Nuts & Bolts - Case Study: Iron Tribe Fitness Automates Success

Like the arc of a kettlebell swing, Internet prospects were once at the bottom of the lead bucket for Iron Tribe Fitness. This year, that channel managed to swing to the top for the Birmingham, Ala.-based business.

In February 2010, when its first gym opened, prospects used to call or walk in the front door in order to become members, says Jim Cavale, Iron Tribe’s vice president of operations. “We never expected it to be literally flipped around in an opposite manner.”

Cavale and Forrest Walden, Iron Tribe’s founder and CEO, credit much of the change—and the increase in leads and customer retention—to their use of marketing automation software. Specifically, in May 2011, Iron Tribe started using software from Gilbert, Ariz.-based Infusionsoft.

“The process interprets what we do, even if it’s offline,” Walden says.

For instance, every bit of marketing to prospects—including radio, television, billboards, print ads and direct mail—routes them to they’ll find education about fitness and the gym, as well as a form asking, “Want to know more?” that requests the visitor’s first and last name and email address. Prospects also can call a phone number on the site to set up a consultation at the gym, but Cavale says they’re opting for the form instead.

“We’ve had 940 people fill out forms this year, so far,” says Cavale. “And out of those 940, 497 have sat down for a consultation. And out of those 497, 490 have signed a [membership] contract.”

After filling out this first Web form, prospects can fill out a second form requesting a 40-page report about Iron Tribe be mailed to them, along with a thumb drive of an informational video ( Or they can wait for more information to come through what Cavale calls “an 11-step email follow-up sequence.”

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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