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There's nothing more important to running a successful health club than attracting and retaining a strong membership. But don't expect to sit back and relax while the customers flock to you. Growing your membership requires a smart and comprehensive marketing plan.
Direct mail marketing is an effective and affordable way to get new members through your doors. Use direct mail to advertise discounts, enrollment offers, personal training, and special classes. You can target just the households within a close radius of your club, or you can target households by age range or gender.
Some direct mail marketing companies specialize in the health club industry, while others are more general in focus. No matter which you choose, make sure the company understands the health club industry and your unique marketing needs.
Health Club Direct Mail Marketing Average Costs
Post cards are the preferred method of direct mail marketing for health clubs. They're eye-catching, easy to read, and they don't require potential customers to go through the extra step of opening an envelope or brochure.
Direct mail post cards range in price from $.30 to upwards of $2.50. However, most fall in the range of $.50 to $1.50. In that price range, you can expect to get a two-sided, full color post card. The price also includes the cost of custom design, graphics, printing and postage. But, extras like perforated coupons will cost you more.
Generally, other forms of direct mail fall in the same price range, with basic letters on the less expensive end and large, full-color brochures on the higher end.
You can save money by designing and printing the direct mail yourself, but you run the risk of looking unprofessional. Customers can tell the difference between a homemade post card and a professional printing job. In addition, a company with experience in direct mail marketing will be able to advise you on what to say and how to grab a potential customer's attention. That can make all the difference between making a sale or having your post card end up in the trash can.
Choosing a Health Club Direct Mail Marketing Company
There are several important questions you should ask any direct mail marketing company that you're considering. First, find out how often they update their mailing lists. Old or incorrect addresses mean you're paying for mail that may never reach the intended recipient. Ask the company for their "deliverable rate." Anything between 80 and 90 percent is normal, but try to shoot for a company with a rate in the 90s.
It's also a good idea to find out if the company has the technology to exclude your current membership from the mailing list. You're wasting money if new membership offers are going to the homes of current customers. And your risk of offending current customers by advertising rates lower than what they received.
Finally, ask to see examples of the company's past work. Do you like the look of other health club mailings they have designed? If not, the company probably isn't for you. Even after you've selected a company, be sure to ask for final approval of the design before the mailing goes to print.