The power of the newsletter hasn’t been ignored by Matt Scanlon, especially when it comes to leads.
“If you have leads, you want to provide good content to those leads and for your members,” he said. “You always want to have channels of communication going on.”
Owner of CrossFit Memorial Hill in Kansas City, Missouri, Scanlon has been using newsletters since opening the Box three years ago. He sends out two newsletters once a month: one to his members and one to leads (those who have signed up on the website but have yet to become a member).
“I think where a lot of Box owners go wrong is not utilizing the newsletter for their leads,” he said
Scanlon explained that 95 percent of people who visit a Box’s website aren’t immediately ready to commit. After capturing their email addresses, he doesn’t sell them anything. Instead, he simply provides them with valuable content. For example, the newsletter could hold information about workouts to do while at the office or offer up a quick shopping guide when it comes to buying healthy snacks.
Plus, Scanlon typically reuses his member newsletter for the leads one. The format — first an athlete of the month story, then an announcement/offer, another athlete story, a second announcement/offer and then a call to action, such as what events are coming up — remains mostly the same. Scanlon explained he usually just takes out the list of events.
The power of stories is what Scanlon really emphasized. “It’s either provide something of really high value for our members or our leads, depending on the newsletter that we’re putting out, and then also telling compelling stories of people that are members of the Box, using our services,” he said.
Affiliates don’t have to just tell stories in a format of words. Scanlon mentioned he advises other owners to find a medium, like iPhone video, that they find both compelling and easy for them. The goal is to engage the audience of the newsletters, whether it be leads or members.
It takes Scanlon 30 to 45 minutes to set up a newsletter and he found the highest open rates happen when only sending it once a month. Overall, the newsletter’s goal goes beyond simple engagement.
“It’s not necessarily [that] a newsletter equals somebody coming in, but it’s just providing brand awareness so that whenever that person is ready to make a decision about their fitness, that you’re the first person they think of,” said Scanlon.
Photo by Amanda Graor