MMC® has raised over $125 million in cash for our partnering health clubs. This revenue represents more than 500,000 health club memberships that produced an increase in daily traffic, which in turn, raised more than $250 million in residual income from various profit centers like, guest fees, buddy referrals, food and beverage, tanning, personal training, and most importantly, renewal fees.
Our EFT (electronic funds transfer) campaign is designed to raise our client’s monthly receivables. Some health clubs are not looking to raise “quick cash” but would love to add to their current membership base. This campaign is designed exactly for that. Instead of advertising a paid in full health club membership we structure the membership to be billed on a monthly basis; although we can incorporate a PIF option for those health clubs that wish to raise a little cash as well.
When you work with MMC® everyone wins. The owner loves us because he is finally making money and not dipping into his pocket to support the health club, the GM wins because he can now focus on administrative and managerial tasks opposed to worrying about raising revenue, and most importantly, the community wins because they get the opportunity to be a member of their new home, your health club.
When faced with hard economic times, a lot of owners and/or managers think of four ways to raise revenue.
The first thought is to raise membership dues on existing members. This is a huge mistake because the fall out of disgruntled members offsets the increased revenue. These members were probably just waiting for a “logical” excuse to quit anyway and now you have handed it to them on a silver platter. This plan usually results in a loss of revenue more times than not. The only way this plan can work is if you are starting off with a surplus of members.
Another ill-conceived plan to increase revenue is to get your existing members to spend more in the profit centers. This too rarely works since consumers fall into spending patterns and buying habits and it is extremely difficult to change these “conditioned” routines. Besides, punishing your loyal MEMBERS by always coming back to them for more money is a terrible idea.
Others believe the only way to survive the storm is to cut cost and they usually start with cutting payroll, which in turn, diminishes service, which leads to unsatisfied customers who leave the health club. No one has ever “cut” their way to prosperity. A quick tip to those of you afraid of losing your job….increase the traffic at your health club and you will become indispensable.
The best way to raise revenue and enjoy the storm is by bringing in new business and “condition” their spending patterns and buying habits at the point of sale. This is exactly what MMC® does; we bring in new business, raise monthly receivables, some immediate cash, and increased revenue from profit centers which equates to long term residual income.
Many health clubs have left the marketplace in the last few years. Theories circulate the country as to why, ranging from too much inventory, i.e., too many health clubs and not enough members, the present economic climate, etc.
This plague of closures started years ago, yet this deficit in inventory has yet to equate into increased revenue for the survivors. “Thinning out the herd” is not the answer. MMC®’s clients don’t go out of business and our client’s workers don’t lose their jobs. Why is that you ask; because we capture new business and rebuild old relationships. Whether it’s the health and fitness conscious, or the decondition market, all of our customers have been selected through a thorough profiling formula to assure the maximum ROI from our marketing efforts at a minimal expense.
Research is the biggest and best investment a health club can make. Start by knowing your competitors and where you stand in the marketplace. How does your health club stack up to theirs, pricing, amenities, etc. It doesn’t matter if it is an aerobics center, small gym or YMCA; if they are capturing any health and fitness dollars it is crucial you know how much and why. MMC® does an in-depth competitive overview on all of our clients’ properties to make sure we know exactly what is happening in the marketplace.
Next you want to know your audience and who qualifies as your audience within your geographic and demographic market. No one can afford to incur wasteful spending. MMC® has a research and development department that includes a full time, 24 hour, seven day a week, call center devoted to capturing pertinent information to better serve our clients.
You must take into consideration all aspects of your targets; lifestyle, spending habits, buying patterns, geographical demographics, income and education just touch the surface. Naive marketers look primarily at income as being “the” qualifying factor; but income alone can be very misleading. You probably have your own example of this. Have you ever tried to roll out your own direct mail campaign or other form of marketing media targeting an area labelled “affluent”, thinking this was your audience, and yet got a dismal return on your investment? In some cases, enormous income on paper masks enormous debt. These targets can’t afford to pay attention much less pay for a health club membership. You definitely don’t want to be in the collection business.
Your desired target is consumers with discretionary income, not consumers drowning in debt. Profiling your targets is an absolute must and MMC® has been profiling consumers with discretionary income for the health clubs since 1991; and best of all, we pay for all of the research, not you.
MMC® also studies the psychology of consumer spending. People buy products and services for emotional reasons and then later justify their purchase for logical reasons. You must know the negative and positive emotions your MEMBERS and prospects associate to your health club if you plan on effectively targeting them as potential members.
People are motivated/moved by two driving forces…pain and pleasure.
You must eliminate the painful emotions associated to your health and fitness products/services and replace them with pleasurable emotions to your health and fitness products/services. this can easily be accomplished with the appropriate delivery system of the desired message through a well thought out marketing/branding campaign designed and implemented by MMC®.
When marketing and selling your property you must be able to meet the consumer’s SIX core emotional needs. Significance, everyone needs to feel important. Certainty, everyone needs to have a sense of security. Variety, everyone needs to experience newness and excitement. Connection, everyone needs to feel wanted, love and a sense of belonging. Contribution, everyone needs to feel like they have something to offer. Growth, everyone needs to feel they are moving in a forward direction. A health club membership delivers on all six emotional needs.
To effectively market to your audience you must first know your target market’s core emotional needs and then design your advertisement to trigger their needs; not yours.
MMC®’s team is the experts at selling health club memberships to desirable prospects. We are very aware that some owner/operators have a negative association to selling heath club PIF memberships they feel in some cases the member is getting too much value for their investment. MMC® is sensitive to these concerns and assures our client’s measures will be taken to avoid these pit falls. Creating the perfect balance of value vs. investment is just one of the areas of expertise MMC® brings to the table.
Another great aspect of a health club membership is, “birds of a feather flock together”. If you capture one member, and get him/her committed to a health club membership; when it comes time for his/her buddies to choose a health club to workout in, they will definitely choose your health club because he/she is already a member.
Albert Einstein was quoted saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result”. Well, doing the same old marketing over and over is insane. Blasting the same old email offerings and newspaper ads with the same old discounted specials that you have done for the past one, five, ten years, is insane, not success. MMC® has a proven formula that will break you out of this circle of insanity today.
Eighty percent of the population is either broke or almost broke, if you follow main stream thinking you’ll be broke too.
MMC®’s research team conducts and pulls research studies such as: communications studies, advertising execution studies, advertising awareness and tracking studies, price studies, and customer satisfaction research to know what has worked, what will work, and what does work when it comes to capturing health and fitness conscious and the deconditioned market.
Marketing requires thinking outside-the-box. One technique employed by MMC® is to design health club memberships with a low barrier to entry as a “hook” (the draw) for grabbing the attention of the masses. Health club memberships then can be upgraded during or after the point of sale, just like in the airline industry.
MMC® has numerous other tag lines and marketing hooks to grow your business that will compliment your current business model and achieve your desired results. Lowering the barrier to entry is just “one” used in the “EFT” promotion.
Price can never be your only point of leverage, nor can it ever be presented as the superior part of your health and fitness product and services. It can only be used as a “hook” to get the prospect’s attention.
This is where most owner and operators sink the ship when trying to implement this kind of promotion on their own. All they see is the tip of the iceberg, i.e., initial offer (the hook), but fail to see the enormous substance beneath supporting the tip.
Even when this marketing “hook” is deployed by MMC®, there is no danger of engaging the undesirable consumer, thanks to MMC®’s in-depth research on qualifying potential targets. There is also a built in safe guard to eliminate any undesirables from procuring a health club membership, and that is.…it is your staff that will be collecting all membership revenue and signing all membership agreements. In short, you still maintain full control as to whom you accept as a member and whom you do not.
By listening to the feedback/pushback from other industry’s consumers like the previous example given, the airline industry, we (marketers) are able to learn a lot from their successes and failures. It is difficult to change the pre-conditioned buying habits of the existing customer, whereas, it is very easy (with the proper training) to condition the buying/spending patterns of the new customer.
Using the airline scenario; customers that have flown for many years in the past absolutely hate the new airline à la carte system; liking it to nickel and diming the customer. Whereas, the new customers, new to flying, and not conditioned to the old system, love the à la carte system; perceiving it as only paying for what they use.
Unlike the airline industry, MMC® believes existing, pre-conditioned members should be allowed to retain their status quo (avoiding the potential backlash while retaining loyal customers); whereas some of the new members will be brought in on a new “á la carte” heath club membership with an option of upgrading to an all inclusive health club membership.
MMC®’s approach for our “EFT” promotion is to design three levels of health club membership. Starting with an entry level membership (limited days of use) with a low barrier to entry and all other services are à la carte. This system is not discounting; it is simply redirecting the revenue stream (packaging the health club membership a little different). You will collect less up front but you will receive more over the term of the health club membership.
Next, a mid level health club membership with no limitations to the days of use, they pay a higher health club membership entrance fee and also follow the à la carte system. In most cases, under this system, these members pay as much or even more than the health club is currently receiving from its existing health club members under their current dues structure.
The final health club membership is the full, all inclusive, heath club membership you might currently have in place today. This is the health club membership everyone will secretly aspire to. These are the members who workout three to five times a week, and want people to know their name when they get to the health club, they want to have the nicest lockers, they want to play in all the CLUB events whether its tournaments or leagues, racquetball, tennis, etc., they don’t want to be charged additional fees, they want to walk in the pro-shop and get immediate attention, free towel service, they want to attend the social functions etc. This quality of service and attention commands a premium health club membership fee.
The level of service from the “entry level” health club membership to a “platinum” health club membership is like comparing a few peanuts to big beautiful red delicious apples; there is no comparison.
This quality of service and attention commands a premium health club membership fee.
The level of service from the “entry level” health club membership to a “platinum” health club membership is like comparing a few peanuts to big beautiful red delicious apples; there is no comparison.
Mastering the various mediums of media is a must for efficient marketing. Today everyone is looking for the cheapest vehicle of marketing available. Simply put, they are confusing motion for momentum.
Inevitably they turn to some sort of social media, starting with blasting the same old offers to the same email list year after year, month after month, week after week, and sadly, day after day to where the recipients are oblivious to the message and sick of the sender.
Most e-marketing, including text messaging, is an “opt-in” form of marketing. So when you are blasting your email list all of the time with daily offers you are eroding a valuable commodity. Learn to use social media marketing wisely and grow your list just as you grow a business. Think of your lists as a bank; as long as you are making deposits you can continue to make withdrawals. When the deposits stop, it won’t be long until your withdrawals stop as well.
All forms of media have a place in marketing and should be maximized when relevant. Radio, television, newspapers, social media and e-marketing, along with a host of other mediums available are great support tools, but none are as powerful as personalized direct mail when it comes to getting your message out to your prime targets. Your target market as a health club is no more than a three to twelve mile radius of your health club; anything outside of that is wasteful spending (in most cases that is, but of course, there are exceptions).
The power of a personalized offer that is tangible cannot be underestimated. The immediate and residual measurable dividends that are produced from a properly executed direct mail campaign are far superior to any other form of marketing. Eventually you want your health club’s name in every consumer’s mind within your radius. Direct mail is the best vehicle to make that happen; all other forms of media should be considered as the support systems and not the driving force of a full blown promotional campaign.
There is only one downside to direct mail, and that is the cost. But this challenge is completely eliminated from the equation thanks to MMC®’s no-risk/self-funding formula. All monies must be raised in advanced before any monies are invested into direct mail. In short, if the campaign has not raised sufficient funds to support the direct mail…there will be no direct mail.
There are four phases to MMC®’s campaign:
We start with a soft “internal” launch with signs throughout the pro shop, letters and emails to present and past members, along with some local newspaper and radio ads. The revenue collected from this soft launch is then used to seed the direct mail campaign. During this time MMC®’s staff is pulling all of the demographic information, compiling data for the profiling process, studying the competitive overview, creating ad copy, ad design, training your staff, etc. all in preparation for the “external” launch.
The driving force of the campaign (external launch) is then deployed through four consecutive mail drops to profiled targets selected on a criteria based formula. Each week’s direct mail launch is determined by the previous week’s success. So at no time is the owner “at risk” or “out of pocket” to fund the direct mail.
The close out is scheduled for two weeks. This is when all mediums of marketing are deployed. We leave no stone unturned. You can easily do 40% of the total gross of the promotion in the last two weeks. Again, the promotion is set up this way with built in adjusters to accommodate the circumstances. If you have reached the desired results before the “closeout” you can do a soft, quiet close out; if you are short of your desired result, you can push the closeout as hard as necessary to achieve the desired result.
The final phase of our campaign is “forward thinking”. Now that you have achieved your desired results you can start preparing your maintenance marketing plans for the future. This is when you should consider joining MMC®’s platinum plus membership where we provide you with two years of marketing and sales systems. Now you can enjoy your life and business worry free and leave the “raising revenue” to the experts, MMC®.
If you have not already decided to partner with MMC® for your health club marketing and professional sales training needs, let us give you some more reasons to make this decision today.
- MMC® increases revenue during your slow times and slow seasons.
- MMC® will guide you through this process, but in the end, you are still the boss, and you approve the terms and conditions of the health club membership.
- During the campaign any staff member can “take the orders” for the health club membership, from a student at the front counter, to the bookkeeper in the back office. There is absolutely no reason to bring on additional staff during the campaign.
- MMC®’s marketing pieces completely outline the health club membership from cost to content; eliminating any and all required sales skills and/or acumen.
- MMC® still provides an in-depth sales training of your staff to ensure long term prosperity and growth of your health club through a stronger closing percentage of your future prospects. No matter how much you love health and fitness, you must be able to sell it as well.
- MMC®’s EFT promotions are completely self-funding, if not, you may cancel our agreement anytime!
- MMC® converts fickle, price jumping members into committed, loyal, free spending members of our new home….your health club.
- MMC® gives our client’s two (2) years exclusivity within their mailed area, which ensures the client’s ability to dominate their market and knock out their competitors.
- Clients control all funds and deposit all funds into their bank.
- MMC® puts our money where our mouth is; we pay for all of the research, demographics and market analysis in addition to all of our own expenses.
- MMC® offers our “EFT” promotion on a commission only basis if requested. This means if you don’t make money, you won’t owe us anything.
- MMC® gets paid 20% of all gross sales from just the two health club memberships we will incorporate into your current business model. Our clients receive the remaining cash, 100% of the daily receivables, 100% of the residual income and 100% of the renewals.
There are three options of payment for MMC®’s services: You may pay us every Month over the two year membership via wire transfer from the previous month’s proceeds, you may remit to us the first and last month’s membership dues (which will be collected at the time of sale) or you may choose to pay MMC® a onetime flat fee.
Growing a business is similar to playing chess; if you’re not thinking at least three moves in advance, your competitor will inevitably win.
We hope you have found this information to be of great value. Please take time to view the entire site for additional free tips on growing your health club, and you’re your health and fitness career. Watch the videos (please be patient while they load and buffer), read the text and pick and choose what is valuable to you and fits your current and future business model.
Thank you for partnering with MMC® today in growing your health club and your health and fitness career.