Best Fitness is all about proven results. It’s a mantra I believe in for our members’ fitness plans and our own business.
We drive revenue at our clubs by training our staff to stick to a defined sales process with a specific follow-up plan for membership and personal training sales. InTouch Follow-Up, a CRM built specifically for health clubs, allows our sales team to start their day knowing exactly which leads and members need to be contacted. And, because the system keeps our sales staff accountable, our managers no longer have to look over their shoulders.
Like most health clubs, sales for Best Fitness in January and February of 2013 were very strong because a lot of leads walked into our clubs and immediately signed up for memberships. However, in March we experienced a downturn in sales as people forgot about their New Year’s resolutions. By the end of the month, we had a large number of leads that our sales people had not been able to close.
Around this time, InTouch Follow-Up released a new set of text messaging features. Previously, our sales staff used their personal cell phones to text leads, but this was not an ideal situation. First, there was no record for management to see what was being said. Second, if the staff member left, the lead was lost. Last, our sales staff was incurring costs for text messages they were sending.
The texting features allowed us to be able to send out text blasts to all our leads or members, and build relationships with people by continuing a conversation with them if they texted back — all through the InTouch Follow-Up application.
We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to engage members and prospects. With the new texting features in mind, we developed a marketing campaign to target the leads that were leftover in our sales pipeline in March. We wanted a good start to April and closing these sales early on would provide our personal trainers with a good pipeline for personal training sales later in the month.
April 1, 2013, at 8 a.m., we sent out a text blast to leads that had been entered into our system within the past 30 days. We offered a standard “join-for-free promotion” and sent out approximately 3,300 text messages through InTouch Follow-Up. We were a little apprehensive as to how our leads would react to the text offer, but since our sales people had previously been texting leads, we decided to give it a try.
Three hours after the blast I received a call from our VP of sales, Katie Webster, who informed me that we had already received 20 responses from the text promotion at one of our clubs. It was at that moment I realized we were onto something.
Within the first day of sending out the text blast, we had 288 members join Best Fitness. By April 5, 2013, we had already reached 25 percent of our quota for the whole month across our 10 clubs. For me, the return on investment was clear.
In addition, our sales staff received a total of 485 text responses back from our initial blast — proving to us that text messages were driving conversations with our leads. We’ve also heard from our sales team that texting has allowed them to be more productive, as they can have multiple conversations going on at once, in contrast to calling leads one by one.
We experienced an extremely low number of people opting out of text messages, and no complaints at all from our blast. This showed us that people are open to communicating with us via text and that they liked being contacted through this medium.
Running our first text message marketing campaign really has proved the power of texting. For us, leveraging text messages to communicate with our customers and prospects is a way of providing people what they want. We used text message marketing to cut through the noise consumers face every day, and drove our sales for the month of April. Texting has become a proven method we can stand behind.
David Dos Santos is the CEO of Best Fitness. He can be contacted at 603.204.5108, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.