How A Gym Franchise Grows Its Customer Base and Onboards New Clients Automatically

The context

After a gym reaches potential clients with advertising, their goal is to redirect them to a landing page where they can capture their email address so that they can continue following up with the contact. Their goal is to demonstrate the value their gym provides and motivate the contact to visit the gym or sign up for a monthly membership.

But, not everyone who subscribes is going to likely to go on to become a customer. How do you identify the contacts with the potential to become clients?

One way is to include a single call-to-action in every emailBook your first gym session’, which is a link that redirects to a form where the potential gym-goer can answer more questions to further qualify them.

The customer success team of a gym can use those questions to further qualify the lead. They can identify who is really interested in becoming a paid gym client and who is just wasting their time. If every new lead got one-to-one follow-up from the sales staff, they’d spend most of their day talking to people who aren’t serious about getting in shape and staying healthy. But, with email marketing and marketing automation they are able to speak to all their leads, identify their best leads, and then decide which leads are worth reaching out to.

An integrated marketing platform like ActiveCampaign can help businesses like this automate most of the onboarding process & automatically identify which new clients are worth to investing more time into with follow-up, nurturing, etc.

The campaign and ActiveCampaign features used


Grabbing new potential gym-goers email addresses and nurturing them

  1. To collect new leads from paid online paid advertising, such as Facebook, redirect to specific landing pages where interested people can opt-in. Setting up an ActiveCampaign form on a landing page is quite easy once you have created the form in your account (Lists > Integrations > Forms > Create form). It’s just a matter of copying & pasting the code we provide into your landing page.

Besides the landing page form, you can also place a form in a Facebook tab. To know exactly how many contacts have submitted each form, you can include a hidden-field. This makes calculating ROI easier because you know the source of each contact and can easily calculate how effective it is to pay for traffic to be redirected to landing pages versus whether it is more cost-effective to have them submit the form from Facebook.


Once the forms are configured, it’s time to configure an automation with a sequence of emails. This series of emails will nurture the relationship with the potential gym-goer, and will try to engage them by asking them questions that the team can use to gauge their interest and evaluate their quality as a lead.

In the image below you can see how to create an automation with two different starting points. If you need a more detailed, step-by-step explanation of how to do this, check this link.

Each one of the emails will include a highly-visible call-to-action with the goal of redirecting the potential gym-goer to a landing page where he can answer some more questions about becoming a client of the gym.

The email with the CTA would look like something like this:

And the form where it redirects them to would look like this:


In the new form, the user is asked questions like ‘Is this your first time joining a gym?’, ‘Would you be willing to commit to at least 4 months of training in a row to see effective results?’, ‘Would you prefer to work with a personal coach, by yourself, or group sessions?’). Those are the kind of questions that would help Gym Tony determine if it’s a valuable potential client and, therefore, worth the time to follow-up personally.

Determining if they are really interested in becoming a paid client

After they submit the form, the lead can be evaluated automatically using ActiveCampaign’s Lead Scoring feature and an automation. In this case, the Gym Franchise team values more those potential clients who is not their first time in a gym and those that want to commit themselves to a 4-month program, since those are the customers most profitable for them.

The lead scoring feature is available for Plus or Enterprise plans and can be found within your Contacts tab – top left corner.

Essentially it gives you the ability to assign a certain score to each one of your contacts if the information they provide matches the rules you have setup.

Once a lead score is set up, that score can be used to trigger an automation that creates a Deal for the sales team. A ‘Deal’ is a new opportunity in the CRM. The CRM/Deals section allows teams to be aware of what stage of a deal a contact is in, the status of the deal, and any notes or tags that have been attached to the deal. It is a way to organize and consolidate all the information surrounding a deal and keep everyone up-to-date as well as plan future efforts to close the deal.

We would choose “Score changes” as starting point in our automation:

And this would be the configuration of that trigger, indicating stuff like what’s the Deal about (deal title), what is its value, in what pipeline would be included, who will be in charge of that deal (deal owner) and in what stage within our pipeline would be placed (deal stage):

Working with Deals to always know the status of each potential client

ActiveCampaign is more than a marketing tool, it also a CRM used by sales teams to organize and plan their sales process. They can see the status of every deal in their pipeline. This is what the Deals section looks like:

Note that if your sales process differs, you can customize the names of the stages, and add as many stages as you need, so the platform adapts to your business needs. If you have multiple sales processes, for instance, for different products, you can add as many separate pipelines as you need.

For our Gym example above, each potential client has a deal that can go through three stages:

    1. New Deal: It’s created automatically if the potential client’s lead score matches the condition included in the starting point of the automation
    2. Contacted: It’s the stage in which a potential client has being sent an email to book his first free session in a gym.
    3. Booked session: If the potential client has booked a first session, he will moved automatically into this stage.

A gym could configure Zapier so that if a potential client confirms the appointment to go to the trial-day to the gym, a zap will be triggered activating an automation that will automatically send an email in 4 days that includes an online invoice.

If a particular client goes on to sign the paperwork and become a member of your gym, you can easily drag their deal into either a “won” or “lost” bucket:

Automatically send their first invoice

In the case the still-not-client has clicked in the link he received in the email titled ‘Sign-up our 4-month program’ and paid, a zap (image below) will be activated to automatically apply a tag ‘Paid4MonthProgram’ to the already-client. This tag would allow the Gym Tony team to track who has already converted into a paid client, and also trigger new email follow-up automation for paid clients like custom training programs and tips, for instance.

The outcome

The initial setup to created an automated business like this would take less than 3 days to set up, and you could do it yourself using the step-by-step guides than can be found in the ActiveCampaign help section, besides some extra help from ActiveCampaign support team via chat.


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