Email marketing for fitness was not a part of your degree in physiology. It wasn’t a part of Sports Management (I taught it at ISU so I am pretty confident about that) and it’s pretty niche so not yet a part of Marketing 101 you took either. It wasn’t included in your certification course. Where would there have been time to do that?
Email Marketing for Fitness 101
And potentially, email marketing was just handed to you as a task. Or you realized along the way that yes, you need to be doing it. So now you’re in it, but don’t love it, and so it’s a box you can check off the list, but you know you’re not using to full capacity.
Sound familiar?This post breaks down some of the emails you probably are not sending and should be. Start here. If you’d like help getting this animal under control, you can find a link to connect with me at the end of the post.
#1 No announcement the first day you open up enrollment for a program.
This is one of the biggest days for sales. It’s not THE biggest though, so keep reading. Why would you not share this message? Crazy right? But a large percent of small business owners who let a trainer or fitness instructor run their marketing campaign aren’t even aware of the revenue lost.
Email marketing, much as I know we all despise the inbox and lack of time to open and read even the things we signed up for, is still the #1 way to reach clients. It’s the number 1 way to communicate and build a relationship with prospective clients.
Do big chains email with valuable and person content regularly? Mine doesn’t. For the first time in 36 years I paid for a fitness membership when I moved last summer. I chose a large chain simply because of a few options that were musts.
But they don’t reach out about paid classes or personal training opportunities. They definitely reach out to update credit cards. But little else. Why? They do so well at point of sale and with complimentary session conversion they don’t need to or so they think.
If there was a special masters swim session with a coach, or a yoga for athletes, I actually might go. So if I might, how many other hundreds or thousands of dollars are they leaving on the table?
If you’re point of sale conversions aren’t as good for private or group training or you’re not tagging customers about interests to segment them for the emails most relevant to them, keep reading. It makes money to send an email about “cart open” days.
#2 No nurturing the ideal participants during the time the cart is open (enrollment is happening).
You want to constantly provide content that is perfectly relative to the program you’re promoting. Are you having a partner training promotion? Then you would want to talk about the statistics of exercising with a partner and having accountability. How does in increase success? (In case you didn’t know it increases success by over 90%! That’s something to talk about).
Are you promoting a weight loss program for women over 40? Then you should have articles or blogs you or someone else wrote linked in your emails and promoted in social media that link to your offer. Maybe during this period you have a live presentation or a demo class. You would email an invitation about that.
Those relevant pieces of content ARE your launch. If you don’t have them, you really don’t have a launch. These should be sprinkled out daily during the approach to the enrollment period (you might be asking people to get on a notification list to be first to know when it opens) or when that enrollment period is open.
You should be hustling during this sign up period. You should always feel like there is a push and a constant top-of-mind awareness for you and everyone associated with your business about this one thing you’re promoting.
Stuck Emailing Same Day Every Week No Matter What?Email marketing for fitness is not a consistent same frequency all the time. You do want to create expectations that you send email every Sunday and Thursday for instance. But when you have a launch? You’ve got to bump it up! You increase frequency, urgency, and create a fear-of-missing-out as the sign up period ends.
Your fear is they’ll unsubscribe if you send emails more, right? You’ve got a false sense of security with numbers. You should EXPECT unsubscribers with more emails. Those are your “squatters” and they never intend to buy. Either that or you have spammed everyone on your list and you don’t segment them. So you’re sending young athletic men content about balance and bone density. Hello? Yes, they should unsubscribe. You don’t care enough about them to come into 2020 and email the content they care about and avoid content they don’t.
Is this you? Do you have a big email marketing for fitness problem? No. Just take a day and fix it. It will be the smartest investment of 8 hours of time and energy. Learn to segment lists. Learn to write an email sequence that parallels your customer’s journey.
If you’re in charge of the marketing for your business, this is the kind of activity that will make you a superstar if it’s currently not being done.
#3 No “last day” emails, yes plural! Two and sometimes three is better
THIS is the biggest day – always – of any promotion, if you treat it right. If you slip in one, very infrequent email to your audience on the last day – especially if it’s late in the day (why would you do that when open rates increase over the course of 24 hours?). If you’re only emailing with the same old headline “last chance to…” every time you’ve got a program starting, it’s like crying wolf. It’s not really the last chance. You’ll be starting another one. That’s what they’ll think. They in fact, will think they’ve seen this before if you re-use tired subject lines they’ve seen again.
Look, people are busy! They are NOT sitting around waiting to get that email reminder from you. They have lives and worries and concerns. You’re going to have to increase urgency by increasing frequency of your emails if you want to fill your sessions.
Do you believe it’s valuable? Make sure you do a self-check on that. Is the reason you don’t want to send because you don’t really believe in the value of what you’re talking about? Fix that before you go on and enhance your email strategy.
On the last day you want to send at least two emails. Send one early in the day. And Send another in the evening when there’s 6 hours left.. or 4 hours left. Many experienced email marketers (email marketers is everyone by the way – including you) will mail three times. Email first thing in the morning. Email those who haven’t purchased toward evening, and then email one more time when there are just a few hours left.
Do not lie. In email marketing for fitness there is plenty of mistrust already. If you say it is the last day, keep reading.
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#4 Not honoring your “last day deadline”
This isn’t necessarily an exclusive email marketing for fitness mistake. Too many industries do it. It is an overall lack of integrity that may just be something you’re overlooking. If you’re thinking, hey, one more, I’ll let them in to be nice or so I make more money, you’re forgetting how much it costs you.
Pretty soon word gets out. You always have a sale. Someone can always get in. There’s no real deadline. Someone can always have a discount. You’re reducing the effectiveness of your emails and creating a situation where customers are going to negotiate with you like they were at a garage sale.
If you hate the fact that there are people who will only come out and buy when you have a sale or offer it at rock bottom, you’ll have to stop basing your business model on sales, and discounts. You can flip the switch to a value-added model any time. You will probably find when you do that you lose a few clients and attract a higher caliber of other customers who spends a higher amount of money with you.
Could Email Marketing Double Your Rates?
I have colleagues who’ve doubled their rates because they had a waiting list (do you?) and after doing that they’re still full and in a couple cases have a longer waiting list. The only way you get there is if they find value from hearing you, reading you, watching you.
Email marketing for fitness is not intuitive for most trainers. If you loved English you’ll be tempted to write in a way that would get you an “A” and not a client. We love the training, the helping people, the physical contact or at least delivering the programs that get people moving.
If you remember that it is simply communication you’ll have a better experience creating a real successful habit of “talking” to your customers. If you only see clients once a week or twice? Don’t you want to help them at least once more (a minimum in email marketing for fitness success) with valuable tips that make their lives better between?
Thinking about email for fitness marketing that way makes it much easier to make a habit.
Got this? Awesome! I’ll imagine you’re sitting down to write a sequence of emails for your next launch. You’re gathering the blogs and articles that lead your perfect customer directly to the program that is going to solve their problem in a way that feels good.
Need help? I can help you craft that copy for your emails. I can help you write or tweak content you probably already have to use during your launch. I can help you use words that get people to say yes, and know which words never to use. When you have the template you can repeat it for any launch.
Determine your launch dates (cart/registration open to cart closed)
Plan your pre-registration content (build excitement)
Create your emails for open registration, last day, last chance and last chance last day
Write your copy for the juicy nurture content between open and close that gets people to open, click, and want what you’re promoting
Beyond that, if you need more help with segmenting your list, tagging your customers, and getting a bigger strategy we can talk about how you would organize launches and contentfor a greater impact with all your customers all year
Debra has been a full-time fitness pro for 38 years. Growing her own business, a team of trainers, and presenting internationally on fitness marketing & sales. Starting over… From 0 to freedom after 50, if she can you can.