“Soft launch” as defined by Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org)is the release of a website, hotel, or other product or service to a limited audience. Soft-launching is a method for gathering data on a product’s usage and acceptance in the marketplace, before making it generally available as a hard launch or grand opening. Companies may choose a soft launch to test the viability of a product or to fine tune a product before implementing a larger marketing effort.
A soft launch is an excellent way to test a new health club product or health club service. For example, if you want to design a new health club membership, the best way to test it is through a soft launch. Some soft launches can be done in-house through your existing member. You can roll out a soft launch to a buddy referral program or a soft launch to your existing health club mailing list or email list. This launch is basically done to see how well your new health club product or health club service can perform and is accepted in the marketplace. In this scenario, if your newly designed health club membership is not accepted by your health club market, you will save a lot of time and effort because you are not fully committed to a health club marketing campaign before you go out to the general public and launch a massive campaign.
Soft launches are more common with Internet health club marketing although some nightclubs, hotels, restaurants and other companies do incorporate soft launches into their marketing programs to test the marketplace before launching a full blown marketing campaign. I love incorporating soft-launches in my health club marketing because we are able to launch the program on a very limited basis and get immediate feedback from the members before making a huge investment. This way, we can improve the program to where it is more engaging or more attractive to the market.
Soft launches can also save you a ton of money by catching unforeseen mistakes you need to change and some aspects you need to improve in your health club marketing programs before you commit to it fully. But I warn you, you must have plans A, B, & C already on the back burner just in case, because if you are not prepared for the inevitable obstacles your health club marketing campaign will crash and burn.
Incorporate soft-launches into your health club marketing endeavour and you will grow your health club and your health and fitness career.
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