Business & Finance Advertising & sales & Marketing

Why Using Common Sense To Reach and Retain Fitness Clients Fails

Fitness and health promotion has operated for decades on the belief that educating and motivating customer will get them to take action.
The first action we as business owners want of course is for them to commit to doing business with us.
Your common sense might tell you that listing compelling reasons exercise and proper nutrition are beneficial will help you acquire clients.
You might logically provide articles about the 80 or more diseases that are prevented or treated through better fitness.
If you're lucky that might help 20% of prospective customers get started.
More likely it will help only 20% of whatever number of customers who were going to start anyway make changes.
Knowing what to only 20% of us will actually do it.
That's whether you're trying to get them to exercise more between sessions, eat more fruits and vegetables or if you want them to use an environmentally safe water bottle.
You might be arguing that any 20 or 30-year old probably is not going to be motivated by reducing risk of disease.
Even if you told them they will burn 15% more fat all day after they lift weights, and improve their odds of losing inches in a few weeks by 40% by lifting weights over cardio exercise, only 20% would change.
According to a new body of research emerging that tells us common sense is a waste of time in marketing, most of our customers and clients don't know what motivates them.
We see it but we don't change.
We know that burning fat and losing inches are on top of the list for all ages so the mere statistic, maybe coupled with an image, should do it, right? Not so, according to results of studies.
What we do react to is social proof.
Show a Facebook post of 1000 people who've liked a post and more people will look at it and share it than if 2 people have already liked it.
People who don't like football will watch the Superbowl because everyone will be talking about it the Monday morning after.
When we get people into a group and they respond positively to a "challenge" we're seeing social proof in action.
Bootcamps grow in number due in part to social proof.
If everyone is doing it, we want to do it too.
Posting numbers on the wall that show progress and accomplishment provides social support.
Show the total numbers of inches or pounds lost for a group.
Illustrate the number of people who've visited your club 3 times a week for the entire month of January with images or icons on the wall.
As you create more effective ways to grow engagement on your social media pages, you are helping social proof grow.
Ultimately, no doubt that you want paying customers.
Your first step to getting them to take action is give them social proof that everyone else is doing it.
People get on social media not to see your advertisement but to see what their friends are doing.
Show them that their friends are engaged with you and they too will start following you and engaging.
Begin that with your external marketing and show evidence of positive behavior change once customers are inside and you'll have dumped common sense and reached them with emotion.
Now, that's a logical marketing plan.
Take these actions to boost your marketing appeal.
1.
Choose one marketing article to review.
It could be a flyer, webpage, or newsletter.
2.
Read it and circle every example of logical benefits (or worse, features) in the document.
3.
Read it again and underline every example of social proof you've included.
4.
Make the appropriate changes to substitute social proof items for logical facts and statistics.
For example, instead of "research says lifting heavy weights will elevate metabolism 15% more all day than lifting light weights," insert something like "80% of our new members this January have visited the club an average of 2 times a week and have lost an average of 8 lbs this month.
" "The 70% of new members who take advantage of their complimentary assessment exercised 40% more times this month than those who didn't.
" 5.
Add your call to action.
6.
Track your response.
7.
The more current your marketing is the better.
You offer complimentary sessions, used in the example above, all year.
Your new member only joins once.
Replace your message with a new one every month so it talks about now to your new customer.
8.
Make your social proof marketing personal.
At the end of your document restate the copy talking directly to your customer.
"You will be 40% more successful in visiting your club and exercising with this complimentary gift.
" Use of the word you takes your statistic to the emotional.
It might be logical too, but it doesn't matter if it doesn't appeal to them.
No one wants to lose.
Knowing you track visits they will want to be a part of that winning number.
9.
Don't make up your social proof.
Integrity in your marketing makes a difference.


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