a good benchmark, as this is when you have the highest chance of converting new leads to members.
Lead-to-member conversion rates in the fitness industry are down in 2022 compared to 2021.
Compared to last year, the fitness industry’s lead-to-member conversion rates are trending downward. However, net new memberships have increased. That means that although a lower percentage of leads are becoming members, clubs are still bringing in more new members because they’re getting more leads.
Let’s say last July, your club brought in 10 leads, and four of them signed up for a membership. If your gym is following industry trends, then this July, you would’ve brought in 20 leads, but only seven of them became members. So, although your conversion rate last year was 40% and it’s only 35% this year, you still brought in three extra members.
What’s the catalyst behind this trend? Sarah points out that people are now shopping around for gyms—resulting in more leads. But there’s also much more competition—which is why fewer leads are converting.
The bad news for gym owners and operators is that the competition will only worsen. Between now and 2028, the fitness industry is expected to grow by nearly 172%. There is good news, though. You can continue attracting and converting leads by honing your communication strategy.
Communication is Key to Successfully Engage with Your Leads & Club Members
Communicating with your leads on a continuous but not too frequent schedule is essential for keeping them engaged with your gym. And engaging leads is vital to making them want to sign up for your club instead of someone else’s.
In the second half of the webinar episode, Nick and Sarah went over the top communication methods for gyms to use to nurture leads and engage with members, backed by some interesting data. Here are the insights they had:
Texting is the most successful communication method for driving conversions in 2022.
Traditionally, clubs use three methods to engage leads—text, email, and phone calls. Over the last few years, texting has become the best way to increase conversion rates. According to ASF and Club OS customer data, lead-to-member conversion rates for texting in 2022 are at 7-8%, compared to a little under 7% for phone calls and about 4% for email.
When speculating about why texting has become the best communication tactic, Nick points out that people who are searching your website and want to learn more about you but aren’t ready to join can be put off by a phone call. If they wanted to talk to someone, they would’ve called or booked a demo. Sarah compares it to that one friend who always calls right after you text them—don’t be that friend.
Texting them to schedule a tour, however, is a less aggressive way to give leads an opportunity to learn more about your club on their schedule.
Following up an unanswered text message with a phone call is more successful than following up with an email.
Although direct calls aren’t the best way to initially reach out to a lead, they can be a good way to follow up with them. This is because your prospects’ email inboxes have become oversaturated. How many emails do you delete from your inbox without even opening them? Leads are doing that too.
However, the timing of your phone calls is a significant factor in your success rate. Previously, the best time to reach a lead by phone was Monday morning, as people were just getting into the office and procrastinating the start of their workday at the coffee machine or in the lunchroom.
But in the current work-from-home world, Monday afternoons or Tuesday mornings are better times to call your leads.
Use email to send automated big-batch drip campaigns to leads.
Just because texting and calling are more effective than email at reaching leads and members doesn’t mean that email isn’t still a valuable communication tool. The key is to use email the right way.
Nick asserts that the best way to use email for engaging recently converted leads is to send automated brand emails as part of thoughtful drip campaigns. And the industry agrees that automation is one of the most effective email strategies, with 71% of marketers reporting success. He suggests detailing a different service you offer in each email, tailored to each new member’s club activity.
For example, if the new member has been to the club four times within their first seven days of joining, email them about helpful club experience features like mobile app check-in. If they haven’t been in since they signed up, remind them to sign up for their free introductory personal training session. Either way, use these emails to show them you’re invested in their success.
Increase Lead to Member Conversions with Club OS Communication Tools
The lead-to-member conversion rate in the fitness industry may be decreasing, but that doesn’t mean it has to at your club too.
Club OS has the easy-to-use communication tools you need to nurture leads and continue engaging them when they become members. From automated texts and emails to targeted audience segmentation, we make it simple to follow up with every contact.
Book a demo of Club OS to learn more about how we can make your job easier and your gym more successful!