Are you taking advantage of the communication features your club management software (CMS) offers? This is something that should be considered not only for incoming purposes for yourself and fellow managers, but for outgoing purposes to members and prospects as well.
If a CMS is smart, it has features to automatically send out informational reports daily, weekly and monthly showing key indicators of results such as POS numbers, new memberships sold, cancellations, and EFT dues line growth, for example. This can be an invaluable asset of the business with little effort beyond looking at your inbox. To make effective management decisions, information is key.
Email is still the next most-effective way of doing business to promote services and send reminders — and the return on time and effort put in is well worth it.
In fact, studies show a return on investment over 25 percent and approximately $40 generated for every $1 spent on email marketing.
Here are a few key ways to improve campaigns:
Include a person’s first name and other details, such as date joined. Give a bit of personalization to signify to the reader that it’s not just a generic email to everyone. Using this tactic can cause click-through and conversion rates to go up significantly.
Whenever possible, break your lists into groups, i.e. women or men, by age perhaps, or activity of participation — and target appropriately.
Avoid or reduce words that may send the email into the spam or junk mail box such as “deal,” “special” or “discount.” Something eye-catching in the subject line is important to grab attention, but keep it short — five words or less.
Mix up the times and days when emails are sent. Early in the week is best versus end of the week or on the weekend.
Lastly, make sure the email is single-column and in a format that is responsive, meaning it will re-size to multiple devices such as phone, tablets, laptops and PCs.
Let’s not forget about texting. Today’s consumer will do more business on their mobile phone than on their computer. The SMS audience is the fastest growing, and texts have a 90 percent or more read rate. Use it to cross-promote and enrich the performance of all other marketing channels.
By utilizing text messaging to members, clubs can:
Reduce cancellations, thus improving retention.
Use it for lead generation and promotions.
Minimize billing defaults and increase response time from delinquent accounts, saving staff follow-up time.
Up-sell services and drive traffic in with positive touchpoints.
Promote events, activities, birthday acknowledgements and low-usage notifications.
Send personal training appointment and renewal reminders.
The CMS provider should be able to easily segregate demographic data based on preference of communication. Be sure to create an opt in/out environment, and include an option where a member gives permission to text them. This translates to a very positive relationship and allows it to drive awareness of club happenings.
Make sure the CMS and SMS provider adheres to the FCC regulations and TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act). This is to protect the business and validate they are compliant with all requirements of the industry. Obviously it is not worth putting the business and its reputation at risk.
Carole Oat is the national sales manager for Twin Oaks Software and a former large club owner and operator for 15 years. She can be contacted at 860.829.6000, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit healthclubsoftware.com.