Just a few weeks ago, I found out about a new gym in the area. This gym is located less than three miles away from my home, and sits nestled in the center of a shopping plaza, yet I hadn’t noticed the new facility. If I hadn’t been notified, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to find out about this new gym. Perhaps I would find out when my kitchen stove goes kaput, and I stop by the appliance store that the gym is next to.
But instead, with my major appliances still going strong, I found out not only about the gym’s existence, but also that they offer an anti-gravity treadmill, massage therapy, group fitness classes, sports performance training, and (for a limited time, of course) only $20 for enrollment.
So, how did I find out about this gem of a gym? I got what is typically referred to as junk mail: an unsolicited, over-sized postcard in my mailbox. I received a piece of direct mail.
Now, no question about it. Email marketing has changed the entire landscape of reaching potential customers. It’s fast, it can be relatively cheap, and you can schedule email blasts every single day if you want, though I wouldn’t recommend hitting up the same email addresses each time.
I’ll put it like this, you won’t hear me talking down on email marketing any time soon.
Yet, surprisingly to some, direct mail is still very relevant today, even with other types of technology so easily at our disposal.
Here are a couple fast direct mail statistics from thedma.org
- 5 billion coupons were redeemed in 2015
- 57% of mail volume is attributed to direct mail pieces
So what does all this have to do with the personal training community?
Plenty. Getting wide-spread word out about your services can be difficult to do. There are speaking engagements, networking events, social media, word of mouth, and other ways you can go about it. But, understandably those methods leave a lot of ground uncovered.
Direct mail is a way to target-blanket your area with notice and knowledge of your business.
It’s how you reach out to those whose paths you may never cross, but who you have reason to believe may be interested in your business. You can compile a mailing list to send information to your entire area of service, or you can narrow your mailing to individuals who have shown interest in what you provide based on research or your own database or knowledge of who is most likely to purchase your services.
When you get mail out of your box, what do you do?
Can’t you picture people flipping through the mail to see what they got for the day? They’ve stopped what they were doing to dedicate time for the mail, pulling out bills, important documents, and anything else of personal interest. If you’ve done your research, your piece could be of personal interest and of discovery.
And picture this: instead of populating in a list on a Google search of personal trainers or local gyms (if your most promising prospects have even bothered to do a search) your information shows up without competition in a mailbox and has a chance to capture the attention of prospects. It is a physical piece that doesn’t just vanish when someone hits the back button on a computer.
To use direct mail effectively, you will need a budget, but don’t let that alone discourage you. Put direct mail on your list of marketing tactics to try, investigate, and then decide if it’s something you’d like to do for your business.
If you already use direct mail to promote your business and services, we need to hear from you. Share your tips and your reasons for marketing with direct mail in our Facebook comments.
Also, if you are an NFPT-certified trainer, be sure to join our Facebook community.
Happy marketing, and much success!