GSDCON | #1 Conference for Gyms & Fitness Studios | October 12-13

5 Ways to Maximize Your Gym’s Lead Flow (Without Digital Advertising)

5 lead flow strategies

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What does it take for you to enroll 1,000 members at your gym and achieve seven-figure revenue? “Maximum lead flow,” right?

Now, reframe the question: How do you do it WITHOUT digital marketing?

Digital marketing is crucial, but when it comes to lead flow, it’s only one line in the water

“At any given moment I’m working five or six different streams of marketing to get leads in,” says Matt Kafora, Performance Director at Loud Rumor.

Your marketing is an ecosystem where everything feeds into each other. If you’re only relying on digital advertising for lead flow, you’re going to bleed your budget dry and your new signups will stagnate. 

The next thing you know, you’re spending more on lead generation than you’re making in conversions. 

Take attrition into account, and you’re lucky if you’re breaking even.

Let’s fix that… 

Multiple Lead Flow Streams Will Help You Beat Attrition

When it comes to attrition, the Industry standard is between 4-6%.

Let’s say you have 200 members in your gym and your rate of attrition is a little bit higher at 10%. That’s 20 members lost each month. 

Let’s now say you get 100 new leads every month through your digital marketing at a rate of 20% — that’s 20 new members. 

If you’re losing 20 members and gaining 20 members every month, you’re breaking even.

And that’s not accounting for unexpected cancellations or account freezes. That also doesn’t account for potential lulls in advertising, where your campaigns need to be updated, optimized, or reconfigured to keep up with your evolving market.

You and your sales team need sales and lead flow strategies outside of digital marketing. You need other lines in the water or you’re going to bleed dry — quick.

Exponential Growth and the “Infinite Return” Principal (with Non-Digital Advertising)

A good marketing strategy takes a layered approach that all leads back to the “Infinite Return” Principal. 

This methodology allows for exponential lead generation and reduces your advertising spend by making your marketing work for you.

The following approaches create a virtually infinite loop of new members and create massive awareness around your fitness studio without digital ad spends:

direct mail lead flow

#1: Direct Mail

A more ‘old school’ approach, but an essential line to have in the water, direct mail works really well when layered with other traditional marketing methods. 

Running a direct mail campaign for three months or an entire fiscal quarter, allows for optimal return. Potential customers will need to see your advertisements several times before the message begins to resonate.

Change your messaging throughout your campaign. 

Alternating your messaging with each campaign ushers your audience down the sales funnel. 

Start with a “warm-up” message and transition into a “scarcity” technique towards the end of your campaign. 

This way you’re not pushing the sale too quickly and your audience moves more steadily towards the sale.

Use specialized QR codes, call tracking, or promo codes to properly track your ROI. Send your mailers out within a 3.5-mile radius of your gym.

Direct mail, tracked on its own, sees an average of 1-1.5% return. But again, works best as a long-game investment. 

The purpose of direct mail is primarily for awareness and is more of a springboard for your other “lines in the water” (aka: “lead flow” marketing efforts), which we’ll get into more throughout this article… 

#2: Referrals

So let’s take a look at the leads that came from your direct mail campaign… 

Let’s say, on the very low end, 30 people responded to your direct mail campaigns. Now, we’re going to show you how to multiply that!

With all 30 people who come into your fitness studio, you’re going to get six referrals from each one.  

Referrals usually convert at the very least 50%. So let’s then say that three of your six referrals convert into new members.

That’s 90 referrals. Add that to your original 30 and that just became 120.

When those additional 90 people come in, you do it again. All of a sudden you’re seeing a drastic increase in the return from your direct mail campaign. 

And it’s not hard to do. You just need the script and some encouragement! In our GSD 360 coaching program, you can get both! Click the image below to learn more:

GSD 360 coaching program

Keep in mind, there’s only one person more excited about what you’re doing than someone brand new to your community… someone who was referred to you buy someone brand new!

This is the result of ANY line you have in the water. Every time you sign a new member, follow the referral process.

#3 Business-to-Business

Business-to-business advertising involves partnering with businesses in complementary industries to the fitness space: Juice bars, Cryo studios, massage therapists, chiropractors, spas… anywhere wellness is the main focus.

Offer your new B2B referral partners a free workout in exchange for leaving a lead box. 

Keep a record of where your lead boxes are located and track the success of each one. If you’re not getting any leads, the lead box isn’t out where it needs to be, your B2B referral partners aren’t speaking about your product, or it’s just not working where it is. So move it.

Consider other B2B referral partners where you can offer a mutually beneficial arrangement. 

Think about the timing of your promotions: is a big game coming up? Partner with a Mom and Pop pizza shop and ask them to slap a flier on every box.

#4: Car Wrapping

This marketing method is a one-time spend as opposed to digital marketing — and it’s mobile. 

Park your wrapped vehicle anywhere there’s foot traffic. Think farmers markets, Tough Mudders, or 5k Fun Runs. 

Do this in conjunction with setting up a table around it to collect leads through a giveaway or other promotion. 

Park the wrapped vehicle somewhere near the entrance away from your table and use it as a second sign or directional to get people looking. 

orangetheory car wrap lead flow

For an investment of around just $2,000, you have a mobile advertisement that generates leads for referral partners, staff members, and leads for up to four years. 

That breaks down to roughly $500/year, or $40/month.

Even if you only got one member lead per YEAR, the investment would pay for itself during that four year period.

Then, that member goes through the sign up and referral process where they become part of the “Infinite Return” Principal.

#5: Email Marketing

“Oftentimes as business owners, we forget our email list is nearly currency,” Matt says.

If you have an email list and don’t use it, you don’t have an advantage over another studio that doesn’t even have an email list. 

Think about that. They have no one, you have a list that you don’t talk to, so you both have the exact same lead flow: ZERO.

Your email list is what we like to consider your ‘stocked pond.’ 

The people on your email list are there because they’ve expressed interest, whether through signing up from a paid traffic channel or other platforms such as walk-ins or guest registrations.

Even if up to 90% of your email list isn’t enrolled at your studio, these leads are not dead; they’re just not ready. 

With email, you’re looking at 7-8 touches before you see them become members. Remember, your customers buy when they’re ready, not when you’re ready. Luckily, nurturing your email list helps them get there more quickly.

Referrizer Email Lead Flow v2

How do you do that?

Timing is everything with your email campaigns.

Let’s say St. Patrick’s Day is coming up. You can specialize your message with something like: Feeling lucky? Green beer? Calories? Then embed a video or a “Trainer Tip Tuesday.” 

Leave your subscribers thinking, this place is really awesome. I’m not even a member and they’re already telling me how to get in better shape!

By providing VALUE, you’ll keep your audience from unsubscribing.

So, is email marketing worth the effort?

“We were able to generate $600,000 for different studios in three days… During a global pandemic,” Matt says. “Yeah, email marketing works.”

Let’s say you have 20,000 subscribers on your email list. Even if only 1% of your subscribers take part in your offer, that’s 200 people. 

Then, let’s say you only sign 10% of them. That’s 20 new members. Apply the referrals script and boom, you’re taking advantage of the “Infinite Return” Principal again.

BONUS: Refer & Receive Promotion

Even your best customers aren’t likely going to do your marketing for free. The reason is, we all have a built-in “What’s in it For Me?” factor. 

Offering a referral program and rewarding members with kickbacks is an optimal way to increase lead flow and show appreciation to your existing members.

Refer and receive programs involve offering your members a prize for referring friends and family. All you have to do is run a simple raffle ticket promotion for big prizes.

To run this campaign most effectively, your team needs to be constantly creating buzz around the promotion, mentioning it to every member who comes in, leveraging each member as much as possible.

The aim is getting your members excited about the promotion and giving them an opportunity to get something in return… something tangible that they can take home! Think a TV or cooler!

For every referral who comes in and signs up (you know where we’re going with this), use the “Infinite Return” Principal!

Lead Flow and The Power of Full-Circle Advertising

Each of these non-digital marketing strategies gives your brand the power of being omnipresent, meaning you are everywhere your potential customers look. This creates a feeling of serendipity when the inevitably “choose” you.

Your potential customers see your mailers, your wrapped vehicle, your lead boxes at places they frequent, their friends signed up and are talking about it, they’re asked to be a guest and they register with their email address—people start to think that seeing your club everywhere makes it “meant to be.”

Combine your now massive presence and the Infinite Return Principal and you’re experiencing record-breaking growth and revenue in a very short amount of time with increases in your lead flow.

“Everything is a funnel.” Matt says.  “And, it all ends with a credit card swipe.”

Watching This Snippet From The GSD Show On Lead Flow:

This is only a snippet of Mike Arce’s video breakdown on how to maximize your gym’s lead flow without digital marketing. Watch the whole video with his guest Matt Kafora, Performance Director at Loud Rumor and owner of 7 fitness studios:


It’s time to GSD! Learn more here today.

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Loud Rumor

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