The Case for Automating Your Free Intro Class Signup

The Free Intro Class… a long held tradition of CrossFit affiliates everywhere is exactly the dose that new prospects need to see how easy and fun this training methodology can be. If you can get someone into your Free Intro, there’s roughly an 80% chance they’ll end up joining (for all you US affiliates… if you have an Englishman, or an Aussie with a good personality on your coaching staff to handle your Free Intros… you’ll be hitting REALLY close to 100% :).

While the Free Intro hasn’t changed much, the approach most affiliates use is VERY dated and needs to be brought into the digital age. Let’s explore the typical process many affiliates still use.

  • Day 1: Prospect is interested and submits a form (or sends an email)
  • Day 1: Affiliate emails the prospect back and asks when the prospect wants to come in.
  • Day 2: Prospect emails back a couple days/times
  • Day 2: Affiliate can’t do any of those, asks client if another set of days/times works.
  • Day 3: Prospect selects one of the days/times
  • Day 5: Prospect comes in for a free intro

5 days… not too shabby, right? Well, this is a BEST CASE scenario… Here are some very common ways this 5 day process will get extended to closer to 2 weeks.

  • What if the affiliate or prospect doesn’t reply back the same day? (adding 2-3 days)
  • What if they have to email one more time to establish a time? (adding 2 days)
  • What if this happens over a weekend? (adding 2 days)
  • What if they can’t come in immediately? (adding 4 days)

That’s a LOT of “what if’s” isn’t it? But let’s even set that aside for a moment. What else is happening during this interaction?

The motivation level of the Prospect drops every time they have to jump through a hoop (essentially every interaction)
The Affiliate is spending time responding to emails. Let’s assume there are 4 emails that need to be sent, and 4 that need to be received. Once you factor in “interruption time” (the time it takes you to switch gears and stop doing one thing to do another), you’re looking at maybe 15m per read/respond pair… or 1 hour of time spent per prospect just to get them in the door.

Now, let’s assume you’re getting 8 leads/month. That’s at least 8 hours you’ve spent emailing to get these Prospects in the door for the free trial, and there’s a good chance that 2-3 of these prospects won’t even be able to make it in the door until the following month.

How does automation help?

Well, let’s start from the beginning, and re-play the earlier scenario.

  • Day 1: Prospect is interested and schedules a time to attend the free intro (online)
  • Day 1: Affiliate gets notified that someone is coming in for the free intro
  • Day 3: Prospect shows up for the free intro

Pretty simple isn’t it? But let’s explore what the net benefits actually look like, and then you can assess whether or not automating this process is worth it to you.

  • We’ve gone from a best case 5 days, to roughly 3 days.
  • We’ve reduced the number of “what if’s” significantly.
  • We’ve kept the Prospects motivation level high.
  • We’ve saved the Affiliate an hour of time per Prospect.

We’re now in the digital age. As we’ve learned through e-commerce, consumers are expecting the ability to do things on their own, and if you aren’t giving them that ability, you better believe they’re second-guessing you as a business.

Save yourself some time, make things easier on your Prospects, and give the people what they want!

Currently, as of this writing, I’m only aware of 2 companies within the CrossFit membership management space that offer this functionality: WODIFY & ZenPlanner. If you’re using one of those, fantastic! If you aren’t, then you may want to look into another service like ScheduleOnce.com. Yes, it costs money each month… but if your time isn’t worth $9/mo, then you’ve got way bigger problems.

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