Product Updates for July

Fitli uses Bidsketch to send proposals for our Fitness Website service

Would you believe me if I told you I have seen almost every Fitness Website in the United States?  Probably not all, but you can imagine I’ve seen quite a few as I’m following sales leads, doing demos, and helping customers launch on Fitli.   We also know that our customer base is very cost conscious and does not have much free time to try to build and manage their own website.  The options for a new website range from very cheap and/or free (do it yourself 100%) to very expensive custom options. We decided we could offer a better option and Fitli Digital was created to deliver a great Fitness Website service.

As you can imagine, selling a website project is very different from selling scheduling software.  There are many different project options, fee categories, and a need for a project specific contract that covers the challenges associated with this type of project.  

The Old Traditional Way

Of course, we could have just taken one of the many online proposal document templates and used that.  It would work, but it would be fairly laborious to customize each proposal. Changing company and project names, deleting unneeded sections, updating the proposed fees, adding new fees and verbiage along the way and creating new templates..  all these things take time.

Then, of course, the next step would be to print the proposal as a PDF and email it to the potential client.  Then you wait around wondering if they have viewed your proposal.  Eventually, if and when they reviewed it…. and responded with changes, we’d have to open up the Word doc, edit the changes, reprint as a new PDF and send again.  Then wait and wonder again. If and when they decided to accept the proposal, they would need to print the document, sign it, scan it, then send it back and we’d need to do the same.

Finally, we’d need to make sure we store that signed copy of the document in a folder in our Google Drive setup.

 So that is one option for this process.  If we stuck with that approach, it would be much harder to sell a Fitness Website.  Not ideal. There is a better way and we were lucky enough to find and use a product called Bidsketch.

The Newer Better Way

Bidsketch, simply put, automates all of those steps I described above. If you are going to be creating, tracking, and storing multiple proposals, you should use this tool.  So what is the process like with Bidsketch?

First of all, the setup is something you only have to do once.  It’s pretty straightforward. They already have several templates to choose from to start your proposal.  That is very helpful. After choosing a template, you can start editing. You can follow the pre-set format of the template or change it as you like.  You create all your various types of project options and fee options which can then be added or removed with the click of a button. Then you add your logo into the system so your proposal document and portal reflect your brand.  Everything looks clean and professional.

When you’re ready to submit your first proposal, you simply create a new customer by entering their basic contact info.  Then, generate a proposal. The customer specific info is populated throughout the document. So, then you simply need to choose any project and fee options.

That’s it!  The proposal is ready to go and the process to send and iterate is super easy too.  When you are ready, you simply ‘Submit’ the proposal to your potential customer. You can customize the message they receive.  It also includes a link for them to view and download the document. One of the best parts? You can see if/when they view the document.  They can leave comments and questions within the application. Then, when the time is right, they and you can accept and sign the proposal document.  No need to save it in a drive somewhere. It’s stored and visible to you and the client right there in the portal.

All of this simplification and automation means I can send many more proposals than if I were doing it the manual way.  More proposals means more customers are hiring Fitli to build their Fitness Website. If you have a business that sends proposals for work, I strongly recommend you check out Bidsketch at your earliest opportunity.

Big plans for Sign Up process. We’re starting with Waivers!

Normally, we try to do one update per month.  Our developers decided to take some time off over Christmas so that kind of put a crimp in things.  We launched our last update a couple weeks ago.  We’ve been trying to catch up.  This is a single feature release, but the beginning of a set of Client Sign Up Flow enhancements that will come next.

Waiver Enhancements

If you are using the current waiver process, then you know that it was a very simple design.  Your client clicks on a link to the waiver to view it.  The system opens a new browser tab to do this.  That is a simple process, right?  Unfortunately, some users still get lost.  They don’t realize they are on a new tab and have a hard time getting back to the original flow.  Our new solution solves this issue.  You can paste your waiver content into Fitli and we will display it within the flow of the application in a clean and user friendly manner.  They read it and click close.  Done and on to the next step.  More to come in this general area.  For more info on how this works, check out the Waiver FAQ.

3 Months Free Promotion is ending 

Switch your subscription from Monthly to Annual before January 31, 2018 and get 3 Months Free.  Interested?  Send an email to support@fitli.com to get your questions answered or to request the change.

Happy New Year! Welcome to the first Product release of 2018!

It’s a new year and we have big plans for the product.  But, even the longest journey starts with a single step.  Enjoy the first update of the year!

Emergency Contact Info

We start off with a quick update to the contact info.  As with most of our updates, this was a popular request.  Now the client profile includes fields for Emergency Contact Info.  This includes the Contact Name, Relationship, and Phone Number.

Sales Report Update

Another request fulfilled.  We have added a new field to the exported sales report to include the name of the trainer on drop in purchased sessions.

Quick Booking

You know when you need to book somebody into multiple classes.  You click on the class, then find the customer and add them to the class.  Then you go find the next class and do it again.  Ouch!  That is now a thing of the past.  With the new Quick Booking feature, you can book your customer into future classes in about 5% of the time it took before.  Saving time, saves money!  Your customers can do this too so it should lead to increased bookings and quicker utilization of packages and sessions.

Check out our FAQ on how this works HERE.

3 Months Free Promotion

Switch your subscription from Monthly to Annual before January 31, 2018 and get 3 Months Free.  Interested?  Send an email to support@fitli.com to get your questions answered or to request the change.

How Your Gym Can Use Digital Marketing to Boost Membership

Small and independent gyms are under increasing pressure competing with large national brands and budget gyms, fitness apps and online personal trainers promising they can provide the same results at home. If this sounds like one of the challenges your business faces you can use digital marking to boost membership sales and improve retention.

In that past, the way gyms would attract more members was with paid advertising that included newspapers, local magazines, yellow pages, flyers, and mailers. Essentially, they would cast a wide net to reach the largest number of prospects possible. Nonetheless, the internet has decreased the effectiveness of these traditional methods. Today, when considering a product or service, the typical person will go online to do research. Therefore, your website, directory listings, social media profiles, online reviews, and other facts of internet life will all impact people’s decisions.

Why Digital Marketing Can Help Grow Gym Memberships

Through digital marketing, you can reach out to those most interested in joining a gym. Moreover, you can target your messaging to those who look like your ideal customers. Digital marketing can grow your brand awareness, identify you an authority, and make your gym the obvious choice. Would that be of benefit in your situation?

The first stage is identifying your target. This begins by knowing your ideal customers. Which groups are responsible for most of your business? Does your gym attract stay at home moms? Is most of your business coming from corporate types? Are they primarily looking to lose weight or are they more the fitness enthusiast type? Consider for a moment Planet Fitness. Their success relies on targeting those who want to lose weight, but are intimidated by what they think the inside of a regular gym looks like. Understand these four things about your members and potential members:

  • The demographics of your member groups
  • Your members’ fitness goals, needs, and motivations
  • What or who influences their decisions
  • How you can solve their fitness problems

Digital Marketing for Your Independent Gym

Once you know who you are going to talk to, you need to set up the channels of communication.

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Ensure your website adheres to SEO best practices, especially when it comes to Local SEO. This will help ensure your website ranks well within search results and will boost your organic/free website traffic.

2. Content Marketing – Consistently sharing valuable fitness information using a blog, social media profiles, email newsletters, and more can grow your reputation, draw traffic, attract more leads, and help will membership retention.

3. Inbound Marketing – Essentially, inbound marketing combines web design, content creation, social media, and other strategies into creating a sales funnel that gently guides your audience through the customer life-cycle, from target to active member.

4. Social Media Marketing – Using informative or entertaining posts, images, and videos, social media is an effective way to promote your business, distribute your content, and stay connected with your audience, customers, and fans.

5. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) – Using paid advertising is a reliable and predictable way to attract visitors to your website. Whether you are using Google AdWords or Facebook’s native advertising, you pay for the traffic you receive.

6. Email Marketing – Many small and independent gyms effectively make use of opt-in email subscriptions and newsletters to communicate with prospects and their membership. When done right, this is this is one of the best ways to promote content, discounts, and events.

What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about how your gym can use digital marketing to boost membership, or a related topic, please contact us.

Sanjay Salomon of PYMNTS.com caught up with Fitli CEO and founder John Cline

When looking to shed a few extra pounds or get in shape for warmer weather, consumers can turn to personal trainers to help them meet their fitness goals, boost their endurance or raise the flexibility bar. Today, new solutions are helping fitness professionals gain more flexibility in scheduling sessions and accepting payments.

For the November Tracker’s feature story, PYMNTS caught up with Fitli CEO and founder John Cline about helping personal trainers and other fitness professionals accept payments, and the “chicken or egg” challenge of pitching a fitness marketplace to customers while simultaneously encouraging instructors to join the platform.

To read the story, visit PYMNTS.com here.

 

Kicking off November with a few product updates

We are making the rounds today with several random improvements that many have been asking for.  Onward and Upward.

Waiver – Click Required

For our more risk averse customers, we’ve made a small enhancement to the online waiver functionality.  As the title says, you now have the option to require that the client click on your waiver link in order to accept the waiver.  Nothing can guarantee they will read it, but at least you can go a step further and increase your legal protections.  This is probably the part where we should have a bunch of small print saying we are not lawyers and in no way assert that our product will protect you from lawsuits… yada yada…  Learn more here

User Role – Give them data

For most of you, the user roles we have previously provided work well enough.  But, not everybody is the same.  We’ve added a new role which includes ‘Reporting’ along with the Professional Full Access profile.  Knowledge is a powerful tool. Yield it wisely. 🙂

Package & Membership Deep Links

This is the first of probably many ‘deep links’ that we will be developing over the next several releases.  What is a deep link?  It’s a link that you can generate from Fitli that you can put on your website and take users directly to a specific page within the application.  The first one we are launching tonight will allow you to generate a link to either a list of all packages and memberships or a single package/membership.  This is useful if you’d like to promote you packages/memberships on your website and have a “buy” or “purchase” button which will take the user directly into the Fitli purchase flow for that item.  See a bit more on the help desk.

Customer Export

Yes.  You read right.  You can now click a button and get a full export of your customer list in CSV format.  This export will include all data that you have in the system about this customer from contact info to notes.  Use this file to load directly into your email program such as Mailchimp of Constant Contact to keep things in synch.  This one is kind of self explanatory, but if you want to read more, you can do it here.

Don’t forget. Save money with our new Annual Billing option

Many of you may still be on a Free Trial.  Others are on a Monthly Billing Plan.  We are introducing Annual pricing.  Of course, you save money by going Annual.  So, if you are pretty happy and expect to be with us a while, the Annual Plan may be a good option.  See the Annual Pricing options at the Pricing Section of the website. Then, if interested, just send a message to support@fitli.com to let us know you’d like to change.

Help – Easier than ever

We are always happy to answer your questions.  But, we are not available 100% of the time and we know that one or two of you like to figure things out for yourself.  You probably already know we have a help desk.  We keep mentioning it.  Now, you can get there directly from the Fitli app from the pull down menu in the top right on the web.  If you are super excited and can’t wait, go now and  Visit the Helpdesk!

New Look and Feel for Fitli