Inside the Sales Process #1: Orangetheory

Today we’re going to be evaluating the sales process of a fitness studio that has been described as one of the world’s fastest growing franchises.
With over 1,000 locations in the US and a plan to have 40 locations in the UK by 2028, their heart rate based interval training is designed to keep you burning calories for up to 36 hours after your workout and earning as many ‘Splat Points’ as possible. Don’t worry, more on that later.
We’ll be taking an in depth look at:
  • Their first-time customer offer
  • Their first time customer sign up process
  • Their class welcome and experience
  • Their post-class aftercare
And in true Gravity 7 style we’ll be offering actionable advice and posing thought provoking questions every step of the way.
Let’s start off by taking a look at their first-time customer offer.
‘Try a one-hour Orangetheory workout for free’
This is what we call the irresistible offer.
And if you’re running Facebook or Instagram ads this offer will often be your first point of contact with a potential customer, hence its importance.
So just how irresistible is Orangetheory's one-hour free session?
Well the free part of it is great.
People of London turn into vultures as soon as there’s a freebie in sight and let’s be honest, boutique fitness isn’t cheap.
However, the part of the offer that we could challenge is the timeframe.
Because there has been some research to suggest that the longer the new customer offer is, the more likely they are to convert to a full paying customer.
To use everyones favourite music streaming platform as an example, Spotify ran a new customer offer of 3 months for 99p per month. The logic being that over that 3 months you build up a relationship with the brand and they become a part of your life that you can’t bring yourself to cut off.
So while a one-hour free workout may get lots of new trial customers through the doors, it may not convert them into paying customers due to the minimal relationship with the brand.
Depending on what’s realistic in terms of costings, a more effective new customer offer could be 1 week of unlimited sessions or a half price month long membership.
Gravity Question: Does your irresistible offer last long enough for first-time customers to form a strong attachment to your brand?
Now let’s delve further into the sales process and take a look at the first-time offer sign up process.
We’ll start off with the good.
The landing page design is clean and minimal and the form doesn’t look to gather unnecessary information (something that fitness boutiques are usually criminal for).
However, upon submitting our details we were met with a message stating that they didn’t offer free sessions at our desired location of Aldgate, London.
After some rooting around we found a sub page on the website for the Aldgate, London location that was offering a free one-hour session, albeit on a slightly less attractive page.
Multiple forms and conflicting messages for the same offer is confusing.
Especially when most visitors looking to try out Orangetheory will find themselves landing on the US centric website home page first.
This could be losing Orangetheory hundreds of new UK customers every single day!
The digital marketers in us went sniffing out another form, however many visitors would probably have given up after the first form rejection.
Gravity Question: If your Fitness Boutique is expanding overseas should you have a separate website to help streamline your sales process?
Once we had submitted our details on the correct page we waited for some form of automated confirmation email.
But it did not come.
In fact we didn’t receive an email at all and eventually had to call in to book our free session.
Research carried out by Salesforce states that 41% of consumers expect to get an email back from a brand in 6 hours, let alone not at all.
This is another kink in the Orangetheory sales process that could be costing them new customers every single day.
As soon as a new customer has entered their details they should be sent a personalised, engaging thank you email asking them to select what date and time they would like their session to be.
Or, even better, have a two-step form on the site that once they’ve submitted their details then takes them straight through to a session book-in form. That way they get an email simply confirming their session, rather than an email asking for further action.
Next up was the fun part, the workout.
And Orangetheory scored big points with their welcome.
By using someones name you make them feel wanted.
It provides validation for their existence and affirms their worth.
“A person’s name is the sweetest sound in any language.” — Dale Carnegie.
And while personalisation is somewhat of a buzzword in the marketing world, it’s effectiveness cannot be disputed.
One Class Pass customer we spoke to stated that she went back to the same class because she liked the fact that the instructor used her name a lot.
So it’s important that you’ve got an omnichannel personalisation strategy in place that goes way beyond first name tags in your email marketing.
The personalised experience didn’t stop there either.
Once we were strapped up to our heart rate monitors the Orangetheory instructor took the time to greet us all individually and explain the format of the class in a relaxed manner, reassuring us not to worry if we get confused at any point.
The format of an Orangetheory class is as follows:
Backed by the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, Orange Theory’s heart rate monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone (the Orange Zone) that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.
For each minute you spend in the Orange Zone, you receive a ‘Splat Point’.
And you can monitor your progress throughout the entire workout on big screens in the studio with your names on.
This gamification style of workout not only pushes you to work harder in the class, but it creates an addictive feedback loop that encourages you to return for future classes.
With a workout like this we would expect the retention levels and lifetime value of their customers to be significantly higher than other fitness boutiques.
Because each week you’re seeing a visual improvement of your fitness in the form of data. You’re not stood in front of the mirror trying to work out if you look better than the previous month, you’re seeing the numbers, and that’s powerful.
Gravity Question: What is your fitness boutique doing to encourage your customers come back week after week? Are you offering an isolated workout or are you taking them on a journey of self improvement?
As soon as we had finished the class we were sent an email with our results from the session.
The empty columns of ‘last week’ and ‘last month’ are a gentle nudge to come for a second session so that we can start accumulating more data to paint a better picture of our health and progress.
Never before have we had so much visibility and feedback from a workout.
Since that initial email we’ve only received one email from them saying that they were looking forward to welcoming us back in the space of over a week.
Regular contact with new trial customers is vital if you’re going to convert them into paying customers.
The perfect format of a follow up email would include:
  • Personal complimentary feedback about the session
  • A goal for the next session
  • A special offer for their next session/block of sessions/first month’s membership
Here is an example follow up email that we would use for Orangetheory to try and improve new customer conversion rates:
Hey Josh,

Thanks for trying out Orange Theory this morning! I was super impressed by your work rate, you absolutely killed those sprints!

I just wanted to drop you a quick email and ask you about your goals as I noticed on your form that you’re looking to improve your health.

How long as this been a goal of yours and what’s the reason for this goal?

Look forward to hearing from you.

All the best,

Head Instructor
Simple but effective.
It’s personable, it’s relaxed and the best part? You haven’t tried to sell them anything.
This will be a breath of fresh air to them.
They will be accustomed to being pitched as soon as they complete a trial session.
Of course you’re still going to send them an email with a joining offer, but this first email shows that you care about their goals and will also allow you to segment your audience into ‘engaged’ and ‘not engaged’ based on if they respond.
This way you can send the engaged contacts a tailored joining offer that’s specific to their goals.
The more you know about your customers, the easier you’ll find it to convert them and the better service you’ll be able to deliver.
Now that we’ve come to the end of our sales process analysis here’s our 5 Step Action Plan to help improve new customer acquisition.

STEP 1: Tweak the Offer

While a one-hour free workout is a very attractive offer that may get plenty of people through the door, it doesn’t allow new customers very long to form an attachment to the brand.
The beauty of Orangetheory workouts are the fact that you can monitor your progress in the form of data that’s delivered fresh to your inbox after every session.
If new members were offered a free week of sessions during which they watched their progress and saw how many calories they burned, they may be far more likely to convert to a full paying regular member.
Naturally we appreciate that the offer depends on how much you’re willing to pay to acquire a new customer and one week may not be feasible, but you can still apply the logic of what we’re saying to whatever works with your budget.

STEP 2: Promote the Offer With Facebook Ads

The Orangetheory workout is powerful and extremely visual.
You sweat loads, you achieve ‘Splat Points’ and you get in the Orange Zone as much as you can. All of this would make for extremely powerful video ads.
A cool concept for the video would be lots of members being asked ‘How long did you spend in the Orange Zone’. Not only would this demonstrate how hard people had been working out but it would evoke curiosity in those viewing the ad.
So for the ad creative we would lead with something such as:
Ladies of London! How long do you think you could spend in the Orange Zone?

We’re looking for fitness fanatics to try out our revolutionary heart-rate based interval training workouts that keep you burning calories up to 36 hours after your session!

For a limited time only we’re offering out passes for an entire week of free sessions.

This offer will be served on a first come first basis so click ‘learn more’ to claim your spot!
Then off the top of our head the sort of targeting options we would go for with the ads would be:
  • Female only (the boutique fitness market is 83% female)
  • Aged 25–35
  • Interests including — physical fitness, nutrition, gyms, wellness
  • Within a 3 mile radius

STEP 3: Create a UK Site or Optimise Your Form

If Orangetheory are planning on expanding to 40 sites in the UK by 2028 then they may need to create a UK site to handle sales enquiries.
At the moment all search enquiries take UK visitors to the US centric website and the form on the home page isn’t currently handling enquiries for free sessions at either of the UK locations.
Either that or they need to optimise the form so that any enquiries about UK locations are accepted and forwarded on to those locations to follow up on.
Whatever the solution is it needs to be implemented ASAP!

STEP 4: Create Automated Confirmation Emails

This one is an absolute no brainer.
As soon as a new customer registers their details they should get pinged an email straight away confirming their submission and telling them exactly what happens next.
This follow up email should always only contain one CTA (call to action).
And don’t overload them with information.
The most effective emails are short, straightforward and impossible to misunderstand.
Think about how desensitised people have become to emails in this day and age.
Something like:
Hey Josh,

Thanks so much for registering for a free week of sessions!

I’m really looking forward to training with you and showing you what the Orangetheory workout is all about.

| Book in your first session here |

See you in the Orange Zone soon!

Head Instructor
Note: Emails will also feel more personal if they’re signed off from the instructor rather than a member of the sales or marketing team.
Whatever you do don’t sign it off from ‘Support’!

STEP 5: Create a Post-Workout Drip Email Automation

Drip marketing is all about delivering the right content at the right time.
And if your trial customers are going to be burning calories for up to 36 hours after their session then you’ve got a prime window of opportunity to market to them when they’re feeling great!
We would suggest a drip automation of 3 emails:
Email 1: Thanks for coming — goal for next time — discount offer
Wait 48 hours
Email 2: Reminder about the discount offer — Urgency
Wait 48 hours
Email 3: Final call for discount offer
Any more than that and you may get a reputation as being spammy which is not a good look.
There’s a fine line between eager and desperate.
Right, we’ve come to the end of our first Sales Process exploration, we hope you found it useful.