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The Ultimate Guide to Fitness Studio Lead Generation

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You don't have to be in the fitness studio business very long to realize that a solid plan for getting new leads is crucial to keeping your studio open. 

The problem is that only top-performing fitness and wellness businesses currently use the right strategies to find new leads and get them into the studio for a class. We're going to help you fix that.

We’ve worked with hundreds of these businesses in the past few years to take their lead generation to the next level. And by "next level" I mean results like:

  • 63 leads in 24 hours
  • 221 leads in 31 days
  • And 74 new paying members in 1 month

If you’re struggling to bring in new business for your fitness or wellness business, then you’ll want to pay close attention to this article. I'm about to give you a step-by-step guide to generating way more leads for your studio.

1. Give prospects a great offer.

First, you need a proven offer that consistently brings you qualified leads at a large volume. This offer should be extra-enticing to your would-be members so that they sit up and take notice right away.

So what can you offer people to grab their attention?

We’ve found that a free week at your studio is usually the best thing you can offer, because it has such a low barrier of entry — literally as low as you can go. There’s no upfront investment or commitment required, so people have nothing to lose by claiming the offer. That makes them more likely to sign up.

For the studios we’ve worked with, we’ve found that a $500 ad spend on a free week offer brings in an average of new 120 leads. So if you’re great at closing leads, this one offer alone can blow your studio up with new members!

But there are other good offers you should promote, too. We’ve also seen amazing results from studios offering unlimited classes for $XX (price depends on the class type and length).

You can A/B test these offers to see which one is most appealing to your specific audience, and to see which ultimately brings in the most new paying members.

2. Advertise on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube with video.

Many of the fitness and wellness businesses I talk to tell me the same thing - the majority of their new business comes from referrals.

That’s great, because it shows you know how to get results in your business. But if you only rely on referrals, you’re missing out on thousands of people you could reach through paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

There’s no platform like Facebook to reach new leads. It’s the top social media platform in the world with 1.5 billion people logging in each day. It also has the best social media advertising tools in the market.

Related: How to Start Advertising on Facebook (and Actually Make Money)

Facebook Ads Average Conversion Rate by Industry

PC: WordStream

Any ads you run on Facebook can also run on Instagram, because Facebook owns the photo-sharing social network. Plus, people on Instagram are itching to claim your offer - 60% of users say they learn about products and services on the app, and 75% say they take actions like visiting a website after seeing an Instagram post.

Meanwhile, YouTube reaches more 18-49-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S., which makes it a prime advertising opportunity for your fitness business.

So what do each of these platforms have in common that you should take advantage of?

Video.

Facebook posts with video have a 135% broader reach than posts with just photos or text. On Instagram, the Stories feature (and the ability to show ads in Stories as well as the regular feed) has made video an increasingly popular content choice for both users and advertisers.

And YouTube? Well, it wouldn’t exist without video.

Consider this: Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it, which means that you’ll get your message across better in video form.

On top of that, 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others, while 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social videos.

So if you want to attract more leads, you need to advertise where they’re already looking and in the style they already prefer.

3. Create high converting landing pages.

Once someone clicks your ad, they should be taken to a specific landing page, not your website's home page. Why?

Your website is the main hub where people can learn everything about your business - all of the classes you offer, all of the supplements you sell, and all of your instructors on staff.

But people don’t need to know all of that before they claim your offer. They just need to know what they’re signing up for. Everything else on your site is a distraction for visitors who just want to claim a free week of workouts.

A landing page is different because it has just one purpose: Get people to sign up for your offer.

There’s no navigation bar at the top to pull attention away from your offer, and there are only one form and call-to-action coaxing your leads down the sales funnel.

Related: 5 Steps to Create High Converting Landing Pages

Landing Page Example

If you use a drag-and-drop landing page builder like ClickFunnels or Leadpages, you don’t even need coding or design skills to pull this off. You can easily add a video to you landing page that explains your offer in greater detail than your ad did, which can increase conversions by up to 80%.

You can also add a countdown to the offer’s expiration date, a call-to-action that pops up when someone tries to exit, or opt-in notifications to show your leads that other people are claiming the offer too.

Great landing pages can come in different shapes and sizes, but they all contain several of these features:

  • Video 
  • Testimonials 
  • Countdown Timer
  • Scarcity (i.e. "Only 11 passes left!")
  • Opt-in notifications 
  • A clear call-to-action
  • Multiple opt-in opportunities 
  • Copy that speaks to them (not about you)

4. Automate lead follow-ups.

If you’re used to only following up with your leads manually, you’ll need to adjust some habits for these strategies to be really effective. After all, you’re going to have your hands full with the volume of leads coming in!

Start by making sure the form you include on your landing page is integrated with your CRM of choice. The second someone fills it out and clicks the Submit button, your software can automatically send them an email with the next steps.

That email is super important, but it’s not necessarily the best way to reach your brand new leads. This is where text messaging comes into play in a big way.

Did you know that text messages have a 99% open rate? The average fitness studio's email open rate is only 15%! 

So while it’s a toss-up whether someone will read or even see your email in their overcrowded inbox, you’re virtually guaranteed to get through to them with texting.

But we’re willing to bet your team doesn’t have time to manually text 60+ people every day. So you need to implement a two-way texting software like Text Request (you can schedule a demo to see the product here).

Text Request integrates with most CRMs, so you can easily set up your campaign to send a welcome text to thank them for claiming the offer, welcome them to your studio, and ask when they'd like to setup their first visit.

5. Ask clients for referrals.

The final step of this lead generation process is to ask for referrals.

Studies show that 83% of people are willing to refer someone after a positive experience with a business. But people have a lot going, and even your most well-intentioned members will sometimes forget to bring your studio up in conversation.

Unfortunately, that means that even though most people would be happy to send more business your way, only about 29% actually follow through.

If you want that business, you have to ask them for it. So who should you ask for referrals?

Sales Generated by Word of Mouth

PC: ReferralCandy

Everybody - and we do mean everybody! Your members and leads, your staff, your vendors, your friends and family, and even your dentist are all fair game here. But start with your current members and new leads.

Related: How to Get More 5-Star Online Reviews for Your Business

Fun fact: About 44% of gym-goers prefer to work out with at least 1 other person. So ask your members if their spouse, partner, parent, coworker, or any other friend would be interested in taking advantage of your free week with them.

If they say yes, you’ll have at least one new lead, and the person you asked will now stick around for longer, because they have a friend in class.

People are 4X more likely to buy when referred by a friend, and the lifetime value of a new referral member is 16% higher than a non-referral member. That means referrals bring you new leads for free. They’re also easier to close and more profitable to you in the long run.

That's a win-win!

Final Step

A great lead generation system is one major thing that sets the top fitness and wellness businesses apart from the competition.

Focus on really nailing the strategies we outlined in this guide, and before you know it you'll be swimming in leads!

Related: 8 Common Customer Retention Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)