By far, the most common request our team gets from Affiliates is “Can you help me with my marketing?”
And our answer is almost always the same. No. Or at least, not yet.
The Truth Is, You Don’t Want More Marketing…
You want more members. Sure, marketing is a piece of the puzzle to get more members, but it’s the last and least important piece. In our mind it seems simple: We’ll put out a few Facebook ads, the phone will start ringing and bam! New members. The problem with that logic is it’s like an athlete taking Performance Enhancing Drugs (not that any games athletes would do that *cough*) and thinking you can skip the workouts and still get jacked. Again, your focusing on just one small, expensive piece of the puzzle that by itself, doesn’t mean shit.
So How Do You Get More Members?
The answer is simple and free. Better Systems. I know what you’re saying, “Ah crap. Here goes Tye, banging on about systems again”, but hear me out.
Marketing only does one thing: it starts the prospect’s journey. It sends the prospect to your website or gets them to call you. But what if your website sucks or you don’t answer the phone properly? Then all of that marketing was a waste and you never even got them in the door, let alone signed them up.
We measure the success of this new member journey with Conversions Rates (CR); how many people converted from this step to the next, represented as a percentage. At the end of the day, all of the likes, comments, and shares are purely vanity metrics.
The Only Thing That Matters Is Conversion Rate
So, let’s look at some typical Conversion Rates (CR) from two very different boxes (based on actual CR’s from average and successful boxes around the world):
Box #1: Great Marketing, Shitty Systems
Leads: 200 (CR = 15%)
The Facebook ad was on fire! But, the landing page it leads to was generic, hard to follow, and made you jump through hoops to book in.
Inquiries: 30 (CR = 40%)
You got a decent amount of calls and emails from the ad, but you didn’t have a system to make sure the phone was answered properly or emails were replied to promptly, so a lot of people fell through the cracks.
Intro Class: 12 (CR = 40%)
Twelve people in for intros? Good stuff! But you let them into a regular CrossFit class and they felt lost and overwhelmed. There was some interest, but you didn’t how to “sell them” on the OnRamp, so most said they would call you tomorrow. Spoiler: they never called.
OnRamp: 5 (CR = 40%)
You’re OnRamp is super detailed! Over 6 weeks they will learn everything they need to know about CrossFit. Unfortunately, they’re not ready for “everything”. The snatch confuses them and the split jerk makes them feel stupid. Most don’t last the full six weeks.
Sign Ups: 2
A few folks survived the OnRamp and loved it! But you let them go home at the end without signing up. When you finally got in touch with them, the membership structure was a bit confusing and their motivation had faded. You convince yourself that “two is better than none”.
Box #2: Average Marketing, Great Systems
Leads: 50 (CR = 50%)
Box #2 gets a quarter of the leads that box #1 gets, but they are quality leads from a high-value piece of content (video, article, etc.) They land on a well laid out landing page, customised for their demographic, and are able to easily book directly into an Intro Class, without having to jump through a million hoops (unnecessary questions, waivers, etc.)
Inquiries: 25 (CR = 90%)
Most of the leads skip this step, as they’ve already booked an Intro Class on your website (meaning 100% CR). Those that do call or email are met with a professional, enthusiastic, and prompt reply crafted specifically to book them into an Intro.
Intros: 22 (CR = 80%)
Since the Intro is a separate class, specifically designed to give the prospect and “I can do that!” moment and show them why CrossFit is for them, most folk register for the OnRamp immediately. Those that don’t are followed up the next morning.
OnRamp: 17 (CR = 80%)
You make the OnRamp short and accessible. You teach the basic movement patterns that cover most movements and focus on building the confidence of the prospects. You educate them and, once it’s all over, you congratulate them and affirm that they are ready for CrossFit classes. The simplicity of the coaching and the confidence they’ve earned encourage most of them to want to sign up.
Sign Ups: 13
As soon as the OnRamp is over you sat down with the prospect, congratulated them on finishing the OnRamp and explained that you have two memberships but you “recommend the cheaper one” (3x per week). Most people appreciate your honesty and integrity and sign up on the spot. Those who don’t are followed up the next day.
What a difference!
Box #1 signed up 2 members, lost 198 prospects (ouch!), and spent a bunch of money on ads, whilst Box #2 signed up 13 members, lost 37 prospects, and spent a bit of time creating content and almost no money.
Now, does this mean that marketing is bad? Absolutely not! What I’m trying to show is that without good systems in place, marketing alone is a waste of money.
The ultimate goal, of course, is great marketing plus great systems. If we combine the ad results from Box #1 and the systems of Box #2, we would have signed up 52 members. That’s what I want to see!
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and create content that brings value, build a website that converts (or check out WodSites), write up Inquiry, Intro, OnRamp and Sign Up systems that work (or check out the Affiliate Systems) and go get yourself some more damn members!