Messenger bots for gyms

Posted by Mark on December 2, 2019 

How Gyms Can Benefit From Facebook Messenger Bots 2019 guide

In this guide, you’ll learn how your gym can benefit from having a Facebook Messenger Bot.

I’ll show you how you can save time, get more subscribers, turn them into new members and provide an interactive experience.

All at the same time.

Let’s dive in.

What is a Messenger bot?

A Messenger Bot allows you to automate conversations with potential customers that you would normally have to reply to manually.

It will give pre-written replies like buttons that people can press to continue the conversation.

Or the Messenger Bot will wait for input like typing from people.

(where it will base its next answer on)

A Messenger bot can help you get more members to walk into your door.

Or help you with saving lots of time on customer service.

But most importantly..

.. build a relationship between (potential) members and your gym.

How can your gym benefit from a Messenger bot?

There are two ways a Messenger bot can make an impact.

1) Engage existing members to help them achieve their fitness goals, give the opportunity to make more purchases and get help from personal trainers

2) Get more customers into the door.

Let me show you some examples.

Book private training sessions

One thing you could use a Messenger bot for is, having members book a private session with one of the trainers. This can all be automated. You ask a few questions like “what is your goal for the training session?” or “Do you consider your fitness level to be a beginner, intermediate or advanced?”

This will allow the chatbot to search the best personal trainer for the member, and display that as you can see that in the example

Group Lessons

Another great way to use a Messenger bot is by letting members sign up for group lessons. You can display all group lessons and the time the group lessons take place.

A member can then choose a day and time, where the chatbot checks how many spots are available, then asks if the member would like to signup.

After signing up, the member will get an email with the confirmation. That member will then be added to the group list on a Google Sheet or integration of choice by your gym.

So how does a flow like that look like in the backend of the Messenger bot? Let me show you how mine looks like in the gym template I created.
Messenger bot for gyms
It may seem very complicated, but it isn’t that hard to understand once you get the hang of it. For this example, I didn’t need any coding skills, but I was still able to create an interactive way to display the group lessons available and sign members up for them.
When viewing this in Messenger it has a seeming and flawless interaction. Very appealing way for a member to look at the group lessons available, and sign up for them

Subscription Plans

You can even let members change their subscription plans right inside of Messenger. Can you imagine all the time you could save on customer support if you let a Messenger bot handle that for you?

And looking through the eyes of a member there is nothing more convenient than by using an app they already got on their phone and without the need to contact customer support for it.

How to get more subscribers and members in your Messenger bot

It is great you can create a very interactive experience for your current members, but how cool would it be if you could get more subscribers and eventually more members for your gym as well?

Well, the Messenger bot can handle that aspect for you on autopilot as well! 😃

Here is a cool example.
Someone is responding to a post on your Facebook page. And the second they do that, they will get a message from your page in Messenger. They start to interact with the Messenger bot in a conversation you set up in advance. And it doesn’t matter what time of day a person responds because the Messenger bot is always around taking care of that for you.

Another way to get more people in is by creating a special link. It is called a refURL. You can post this link anywhere you want. It could be on a Facebook page, LinkedIn post or profile, Instagram, your website, etc. The moment a person presses that link they will go to your Messenger bot who will start the interaction on your gyms behalf.

Provide customer service 24/7/365

You probably didn’t start a gym to sit hours upon hours behind your computer to answer questions, right?

A Messenger bot can also handle this for your gym 24/7/365. I already talked about it briefly but to sum a few more points up you can think of things like:

  • The FAQ (frequently asked questions) that you can add to at any time
  • Let members ask questions during any time of the day. If there is a certain word that triggers a keyword it can show an instant answer. If not the Messenger bot will relay the message to the support staff for them to review and personally reply.
  • Automatically send reminders to members who signed up for a group lesson or booked a private training session This will make sure the attendance rate is going up and will prevent you with having group lessons that are only half full because people forgot all about it.
  • Follow up with members asking them their opinions of the gym. When giving feedback it will be exported to a Google Sheet for evaluation and send to the support staff to see if the gym can be improved with the given feedback.
  • Follow up with people who expressed interest in your gym, but stopped interacting.

And these are just a few that came to mind when thinking about what you could let the Messenger bot handle for your gym. Imagine the time that is being saved when this is all taken care of automatically?

How to create a simple Messenger bot for your gym

Ok, so this is the great part! It is really a lot easier then you might think. You don’t need to be a programmer, everyone could make one. It isn’t all that hard because there are tools which make it super easy. For my gym clients, I’m using ManyChat.

ManyChat is a tool that will let you create that Messenger bot without any coding skills. It will only cost a small amount of 10$ a month. Building a bot in ManyChat looks like this;
How to build a messenger conversation
See those blocks? That’s all the conversations that you connect together. Someone clicks here and then goes there. This makes it very interactive and at the same time a subscriber is having a fun conversation with your gym. Depending on the actions they take the bot will continue the conversation in a different way.

Take a look at this example;
See how we’re asking for someone’s goal here? When they say my goal is to lose weight we know what their biggest struggle is. We can use that to hyper-personalize the conversation and make relevant offers.

As you can see that you don’t need any coding skills to build your own gym bot. Of course, you can use that to improve your bot and build in more functionality, but for a lot of use cases, this isn’t even necessary. It really is a win/win situation for both parties. You don’t have to create a separate app for your gym which will save you hundreds or thousands of dollars, and your members don’t have to download yet another app onto their phone to get the service they need.

5 tools to attract more subscribers to your Messenger Bot

Like I said earlier is that I use the software called ManyChat to build my bot as well as that of all my clients. It has a lot of tools available to reach people on multiple platforms. Later in this guide, I will talk about a few that gyms use right now to get more people inside the Messenger bot and more members walking into their doors.

Take a look at the different tools available.

1. Scannable code

It is a QR code. People can scan this code by pointing their phone camera (newest phones) or by opening any QR app and scan it that way. There is a lot of use cases for this.

Imagine someone walks by your gym, they scan a code and they get an invite from your gym to come in and join a free workout session. Maybe even invite them for a free drink at your bar to have a casual talk with one of the personal trainers.

You could have a QR code at the cashier’s desk when someone buys something from the gyms bar. With each purchase, they scan a code and they enter a loyalty system. When a member reaches a certain score you can reward them with a free shake, BOGO (buy one, get one) deal, or even offer free private training sessions to help them get to their goals faster.

Another way to use the QR code is by using it for offline events. You could add them to your flyers to hand out or you hang up at busy places near your gym, use it on your business cards or if you have a stand on a big event that promotes your gym you can use it there as well.

A great way to get people inside your Messenger bot is offering a free workshop like a “Get in Shape fast”. People can sign up by scanning the QR code and the bot will do the signup for you.

If you want to give it a try you can scan the QR code. 
Messenger bots for gyms

2. There is that refurl thing again. What is that?

This is a special link that you use to connect to a certain flow (which is considered a conversation you have with that person). That can be promotional like signing people up for a subscription (3 months free then $30/month) or a giveaway that people get after doing a certain task (like giving their email).

It is a great way to get people into your bot. You can use this in your social media posts, ads and basically everything you can think of. Certainly, the perfect way to get people inside your Messenger bot.

3. Comment tool

So with ManyChat, there is also a thing called the comment growth tool. With this tool, you can auto-reply to people who comment on your Facebook posts. If you have a very engaging post and people respond to that, you can continue the conversation in Messenger.

Soon as a person makes a comment on your post, the Messenger bot will send them a pm. When they respond to that message they will be a subscriber inside your bot.

An example of a very engaging post for your gym could be:
“We are going to create a new power shake to help you better recover after an intense workout, but we need your help. Which flavor do you like and why? Let us know in the comments and as a reward, we will give you some nifty free gear you can show off during your next workout 😉”.

The point of creating these kinds of posts is to get people engaged with your Facebook page. The more you let their opinions matter, the more loyalty you will get and that will lead to more members walking into those doors!

4. Customer chat

This is a very neat feature you can use on your website. Instead of using expensive software like intercom you can actually use Messenger as a live chat feature. If you insert a little bit of code onto your website you can have a live chat widget in the bottom right corner displayed.

The big advantage is everyone already knows the Messenger symbol and are more likely to ask your gym a question or trying to connect with you.
Soon as someone clicks the blue button the Messenger bot will begin to talk to the subscriber. You can have a conversation in Messenger on your website. No need to open the app or go to the Messenger page. It is all done right on your website.

5. website widgets

There are different website tools available which you can use to let people to opt-in to your Messenger bot.

First up you have a bar which you can display on the top of your website. Fantastic when you have an offer or a free giveaway which they can download
Another one is a smart pop-up that shows when someone tries to exits the website. You can show an offer with a Messenger button. Soon as they press that, they will become an instant subscriber in your Messenger bot.

If I take a look at how that would work for one my own website it looks like this;
Soon as a visitor tries to leave my website the window pops up. It shows an attractive offer to get early access to my gym template, as well as a 30% discount.

So they may leave my website but my goal is to get them into my Messenger bot to have a conversation with them.
Another widget which is pretty similar is the page takeover. Almost the same as the smart pop-up window, except it takes over the whole browser window. You can let it trigger when someone intends to leave the website but also after scrolling for a certain percentage. Great to grab make the visitor pay attention to your offer.

For your gym it could look something like this;
Messenger bot takeover widget website

How to engage people in your Messenger Bot

This is different for every gym of course but there are a few things you can definitely use for each gym bot.

A gym is focused on helping its members reach their fitness goals. You can be as creative as you want with this. You, for example, ask a few questions to put your subscribers into buckets. When you have the subscribers in these different buckets you will know precisely what their needs will be and how you can best help them with it.

For example, if someone’s fitness goal is to lose weight, then you could send them 2 weekly videos that will help them to reach that goal faster. Could be food tips or extra exercises that they could do at home to speed up the process. This can be given through VIP sign up at a small additional monthly fee.

Also, a good way to offer private training sessions where a personal trainer can step in and give more advice about the balance between working out and food for a small amount. An upsell could be a higher subscription plan with a few private training workouts or offer the sessions as an extra package at a reduced fee.

One thing I implemented for my gym clients is a loyalty system. Anytime a member makes a purchase or takes a certain action they will get a score added to them. When they reach a certain score (let’s say 10) the member gets a reward. Could be a free power shake, free gear or a free upgrade to a subscription plan. This is a great system to have to stimulate members to purchase more at your bar or store section.

How to turn your subscribers into new members

We live in a world where providing value comes first above all else. If you can give your subscribers real value and partially help them with their problem or goal, they will certainly be more engaged and more enticed to fully commit to your gym.

Providing value that you can automate and which won’t cost you anything can turn those subscribers into members in no time.

A great example is offering a free training session with one of the personal trainers. The subscriber can get help with their fitness goal and get a plan of attack. The personal trainer gets them excited and offers a special plan to them.

This is your chance to provide a unique experience that few gyms do at this moment.

So why do gyms benefit from a Messenger bot

Messenger Bots became increasingly popular in the last two years.

More and more businesses start seeing the impact it made on their business because Messenger marketing is a totally new way of connecting to your audience. It is more personal and you provide a 24/7/365 service.

The time of half-filled group lessons are finally over. Also, the fact you can do so much to stimulate (potential) members and help with their fitness goals all on autopilot will build that relationship with your gym. Creating that interactive experience is what will set your gym apart from the rest and they will love your gym for it.

Look.

What I’ve just told you is obviously of great value.

But I’m not gonna lie.

It takes some work to create an effective & engaging Messenger Bot for your gym.

But here’s the deal.

I’ve created an easy to install Messenger Bot for your gym.

And you know what?

It’s totally free.

Just so you can get a taste of the huge impact it could make for your gym.

Get it by smacking that button below & I’ll send it over to you in Messenger.

P.S. Don’t see the button? Be sure to check if your adblocker is turned off. It is known to hide all the good stuff 😜
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