07776 103 785 john@makesportfun.com

Anyone who’s heard me talk will have heard me explain the 4 stages of an effective activity marketing campaign. But I thought I should re-emphasise them here on the website.

These are not something that I invented, but rather something that I discovered. I have researched dozens and dozens of activity marketing campaigns. Some of them have been successful and some haven’t. One of the common themes amongst the successful campaigns was that they had four stages:

  1. Know
  2. Link
  3. Try
  4. Repeat


The Know stage is about catching someone’s attention. You can’t communicate with someone if they don’t know you exist. The normal thing to do at this point is to try and give someone too much information. Instead what is successful is to capture someone’s contact details at this point. This helps in two ways.

  • It stops people from stopping paying attention from information overload
  • It gives us the ability to communicate with them again for much less cost

The reason that this gives us the ability to communicate with them again for much less cost is because we don’t need to work nearly so hard to get their attention the next time. They’ve asked us to communicate with them, we have their permission. Therefore we don’t need to spend nearly so much time and money the next time to get their attention. And getting people’s attention is what most marketing money is spent on (just think about how much of the adverts you see on TV are really about the product, and how much are funny, attention grabbing pieces).

At this know stage nearly all our efforts (in our advert, poster, flyer, maildrop, etc.) should be put into catching someone’s attention and convincing them to sign up to receive future marketing from us. A good way to do this is to explain the benefits of the marketing to them, and to run a prize draw.


Now that we have collected people’s contact details we are able to write to, email or text the people in our area who are interested in our sport or activity to link them with the activity they most want to do. The cheapest option is email marketing, which can be done from 1p per person! But the other two options are also much, much cheaper than advertising (from 8p per person for text and from 60p per person for mail).

This list of people who are signed up to receive communication from you is known as your marketing list. And building a marketing list is one of the simplest and most effective things that you can do in your marketing. Wandsworth council is an example of an organisation which has done this really well – https://www.makesportfun.com/casestudy/keeping-older-people-active-in-wandsworth/.

The three main tactics in the link stage are:

A good place to get free activity for the content of your email marketing and direct mail is NHS Choices Live Well, whose content can be re-used by PCTs and other public sector organisations for free.


The try stage is based around a low barrier to entry opportunity for someone to try the activity for the first time (or at least the first time in a while). Common examples of these are:

  • Taster sessions
  • Come and Try It events
  • Open days

All of these are fantastic ways to give someone a fun, friendly and free way to try out your activity, club or venue.


The repeat stage is your regular activity. Most people reading this are much more accomplished at putting on regular, high-quality activities that people will enjoy than I will ever be, so I won’t say much about this. The main thing to focus on from a campaign perspective here is that people will drop out, and they’re your best market for getting back into activity.

Sometimes people drop out and won’t come back, but most people who drop out from an activity can be coaxed back in if you continue to send them updates

Facebook Ad webinar

If you’re interested in learning more about how to use Facebook Ads to engage inactive people from hard-to-reach groups then you can sign up for our free webinar. In it we’ll cover these steps in more detail and give you a step-by-step guide to setting your ads up.