Despite the availability of shiny new channels of communication, email marketing continues to play an essential role in engaging your customer base. With the right campaign strategy, you can drive traffic to your website, generate leads, and increase sales.
However, creating a thriving email campaign can be a daunting task, especially if you're new to the world of email marketing. The key to success in the fitness industry is turning data into personalized experiences for your current and prospective members.
In this article, we will provide you with tips and strategies on how to create the perfect fitness email campaign that engages your audience, converts them into loyal customers, and fuels growth for your business.
Why is Email Marketing Important for Fitness Businesses?
Email marketing is a vital component of a successful digital marketing strategy for any business of all sizes. The fitness industry is no different.
The aim of fitness email marketing campaigns is to build and nurture strong customer relationships. This makes a lot of sense from the business standpoint because as statistics show it costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one!
Email marketing allows you to send personalized, targeted messages to your subscribers, which can result in higher open rates and click-through rates than other forms of digital marketing. It can also be used to promote new products or services, drive traffic to a website, and keep customers informed about company news and updates.
While many people think of social media as the go-to strategy for any fitness business, implementing email marketing can be a true game-changer. That is because platforms such as Instagram or Facebook regularly modify their algorithms, which as a result can negatively impact your organic reach. With email marketing, you have full control over your messages, which go straight into people's inboxes. This allows you to engage with your audience on a more personal level and ensures that your content is seen by those who are most interested in your offerings
Is Email Marketing More Difficult for Fitness Brands than for Other Industries?
No! In fact, according to Mailchimp, with an average open rate of 21.48% and an average click rate of 2.69%, fitness brands can expect to achieve similar results as other businesses.
However, it's important to note that success in this field depends on various factors – the quality of content, the frequency of emails, the segmentation of the subscriber list, etc. By delivering relevant and valuable messages to the right audience at the right time, you can optimize your email campaigns for maximum engagement and conversions.
How to Implement an Email Marketing Strategy for Fitness Businesses? The 6-Step Formula
If you're looking for ideas on how to implement an effective email marketing strategy for your fitness business, you need to remember the basics. Foremost, it's important to ensure that your messages are targeted, purposeful, and effective. With the right approach, email marketing can be a powerful tool for engaging your audience and driving business growth.
To help you get started, we've developed a 6-step formula for creating a successful email marketing strategy. Ready? Let’s go!
Step #1: Map Your Member Journey
Before starting your email marketing campaign, it's necessary for you to understand exactly your member's journey.
Consider how they engage with your fitness business – from the moment they start thinking about becoming more active, to searching for gyms in the area, taking a tour of your facility, and finally becoming a loyal customer. Map out each touchpoint and interaction they have with your brand to identify opportunities for email communication. As this might be a complex task, there are tools like UXPresssia which can help simplify the process.
Your email marketing strategy should cater to all stages of the journey: from awareness, through consideration, purchase, and retention. However, as churn is a significant challenge in the fitness industry, onboarding, and retention emails should be a top priority for gym and fitness studio owners.
Step #2: Set Your Goals
The next step is identifying the specific business goals you want to achieve with your email marketing campaign.
Have you noticed that you are not getting as many new members from referrals as you wish? Are your most active clients coming in less frequently? Perhaps you're struggling to retain customers, but don't understand why they're leaving.
The good thing about email marketing campaigns is that you can design them to work towards your specific business goals, no matter if they aim to increase website traffic, generate leads, promote new services or anything else.
For example, your fitness email campaign can be focused on the following:
- Increasing client Lifetime Value (LTV)
- Nurturing your target audience to make the first purchase (Conversion Rate)
- Lowering your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) by gaining new clients with a referral marketing strategy
- Engaging various audience segments to come in more frequently
- Turning disengaged customers into loyal customers (Net Promoter Score)
- …and any other goals you want to work on.
Step #3: Select the Email Marketing Platform
Running an effective email campaign is impossible without the right platform. A proper tool will help you manage, automate, and analyse your actions. Manually copying, personalizing, and sending a large volume of emails can be a daunting task, without a doubt. It becomes even more challenging to track and measure their impact, such as determining who opened the email, who clicked on the link, and so on. That is why you need a proper software to do it all for you.
According to HubSpot research, the most effective email marketing strategies are based on:
- Audience segmentation (78%)
- Personalisation (72%)
- Automation (71%)
When selecting email marketing software, consider factors such as ease of use, automation capabilities, list management features, and analytics reporting. You can use common tools like Mailchimp and GetResponse or choose all-encompassing Perfect Gym management software that comes with email marketing capabilities, segmentation features, email templates, opt-in form builders, automation rule managers, and more.
Step #4: Master Lead Generation to Build Your List
To run a successful fitness email marketing campaign, you need a solid base of contacts. On top of your existing members, you definitely require a new list of addresses you can communicate with. While building an organic email list can be a heavy lift, experimenting with PPC ads targeting local search queries may prove to be a good idea.
“A small list that wants exactly what you’re offering is better than a bigger list that isn’t committed.” – says Ramsay Leimenstoll
Are you wondering how to turn your website visitors into leads? Well, the best way is by offering them compelling lead magnets. It is a free service, item, or resource that is given away in exchange for someone's contact details. In the fitness industry, common lead magnets include:
- Free passes, demo day, or free class access
- Complimentary session with one of your personal trainers
- Educational content such as ebooks or webinars, typically displayed behind a form on a landing page
Once you have designed your lead magnet, place it on your website and use various tactics to drive traffic to the form, such as pop-ups, social media campaigns, and long-term organic traffic.
Remember to never email people without their consent, as it can harm your brand and lead to legal issues!
Step #5: Leverage Data to Know the Ins and Outs of Your Audience
To truly understand your audience and improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns, leveraging data is essential. One powerful tool for doing so is machine learning, a branch of AI that involves using data and algorithms to mimic human understanding and gradually enhance accuracy. Doesn’t it sound to be highly beneficial in regard to your marketing efforts?
Perfect Gym management system is equipped with a Business Intelligence module using machine learning. Due to this, it is capable of automating all member interactions, including emails. As recipients of your email marketing campaigns carry out certain actions, your system can continue gathering data that you can later use to improve future campaign performance.
This data comes from all member interactions such as attendance frequency, class type, or goals, which can be used to create audience segments. The self-learning machine learning algorithms will improve over time as they analyse more data and compare it to historical results, leading to even better outcomes.
Step #6: Never Stop Optimizing
To achieve better and better results, you need to remember about continuous optimisation of your fitness email campaign. How to do this?
One way is using A/B testing. Create two different versions of your email with slight variations and see which of these performs better with your audience. By changing elements such as subject lines, content, images, and call-to-action you will be able to check which are opened more often and better convert.
It is also important to keep track of your email Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as open rate, click-through rate, bounce, and unsubscribe rate. By analysing this data, you can identify trends and patterns and help you adjust your email campaign strategy and improve your results over time.
With the help of self-learning algorithms, you can make tweaks as necessary to increase your future campaign performance. If you see something that doesn't work for your fitness business – let it go.
A word of warning: sending messages too frequently or making your promotional emails too pushy could affect your spam score as well as overwhelm your customers. Finding the right balance is key.
What Types of Emails You Can Send to Your Target Audience?
When it comes to sending emails to your target audience, it's important to consider the different stages of their member journey. There are, however, some common features that are desirable for all messages, regardless of their type.
Remember that the average customer only spends 10 seconds reading brand emails, so your every fitness email should:
- Have an attention-grabbing headline
- Be easy to read (scanning and skimming friendly)
- Use high-quality visuals, including video marketing assets
- Drive action with a clear CTA
- Be optimised for all mobile devices
With Perfect Gym, you can send Automated Smart Campaigns for any situation – including payment reminders, motivational emails, vouchers, promotional content, and newsletters. Let’s find out more about the types of fitness emails!
A welcome email is without doubt the most important component of a fitness email marketing strategy. After all, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
The perfect welcome emails should reassure members joining your studio that they've made the right choice, as well as show that you care about their experience. It's also the perfect place to send surprise discount codes for the first training sessions with one of your personal coaches.
A successful digital marketing strategy for gym owners isn't complete without the newsletter. Newsletters are sent to consistently deliver value through useful fitness tips, member spotlights, group training recommendations, fitness challenge invitations, and other valuable content formats. By providing valuable content to your audience, you can build trust and keep your gym top of mind.
Follow-up emails bring the focus back to an action that hasn't been completed. These messages can be automatically sent by your gym management software based on pre-defined automation rules and may include reminders or other incentives to encourage customers to take a certain action.
Virtual Fitness Email
Virtual fitness emails are a type of email marketing communication that promotes online workouts, live stream classes, and digital training programs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became a crucial way to keep members engaged and motivated. Many gyms are still utilizing these emails in hybrid models to provide value and encourage participation in online workouts.
Coupons and Vouchers for Fitness Emails
You can design special vouchers or coupons for discounts, free or discounted merch, rewards, a free session with one of your personal trainers, and much more. They are a great way of showing appreciation to your customers while creating cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
As a club owner or manager, your goal is to empower your customers to become the strongest, healthiest versions of themselves. However, getting to the gym regularly can be a challenge for many people. How can you help your members show up and work consistently hard on reaching their fitness goals?
Retention emails have one main goal: to encourage customers to visit your club again and again. You can do this by re-engaging them with various aspects of your fitness business. Retention emails come in a number of shapes and forms, including:
- Reminders and notifications of upcoming classes or payments
- Milestone and congratulations emails – sent to users on the anniversaries of their membership or to celebrate their accomplishments
- Challenge and event invitations
- Feedback requests
- Educational content emails – including healthy lifestyle tips, recipes, current industry, trends, exciting new training styles, and so forth.
Is Email Marketing a One-size-fits-all Solution?
In the last decade, many businesses have started to understand that the modern consumer cannot be reached with a one-size-fits-all approach. While email marketing remains one of the most conversion-rich and cost-effective channels, some aspects of running a business require a different communication strategy, such as mobile apps.
For instance, sending notifications on newly available class slots is far more effective through a mobile app than via email. The story of our customer, Harder, confirms it. They increased in-class bookings by 14% by switching from emails to push notifications!
In the past, if a member was on the class reserve list, they would receive an email message notifying them of freed-up spots. This required members to check their email in time, which did not always happen, resulting in only 55-65% class attendance.
Putting the customer at the centre of your marketing strategy is bound to result in increased brand loyalty and satisfaction. Despite consumer preferences changing at an unprecedented pace, email remains one of the most conversion-rich and cost-effective marketing channels.
There are some great email marketing platforms out there, but for gym and fitness professionals, selecting all-in-one gym management software is the best choice.