Remember the episode of The Office when Ryan almost burns down the building? In that episode, Michael and Ryan are talking about business school and Michael asks Ryan to quiz him.
Believe it or not, this scene can teach you an important fact about running your gym business. Here it is:
Ryan: “Is is cheaper to sign a new customer, or to keep an existing customer?”
Dwight: *whispers* “existing.”
Michael (to Dwight): “Shut. It. Can I just do it please?”
Michael (to Ryan): “It’s equal.”
Ryan: “It is 10 times more expensive to sign a new customer.”
It’s cheaper and easier to keep current gym members than to go out and find new ones. That’s why you should focus on keeping your existing customers satisfied.
Dan Kennedy, a highly sought-after business consultant, calls this “putting a fence around your customers.” When you have a strong fence around your customers, they can’t wander off (cancel their membership) or get kidnapped (switch to a different gym).
Dan Kennedy says that “you should spend at least as much, if not more, per year on the fence as you did on acquiring the customer in the first place.”
So what is the fence? The fence is made up of many different factors: a clean gym, friendly front desk people, outstanding customer service, convenient location, and the overall experience your members have when they’re at your gym.
You’re in charge of your fence. You need to start building it, fixing it, and strengthening it today. How can you do that? According to Dan Kennedy, “fence maintenance is about repetition, frequency, and quality of communication.”
You need to keep in touch with your customers. Dan Kennedy suggests 52 “touches” per year. That might seem like a lot. But it’s only once per week. And with social media, it isn’t hard to get someone to see one of your posts, once a week.
Besides social media, what other ways can you maintain your fence? Here’s a couple suggestions:
Birthday greeting or gift
Annual customer appreciation
WOD emails or text messages
Health and Nutrition tips or recipes
Christmas and/or Thanksgiving greeting or gift
But the absolute best way to put a fence around your customers…is through a monthly newsletter.
“My single biggest recommendation is the use of a monthly customer newsletter (or for the really ambitions, more than one). Nothing, and I mean nothing, maintains your fence better.” – Dan Kennedy
Dan Kennedy also says that this monthly newsletter should be an actual, physical newsletter. Why? Because it will actually get read. People will look for it in the mail. It will make your gym stand out. It will keep your customers inside the fence.
It’s easy. It’s just once a month. That’s what it takes to effectively and efficiently build up your fence, keep customers happy, and run a profitable gym business.
To your success,
The Gym Copywriter
P.S. Want to start a monthly newsletter, but don’t know where to start? Contact me today to create a newsletter that will make your gym business look good. With a newsletter that your gym members actually enjoy reading, you’ll keep customers engaged and happy. Email me today at firstname.lastname@example.org