[Case Study] How Precision Nutrition Grew to a 10 Million Dollar a Year Company

How Precision Nutrition Grew to a 10 Million Dollar Company

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Precision Nutrition has achieved tremendous growth over the last couple of years.

In 2014, Precision Nutrition increased revenues of over 50% to over 10 million a year.

Since 1999, they have trained over 35,000 men and women and almost 25,000 fit pros have gone through their certification program. 

They have also gone through a lot of different iterations.

But at their core, they believe that anyone can have good health with proper coaching.

This ideology has helped to spur them to great heights.

In the 90s, John Bernardi was training clients, but he wasn’t satisfied with the results he was getting them.

He realized the importance of nutrition in fitness.

Therefore, he went back to school and earned his PhD. in nutritional biochemistry.

Precision Nutrition was founded by Dr. John Bernadi and Phil Caravaggio in 1999 with a simple website.

This website was called Science Link. 

In 2006, they started their first online coaching program.

Each year they’ve gathered data and made changes to their program – Their results speak for themselves.

Now they take a more behavioral and psychological approach to training and nutrition.

They are a lot of great nutritional companies similar to Precision Nutrition but what separates them are these six business strategies. 

I believe that if you study and model your business after the best you’ll have a much better understanding of what it takes to be successful.

In this post, I’ll outline how Precision Nutrition used these 6 business strategies to grow.

Specifically how they grew from a 2 person company with no revenue to a 10 million dollar company with over 60 employees.

Strategy #1 Email Marketing and Segmentation

Email marketing has the highest ROI of any online marketing strategy.

According to Litmus, email marketing has better ROI than search marketing and paid per click marketing.

It also has much higher conversion rates.

Precision Nutrition learned early the power of a list.

After only two years, they already had over 35,000 subscribers on their list.

Today they have over 100,000 subscribers. 

Every time they have a product launch they use their email list to sell.

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Want to understand how a fitness/nutrition company can do email marketing well?

I suggest you opt in onto their email list and study their emails.

When you visit their homepage the first thing you’ll notice is that they segment their lists into 3 different categories:

  • Female clients.
  • Male clients.
  • Fitness professionals looking to get certified.

precision nutrition

This automatically segments their audience and assures people that they only receive emails that are designed for them.

MailChimp found that when you segment your email list you can get up to a 73.8% higher click-through and 22.56% lower unsubscribes.

You can see how important segmenting your email list is.

This can lead you to create much more targeted messages that will improve your conversion rates.

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When you click on one of the links you are taken to a landing page where they put you on a “waiting list”.

This gives you a 20% discount.

This is a great call to action example which you can use when you are coaching clients.

For example, if you are opening a transformation contest you can promote your contest by putting them on a waiting list that gives them a discount.

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Once you’ve opted in their waiting list you’ll start receiving lots of emails over the next few weeks.

You’ll find that they educate, inform, and entertain you.

And, when the program opens, they go for the kill and provide several call to actions.

This is done to make you sign up for their program:

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Another example of a company that used email segmentation to their advantage was SwayChic.

SwayChic used email segmentation to send more personalized emails and achieved the following results:

  • Increased average open rate by 40%.
  • Doubled average click-through.
  • Tripled revenue for each campaign.

An easy way to segment and personalize your email campaigns? 

If you have a long list and you train men and women then simply send them a quick survey with basic questions.

Once you’ve segmented your email list you can start sending more personalized emails.

These emails should be the ones that educates and entertains them too.

The best strategy for email marketing is infotainment with call to actions to sell your programs. 

You don’t need this to be complicated.

If you own a gym, then you can start by segmenting your audience by sex or by experience level.

For example, Crossfit Faction in Tennessee has a simple squeeze page that segments their audience from beginner to experienced as well as by gender:

pn 7Strategy #2 Content Marketing

Precision Nutrition’s website receives on average about 500,000 monthly visitors.

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Most of their traffic is organic and comes from search and direct:

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How do they get all this traffic?

Well, besides being a known name in the fitness industry, the biggest reason is content marketing.

They’re actually one of the best nutrition companies that are doing content marketing.

In fact, I would guess that most of their leads and sales comes from content marketing.

What type of content performs best for Precision Nutrition?

Infographics.

Let’s look at which blog posts have been shared the most.

If you go to Buzzsumo and search for Precision Nutrition’s most shared posts you get the following:
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Take a look at these three posts:

What do you notice?

Besides being very detailed they have all these characteristics:

  • They use stats to back up claims.
  • Very visual.
  • Include all to actions at the end of the posts – that is used to build their email lists.

You can model your strategy after Precision Nutrition.

All these characteristics are proven to drive traffic.

You can do this yourself or you can hire a content marketer for your site.

If you do this yourself you can also use Andy Morgan’s site as an example.

If you want to hire a writer for your site you can go to Pro Blogger Jobs board and post a job there.

Warning…

These jobs can get quite expensive.

So unless you are willing to invest a substantial amount upfront, I wouldn’t recommend it.

It can take up to 12 months of consistent blogging to start seeing results.

Strategy #3 Customers Always Come First

customer always first

“To be an island of sanity and reason in an ocean of fitness insanity and faddism. To facilitate real and meaningful change in the lives of every person we touch.” -John Bernardi

One of the hallmarks of most great companies is that they always put the customer first.

According to Marketo, your customer is king and you should treat them royally.

John Bernardi was not happy with the results he was getting with his clients. 

He realized he was focusing on the wrong things and soon learned how important nutrition was to fitness.

He changed his approach because he wanted to better serve his clients.

One of the unique ways they stand out is their behavioral approach to nutrition.

They understand that behavior and habits are more important than actual outcomes.

Take a look at their results page for men and women.

They make sure they reward their best clients by highlighting their wins and by giving out cash prizes.

They have given over 1 million dollars in cash rewards! 

This creates a huge amount of goodwill and an awesome community of support.

You can do the same in your gym – Hold transformation contests and give out cash prizes to the winner.

Here are 4 Strategies you can use that put your customer first.

1 – Always Learn to Listen First.

One of the most important parts of any business is that they learn to listen to their customers needs.

2 – Define Your Niche.

You can’t serve everybody. So define your niche.

This will mean that you will be more attuned to listen to your client’s needs.

If you only serve men, then you will learn to better serve them over time because you keep seeing the same problems.

Repetition breeds familiarity.

3 – Answer Your Customers’ Questions Quickly. 

Nobody likes waiting a long time for an answer.

People are impatient.

By answering all your customers questions quickly, you show that you actually care about them.

One of the biggest reasons why customers leave the incumbent is because the incumbent didn’t show that they cared anymore.

4 – Send Postcards to Your Current Customers.

This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to show your current customers some love.

Not many people receive direct mail anymore but by sending one direct piece you will immediately stand out.

The postcard can be a simple thank you card for being a loyal customer.

Strategy #4

Good healthGood health and a thriving body are the birthright of every single person on this planet.

This is their core belief.

Precision Nutrition believes that fitness and a good nutritional plan will lead to a happier and healthier life.

Most fitness pros got in the industry to impact the lives of others through fitness.

They’re passionate about sharing their love for fitness.

Unfortunately, this can lead them to neglect the business side… Which is actually more important.

If you don’t like working with people then you are in the wrong industry. 

Precision Nutrition recognizes that they are in the people industry.

Their marketing doesn’t “target” people, instead they seek to build relationships with real people.

They believe that people can change with the right coaching and the right plan.

This is why they always seek to educate their audience through different types of content.

Strategy #5 Research First

Precision Nutrition ResearchSince its inception, Precision Nutrition has been a company that has relied on scientific data to back up it’s claims.

All of Precision Nutrition’s products and coaching are backed by research.

They’ve shown that they are a company that will change its approach according to new research.

For example, recently they’ve done research into soy, the controversy surrounding it and whether or not it’s beneficial. 

They delve into the history of it as well as the benefits and negatives by posting questions like “Doesn’t soy decrease testosterone?” 

And this is just one of the many examples that they have to help them recognize whether or not they should make a product out of something – In this case it was soy and they essentially conclude that it’s not hugely beneficial.

Strategy # 6 Holacracy

“Holacracy has helped me to personally transform as well as making positive changes for the company as a whole.

Probably the best decision I ever made was to step back and seek some help rather than trying to do everything heroically and always be the decider, the leader, and the center of attention.”- Phil Caravaggio

Precision Nutrition is one of the first if not the first fitness company that has adopted Holacracy.

What is Holacracy?

Wikipedia defines it as the following:

“Holacracy is a social technology or system of organizational governance in which authority and decision-making are distributed throughout a holacracy of self-organizing teams rather than being vested in a management hierarchy” 

Holacracy has made them agile even with the spectacular growth of the company the last few years.

Even though their founders are very successful in the fitness industry they are always seeking and challenging themselves to learn.

The founders understand that they don’t know everything and seek the advice of those that have been there before.

Conclusion

You can see why a company like Precision Nutrition stands out in the fitness industry.

They’ve used these 6 different strategies to achieve spectacular results.

The biggest takeaway of this case study is that they have provided useful content through the following things:

  • Blog posts.
  • Infographics.
  • Videos.
  • Audio seminars.

The audience loves these things and this content can be used to build up the email list.

What strategies have you used to grow your fitness business?

Let me know in the comments below.

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