FAQ

 

fitness marketingWho will manage my club’s marketing campaign?

We send one well seasoned and highly motivated manager to your gym.  Our managers are people persons who exhibit great communication skills and understand we don’t tolerate high pressure sales tactics.  We groom our managers to embrace our philosophy that the club’s needs come first.  We would also like to point out that all of our managers are personally committed to health and fitness and look the part.  We are firm believers in practicing what we preach.

How long does the campaign normally take?

It depends on the size of your area, but we average 4-8 weeks.  Our agreement does allow up to three months for areas with large populations.

Will you sell my regular walk-in traffic?

At United Fitness Marketing, we are compensated only on a percentage of what our advertising generates.  Your gym maintains its current membership rates and sales during the promotion.  All walk-in traffic that is not generated from our advertising is sold and retained solely by the club.

How are the down payments handled?

A joint signature bank account is opened in the name of the club at a federally insured bank of your choosing where all down payments from the new sales we generate are deposited. Your club is furnished with daily production reports along with matching deposit slips.

Who handles the billing?

All receivables are sent to one of four national health club billing companies for servicing.  These are the legacy billing companies you find at IHRSA  conventions and have a long standing track record of financial stability.  We will give you our recommendations and you can select the one you prefer.

What is United Fitness Marketing’s approach when accepting new clients?

Our mission statement has and will always be to put our clients’ needs first.  Because of this we have accumulated a loyal group clients over the last 14 years.  Our focus is on creating value for our existing clients as opposed to seeking out new ones.  We are very upfront with gyms who contact us about our membership campaigns and turn down more prospective clubs than we accept.  You will never get the hard-sell treatment when inquiring about our services.  We enjoy all the inquiries but in order for us to come out to your location, two hurdles need to be cleared:

  •  We need to perform a market analysis to review market dynamics as well as interview you to determine if your club is a good candidate.
  •  More importantly…you need to feel comfortable with us.  If these two elements align, we move forward with a campaign.

 

What types of clubs do you work with?

Our portfolio of clients encompasses a wide spectrum of the health club industry.  From 80,000 square foot tennis and racquet clubs to 3,000 square foot training-centric mom and pop gyms.

We worked with a gym marketing company that projected 500 new members but only generated a small fraction of what they promised.  How many members do you project?

We don’t make projections, period.  Every market is unique.  There are far too many variables in any given market to project an accurate member acquisition forecast.  While we monitor the health club industry closely, chances are that we are not familiar with what’s taken place in your city or town over the last few years.  Of course we will interview you to get better command of the competitive landscape.  However, we feel that guesstimating member projections would be a reckless and irresponsible practice.

We do guarantee that if we accept you as a new client, we will increase your receivable base.  Unfortunately overpromising and under-delivering is a common practice of bad operators within our niche.  Questionable organizations will tell you whatever they believe you want to hear in order to gain your business.  You know the age old adage: if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. The same applies here.  And while the information age has weeded out most of the crappy operators, there are still a few relentless competitors who solve their bad publicity issues and questionable business practices by changing business names every few years.

 

How are you different from other health club marketing companies?

We don’t engage in the questionable practices some of our competitors do.  For example, many industry marketing companies offer weight loss testimonial campaigns.  These programs solicit prospects under the pretense that they are participating in a weight loss study.  At the point of sale,  prospects are promised:

  • a dietitian
  •  monthly follow ups by the club
  • access to a website that tracks their progress.

In exchange, the prospect signs a two year membership agreement and must commit to use the club three times per week for the first 15 – 40 weeks after they sign up.  If the prospect checks into the club three times a week during the allotted timeframe, they are then able to cancel the two year membership with no penalty.  The problem lies with the commissions paid to these marketing companies.  The commissions are paid upfront. 

The club is left to service the member every month for the duration of the contract. Whether or not the prospect cancels after the testimonial period, the marketing company’s manager is paid commissions upfront for the full duration of the two year membership. We think that’s wrong.

Why go with United Fitness Marketing over others?

UFM has been on the cutting edge of fitness marketing since we were incorporated in 2001.  We are on the front lines and have watched numerous health club marketing fads come and go.

We have the foresight to recognize fads and only embrace strategies that produce positive ROI for our clients.

Please see our Fitness Consulting page for more on how we do business. But here’s some important background information. Incorporated in Missouri, we have proudly operated under our brand United Fitness Marketing since our inception.  In our business,  like any other, we have some wonderful competitors, but there are also those that give our industry a bad name.

We understand that trust must be earned.  If a competitor tells you they’ve been in business for twenty years or makes outlandish claims: you owe it you yourself to call them out. Ask them what state they’re incorporated in.  If they hesitate or refuse to disclose, consider it a red flag.  If they do disclose, go to the state’s website and do a quick search on the business name.  You’ll be amazed at what you can find.  Administrative dissolutions (agency forced dissolutions by the state or federal government for shady business practices), changed business names, companies that have only been in business for a few years, etc.

When choosing a marketing firm to represent your club you need to see a solid track record.  If a company is unable to honestly represent themselves …why trust them to represent your gym?  Doing your homework will save you headaches.