Suzanne Robb, Alloy Personal Training Franchise COO provides advice on how to use pre-launch marketing to open a fitness studio. You can’t just open your doors and hope for the best. Instead, you have to do some pre-launch marketing to make people aware of the concept and get them excited about the idea.
While there are dozens of digital and organic ways to conduct pre-launch marketing, Alloy likes to recommend a 50/50 split between in-person events and online efforts.
Suzanne shares the top forms of pre-launch marketing and what steps you can take to get your fitness center off to the best possible start.
Let’s dive in.
6 Powerful Pre-Launch Marketing Tactics to Try
Whether this is your first fitness center or you are a serial entrepreneur, these steps will help you ace your marketing from the get-go.
1. Design an Excellent Website Landing Page
Your website is one of the most important assets your company has, and one of the best ways to conduct successful marketing is to create a beautiful one.
Don’t worry, though – you don’t have to hustle through an entire site build before you can start spreading the good word about your business. Instead, you can simply start with a landing page.
Today, many marketers use landing pages to get visitors to take a desired action pre-launch. In the case of a fitness center, that action may be to sign up for a digital newsletter or claim a spot on the waiting list for memberships.
Regardless of how you choose to structure your landing page, here are a few tips to help make it a successful pre-launch asset:
- Streamline your CTA. Use a single, powerful CTA (call-to-action) such as buy now, learn more, or sign up.
- Employ exit pop-ups. These pop-ups will appear when someone moves to exit the page. The exit pop-up is a powerful way to encourage visitors to engage with your website when they would have otherwise “bounced.”
- Keep it simple. Complexity does not equal quality on landing pages. Instead, keep it simple and nail your unique selling proposition.
- Keep it conversational. You want your landing page to convey your gym’s personality. Make the language as conversational as possible and don’t fall victim to marketing jargon or technical terms.
2. Direct Mail
Direct mail is a powerful, yet overlooked form of marketing. Right now, 70% of consumers say that direct mail feels more personal than online interactions, and 54% of consumers report that they want to receive direct mail from brands they’re interested in.
With that in mind, consider sending out some direct mail before you open your doors for the first time. Flyers advertising your grand opening, or advertise a countdown of a special rate for finite number of people who purchase memberships. This is an excellent ways to pique interest and drive traffic from day one. We describe this strategy in the podcast 3 Scarcity Marketing Strategies For Driving Fitness Sales. For the Alloy Franchise, pre-sales starts two months out and we use a countdown of days until the Grand Opening. We typically do some type of a founder’s rate for the first100 people.
3. Print Advertising
No matter how advanced digital advertising gets, there will never be any substitute for print advertising. Not only is it organic and compelling, but it can be incredibly effective as long as you’re taking out ads in the correct local magazines, newspapers, and directories. Here are a few of the largest benefits of using print advertising during your pre-launch phase:
- The creation of positive relationships with members of your community
- High engagement levels
For best results, consider taking out a monthly ad in a local newspaper or newsletter that enjoys high readership with your target audience.
4. Brochures and Flyers
Brochures and flyers may sound old-school, but they can still be very effective if you use them properly. Here are a few tips for the most effective brochures:
- Know your audience. Before you start planning your brochures, make sure you understand the audience you’re targeting. What’s the most important thing they’re looking for in a gym? Why would they choose you over a competitor?
- Leverage AIDA. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. To be as successful as possible, your brochure needs to be attention-grabbing, interesting, and capable of raising a customer’s desire for a product or service. By the end, it should drive them to take a specific action.
- Use images. Use images that are important to and compelling for your customers. Remember – you want to show, not tell, why your gym is so unique and appealing.
5. Special Events, Workshops, and Local Events
Special events and workshops are a great way to get involved with your community and put a face to a name for your customers.
If there are relevant local events like a Spartan race or high school sports competition, consider sponsoring a team or hosting a booth. Not only does this drive publicity for your fitness studio, but it’s one of the most effective franchise marketing strategies we recommend to our new business owners.
Another excellent option is to host a workshop where you can share your expertise and position yourself as a leader in the field, all while getting customers interested in your brand’s offerings.
6. Leverage Social Media
To bring your pre-launch marketing full circle, remember to share your various activities on social media.
Organic events like community events, cross-promotions with other businesses, membership referral drives or promotions, flyers and tents, and more should all be shared as news on your social media accounts. You should also solidify your position as a thought-leader by sharing relevant third-party content that covers news and current events in your industry.
Ultimately, you want your social media to be a convenient place customers can take note of what’s happening with your business and what to look forward to with your customers.
Successful Pre-Launch Marketing Starts Here
If you’re on the verge of opening your first franchise, pre-launch marketing can be a tough egg to crack. After all, it’s hard to know where to start, and what works and what doesn’t. Fortunately, you can give yourself a head-start by employing these six tried-and-true pre-launch marketing tactics. By utilizing a mixture of organic and digital tactics and understanding your target audience at every step of the process, you can create a bespoke pre-launch marketing approach that works for your business and your new customers.
If you’re looking for a franchise opportunity that provides unparalleled support with pre-launch marketing, look no further than the Alloy franchise system. Learn more now or request your free information packet today.
Article by: Suzanne Robb
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