A. Deal-of-the-Day (DOTD) sites have helped make a lot of money for a lot of gym owners. Some owners literally attribute their entire success to these services. Unfortunately, for those of you late to the game, these kinds of results were more likely a year or two ago.
Today’s DOTD buyers are different. They buy a deal and either forget to use it, or they use it and move on to the next deal. This means that a lot of today’s DOTD buyers will buy your offer, possibly use it, but are much less likely to stay with you long-term, considering they know another fitness deal will be offered on the DOTD site next month.
But, I still feel that if you are able to run a DOTD, it can be beneficial — you just need to do it a little differently.
How to Structure Your Deal
First, don’t give a huge discount on your deal. A lower price will generate more buyers, but these buyers will likely not invest in a longer-term membership. DOTD sites will try to get you to offer as big a discount as possible, but I promise you, while this might be good for them, it is not good for you. Give a good deal, but don’t price it so low that the buyer won’t see value in staying with you long term.
Instead of just offering membership or personal training, try to throw in some cool extras. Add some meal plans, a nutritional assessment, a $50 gift card or a t-shirt. Plus, you can then place a higher value on the package, making your discount appear larger.
How to Promote Your Deal
A week or so before your deal runs, the DOTD site will send you the link to your page for approval. At this time you will have access to the discussion page. You should post a welcome message that potential deal buyers will see.
Then you should let all of your members know about the deal you’re running. While they won’t be able to buy for themselves, let them know that if they will post their experience with your gym in the discussion area of the deal page, you’ll give them a special gift. You can e-mail this request to your entire member list and print out the DOTD URL to give to members checking in. It would be a good idea to e-mail your list a reminder the night before the deal goes live.
On the day of the deal, be sure to e-mail your missed guests, non-members and expired members, to tell them to buy the deal. You should also be posting to your Facebook page, and aggressively follow up with missed guests and expired members. You can also bribe your members to post the deal to their Facebook wall. Offer another bonus for anyone who does this.
How to Make Money After the Deal
The day after your deal runs, e-mail your list to thank everyone. Let them know that you got a ton of e-mails since the end of the deal asking if they can still get in on it. Let them know that for the next two days you’re extending the deal. Send them a link to a sign-up page online, or invite them to stop by the gym to get the deal. Remember, for anyone who takes you up on this offer, you’ll be keeping 100 percent of the revenue and won’t have to share with the DOTD site!
Unfortunately, DOTD sites don’t share the buyers’ information with you. Only when a buyer claims their prize do you know who actually purchased. However, on all of the DOTD offers, you are allowed some space to put instructions on how they claim their deal. You’ll create a sign up page on your website and instruct the buyers to register their deal there in order to activate it. This is your opportunity to collect their contact information. Set up an auto-responder to send them an e-mail following their registration, thanking them for their investment and to give further instructions.
If you follow this advice, you should still find great success with the Deal-of-the-Day services.-CS
Curtis Mock is the host of www.fitnessbusinesstelevision.com, the TV show for fitness entrepreneurs and is the executive director of GymSuccess.com. Curtis can be reached via e-mail at Curtis@ClubSolutionsMagazine.com.