Email Marketing: Build Brand Awareness and Entice Prospects

Fitness Club Guides

Email Marketing: Build Brand Awareness and Entice Prospects

The average inbox receives dozens if not hundreds of emails every day — most of which go unopened and forwarded to trash or spam. So, you may be wondering: Isn’t email marketing dead? Nope! Email marketing is alive and thriving. In fact, email marketing campaigns generate an average of $38 for every $1 spent. That’s an astounding
3,800% ROI!

It’s no surprise, then, that email is one of the most effective ways to build community, nurture your relationship with existing club members, and connect with potential members. You can share club news, offers and promotions, and blog articles featuring helpful content around health, wellness, and fitness topics.

  How to Build Your Club’s Email List

Start building your prospect list by using member referrals, paid advertising, a signup form on your website, or other outreach efforts. For example, set up shop at community events like farmers markets or concerts, or sponsor a local athletic team or event, to get your business’s name out there and build your list faster.

Whatever you do, never buy an email list. There are countless laws about how businesses communicate with consumers, including the CAN-SPAM Act, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Not only is the quality of purchased lists not worth the cost, but you could also face legal ramifications and fines if you’re using purchased lists of people who never opted in to your emails.

You won’t be able to build a huge email list overnight, but doing it the right way
means your list will have more high-quality contacts who will be more responsive to your emails.

   How to Segment Your Club’s Email List

It’s important to segment your email lists so that you’re sending the right content to the right people. Additionally, segmenting has been proven to help increase revenue by as much as 760% according to Campaign Monitor.

Here are some examples of segments to set up:

Prospects: These are people who’ve joined your list but aren’t members yet. You’ll want to send them guest passes, seasonal discounts and promotions, and other content to entice them to join your gym.
Current Members: This list features all of your current gym members. Send this list information about members-only discounts, product promotions, events, and “bring a guest” offers. To further engage this list, send them content you post to your blog, such as tips for healthy eating, recipes, or current fitness trends.
Re-engagement: These are people who’ve canceled or put their memberships on hold. This list is your avenue for trying to get people to rejoin the gym or to find out why they left. Send this list surveys about their experiences, special promotions for rejoining, and content that positions your gym above the competition.

   What to Send to Prospective Club Members

With more than 306 billion emails sent and received daily around the globe, according to Statista, you have to be pretty strategic about what you send out and how frequently you email people.

Although guidance varies on how often to email prospects, we recommend starting with sending emails twice a month and then weekly. If you have a ton of helpful content or offers for new members that change regularly, consider emailing prospects weekly. Whatever cadence you choose, be sure to look at your email open and click-through rates to better understand if and how people are engaging with your emails. Then, you can change your sending cadence until you find what works.

Here are some ideas for what to send prospects:

   A Newsletter with Helpful Articles

Send prospects a regular newsletter to keep your gym top of mind and set yourself up as a thought leader. Include blog articles you’ve written — or curated from reliable sources — featuring fitness tips, content on the benefits of exercise, and so on. For example, write an article on the impact of stress on overall health and wellbeing and how yoga is a good way to relieve it. Then, include your upcoming yoga classes and how they can sign up.

   Promotions, Discounts, and Offers

Send your prospects free guest passes, seasonal offers, and limited-time discounts, and be sure your website is set up for online signup to convert more prospects into members.

For example, you could offer a free one-on-one body composition analysis session with a personal trainer, which may encourage prospects to set goals and kick off their fitness journey in the right way. Another idea is to send an email in early November urging new members to sign up by Thanksgiving in order to get a special discount for a 3-month membership. This approach will help you avoid competing with other clubs in late December and early January when the big push for gyms is on making and keeping New Year’s Resolutions.

Whatever type of promotion or discount you offer, be sure to make it sound exclusive and limited. Here are some phrases you can use to drive the message home:

  • This is a limited-time offer just for our email list members (that’s you!).
  • We’re only offering 25 memberships available at this rate!
  • Going, going, gone: We only have a limited number of discounted memberships.
  • Only three days left to sign up for a healthier, happier you.

   Testimonials and Before-and-After Images

Prospects trust what other, real people are saying, with 87% of people reading online reviews for local businesses in 2020. Include testimonials or online reviews from members with details about what they love most about your gym.

Also, share before-and-after photos of club members who’ve transformed their minds and bodies through the power of exercise — at your gym! When prospects see that fitness success is possible, it may motivate them to sign up.

If you enjoyed this guide, you should check out our new e-book, Everything You Need to Know About Marketing Your Fitness Club. This e-book will help you identify the most effective marketing strategies for blowing past your local competition, increasing revenue, and bringing in a steady stream of new members throughout the year. You can download it below.

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