It’s amazing how many sites I end up on these days that have still not embraced the interactivity available online. Wake up people! It’s 2009 and we’ve already been through web 1.0, web 2.0, and web 3.0 seems to be taking shape. Ditch your boring, one dimensional website and your “company focused” content and get with the times! The people who are visiting your website are only looking for “what’s in it for them.”
Sooo…What does your site offer?
I understand that you are an expert in the area of YOUR business and not necessarily in web marketing. You may not even have an idea of what is possible online. Alright, enough of the reality check. 🙂 The following are some examples of what you could have on your website if your business was a health club. Don’t stop reading this just because you don’t own a health club. Put on your thinking cap and see if you can come up with at least two or three ways to modify these tactics to fit your own business.
Create a Community
People who join health clubs are typically looking to either lose weight, gain strength, or just live a healthier lifestyle. Just joining the club doesn’t mean any of these goals will be hit. In fact a high percentage of people who join health clubs never go. Once someone gets in the habit of NOT GOING it’s only a matter of time before the procrastination ends and they cancel their membership.
I don’t think there could possibly be a better retention strategy than using your website to create a community which will help put them in touch with ACTIVE members. The easiest way to begin this community is to create an intranet on your website. An intranet is a special section of your website where people cannot access the information unless they enter a username and password. You should use this section of the website to provide valuable information and tools that ONLY a member can receive.
Educate Your Community
Knowledge is power right? If that’s the case … make sure you provide valuable information for your community members. I know it might go against everything your club is about, but what about using video to show your community exercises they can do at home or while they are traveling?
The purpose of running your health club should not only be about collecting membership dues. Chances are you got into the business because you are passionate about your healthy lifestyle and would like to share that passion. If your community can tell you care about them and their well being, you will help improve your retention numbers and ultimately create more healthy members.
Provide Tools for Goal Setting / Tracking
Most people don’t just wake up one day and say, “Hmmmm, I think I’ll join a health club today.” They typically think about it until some life event happens, like a new year or bad news from the doctor helps persuade them.
One fact ALWAYS remains true. The better you can engage them within the first few days of joining, the better the chance they’ll become an active member. The best way to get them off and running is to provide a way for them to store their starting weight, measurements, and most importantly their goals. Additionally you can provide a calendar for them to easily schedule their workout plan.
Providing a personal blog so they could write about how they are feeling will force them to realize how much added benefits they are receiving from their new health plan. The bottom line is it is your job to make sure your community grows and you provide as much interaction between like minded members as possible. The universal law of association is real. The more people you associate with who are in the type of physical shape you’d like to be, the better the chances are that you’ll change your behaviors to reach that point.