Although many may think email is dead—the statistics prove otherwise.
A whopping 83% of global consumers say they prefer email when receiving communications from businesses.
And while many fitness brands may focus largely on social media marketing, email marketing offers complementary and tangible benefits when integrated into your larger marketing strategy.
Creating and sending fitness email newsletters is a powerful way to build stronger relationships with members, improve conversion rates, and generate new leads for your gym or fitness studio.
For gym email marketing to remain effective, you’ll need to keep an eye on industry trends to adapt your marketing strategies for success in 2022 and beyond.
Why gyms need an email marketing strategy
With the global shift to digitization, the use and effectiveness of email marketing have skyrocketed over the past few years.
Maintaining ongoing communication with members is fundamental to maintaining your memberships, engagement, and customer loyalty—especially in the wake of the pandemic—and fitness email marketing is an easy way to do that.
You may be wondering if you need to bother creating and sending fitness newsletters—and the answer is, yes.
Regardless of the size of your business, email campaigns are still an extremely effective and valuable marketing tool.
In fact, research shows that email marketing offers the highest ROI of any marketing channel.
- For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can anticipate an average return of $42.
- Email marketing is 40x more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined
- 50% of people buy from marketing emails at least once per month
- Nearly 22% of all email campaigns are opened within the first hour of sending
- 59% of respondents say that marketing emails have influenced their purchases
Email marketing is an extremely valuable and widely used marketing method in the fitness industry because it helps businesses and consumers connect, build and maintain strong and ongoing communication.
However, as with anything, with increased importance and demand, also comes increased competition—which is why fitness business owners need to have an updated email marketing strategy in place to stay both relevant and ahead of the curve in 2022.
Before we dive in, here are some other ways having an updated email marketing strategy can help grow your fitness business and build brand awareness:
- Clearly outlines business goals and objectives, and defines how campaign success will be measured
- Planning everything out ahead of time by using an email marketing calendar provides consistent clarity and direction regarding the next steps
- Because you already have things planned out (what you’ll be sending and when), you can automate your email campaigns based on your timeline (drip emails) or user behavior (triggered emails)
- Tailoring your messages to particular market segments helps increase sales by providing content relevant to that audience, which leads to a higher conversion rate
- Promoting specialized fitness programs and sharing membership news and updates will help you acquire new customers and retain existing ones
- Provides an optimal customer buying journey by organizing both nurturing and converting sequences of emails
- Helps grow your email list with potential members who have already shown interest in your fitness brand
- Distribution platforms offer analytics and reporting, so you can easily assess the performance of campaigns to refine your efforts as needed
- A high-performing email marketing funnel alleviates pressure from your advertising campaigns and limited spend
So now that we’ve talked about why fitness email marketing is important—let’s talk about where to start when creating your fitness email marketing strategy.
How to get started with fitness email marketing
An email marketing strategy is a detailed plan of action that provides direction and clarifies the purpose of your email marketing campaigns—meaning, it defines and addresses both the micro- and macro-level business needs and aspects.
A fitness newsletter is a form of email communication that is sent to consumers through your selected distribution service.
Fitness newsletters can be used for a variety of purposes—for example, providing updates about your fitness business, sharing relevant industry news and fitness tips, or celebrating members’ milestones.
While the content will vary depending on the purpose and the audience, the ultimate goal of email marketing is to capture readers’ attention and keep them engaged.
When creating your fitness marketing strategy, be sure to include and address the following considerations:
- What is your overall objective for each campaign?
- How many email campaigns will you create?
- How many parts will there be to your welcome sequence?
- How should you be segmenting your subscriber and distribution lists?
- Which segment of subscribers will receive a specific sequence?
- When is the best time to send emails?
- What will each campaign be named, and what will the corresponding subject line be?
Below are other key components that will need to be addressed in your fitness email marketing plan:
1. Defined business goals and objectives for each campaign
Starting with a clear understanding of your goals and objectives is critical to the success of your email campaigns. The focus of your emails will drive the content and design, as well as the relevancy to your recipients.
Defining the specific goal and what you hope to achieve from each fitness email campaign is critical to overall success—because without knowing how relative success will be measured and assessed, how will you be able to determine the effectiveness of your efforts and calculate ROI?
2. Choose an email marketing software
To launch an email marketing campaign, you’ll need to start by selecting a distribution platform to create, automate and deliver your campaigns to the relevant audiences.
You’ll also need an online form builder to capture the email addresses from your website traffic to grow your distribution lists and build up your fitness business.
Fortunately, most email marketing software solutions also offer built-in form-building capabilities—so you should be able to accomplish both through one service provider.
Here’s what you should be considering when deciding which email marketing system is best for your gym or fitness studio:
- User-friendly and easy to build
- Ability to create tailored distribution lists
3. Build, segment, and tailor your gym’s email list
Segmenting your email lists can take some time, but it’s extremely important to the success of your email marketing campaigns.
Sometimes general information newsletters are appropriate to send to everyone, but creating tailored lists enables you to deliver the most engaging and consistent content to the right people.
Keep in mind—if you send too many emails that aren’t relevant to the recipients, you risk getting blocked or even reported for spam.
Types of email campaigns for fitness businesses
Below is an outline of emails we recommend including in your welcome series:
1. Welcome email
It may seem like a given, but it’s really important to do something to welcome new gym members as soon as they commit to joining your gym.
Sending a welcome email is one of the easiest ways to provide new members with all the essential information they need, and it allows you to reassure them that joining your facility was the right choice.
If you’re currently using a gym management software like ours, you can easily create a new member email template and manage membership communication seamlessly. But if you’re still managing membership information and sending emails manually that’s okay, too, and we’re here to help.
When creating your welcome email template, we recommend including these key points:
- Thank new members for joining and choosing your gym or fitness studio
- Offer reassurance they made the right choice
- Provide information about the next steps and how to get started
- Include a link to your website where they can find practical information
- Include contact information in case of any questions
Ideally, you should send more than one welcome email to establish a solid relationship and maintain ongoing communication, so you may want to consider creating a series of introductory emails.
Plus, some members may need that little extra nudge in their inbox every so often to keep them motivated.
2. General and education newsletter
Sometimes, a “send all” is warranted—as is the case with general newsletters. The content of these campaigns can vary to keep subscribers “hungry” for more and inspire them to improve their lifestyles. In this way, you can also boost your open rates since your content will always be relevant.
General newsletters, usually sent on a weekly or monthly basis, will typically include information relevant to all members—for example, facility updates or new developments, new and upcoming class offerings and schedules, information about emerging trends in the fitness industry, and more.
A weekly or monthly newsletter should be just as informational as it is promotional. If your gym or fitness studio has a blog, this is a great place to feature your latest posts and increase your social media following.
The content of these campaigns can vary to keep subscribers “hungry” for more and inspire them to improve their lifestyles. In this way, you can also boost your open rates since your content will always be relevant
3. Class schedules and appointment reminders
Every member is different, with different fitness goals in mind.
Some members will want to work out on machines and equipment on their own, while others will want to participate in group classes like aerobics, yoga, or Pilates.
It’s important to send newsletters with upcoming class schedules so your members can see what you have to offer. Since class schedules are subject to change, it’s a good idea to send monthly emails with a schedule of the following month’s classes
In these emails, you should include the days, times, and instructors, preferably with links to the sign-up pages on your website.
You should also include the ability to add classes to the calendars of subscribers in Google or Outlook, which can help them make a firm commitment to attending.
4. Referral request
Most of us inherently understand the power of positive reviews.
As a gym owner, you’ve probably read some pretty compelling referral marketing statistics—for example, 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know, and they’re four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.
Asking current members for referrals through a newsletter can increase your marketing ROI considerably. By creating a referral campaign, you can increase membership numbers while delighting your current members at the same time.
5. Fitness milestone emails
Just like sending any other type of email (confirmation, waitlist, newsletter), you send a milestone email when your customer accomplishes one of their goals or anniversaries at your gym or studio.
When you send a milestone email, it’s the celebratory tone and your enthusiasm that help your customer reaffirm why they made a commitment to your gym or studio in the first place.
Celebrating your gym members’ wins with them will strengthen your relationship, bond, and overall confidence in you as an instructor.
6. Gym special offers and promotions
Email marketing is a great channel to promote your special offers due to its inherent “personal” nature. Moreover, you can also leverage urgency to create an irresistible message that your subscribers won’t ignore easily.
We’ve all seen a sampling station at the grocery store that allows you to try a new food or drink, but only for that day for a limited time. But after you’ve tasted a sample (if you haven’t before), you can decide if you’d like to take the product home or not.
The same theory applies to new gym members. Some people aren’t ready to make such a huge financial commitment to a new gym, especially when they’ve never used it before.
Offering free 7-day trials allows new potential members to experience your gym’s culture, customer services, and equipment without any required investment on their end.
7. Fitness challenges
When it comes to fitness challenges, the opportunities are limitless! You can choose to structure challenges any way you’d like, and it’s a great way to keep your online and offline customers engaged.
But to get members to sign up, they need to know about them first. Sending email newsletters is a great way to inform members of upcoming fitness challenges, which also makes it easy to forward along to their friends who may also have an interest in participating.
So be sure to send occasional newsletters to inform your members any time you launch a fitness challenge, and one or two more times leading up to the challenge before the cut-off date.
What makes an effective gym marketing email?
Here are five core elements needed to create captivating fitness email campaigns that will immediately catch readers’ attention:
1. Snappy, attention-grabbing headlines
The subject line is one of the most important parts of your email. We’re all busy people, and most recipients will make a snap judgment about whether or not to read your email based on the headline alone.
To entice readers to open your email, your headline should be a balance between being informative and intriguing.
2. High-quality, captivating visuals
Visuals are the first thing we look for, so the reader’s eye will be immediately drawn to whatever visuals you include. Using rich imagery is a great way to highlight an essential point and keep your readers engaged.
But it’s important to find the right balance between text and imagery because using too many images will increase your load times and risk losing the reader’s interest.
3. Make text easy to scan
The simplicity of your fitness newsletters is key to their readability.
The majority of your subscribers will open your emails on their mobile devices, and long blocks of text can quickly cause readers to lose interest.
Break up your content into shorter, more digestible chunks.
4. Include a clear call-to-action
If you want your readers to take specific action after reading your email, tell them.
Guide your readers to a clear call-to-action button so they understand the purpose of your email, and make it easy for them to do what you’d like.
5. Optimize for mobile use
The vast majority of your subscribers will likely be reading your fitness newsletters on their phones or other mobile devices.
For this reason, you want to make sure your template is optimized for mobile use to provide a seamless user experience.
Leveraging email marketing automation
Doing all of the above becomes extremely difficult without the right tool.
Most email marketers and business owners prefer to leverage email marketing automation for the following key reasons:
- Easy to set up and easy to use daily—an intuitive, user-friendly interface is necessary
- Capable of supporting both basic and complex automation requirements
- Pocket-friendly—no one wants to buy a tool that will cost them an arm and a leg every month
Measure results and tweak future campaigns as needed
In business, it all comes down to the numbers. Gym owners need to be able to calculate revenue over investment (ROI) to determine whether resources are being allocated efficiently.
It’s also crucial to track KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)—for example, open rate, click-through rate, email bounces, and unsubscribe rate.
The data doesn’t lie—so if your campaigns have not been performing well, it’s time to switch it up and try something new. After each campaign, you assess the overall success and tweak things as necessary as you go along.
Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective and conversion-rich forms of digital marketing in the fitness industry and is consistently proven to be a highly effective marketing tool.
To learn how EZFacility’s all-in-one, cloud-based SaaS solution can improve your gym’s customer relationship management (CRM) and make membership management easy, schedule a free tour or online product demonstration today.