The Digital Impact

Lead generation and retention are two of the hardest measurements to achieve success in. Why then do so many businesses make sacrifices that have a negative impact on these numbers? Let’s look at some key areas in the digital space that can be improved upon.

Your Website: Today’s customers primarily interact with us via websites. Does your website make use of search engine optimization (SEO)? When people search for gym, health club or fitness, your gym’s website should be the first thing that pops up. If not you need to improve your SEO, and keyword optimization is critical to achieving this.

Your website should also have several areas where people can take a virtual tour, join the club, sign up for activities and classes, receive a guest pass, or email the club for more information.

In addition, your marketing should portray the same message on your website as it does in the club. You don’t want members to visit your website, see one form of marketing, and then enter your club to see an entirely different look.

Online Member Dashboards: An online member dashboard is another digital tool essential for retention and increased revenue. Members should be able to buy training, sign up or pay for classes, obtain receipts or pay an amount owed, all from the convenience of their home.

CMS Reports: Wouldn’t it be great if when a member walked through the door, you knew what programs or activities they liked the most? A database that allows front desk staff to see a picture and detailed information of members is important.

In addition, it is vital to document and be able to run reports that measure the different sources of leads, along with demographics. Software that contains a prospect database with information about the potential member is imperative. Imagine receiving an email from your club, stating they remember that you love indoor cycling, and they have now added two new classes that fit your work schedule. The sale is done.

Email Blasts: Email blasts to prospects and members pertaining to the club in general and specific interests will generate more sales and increase the satisfaction of current members. Email blasts to members who have joined recently have been proven to increase usage, retention and provide higher non-dues revenue.

Telephone, Voicemail or Call Waiting: Although telephones, voicemail or call waiting technically aren’t virtual, they are technological, and are an area that many clubs can improve upon.

The biggest deficiency at most clubs is the telephone interaction. The front desk person answering the phone abruptly or completely stressed out gets the interaction off on the wrong foot. Sales people, who are busy, make a sigh and get aggravated when they get a telephone inquiry.

In addition, most voicemails or hold messages are often many years old, have outdated information and do not identify the critical profit producers. Pay attention to the details.

It is so important to prioritize leads and retention, even if they’re via digital means. They are two of the most significant revenue generators at your disposal, and many clubs have realized significant additional profit by addressing these issues.

David Porter has been a sales consultant at Twin Oaks Software Development for many years. Previously he ran several businesses, including Suburban Athletic Club outside of Boston, which he co-owned and operated for 10 years. He can be reached at 860.829.6000 or

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