Your first impression is critical. But so is your second impression.
Our top performers in lead generation last month had these tips to share:
1. Most are doing paid advertising on Facebook but focusing on coaching and health instead of the method (bootcamp or CrossFit, for example).
2. Three out of the top five mentioned doing Affinity or location-based marketing at the same time as they were running ads. Those three were also among the top gyms for set rate, show rate and close rate. That’s an important correlation: where your leads come from matters.
Most gym owners who claim “Facebook ads don’t work for me!” are actually wrong. Facebook ads do work. They generate leads. The leads visit your website, but they don’t like what they see. They exit your sales funnel at that point.
Lead generation is a bit like trying to drink from a hose: It doesn’t matter how hard you blast the water if you don’t hit your mouth.
How do you make a good first impression? By stacking the deck. If you have a great reputation, you’ll overcome the first barrier to booking an appointment (trust).
Now let’s talk about set rate: the percentage of your leads who book an appointment to talk with you. The first barrier to a great set rate is a website that doesn’t get people to book an appointment.
Think of your website like you’re speed dating. You’re trying to get a stranger to agree to a first date in two minutes or less. The best way to get them to agree? Wear your best clothes. Brush your teeth. And—oh yeah—if they’ve already heard great things about you from their friends, they’re far more likely to agree.
Websites don’t “convert” anyone. Their only purpose is to get interested people (your leads) to take the first step toward purchase (setting an appointment to talk with you).
Here’s how the gyms with the best set rates in the world get leads to book appointments:
1. All of the top five gyms in the set rate category do a No Sweat Intro. That’s nothing new to Two-Brain clients, but I sometimes forget that not everyone does them. Two out of the five mentioned that they’re the only gym in their market not doing a “free trial class,” which hasn’t really worked since 2010. Simply having a consultative process—when other local gyms don’t—has resulted in more clients.
2. Every top-performing gym in the set rate category immediately responds to new leads. One calls every new lead before they even fill out a form requesting more info.
3. Three gyms out of five said they use humor in their appointment-confirmation texts.
4. Five out of five said that people were less likely to answer the phone in the last few months compared to normal times, but that number has returned to normal now.
5. And three out of the top five said they’re using Gym Lead Machine for their website.
Your Website: Asset or Liability?
Getting your website to convert interest into action—or leads into appointments—is a really big problem.
Back in 2019 (seems like a decade ago!) I was sitting at a bar in New York with John Franklin, the head of marketing for Two-Brain. We were making a list of the biggest problems facing gym owners as we headed into 2020.
One of the largest: Gym owners had no idea whether their marketing was actually working because their websites didn’t track, well, anything. At the time, fitness websites were just pretty posters. None of us knew who was looking at them. John and I suspected that almost none of them were actually creating new appointments for gyms.
John’s a man of action. He approached the best website company out there—ForTime Design, a Two-Brain partner—and proposed a buyout. Then he hired a team to overhaul the sites, optimize them for conversions and add a dashboard to track this stuff. He called his company “Gym Lead Machine,” and it’s the only website company I recommend now because it was built from the question, “What do gyms actually need?”
I love it.
Here’s a screenshot of GLM’s leads, set rate, show rate and conversions chart:
This isn’t an advertisement. It’s a lesson: You need to track these things before you can improve them.
But there are other steps that follow appointment booking, too.
Unfortunately, not everyone shows up for appointments. In the next post in this series, we’re going to talk about show rate—and the big one: close rate!