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How this gym impresses leads before they walk through the door

Hilary Achauer

Halfway through 2019, Joby Shreckhise realized he had a problem. 

Joby had opened CrossFit 3xF in Fishersville, Virginia in 2014. He worked hard to build his membership and four years later opened a second location called 3xF Staunton in Staunton, Virginia, focused mainly on interval training.

After a year of running both gyms, Joby had more than 300 members between the two locations.

Business was going well, but Joby realized he was losing touch with both his members and leads. He worried this disconnect would start to affect both conversion and retention.

This wasn’t a problem in the old days, when he personally coached 15 to 20 classes a week. 

"Back then I was seeing 100 percent of the members every week, and it was easy to hold them accountable and keep track of them,” Joby said. 

Once he expanded to two locations, Joby tried to keep up with his leads and members using a combination of MailChimp, Zapier, and Skipio -- a messaging platform. 

“It was a big headache to keep up with all of the communication that was going out between both new prospects and our members,” Joby said. 

He tried to get all of his platforms to communicate as best he could, but he didn’t have a great way to house all of his contacts in one spot, and he was struggling to stay in communication with his members.

No Lead Left Behind

Looking for a new solution, Joby signed on with UpLaunch in July of 2019.  

Before UpLaunch, if a lead expressed an interest in one of Joby’s Facebook ads, he’d put the lead into a spreadsheet, but had no system to make sure the person scheduled an appointment. 

“If they never showed up, what happened next? What was our next touchpoint? We had these standard operating procedures that were written down, but they were really hard to follow through with when you’re, say, scheduled to see eight people in one evening,” Joby said, “so some things slipped through the cracks."

With UpLaunch, Joby said he and his staff could easily drag leads over to a new campaign when they entered the system, which made it easier for his coaches to follow through and get people rescheduled for their appointments. 

“You guys use the hashtag #noleadleftbehind and I think that’s been the biggest difference in prospects coming in,” he said. 

“When someone comes into UpLaunch they’re gonna get communicated with until they die,” Joby said, laughing, “and largely it’s gonna be automated, which is nice. That’s been probably the biggest change as far as the change in our communication and new prospects.”

Personalized Automation

Joby loves automation, but he also understands the importance of personalized communication, so he uses UpLaunch to combine the two.

When a new lead schedules an introduction with CrossFit 3xF or 3xF Staunton, they immediately get an automated text thanking them for their interest. This triggers a notification to a staff member, asking them to send a short video text to the new lead. 

In the video text -- which is sent via UpLaunch, so the message can be tracked and sent through gym's number -- the coach introduces him or herself and goes over what they’ll be doing in the upcoming appointment.

Then, on the day of their appointment, the coach sends another video text message, this time from outside the gym.

In that text, the coach videos the outside of the gym, saying, “Hey Sally, this is Joby again, and I just want to show you the outside of our building. This is what it looks like, it’s right behind the Eavers Tire right here in Fishersville, and if you can’t find the place, don’t hesitate to reach out, we’ll come out and wave you down.”   

The purpose of this message is twofold -- to remind the lead of their appointment and to ease any concerns they might have about finding the gym.

This amount of personalized communication means that when people come in for their initial appointment they’re already impressed by all the messages they've received, both personalized and automated, from the time they submitted their information to the moment they step foot in the gym. 

“They are kind of floored already when they meet us,” Joby said.

“They are kinda like, ‘If you guys are communicating with us this much and we are not even members yet, we’re really encouraged about the type of gym we’re walking into.’”

He said this amount of personalized communication is only possible with UpLaunch.

“When someone walks in and is greeted by the person they’ve already seen through their phone, it makes them way more comfortable,” Joby said.

After about six months with UpLaunch, membership between the two gyms has grown to about 360 members. Joby said his staff of 12, including two administrative assistants, found it easy to get up and running with UpLaunch.

“We have found the platform to be very intuitive and user friendly. Looking at somebody’s profile and just having that dashboard, that’s been good for us. It hasn’t taken a whole lot of training,” he said. 

In addition to communicating with leads and prospects, Joby said UpLaunch has also helped him stay in touch with his current members.

"What we noticed is as we started to take care of more of our communication through UpLaunch and were having these tasks that were generated for us, then follow-up became easy, and our attrition started to decrease, because it got significantly higher once we expanded to two locations," Joby said.

"So that definitely helped out, and it just made us feel better about the process, and actually being able to keep up with somebody in the first 100 days with us," he said.

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