5 Direct Mail Marketing Tips for Gym Operators

For Gym Operators

5 Direct Mail Marketing Tips for Gym Operators

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What’s the best way to reach would-be customers who aren't necessarily active on social media or websites like Groupon and Living Social? Sometimes the answer is good old-fashioned direct mail marketing.

Try these five tips to add direct mail marketing to your fitness facility’s strategy (and then see what you can achieve with email marketing).

1. Laying out the foundation

Before starting any marketing campaign, sit down and answer the following questions:

  • What’s my budget? It’s important to set a budget for how much you’re willing to spend on advertising.
  • Who’s the target of your campaign? Know who will be receiving your messages. If you’re trying to attract women to your facility, promoting personal training with big, bulky models may not work well with them -- especially if their goal isn’t to be big and bulky. Understanding who the target audience is that you'll be marketing to will have an effect on how you portray your message, how you design your message, and more importantly, how you will connect with your audience.
  • What’s the goal of this campaign? Decide what it is you want to accomplish. If membership sales are down, think of how many memberships you want to get. If you want to boost personal training, think of how many sessions you want to sell to your members.

2. Create a sense of urgency

In order for direct mail marketing to be effective, a sense of urgency must be created in your members and potential new members. Limited time offers (LTOs) do a great job of creating a sense of urgency where potential members will want to act sooner rather than later to take advantage of your promotion.

Your promotion must be enticing enough to attract attention from new members. It’s important to be a little more on the aggressive side in order to get them in the door to see your facility, test your equipment, try out your group exercise classes, and get a feel for the environment.

3. Distribution

Once you’ve decided what you’d like to offer and how much you’re willing to spend, it’s time to find a direct mail partner.

There are many options for direct mail marketing. Do your research and compare to see what the costs are. Find one that is within your budget, but will also have the most impact for the dollar amount you’re comfortable with spending. Keep in mind that a cheap option is available through your local United States Post Office.

4. Communicating and training your staff

One commonly overlooked task of any marketing promotion is communicating to your staff about the promotion. It’s important to let them know what the promotion is, what it looks like, and how long the promotion will last.

Take some time to train your staff on how they should respond to inquiries about the promotion.

5. Track

Once your campaign is over, figure out how successful you were in your campaign; and if it’s one that you can run again at a later date. Below are some handy formulas to determine your true return on investment (ROI). Aim for a high ROI, high gain in memberships, and low cost of new membership.

  • ROI = (Gains/losses from marketing campaign – Cost of marketing campaign) / Cost of marketing compaign
  • Gain in memberships = (Memberships after promotion - Memberships before promotion) / Members before promotion
  • Cost of new membership = Cost of promotion / Memberships gained

It is important to always try new things in marketing your facility as your gym evolves and tries to attract new members.

Author Information

Liz Tran-Wong
Liz Tran-Wong's picture

Liz is an Orange County girl living in Seattle who works in the Precor marketing department. She enjoys cooking, running, hiking, and tasting local craft beers.

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