We ran a digital marketing campaign for the Mid-Willamette Family YMCA in Albany, OR when they opened a new $17 million facility. The key strategy for this campaign involved driving a ripe, enthusiastic social audience to a landing page to schedule a tour of the new facility on the YMCA’s website. We then worked closely with the YMCA’s staff to measure conversion rates on the tours, and estimated the lifetime value of new membership sign-ups based on membership type and average duration. When all the dust settled, the campaign was a remarkable success with an ROI well over 1000%.
- Custom photography and videography
- Set of 8 creative visuals for Facebook posts
- Targeted Facebook ads to promote posts to community
- “Schedule a Tour” landing page
- Remarketing effort to reach initial landing page drop-offs
- Integrated digital and tangible analytics strategy
Step 1: Identify the market and build a strategy
The first part of this campaign involved a season of brainstorming and strategy to make sure we knew and understood the psychology of the target market. As the YMCA was opening near the end of the year, we built a three phase strategy that targeted three distinct energies: pre-sales, grand opening sales, and January sales, reaching the infamous but always high-performing new year’s resolution market!
As Albany, OR is a smaller town of only 50,000 people, and just about everybody is a potential new member, we knew we had a real opportunity for a far-reaching campaign without sacrificing too much focus. The fairway was wide open, and we we’re ready to tee off. Let’s do this!
Step 2: Lay the foundation
Before we got too amp’d up, we knew we had to establish a strong foundation for this campaign. As the YMCA was not set up to sell memberships online, we did the next best thing. We built a landing page where interested people could schedule a tour online to come see this beautiful facility for themselves. After a form submission, a dual strategy of automated email follow-ups and personal staff phone calls was implemented to discourage no-shows and make a warm first touch on our new prospects. Lastly, Google Analytics was set up to capture all appropriate online data to make sure we knew everything that was happening during the campaign.
Step 3: Build creative assets
We’ve been working with the YMCA for the last three years before this campaign, and had seen their Facebook following grow to over 3,000 fans (to our knowledge they had the second-biggest Facebook presence in their city). We knew we had an opportunity to engage these fans, and we knew they were expecting something great. As the saying goes, there’s no substitute for great content, so a key part of this campaign was shooting our own photos and videos celebrating the new facility in all of its glory. These assets, along with a variety of other creative graphic design, established a very powerful launchpad for this campaign.
Step 4: Produce high-converting ads
So far, we’ve built a sound strategy, laid a solid foundation, and created visually-inspiring media to present to a hungry social audience. It’s a good start, but it would fall apart if we didn’t guide eager eyes with clear, simple calls to action. The ads were targeted to an appropriate local audience an focused on concise, enthusiastic messaging with an occasional playful spirit to reflect the attitude and culture of a small town YMCA.
Our audience was directed to the Schedule a Tour landing page, where they could easily set a time to see the new facility. As mentioned above, we enacted strong follow up strategies with both staff phone calls and automated email confirmations to ensure the leap from digital to real-world results were as seamless as possible, especially with many tours being scheduled on mobile devices. The end result was incredible, with 660 tours being scheduled through just $1,050 in Facebook ad & retargeting spends!
Step 5: Collaborate with YMCA leadership
This part of the campaign was a lot of fun, but also a bit challenging. It’s always a little scary when you’re a marketing company that takes data very seriously, and you find yourselves having to hand off the baton to your client….especially when that client is very busy with, you know, opening a state-of-the-art, $17m facility. The YMCA team did a fantastic job, though, and we can’t thank them enough for modifying their existing systems to make sure we did this campaign in a way where we could measure its success in a tangible way. Additionally, the YMCA now has a strong understanding of techniques to use when engaging future marketing efforts.
Step 6: Crunch the numbers!
The final step of this process was gathering and analyzing all the data. We had the systems in place ahead of time to collect what we needed, which made our analysis and review a lot of fun! Overall, we drove 667 scheduled tours and converted 51% of those that showed up into new memberships. Based on statistical averages of membership lifetime value from 2009-2015 (that we researched for the YMCA), the campaign delivered an estimated ROI of 1,250% over the next six years!