5 Simple Things to Try at Your Sports Academy
Many sports facilities stick to the basics when it comes to marketing. We’re often small businesses who handle marketing ourselves, and we have a lot of other work to do.
However, even an extra 20 minutes improving your description of a camp, membership, or new instructor can result in another enrollment — and hundreds more dollars in revenue.
That’s a return on investment you can’t ignore.
The next time you sit down to write a marketing message, whether it’s in an email, a flier for a new program, or a class description in your scheduling software — try spending 20 minutes on one of these five simple and free marketing tactics.
Tactic 1: Grab People’s Attention
I got an email in my inbox recently from a baseball academy with the subject line “The 3 Reasons Baseball Players DON’T Make it.”
Did I click on it? Of course! I wanted to know the three reasons.
In case you’re wondering, one of the reasons listed was a lack of professional coaching, which the sports academy would be providing in an upcoming clinic.
If the subject line had simply been “Swing Clinic Coming Up,” (which is the type of subject line I see all the time from other facilities), I wouldn’t have been as likely to open it.
We often spend more time composing the body of an email, web page or class description than the headline or subject. But if people aren’t drawn in by the headline or subject, they won’t make it to the inside.
Tactic 2: Make the Benefits Feel Real
I’ve written before about how successful sports facilities focus on real end goals of the consumer — not their short term tactics.
You might think your client wants a batting cage rental, for example, but maybe what they really want is to blow off steam after work — or make their high school baseball team.
Put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes and think of how it would feel for them to get what they really want. Then try to incorporate that into the description of your service.
For example, eSoft Planner user SJ Batting Cages is hosting a Parents’ Night Out event on select Saturday nights. Their email about the event says “Use the night to read a book, catch a movie, enjoy a nice dinner OR just enjoy the calm without the kids.” This is a great example of helping clients visualize the benefits.
Tactic 3: Use a Personal Tone
When we describe what our sports academy offers in writing, we tend to use a tone we’d use to address a large group. After all, if you’re posting on social media or sending an email, you technically ARE addressing a group.
However, your clients are more likely to remember and act on messages that seems to speak to to them personally. That requires a less formal language that brands you as unique and makes you feel approachable.
To find this tone, picture your ideal client as you write, imagining that you’re talking to them directly.
This can turn a message like “Coach Smith is now /available for private lessons on Tuesdays. Availability is limited” to “You heard right — Coach Bob is back for the summer. If you want to book lessons with him, do it now — Bob is very popular.”
If you stay true to your own voice consistently enough, you’ll start to stand out from your competitors and get a more emotional response from readers. This approach is especially effective for smaller facilities.
Tactic 4: Remove Any Obstacles to the Sale
You’ve probably sold your product before in person, face to face. If so, you know the concerns that buyers (usually parents) are likely to have before they hand over their credit cards.
If you address those concerns on any product description you write — on your web site, flier, email, or scheduling software, you’re more likely to get buyers.
A few common ways to remove customers’ hesitations are to offer some kind of money-back guarantee, trial period, or cancellation policy. Other assurances will be unique to your service.
Tactic 5: Add Some Urgency
The athletes and families who are interested in becoming your clients often need an extra push to actually commit.
After you’ve grabbed their attention, emphasized the end benefits of your training in a personal tone and addressed any doubts they’re likely to have, the final step is to add some urgency.
This can be an enrollment deadline, an early enrollment incentive, or simply an emphasis that spots are limited or a notice of how many spots are left for the class, instructor or membership. A scheduling program like eSoft Planner can help you create all of these things and automate them.
The best thing about these five steps is that you can do any of them today — no heavy data analysis or new tools required. You don’t need an MBA or even a specialist to get started, because you’re the one who understands your services the best. Start small, with just 20 minutes, and see what results you get.