By Curtis Mock
Text Messaging is king of the communication world right now. Thanks to American Idol and every other voting show, we know that people love to TEXT. Even human interaction itself seems to have diminished as everyone’s thumbs seem connected to their cell phones.
We as fitness professionals need to capitalize on this trend. If people won’t look at your direct mail postcard, answer your phone call, or look at your flyers…we shouldn’t keep trying to get their attention using these outdated methods…we need to use whatever they’re using…and right now it’s all about Text Messaging.
Here are three powerful ways to use Text Messaging in your fitness business
1. Automate Lead Generation:
Imagine for a moment how cool it would be for prospects to automatically come to you, rather than you constantly trying to chase down new leads. With text message marketing, it’s simple. When you use text message marketing, you get your own private keyword. So for example if you run a bootcamp business called XYZ Bootcamp, you would tell people to “Text XYZBOOTCAMP to 70000 to automatically receive 2 weeks free at XYZ Fitness Bootcamp!” You’ll put this on signs, postcards, door hangers, your business cards, or any other local marketing. Everything you distribute should have this call to action.
Then prospects text your keyword, they immediately get their 2 week pass, and you capture their cell phone number to follow up with them. There is no faster way to build a hot lead list. And it has been shown prospects are 4x more likely to respond to the low-intimidation factor of texting rather than calling or visiting.
2. Improve Retention:
More important than signing up new clients and members, is to keep those people staying and paying longer! With all the competition in your area, it is incredibly important to keep everyone as happy and involved as possible. One of the best ways to keep people involved is simply through communication. People want to feel wanted! Mobile marketing allows you to bulk text all of your clients things such as coupons, announcements, surveys, birthday cards and more. And don’t forget about email. While the open rates of email are a fraction of what open rates are for a text message, it is still a good way to improve retention. Use them together and results will be exponential.
Texting your members and clients any announcement you have is far better than trying to reach someone on the phone, which can be time consuming and ineffective. When you text, you know your message will be opened. Announcements such as a new class, bad weather, introducing a new personal trainer, promote a deal of the day, or anything you need to communicate as quickly as possible should be communicated via text if you Really want them to get the message.
3. Automate Your Systems
If you’ve read the E-myth by Michael Gerber, you know how important systems are to your business. And you probably already know how big of a headache it is to try to operate your fitness business without systems. One of the more time consuming tasks at your business is confirming appointments. Whether it be prospect tours or personal training appointments, texting those clients would A) Guarantee that they get the message and B) Allow you to work on other things. You should automate this task so your texts are all scheduled in advance…set it and forget it is the name of the game!
Another system that technology can fix is the posting to all of your social media sites. You log into your personal Facebook to update your status, into your Facebook fanpage to make an announcement, Linked In to make a post, Tweet on Twitter, post to the new Google Buzz, etc. It’s time consuming…and it shouldn’t be. You should be automating this service as much as possible! Your prospects are on all of these sites, and you should be too…
If you would like to learn how to automate all three of these things, please take a few minutes to check out the video