Thanksgiving is one of our favorite days because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Thank you for being our clients! Our offices will be closed Thursday and Friday this week. We will resume normal hours on Monday. Happy Thanksgiving!
IHRSA 2017 is this week and in high gear. If you own or operate a fitness club, this is the the ONE SHOW you should try to attend.
From the programming to the key note speakers, there’s always some great information to learn. One of the of the other great benefits is #proximity. By that, I mean that you’re surrounded by other fitness club operators from around the world. All this energy and excitement creates an environment of idea exchange that can be a game changer for a fitness club. Having attended this trade show for 15 years, we have made a lot of friends in the industry from equipment manufacturers to service providers. Our favorite fitness industry character is Dave Hardy (with MyZone – another great product to consider for your club).
Our favorite aspect of IHRSA 2017 is the trade show. Vendors of all types exhibit their wares and are there to demonstrate and answer questions. It gives a fitness club operator the chance to see all the different types of services and equipment available all in one place. If you’re a new fitness club owner about to open, there is no better place to evaluate all the equipment options you might want to consider. Of course, the world’s best fitness club management software (iGo Figure!) is here at Booth #1162. Stop by to say hi if you’re in town. We are working with Augie’s Quest to raise money to help find a cure for ALS; who knows, you might end up being interviewed! (more on that later)
If you missed IHRSA this year and want some insight to the event, give us a call; we’d be happy to share what we learned and answer any questions you may have. If you want a 28 second tour of the trade check out this video:
Ahhhh, the holidays. A time to give thanks. A time to open presents. A time to eat a lot. A time for prospective members to get fat and join your club to work it off!
The single greatest surge in new members each year is the first 2 months of the year. If you’re not ready for it, you might just miss out.
“I usually pull out all the stops in December and January to make as big of a splash as possible”, said Kyle Zagrodzky, CEO of iGo Figure Software and former owner of nine fitness clubs. “Its inevitable. Its human nature. It happens every year. People can’t seem to avoid the decadence of the holidays and want to join a fitness club,” said Kyle.
“The key is to maximize the opportunity. A makeover, new equipment, new service like a Hydromassage bed, or anything else that you can shout about in your advertising or on social media will help,” explains Kyle. “Campaigns that have worked best for my clubs during the holidays are ones that give back to the community. Find a local charity you love. Partner with them to raise money and promote the heck out of it. Not only we people think you’re awesome for helping a local cause, potential new members will love you for it because they know you care.”
Don’t forget to order more key tags. With the new member rush, you’ll need them!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from iGo Figure Software!!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from iGo Figure Software
Getting new members at the end of the summer can be a challenge. The need for the beach body has waned and member thoughts are wandering to what to serve for Thanksgiving.
The good news is that summers don’t have to be slow. Not only was iGo Figure Software founded by a fitness club operator (Kyle Zagrodzky, who owned NINE clubs), iGo Figure Software has been helping clubs around the world for 20 years. Along the way we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes fitness clubs great, and some ideas that can help bring in new members.
One of the greatest sources for new members in your club is OLD members. That’s right. Members who joined but quit for whatever reason. They liked your club before, so it only makes sense that they might like your club again. A great way to recapture these members is to tell them that you love them and want them back. If you’re lucky enough to have their email addresses, you can shoot them an email. If not, you can export their address information from your fitness club management software and create a mailer. Or both. Something simple works the best, like: WE WANT YOU BACK!!! Include an offer to waive the signup fee or some other welcoming incentive.
Getting new members does not have to be a stretch
It also helps to do something to spruce up the club a bit; a fresh coat of paint, thorough cleaning, new equipment or fundraising drive for a local charity. iGo Figure customers that have tried this reported to us that the response to this mailer was better than any other mailer they have ever tried (one club told us they got 70 new members from the mailer campaign).
No need to wait around fro the summer. You can try this any time! Let us know if you need any help exporting your terminated member data from your fitness club management software.
What exactly is the difference between a “billing companies” and a “fitness club management software” companies?
Fitness Club Management Software Companies
There is no hard and fast rule about which company falls into what category. Generally, however, fitness club management software companies (like iGo Figure Software, for example), never touch your money. Instead, payment processing is handed off to a payment processor who automatically deposits the money into your bank account. You get the peace of mind that your money is not passed through a bunch of middlemen. These companies specialize in software to help you manage your club. The really great ones are run by former fitness club owners and have achieved substantial software development credentials, like iGo Figure’s Microsoft Gold Partner certification. Just because a fitness club management software company does not hold onto your money and employ a bunch of bill collectors to shake down your members does not mean that the these companies do not handle bill collection. To the contrary, often they include very effective billing/collection tools to automatically lock out delinquent members, and automatically contact them to update their payment method.
A billing company, on the other hand, collects your member dues, deposits your hard-earned money in their interest-earning bank account, and deducts their fees after all the payments have cleared, which can be a lot. Some billing companies charge 7-8% or more (or less) of your GROSS revenue. Typical pay processing fees when you go direct with a pay processor are much less. And when your members don’t pay, billing companies turn your members over to their bill collectors.
The story of one such billing company really hits the nail on the head regarding the risks associated with going with a billing company. According to this story, the billing company has not paid the gym owners the money they collected. And they are not returning calls. Think about trying to run your club without a month or two of revenue!
When you think about whether you want a billing company handling your money and the fate of your business, you might want to think again. The iGo Figure Software has many great collection tools without exposing you to the risk of a billing money going out of business and not paying you your money.
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” -Mothers all over the world.
I love this quote and try hard to live by it every day, as do most people I know. That’s when I was pleasantly surprised to read the IHRSA value proposition blog about the iGo Figure Fitness Club Management Software. Its nice when people say nice things about you. I thought I’d include some of the excerpts here:
For a software company to survive long term – riding the crest of time – Go Figure has been required- yet pleased – to continue innovating. iGo Figure Team members continually strive strive to keep the company on the cutting edge of club management, secure payment processing and member-retention technology.
One great example is their recently released iGo 360 Fitness Club Management Software, a cloud-based version that allows facility owners to manage their clubs anywhere there is a good internet connection.
“When we were just getting going, the Internet was just getting started. The idea of cloud-based applications hadn’t occurred to anyone,” says Zagrodzky. “iGo Figure began as a client-based application (i.e., software that resides on a dedicated computer), which, at the time, utilized the best technology available. Payment processing was done using a dial-up modem—that was state-of-the-art.
Things have definitely changed in the fitness club management software business over the years. Creating a great value proposition for iGo Figure customers has always been goal #1, so fitness clubs can remain focused on their #1 goal: getting members into the club. Though as technology and reimbursement plans advance, maybe this will become the next great invention:
A new value proposition for members?
If you have any great ideas for the iGo 360 software to make its value proposition even better for you, please let us know!
Season’s Greetings from iGo Figure Fitness Club Management Software!
There is no time more fitting to say Thank You and to wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a New Year of health, happiness and prosperity.
In observance of the holidays, the Go Figure office will be closed as follows:
Thursday, December 24, 2015 – Christmas Holiday
Friday, December 25, 2015 – Christmas Holiday
We will resume normal business hours on Monday, December 28, 2014.
Friday, January 1, 2016 – New Year’s Holiday
We will resume normal business hours on Monday, January 4, 2016.
Have a safe and Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Are you kidding me? Other than the weekly grocery mailer, who in their right mind would waste money on a direct mailer? There’s no conversion tracking metrics. Email is free. Come on. Seriously?
Internet and social media have completely changed the we market. Heck, that’s the only reason why I’m writing this blog. To give you some relevant content so you “like” it and I can generate some social buzz for our website. Should you keep reading? Go ahead. Take the chance. Maybe today’s content nugget might be worth sharing. Maybe not.
So here it goes. Today’s revelation is:
Direct mail still works.
And it can be a really effective tool to include in your marketing arsenal for your fitness club. Am I crazy? Maybe. But here’s a good story you might consider.
I receive about 100 emails a day. A big chunk of those want to sell me something. Like the direct mail I used to receive, I usually trash these without even opening them. I checked my plain old regular mail today. There were two items in there. A bill. And a a direct mail promo. It ended up in the same place those things usually end up. The difference is that I remember it was an ad for solar panels. Easy to remember because there was only one item of junk mail, whereas years ago it used to be 20+.
It seems that in this day of information overload, a good way to stand out is to do something different. Try, for example, actually hand writing and mailing a thank you note the next time you want to thank somebody for something. I’ve done that lately and its amazing the kinds of responses I received.
Its the same thing for direct mail. Internet and social media marketing is so prevalent that direct mail is now an effective way to distinguish yourself.
The best thing is that you already have access to an awesome mailing list in your iGo 360 Fitness Club Management Software– your former members. Try it. Pull a list of members who quit 4 or more months ago. Print some mailing labels and put them on a postcard that says something like “WE WANT YOU BACK” and offer half off enrollment. Watch what happens. There’s something about getting it in the mail versus an email that makes a difference. I’ve been preaching this marketing technique to our customers for years. Customers have reported to me that they received responses in excess of 20%!
Of course you should not neglect other marketing efforts in favor of direct mail. But it may be a nice tool to consider adding.
Direct mailing was covered in iGo Figure Software CEO Kyle Zagrodzky’s seminar for fitness club owners. You can check out Kyle’s video here:
Like this tip? Then click the like button and share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Who knows, I might send you a handwritten thank you note!
Keep checking our blog for more great fitness club marketing ideas!
For more information about the iGo 360 Fitness Club Billing Software, check out our website or give us a call!
The best source for generating member referrals for your facility are the new members that just joined your club.
Think about it. When is a member the most excited about joining your club? The day they join. Now that you know this, what’s the best way to harness that positive good feeling into even more members? That’s right. Ask the new member for referrals. If its not already part of your sales script, consider adding it now.
In this video, iGo Figure Software President Kyle Zagrodzky takes you through his presentation on how to harness the positive energy of a new member who just joined your fitness club and channel into creating even more new members. Kyle’s sale insight is based on his experience running 9 fitness clubs.
The presentation involves an inexpensive giveaway, like a branded water bottle. Simply present the gift to the member in exchange for 5 referrals. Explain how awesome the gift is, you’ll need to hydrate during your workout. Or it makes a great shaker for your post-workout recovery protein drink. Then ask for the referrals. “You know you’ll get more out of your workout if you come with a friend, right?” “Who do you want to give a bottle too?” Passion, excitement and a positive attitude, of course, are all keys to a successful sales presentation, and to harvesting referrals from new members.
Check out Kyle’s 3 minute video here:
This is but one component of your sales scripts. For more ideas on marketing, closing sales, and improving the operation of your fitness club, continue to check our blog!
Now that you have these referrals, the bast way to track and follow up with them is through your iGo360 Fitness Club Management Software. For more tips and tricks on how to maximize the power of iGo360, drop us an email or give us a call.
Do you want to get 76 referrals from your members in 30 minutes?
If so, continue reading.
Are any of your staff sitting around on a slow afternoon with nothing to do? Wouldn’t it be nice if they had a pile of member referrals to call on to sell more memberships?
In this video, iGo Figure Software President Kyle Zagrodzky gives a talk about the marketing strategies he applied in the 9 fitness clubs he owned. The strategy he covers today is how to get 76 referral in 30 minutes. No kidding. He’s actually done it, and you can too. All it takes is a gym bag giveaway and some moxie. And Kyle has no shortage of that.
In short, during one of the busier times in his gym, he conducted an impromptu “fashion show” where his team members acted like models modelling a free gym bag give away. Kyle proceeded to talk up the bag, how it was made, how great it looks, and essentially made a huge production out of the quality and style of the gym bag. Once the members were set up, he proclaims the bag was up for silent auction. And it won’t cost them a dime to win it. The winner is the member who refers the most friends to join the gym in the next 15 minutes. He asked, “do you have any friends with whom you’d like to share the success you’ve achieved here?” The response Kyle got was great. One member came up with 15 names.
After airing the video, we have heard several other stories about how other iGo Figure customers have implemented the idea. We’re not sure if anyone has quite achieved the mark of 76 referrals, but several have gotten 30 or more.
Check out Kyle’s 6 minute video here:
To track lead sources from this or any other marketing strategy you want to implement, be sure to track the lead source in your iGo360 Fitness Club Management Software.