Marketing / Automation

3 lead generation strategies that every fitness business can automate

Paul Sokol

Updated: Dec 11, 2023 · 5 min read

Toolkit for download in this article

Young women doing stretching exercises on fitness ball in gym.

The in-person fitness offering usually shows up in the wild of small business as a gym or a personal trainer. These aren't mutually exclusive either. Often, a gym will also have personal trainers for their members to use.

Being successful with these kinds of offerings can be challenging because the sales/fulfillment is in-person. This means you need to maximize the value of your operational expenses (paying employees) by matching your salespeople with the hottest prospects for a gym or training package. Putting a trainer with a bunch of unqualified people in-person is a really expensive waste of time.

Rather, automation is great for warming up those tire kickers until they are ready to get going. What follows are three lead generation strategies nearly every in-person fitness offering can automate to bubble up the hottest prospects.

No. 1: Scheduling a consultation

Technology does a lot of really cool things these days. Specifically, there is calendar technology that allows people to schedule themselves into your calendar or another employee's calendar.

If you have any kind of consultative process in your selling methodology, you can offer people the chance to book themselves into your calendar for a free consultation. Who do you think is more likely to become a paying customer: Someone who booked themselves into your calendar or a random email lead?

When it comes to automation software by Keap, this kind of scheduling software shines. You can position the scheduling as a two-part process from your website. The first part is collecting someone's name/email using a form and then part two (the Thank You page) is the trainer's calendar. Many of these scheduling tools have third-party integrations as well. This means that if someone gives you their name/email but never schedules, you can automatically follow up with them to remind them they can still schedule.

Now, your website won't just be generating leads, it will be generating appointments on your calendar directly with people who want to talk to you.

No. 2: Coupon delivery

Purchasing an in-person fitness offering is a bit more involved than a normal purchase because to consume the offering (aka training/working out) it takes a lifestyle change; you are changing someone's core habits and behavior. Obviously, this is challenging for anyone.

Making the leap into a full-blown training and gym agreement requires a certain level of commitment, which is why offering a smaller, less committed, bite-sized deal works well. Basically, you are letting them try it out for a limited period and see if they are ready to fully commit.

For example, maybe you offer an introductory two-class session with a trainer. Or, if you are a gym, offer a one-week trial membership.

The point is, you can come up with some kind of low-risk introductory offer. Then, you would use automation to engage leads and deliver a coupon with that particular deal.

Let's pretend you want to offer a $5 one-week trial to your gym. Similar to the scheduling idea above, you can position the offer on your website as an email-only offer and collect a name and email. You can have automation not only deliver the email-only coupon, but you can also build in some operational workflow for employees to easily indicate that someone actually redeemed the coupon. Now, you can automatically send out the coupon reminders until the email series is over or someone on your staff tells the system, “Yup, they came in and redeemed it.”

If you are a Keap Ultimate customer, you can start with the "Surprise Gift" campaign and adjust it to deliver a coupon.

Pro tip: Combine this idea with No. 1 above and once people share their name and email for a coupon, have the thank you page be a scheduling page for them to come in and redeem the coupon.

No. 3: Refer a friend

Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most powerful forms of advertising because people trust friends and family more than some random advertisement. Referrals are some of the best kinds of leads any business can collect because they often have a higher closing rate than un-referred leads and a lower customer acquisition cost.

Especially for an in-person fitness offering, social proof is one of the best persuasion levers to pull when trying to sell a new customer. If someone is having success with their trainer or gym, any leads that come from that person will be pre-sold on your ability to create results in their life.

Using automation, we can collect referrals from existing customers. However, asking randomly is not good for the customer experience.

The proper way to ask for referrals using automation is to intentionally build some kind of feedback mechanism into your customer fulfillment process. You only want to solicit referrals from customers who are happy and satisfied with their services so far. If someone gives you feedback they are neutral or unsatisfied, you'll want to respond in a different way.

Think about it: If you are having a bad experience with something you definitely aren't going to be recommending your friends. Also, if you've told them you are having a bad experience and they still ask for referrals, that's extra insulting.

For a pre-built campaign model to save you time, you can start with the "Customer Survey" campaign found in the Help Center. It shouldn't need much modification because the campaign already behaves like I've shared above. You'll have to figure out the best way to introduce that feedback into your existing customer journey, but that's about it.

Pro tip: Chain the "Customer Survey" campaign to the "Refer a Friend" campaign and you'll have tasks to call new referral leads show up automatically.


Paul Sokol.jpg

Paul Sokol is an electrical engineer by trade and for five years was the Campaign Builder Mad Scientist at Keap ―a moniker earned due to his breadth of knowledge. His first experience with Keap was when he cofounded jiveSYSTEMS―a business-class video email platform―in 2008 while obtaining his master's degree in signal processing from the University of Central Florida. He joined Keap formally as an employee in June 2011, provided over 1,000 hours of small business consulting and helped launch more than 200 clients with Keap. He has authored numerous blog posts, been a guest on many webinars, and taught from stage at live events, such as Keap's annual IKON. Currently, he works as an outcome-based consultant for small businesses.

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