You might have the best fitness business around, but potential new clients are always going to want to try before they buy. It’s marketing 101 to have a great “hook” or offer to capture the lead and bring them into a business’ ecosystem. Intro offers or new client specials have to be very unique for each individual fitness and wellness business, because there are a lot of variables at play. You’ll want to consider:
And that’s just the beginning of it! That being said, there are three main variables every business must consider when creating an intro offer: price, length and offering.
Before we can truly get started, I want to make sure we’re on the same page. Here is how I define some key business terms related to offer development.
Your goal is to bring someone from a Prospect → Lead → Member in the most effective way possible.
Note that we did not use the stage Client in this funnel as Clients typically stay as Clients. They are usually “commitment-phobes” or have other life obligations that don’t make them a good fit for a membership (i.e. Client that travels for work). It’s okay to entertain them but the focus should always be on getting everyone to the Member status. That is what will fuel your business.
It all sounds pretty simple, right? Figure out an offer, a length for it, and a price and you’re good to go! Unfortunately, there’s much more to it than that! Each variable in this equation will inevitably affect another. For example, price will most likely differ depending on the length of your intro offer. The length of your intro offer will dictate how many and what kind of offerings you’d like to make available on your intro offer.
See what I mean?
Then it comes full circle back to price, as the price will play a factor in the type of prospect you get through the door. For example, you will probably see an overall less committed lead if you are creating free intro offers vs paid intro offers. However you may lose momentum on a lead if your intro offer is severely discounted and too long. There are pros and cons to each style and only testing will help you find out which one is best for you!
Let’s look at two different intro offers and see how those 3 variables play out as well what we like and don’t like about these two offers.
Price … well that’s simple! It’s free, right? Yes it is simple, it is free.
Length … 10 days. Notice how this is more than a week but not a full two weeks. Of course that is obvious from face value but it’s clever in length. This will give the lead enough time to have at least one weekend as well double up on some weekdays but it’s not too long that they will lose interest and create excuses to not go back in a timely manner.
Offerings … with less time (and less compensation), you’re most likely going to have to limit your offerings to this prospect which means you have to get it right! You need to ensure that you understand the lead’s needs and are placing them in the right environments to end this 10-day trial with a warm and fuzzy feeling because you only have a few chances to really WOW them.
What we like … We like this intro offer because it’s short, simple and to the point. The free price point also removes any friction for them to get started with you. As long as you can keep momentum and get the lead on their next package (or even a continual membership) BEFORE the 10 days is over, then we think you will have success with this one.
What we don’t like … The only piece of this that we don’t like is the free price point. If you have not been able to successfully get them onto another package before their 10 days runs out, you’re wasting time and money on lead generation. With even a small payment down, you may get less leads but you will get more qualified leads.
Conclusion … As long as you have a high percentage of converting leads to clients before their 10 day intro offer expires, let it ride! If you see that you are not converting at least 50% of leads within 2 months, you may be driving in unqualified leads with a FREE option.
Price … Let’s say for easy numbers that your monthly unlimited, recurring autopay membership is priced at $100 and you’d like to offer an intro offer for $80. You are discounting your services 20% for a one time opportunity to get the full experience as a monthly member.
Length … 1 whole month. This gives the lead plenty of opportunity to experience every aspect of your business as well as potentially make some friends in the meantime! This will let them “try one of everything on the menu” because they have the time to bounce around.
Offerings … As mentioned before, with more compensation and more time, we can now provide the lead lots of value. They can try various classes, maybe a few one-on-one or small groups depending on what you offer. They can meet more of your staff and hopefully find an instructor they connect with.
What we like … We like this intro offer because we are most likely to get a very qualified lead in the door. They are going to need to pay you when they are a member of your business so it’s important to see if they are willing to pay to try it out. We also like this offer because this will give the lead enough time to make a few relationships whether that be with your staff or other members.
What we don’t like … The first 2 weeks of this offer are going to be the most critical! We want to make sure the lead is building up a consistent fitness routine during this one month offer. Make sure they come at least twice, if not three times, for both weeks of the first two weeks and then from there it should be a part of their lifestyle making the conversion from the discounted month to a fully compensated month a no brainer.
Conclusion … This is going to come down to them feeling like a new person within a vibrant community on the other side of this month. You’ve played your hand with this intro offer and if they don’t like this discounted month, they certainly won’t be paying you the following month.
Now in this quick analysis you may be wondering which intro offer is best for your business? The answer … we have no freaking idea without testing them! While the 1 month unlimited offer sounds very appealing for all of the reasons listed above, it also gives the lead a lot of TIME to think about this decision if committing to being a client of yours. In the world of sales, time to mull things over is not a good thing for the business! If there is any creep of doubt in that lead’s head about making the commitment to become a client, it’ll only grow more and more between visits back to your studio.
That being said, 10 days may not be enough time to find that favorite instructor or make friendships that’ll have them coming back; however, it does keep the lead focused and concise on visiting the business AND it’ll hopefully leave them wanting more. Ultimately, you must have a sales process in place to effectively test and track your offers.
As mentioned in both conclusions, success will most likely come down to getting the lead onto their next package before their existing intro offer expires!
Here’s the real secret: you’re going to have to test several offers to find your “winner”, and the real winner is likely to be a combination of two or more offers. These offers don’t necessarily have to be intro offers, the next offer could be a lever to get them committed to a greater period of time. By starting out with a 10-day, no financial commitment offer, the lead can get a taste of your business. Then, sticking to that concept of momentum we talked about before, we may use a discounted 1st month of a 6 (or even 12!) month membership. The goal is to get your leads to make a commitment to themselves and your business!
And now they’re hooked! It’s this kind of lead-nurturing sales funnel that turns clients into active, paying members.
Intro offers are a unique and finicky thing for each business. It will take months and months of testing to find the right one (or the right combo of offers! but once you have that equation, you’re ready to rock and you’ll be on the path to stronger business growth.
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