Has anyone ever signed up for a gym membership after receiving an email? Or only after looking at a website? “I will become a member at your spa” said no one ever – after just an online interaction.

What does that tell you? Offline interaction plays a vital role in influencing your prospect’s decisions (especially in the health and wellness industry!). In fact, online lead generation strategies are frequently synced with offline strategies in fitness marketing, to increase their reach, momentum and thus impact the audience better.

Which means great offline strategies are necessary to win over your prospect. And that, my friend, is why I am here – to help you with awesome suggestions for that!
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1. Creative billboards

Have you seen the interactive billboards put up by Powerade? It had the advertising world wagging it’s tongue for weeks!

The idea was for the audience to “work up a thirst” for Powerade. I don’t know if they did, but I sure do know that they worked up an interest and curiosity to try it out.

My point is, the more creative and interactive your bill boards (or hoardings, if you prefer), the higher your chances of snagging the attention of the public and thus getting interested leads which might result in a sale (you know the drill).

Interactive billboards are the new “In” things. Right from Google to British Airways, everyone is trying it out (check out what they are doing).

However, if you do not have that kind of budget, then you can always tap into your creativity and come up with attention-grabbing billboards – like what these people at Koleston did:

Just remember, billboards don’t exist to announce your presence anymore. Google local search and hyperlocal marketing take care of that. You have to rely on your hoardings to be different and creative enough to make your audience take notice. Otherwise, yours will be just one more board that makes the passers-by yawn and look away.

2. Fun contests

A little bit of competition never hurt anybody! In fact, its the perfect way to get your prospects enthusiastic about your brand.

That is exactly what Reebok was thinking when it came up with this brilliant game. Random subway travelers in Korea were paired against each other (by a bill board) for a reaction race. The winner got a pair of Reebok shoes (that was given by the bill board peeling back) and went home triumphant.

That my friend, was seriously cool.

Now, am not gonna say “do this” (if you do, I want in!), but think up such engaging yet fun contests for your brand. It could be at a mall or a trade show and not necessarily at a train station. It could be a competition exclusively for your members or those who opt for a new service (way to generate new leads!).

The best part about this is that it can easily be integrated with your online strategy. A contest on who gets the most likes for the selfie taken inside the gym, or the most beautiful bride you dressed up, or the biggest loser (the one who sheds the most pounds) are all some fun ideas you can try.

Just ensure that your games can be played by a wide number of audience. “Dress up the Barbie” or “Who puts-make up wins” might not appeal to everybody equally.

What is your game-plan?

3. Endorsement by celebrity

When was the last time you saw an Olay ad? Have you noticed the variety of celebrities who advertise for it? And what about L’Oreal? Once again a huge celebrity appeal.

Let’s face it – a whole lot of brands are already in the bandwagon. So I am not going to delve into the specifics of why you should do it.

I am just going to give you an idea. You can increase your member sign ups if the incentive for the said new member would be to catch up with a celebrity at a party you host. I am sure you can come up with more ingenious ideas, keeping in mind your budget and audience interest.

Have in mind a teensy detail though – if the said celebrity becomes unpopular, the public may start boycotting your brand as well (rather foolish yes, but the world is not a very smart place), rather like the SnapDeal fiasco with Aamir Khan.

So choose your ambassador wisely, and be ready for damage control and backlashes at any given time.

4. Membership incentives

Yes, I know I spoke about it just now. But let’s look at it in a different light. Signing up a customer for membership is a definite way of reselling and upselling, which is a definite win for you. However, to make it worth your customer’s and future member’s while, you will have to tie it up with attractive offers and discount. The age old question of “whats in it for me?” should  be met with a huge set of compelling incentives that seduces the prospect into conversion.

5. Partnership with charity

What is the best way to make people spend money? It is to make them feel good about spending that said money. And, no matter how calculating it sounds, partnering with a charity is the best way to go about it.

Take The Body Shop for instance. I admit, I am a huge fan of their products. And I admit, I do find them a bit pricey. But because they support community fair trade, I don’t mind paying the extra bucks! I know it is for a good cause and if my wants get assuaged with some charity done along the way, then I feel happier about it.

Similarly, you can encourage your customers to opt for the much more expensive procedures by telling that a percentage of the proceedings would go to charity. Trust me, it will work.

6. Partnership with non-competing businesses

Everyone loves freebies! I remember my grandma buying tonnes of coffee powder from a particular brand because they gave a glass jar (of all things) free with buy. However, I couldn’t help wondering if they were making a profit – for no matter how little coffee powder the customer bought, they were still obliged to give out that glass jar.

A great way to shake things up here, would be to offer a freebie – from another business.

Most maternity wards give baby formula and baby blankets free. These are usually from a firm they partner with. Similarly, when I went to get my eyes checked, I got a free dental consultation. In the fitness industry, a gym membership could mean a check up by a dietitian.

Notice how all these companies have partnered with a business – that is non-competing yet complimentary to their services. It’s a win- win all around! Not only will you get better conversions, but it will mean fresh leads for the partnered company and the customer is of course rather pleased with the sweet deal he/she just got!

7. Conducting seminars and workshops

Despite the deluge of information out there, you would be surprised at how little your consumers actually know. Well, to be fair to them, with the amount of wrong information and myths out there, it is indeed a task to sort the right information from a rumour.

This is where you can help. Being in the health and wellness business implies that the information you have is atleast authentic! So people would be more inclined to trust you, if you take it upon yourself to educate them. A totally effective way to go about it is by conducting wellness workshops and health seminars.

People would love to know more about the best practices during pregnancy, the do’s and dont’s after a cosmetic surgery, the pros and cons of a laser treatment or even the best way to apply make-up. Once you establish yourselves as an authority in that area, your leads would be willing to trust you more and convert easier!

8. Flyers

Ah! Surprised to see this here? Admit it- you thought them outdated and pointless. Newsflash buddy: they can be a revolutionary way of syncing your offline and online strategy.

Just look at what Battersea Dogs and Cats Home did with theirs. The flyers they distributed to people in a mall had a chip inside, which essentially made sure that an image of a particular dog followed the flyer-holder around the mall across bill boards!

A rather neat idea! But hey, I get that you might not be ready for that large scale stuff yet. So let me tell you some simple hacks.

See, with a flyer, the timing and location matter. Handing out a weight loss flyer to someone who walks out of a restaurant might not be seen under good light. Think of flyers outside malls and spas and gyms; outside your competition’s business even (no, it’s not cheating!); outside parks and theaters – wherever you think your audience might be the most receptive to your services.

9. Warm calling

Waiting for this one were you? I always save the best for last :). Warm calling refers to contacting leads after a prior contact or introduction. It could be through a previous client, a shared contact or it could have been an old lead. Just pick up the phone and inquire as to how he liked his last treatment, whether he would like to come back for more, etc. Make sure you have some basic information about the lead. And then try to sell/ resell/upsell. The more tenacious and courteous you are in tackling it and the more information about the lead you have, the higher your chances of winning a sale.

That’s all folks! Hope you liked that list. I know it is hard to keep track of. So here I have made a checklist of all the strategies you should be using. Oh, and if you are interested, check out my previous article on online lead generation for wellness marketing.


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