07776 103 785 john@makesportfun.com

No matter what sport or activity you are running, we all have something in common…

We all need a PROVEN marketing system that repeatedly generates leads and participants.

Funnily enough, that’s exactly what my team at Make Sport Fun designed for our clients who work in physical activity.

It’s a 2-step process and in the case study we’re sharing today, you’ll see how we used it to generate over a 1000 leads…

….in 70 days.

In this post, you’ll get the…

• Strategy

• Setup

• Ads

• Results

• Follow-up

… so you can put it to work immediately.

That’s really the best part – even though, as an agency, Make Sport Fun caters to public sector clients (and have applied this strategy to over 100 of them) the fact is this system can be applied by ANY physical activity provider not just public sector but also gyms, personal trainers, fitness studios and so on.

After years of testing (with plenty of trial and error), this 2-step process has proven time and time again that it’ll just plain work to connect with your target audience!

We’ll start with the results and then explain how you can use this method in the work you do.

The Results: 1115 leads in 70 days

Within the first 7 days of launching we generated 81 leads.

We define a “lead” as someone (in the campaign’s target demographic) who fills out a form with their…

• first name

• last name

• email

…indicating that they want to get more details about walking opportunities in Hounslow.

As the campaign continued, in 70 days…

• Those 81 leads turned into 1115

• The CPL (cost per lead) was £1.79

Of those 1115 leads, 14% of people downloaded the Active 10 app. The average conversion rate on app store in the Health and Fitness category is 18.5%.

These 1115 people were solely from the marketing campaign – this doesn’t include referrals those leads provided.

Here’s what Chris Norfield, Public Health Behaviour Change Strategist had to say about the campaign:

“The Active 10 campaign is an important element of our approach to tackling inactivity. It’s about making it easy for Hounslow residents to take the first steps to becoming more active. The Facebook campaign enabled us to reach hundreds of residents within our target group and motivated them to sign up.
The Make Sport Fun team created a range of targeted ads and continually tested and optimised them throughout the campaign. These were then linked with a bespoke series of emails designed to motivate and support people to access local walking opportunities.
This approach is helping us reach many more people than we could through traditional campaigns and providing them with a more personalised experience. Over the past few years we’ve tried many different approaches to marketing physical activity programmes and its clear to me that targeted Facebook advertising currently gives us the best return on investment.”

Now, let’s take a look at how this was done…

How to Deploy the 2-step process


Hounslow Council wanted to raise awareness of the local parks, walking routes and groups among the residents and get them walking, at least 10 minutes a day. To help with that they offered everyone more information about the walking opportunities in the borough. That offer became the base of the marketing campaign. They also had a bonus offer, but more about that later on.

So what where the components of this 2-step process?

Facebook Lead Ads

Lead ads Form


Follow up

“This is now the #1 lead generation strategy for the campaigns we run for our clients”

After working with hundreds of local authorities, charities, CSPs and private fitness sector this strategy has been tested, changed, and optimised so that it’s now the #1 lead generation tool for our clients. And it all starts with Facebook… let’s dive in.

Step 1 of 2-step process

Facebook ads

So, let’s start with the Facebook ad.
Single image ads advertised the offer to the target demographic: men and women aged 35 years and older living in Hounslow.
Here’s what one of the 24 ads we created looked like:

We created 7 ad sets based on the offer and the target audience:

  • Active travel – one age group
  • Walking routes for men and women – three age groups
  • Walking groups for men and women – two age groups

In each ad set we had between 2 and 4 ads using different copy and image appropriate for each target audience.

We spent £2,000 on these ads in the past 70 days and it generated 1115 leads.

But let’s break that down further, shall we?

This Facebook ad worked really well for several reasons:

  1. It directly grabbed the attention of men and women living in Hounslow by calling out to the audience: “Get walking in Hounslow.”
  2. It explained exactly what to expect from the campaign.
  3. The image showcased the offer and other people taking part.
  4. The copy made it really clear that the offer was free walking opportunities in the borough.

After people saw the Facebook ad and clicked on it, they were then taken to a customized lead ad form, which we detail in the next section.

Lead ad form


The form had one purpose and one purpose only – to get people signed up for the offer.

There were no other distractions, they didn’t have to leave Facebook to sign up and when they clicked on the sign-up button and were taken to the form their details were already pre-filled by Facebook. The only thing they had to do was to check that the details were correct and click ‘Submit’.

Here’s what the form looked like:

So, let’s break down all of the things that happen after someone filled in this form (and how this process saves so much time through automation).

Step 2 of 2-step process


In order for the campaign to run full force and at its most efficient level… we automate pretty much everything.

That includes the automated email responders after someone opts in to receive the information.

So, basically, whenever someone opts in, two things happen:

1. The lead gets a confirmation email with the details about one of the offers they signed up for (walking routes and parks information, walking groups information, active travel information) and a link to download the free Active 10 app. That’s the bonus offer we mentioned to you earlier.
2. They get placed into one of the three 10-part autoresponder series (we’ll tell you what’s in the autoresponder later on).

Here’s what’s so great about having this process automated:

• The lead’s request is immediately confirmed via email, no matter the time of day, so they know everything went through.
• Nothing falls through the cracks. When you use tools like Zapier, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor etc., you’re able to make sure everyone who opts in is responded to.
• It saves time. The more systems that you automate, the more you allow yourself to focus on other areas of your work.

Confirmation Email

No matter what time someone filled out the lead ad form (whether at 1 AM or 3 PM), we wanted them to get a confirmation letting them know that they have registered successfully.
That’s where the email autoresponder came in.
Here’s what people immediately received when they opted in to one of the offers:

There are several reasons this email worked:

1. It delivered the information they wanted immediately after they signed up
2. It used language based on behaviour change techniques.
3. It included a bonus offer – a free Active 10 app for them to track their activity.

After that initial email, a series of other automated emails were sent on Day 2, Day 3, Day 7 and up to 6-month period.

Here’s what the email topics were:

• Sign up survey
• 8 reasons why walking is great
• How much activity is right for you?
• Tips on how to get started with becoming more active
• Get active with a friend
• How to build activity into your daily life
• How to stay motivated
• How to continue to stay active
• If life gets in the way
• 6 month survey

These emails ensured that One You Hounslow stayed in touch with the people who expressed an interest in walking. These emails were written using the stages of change model. So if someone didn’t get active to start with they were encouraged to do so throughout the email follow up.

The Linchpin of someone turning from lead to a customer

Follow up

Once someone fills out the lead ads form, they’re instantly considered a lead and the follow up process begins.

The automated email campaign helps with this as we stay in front of the lead.

There’s also a good chance that the longer you wait to email someone the more they lose interest and potentially forget that they opted in to your offer in the first place.

Provide value

Everything you’ve done comes down to this: the follow-up and providing Value to your lead.

“If you don’t provide value IMMEDIATELY there’s no reason for your lead to convert into a customer”

And that is the 2-stage process!

(NOTE: Want to learn more on how to craft your offer, how to choose your target audience, how to write a great ad and drive quality traffic from Facebook and build a guaranteed system for acquiring customers, then sign up for our free online workshop on How to engage inactive people.)