Archive for the ‘Direct Mail’ Category

The best way to sell Fitness Gift Cards for your Fitness Center and where to get Gift Cards for your gym

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Another marketing guy, Curtis Mock, told me about getting Gift Cards for my fitness center to add another revenue stream to the gym and offer customers who are looking for gifts for friends and family, a unique way to give a gift card instead of Gift Certificates.

Curtis was right, and I like to give credit where credit is due, that’s what I do here at this website, I don’t act like I came up with everything Ido that works for marketing my fitness center and others I do consulting for.

Curtis Mock also has a great web show called Fitness Business Television. I highly recommend you check it out at

So after I got my Fitness Gift Cards I started offering them at a discount like 1/2 off for special occasions but mostly selling them at face value of $165 which is good for a 3 month single membership or 2 months family membership to my 24 hour gym and tanning salon. You can do the face value of the cards in many ways but I like to use them at an exact price of 3 months membership because its easier for me to keep up with them in my Gym Software System by Firebug Software.

I am a consultant to and Helped Will Herring #54 line backer for the New Orleans Saints NFL team , open his Gym in Auburn Alabama called Herring Fitness 24 hour Fully Automated Gym.

 I got him to get the gift cards also, and he just did the face value at $100 good towards a membership which is fine too, you can see some of the specials I have him run on his website at . I also have Will do email subscribers only specials which I do also to my email list. You can see how I have my gift cards for sale on my website at , I have great success in getting subscribers with the email sign up form on my website that says in the form that if they subscribe they will get email only specials. 

The thing I found out about gift cards is the same thing most retailers know. That is there’s a lot of people that will buy but never cash the cards in, and you basically come out keeping the money for no service, which is good but I like to have them coming in so they will most likely continue using the gym and become regular members.

I also give a large amount of gift cards away to those I can tell will actually use a membership and hopefully will bring in friends, which most will. I always keep them with me, I have a knack for reading people that will appreciate and use the gift cards, and will spread the word about my gym to all their friends and family.

Can you imagine someone giving you a $165 gift card for anything, and it being real and valuable. They cant believe it most of the time, I made sure to have my website address and info on the back of the gift card so they can go to my website and see for themselves.

Will Herring is experimenting now with giving away some cards, he is reluctant to begin with, but like the 30 day guarantee I got him to give at him gym, he will see it works just like the trust the 30 day guarantee builds by just offering it.

I also do one major thing that Will Herring is just starting to do now. When a new member signs up at my gym or his, I send out a thank you letter, along with how the gym operates in case there’s no one there when they come in, being that we are a 24 Hour Fully Automated Fitness Center. Along with that letter I send out a free gift card included in every envelope. But the catch is they cant use the cards for their current membership, they must give them away to anyone that isn’t a member.

I have more success with this one fitness marketing tactic, than almost any other I use.

The next tactic is to sell the gift cards at a great discount, say my $165 card for two for one or even three for one.

Believe me it they will pay for themselves and bring in more people than just about another way of using fitness gift cards to market with.

 I don’t make a dime from selling the gift cards, I like the cards because they work ,and Curtis is a stand up guy and great at what he does, so I recommend if you are in the market for fitness gift cards, visit his website at and get your art work started today and pick your colors and raised letter option and the magnetic strip option on the back so they look authentic. they will ship them to you within about 2 weeks most of the time.

Look at mine on my website and copy some info if you wish, but the robot logo is mine and cant be copied without my consent, but I will license it out if your interested. the website to view my gift cards is then search gift cards.

Also if you like the website I use I can build you a fitness center website for your gym. A website for your gym that will in most cases will pull way more prospects than your competitors site.

Websites i like to use are a template videos, aweber email contact form,stats tracker,seo friendly, everything you need to crush your gym competition. Simply contact me with any questions and I can get a estimate to you, i use a template for most of the gyms I open and they end up drawing more traffic than all the competition combined like I do and Will Herring does also in his town.

Don’t believe me? I have stats of exactly how many visitors come to all my gym websites including Will Herring’s

I charge a set rate , but add on’s are extra like the video. If you shoot the video and post it to YouTube, I can simply install it into the site and maximize the keywords for that video so it will be found when searching for your gym because google loves videos now.

let me know if I can do anything for you, and god bless!  Shannon Cook  consultant to the fitness industry, email:

Handwritten business cards for your gym or fitness center business

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Handwritten business cards for your gym, fitness center, or tanning salon that stand out from your competitors and make the receivers laugh, and hold on to them to show their friends

 I like to be different, so instead of getting tattoos to stand out, i use things that will be memorable, and when it comes to business cards i want people to keep and share my cards with others

whats the best way to do that, being funny  

Being a part time comedian, I love making people laugh, so I decided to give prospects something that is out of the ordinary when it comes to business cards.

Here’s the card I made, its two sided, so they see the fat guy and his BEFORE picture, then the AFTER picture on the other side, but either way they read it they laugh


I wrote this out in about an hour and sent it to my printer and had 250 cards made

Every time I hand them out, I get a laugh and have many people come back to me and ask for more to give to their friends, which is the whole point anyway, isn’t it?

What can you come up with that will make a prospect want to keep your card and show it to others?

My wife tells me some of the fitness marketing copywriting ads I come up with may be offensive to someone, but it always the people that aren’t gonna use my gym anyway, so who cares.

One banner I put up said, “being dead 24 hours a day, or exercising 30 minutes a day, which fits your schedule better?”

Another banner I put up was, “Fat and Ugly? Just want to be ugly? Then visit for the fat loss, and the plastic surgeon for the other?

I had people sending me emails all the time and stopping me and telling me how much they loved the banners, and not one complaint.

Want me to write funny stuff for your ads or cards and even radio and tv commercials?

To learn how to open a 24 hour fitness center, build and start a gym from scratch, manage a gym, and fitness center marketing, check out my book at

Shannon cook-  fitness, gym, and tanning salon marketing consultant

Shannon can be reached at

Mailing list how to’s for target marketing for a fitness center

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

When it comes to direct marketing, first you must decide who your customers are.

 To do this ask yourself and/or your current members, if your an already established gym, ask  these questions below, to get a picture of what type person you need to target for your marketing instead of just mailing to every address around and hope you get some response. 

To learn every detail of “how to open a 24 hour gym from scratch”, click here

  • where do they live, how far from your gym
  • do they live in an apartment, condo, or house
  • where do they work
  • where do they shop
  • what kind of vehicles do they drive
  • how old are they
  • ratio of male to female members
  • what is there income
  • married or single

The reason i have you ask these questions is because when you go to buy a mailing list to do your mail outs to for postcards,sales letters, ect…, you will be able to choose from all those topics above if you use the right list broker.

for instance, I use INFO USA to purchase from because they allow me to query my chosen area by basically drawing a circle around my place of business.

 3 miles around my gym is the size of area i like because most research shows that of your members will be from up to this distance from your gym. 

In that circle i start to select from, income, married and single, education, health, number of vehicles, ect…

Every time i query something else in that circle, the number of households goes down from the total i started with, and finally at the end of my selections, it gives me a total of qualified prospects they have mailing addresses for.

You get to see on a map, like google earth, that you can get an accurate picture of where you are choosing from.

 I then get a price from the list builder per address.

What I love about INFO USA is that they don’t make you pay a per month subscription, although you can, or make you buy a multi use list, meaning you can only use the mailing list one time and if you want to mail multiple times to those addresses, you have to pay for each time you mail.

If you’re thinking you can buy the list for one use and just use it for multiples anyway, you cant.

The list brokers have what they call seed mailings in each batch they sell you, and the seed people know how many mailings their suppose to get.

If they get more mailings than you paid for, they tell the list broker and you get sued, and believe me, it does happen, the list broker will sue.

INFO USA is the best to buy from in my opinion and dealings.

You can find them at

To learn every detail of “how to open a 24 hour gym from scratch”, click here

Claude Hopkins who lived in the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s, was the worlds greatest copywriter, who wrote two books, which i have available in audio book on CD,on how to market, write copy, and test any product or service. the books are called “My Life in Advertising” and “Scientific Advertising”.

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Claude Hopkins picture

How I took my Gym from 60 members to over 300 in less than 60 days , when the previous 4 years I never sighed up more that 10 people a year. All from learning from this one man about Copywriting, and it works for any type business. The Man was Claude Hopkins. a early 1900’s ad writer whom I think invented copywriting and especially the first ever books on the subject, the first is a how to book, and the other is a autobiography of his life in advertising. the first book is fairly easily found on audio, but i was luckily enough to find the other book on audio and you cant hardly find it even in paperback, much less the audiobook. I have both available on CD.

Learn How to market and write ads from the First and Greatest copywriters of the 20th century in two books he wrote for the companies he worked for to teach how to market, to the marketing departments of those companies because he was drawing in 20 times more business than all his co-workers combined.

Claude Hopkins, , was the world’s greatest copywriter, he turned every company he worked for around, such as Slitz Beer Company, who was in last place among big beer companies back then, after he did the marketing that he teaches in these books, the Slitz Beer Company was number 1 within 6 months of starting his advertising ads. He wrote two books, which I have available in audio book on CD’s, on how to market, write sales copy, and test any product or service. The books are called “My Life in Advertising” and “Scientific Advertising”.

Claude C. Hopkins (1866-1932) He worked for companies like Bissell Carpet Sweeper Company, Swift & Company, Dr. Shoop’s patent medicine company, and Slitz Beer Company At the age of 41, he was hired by Albert Lasker, owner of Lord & Thomas advertising in 1907 at a salary of $185,000 a year Hopkins insisted copywriters researched their client products and produce reason-why copy. He believed that a good product was often its own best salesperson and as such he was a great believer in sampling

In 1900 he once wrote ads for an electric car company (yes they had electric cars then, in fact there were more electric cars made then, then there were gasoline because electricity was figured out in motors before gas was.) that brought in so many orders that they started making too many cars too quickly and the craftsmanship got shotty and put them out of business.

He only wrote 2 books and I have both on Audio CD, I have not found the Audio book “My life in advertising” anywhere else on CD, You can get it in book form other places though.

These rare books on audio are the reason I learned copywriting for my gym business. If you have any desire to learn copywriting whatsoever and take your company to the top of your category, you must get these audio books.

Scientific Advertising was published in 1923

My Life in Advertising was published in 1917

My Story: when I opened my gym in November 3, 2003 I acquired 80 members, by the end of four years I was down to 60 members, so I learned marketing from the greatest copywriter I could find. His name was Claude Hopkins. I read his books and I listen to his books and I studied all of his ads that he had written.

In February of 2008 I use the knowledge I gained from these two audio books and a PDF copy of the ads I have to write my own press releases and radio ads, and within one month I had doubled my membership, and within three months I had tripled my membership.

Anyone who owns their own business needs to oversee their marketing, by this I mean it’s okay to have someone write your materials, but you as the business owner know your business better than anyone, that’s why I say you need to oversee the marketing of your own business.

These books will teach you everything from writing ads, to testing ads, and how to get in the mind of your customer or prospect.

What you get:

• “my life in advertising” audio book CD

• “scientific advertising” audio book CD

• PDF files on a CD of Claude Hopkins ads that he wrote.

Cost: You get all this mailed directly to you for the cost of $47 shipping included in the continental 48 states

How you order:

• Pay by Pay Pal (email me and I’ll send you the email address to send the money to for a safe transaction)

• Pay by Mail: send check or money order to

Shannon Cook

7701 stormy lane

Northport, AL 35473

• Pay By Credit Card over the phone: email me at with the title “Pay for Claude Hopkins over phone” and I’ll send you the phone# to call to do so.

To learn how to open a 24 hour fitness center, build and start a gym from scratch, manage a gym, and fitness center marketing, check out my book at