Creating Tripwire Offers: Part 1

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Gift vouchers such as offering a percentage off of membership are a great tripwire offer

How do we make the jump from interested bystanders to committed members? The solution for fitness club operators is to use tripwire products.

These tripwire products are designed to ascend prospects from a cold lead into short term, low commitment transactions before up selling the prospects into a more permanent subscription relationship.

The other main requirement of tripwire offers is that they must liquidate the costs of your marketing.

In other words, they must recover a large percentage of your total spend on marketing. This is vital when competing both against cheaper clubs or high club density markets where the noise of competing businesses means that the marketing intensity must be sufficiently potent and probably more expensive to be successful.

The cash flow implications of spending significant sums out and then having to recoup the investment against the subscription income is problematic causing clubs to get into cash flow issues and into a scenario where they are forced to reducing their spend and consequently their market penetration.

The solution therefore is to create and promote “tripwire offers” which give an almost immediate recovery of costs leaving the upsell conversion memberships to be pure profit. 

Here are the main categories of a “Tripwire” offering:

1. Short Term Focused Programmes

Flavoured by a specialism, season or audience, these introductions to the club work because they are low on the commitment scale (normally 21 days to 42 days in duration) with a defined starting point, content and end.

Typical types include Ski Fit, Anti-Ageing, Ladies Shaping and Toning, Belly Fat Reduction Programmes, Anti Cellulite, Beach Body, Weight Loss and Men’s Transformation programmes.

2. Wanted! Guinea Pigs To Try Out New programme!

Usually short term 4 or 6 week in duration these programmes function on the basis that there is an unwritten sense of community surrounding the “guinea pig” idea.

All participants are likely to be new to the scheme and that provides reassurance amongst the group that there is no chance of feeling like the new kid on the block regarding experience of the programme.

Similarly, there is an assumption that pilot groups sampling a new course will receive a more concentrated level of support, guidance and motivation. An attractive proposition to certain groups of prospects.

3. Short term Club Trial Memberships (14 days to 42 day typically)

Normally fitness club operators use a “low price” offer to seduce prospects to make a start with them and endeavour to create an opportunity to upsell the prospect when they get to the club to administer the trial.

The advertised low-cost offer carries restrictions on usage, accessibility, and service support. Once response has been achieved the club attempts to up sell to a higher ticket item by offering alternatives with less restriction and more services built in. The end game is a subsequent up sell into membership further down the relationship.

Examples of this could be a Weekend Warrior 30-day trial at a significantly discounted fee of £15 where entry is permitted only between Thursday and Sunday, it prohibits Group Class use and carries no induction or programme support. The club can add supplements to the £15 fee to increase Monday – Wednesday availability, add in classes, or to provide instruction at the point of sale.

4. Gift Vouchers

The use of gift vouchers online as lead magnets or as tripwire products is a very useful marketing tool for clubs.

Downloadable as PDFs to bring to the club, or as a tool for getting a registration email from prospects, the denominated vouchers can be used in exchange for goods and services at the club. (membership or short term offers.) The offer is on the retail price of the Healthy Gift Certificate. A £50 club gift certificate may be advertised for £15 in real money! The incentive is the apparent discounted offer. 

So, that’s 4 useful tripwire offers worth trying out in your club. Give them a go and in my next blog, we will look at 4 more.

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