If you’ve ever been a member of a fitness club and left, you’ve received a ton of emails like this:
Not to be cruel, but this is boring. Same subject line, same sender, and the same message. Do they expect me to give in and buy a membership because they’re flooding my inbox?
From a consumer’s perspective, this is annoying. Yet, looking at it from the gym side, can I blame them? For most fitness chains, local gym marketing happens on the corporate level. This means many clubs don’t have time or the funds to optimize an automation campaign.
This is why clubs should work on their email automation strategy.
Automation helps get new clients, keep members, sell products and increase client satisfaction.
Automation for Client Acquisition
The typical workflow for gym members is to come into the gym and try it out. Or they can book classes or personal training online. Whatever the sign-up method, prospects will usually come in for a trial period, leave, and not come back.
Cue the “we want you back” emails.
These clubs are right to follow-up with you via email. But, they’re wrong to install a one-size-fits-all approach. This is where segmentation comes into play.
You can ask questions that will help you create unique segments from your sign-up forms. Personalization is a huge must-have when it comes to automation for fitness consumers.
The fitness industry is very diverse. There are many different kinds of regimens, diets, apparel, workouts, etc.
So why shouldn’t automation be as well? Having your segmentation set up at the beginning will be a huge plus.
You can segment for things like:
● workout experience
● preferred classes
● favorite exercises
Apply these as drop down menus. Then integrate them with your member attributes and your automation tool.
Now you know what their interest is goal-wise and you have some idea on the exercises that interest them. You also know if they need more advanced tips or beginner level guides.
Create an automated workflow for one of the above mentioned segments. Then craft content that can entice users to get motivated enough to try your club. Create an event based campaign. These can track clicks or opens to register their engagement with your content.
Stay away from repetitive emails like the ones at the beginning of the article. You can save those for periodical use, but try to capture their interest beyond money savings.
When you’re beginning a new discount promotion, then you can send out blast emails. Make sure to measure the results.
Automation for Retention
Gym member retention is the biggest issue in the industry. It deals with client motivation loss or lack of progress. These are usually signaled by a decrease in attendance frequency.
Set up event triggers for emails. When they have drops in attendance, you can send motivational reminders.
Each event and attribute is dynamic. You can set these up to occur at whichever intervals you choose. For example, every 7th day they don’t attend the gym, you send them a message.
It is all about forming habits
This is very important, as you move onwards, the shift has to go from motivation to habit. You may think about people starting in the new year, many don’t make it to the end of the quarter. It isn’t that the motivator was lost, but rather the old habbits weren’t transformed into new habits.
Image source: Fitness motivation
Another place can be automation for contract renewals. You can remind members that they need to pay for a new contract or renew an existing one. You can automate these through your transactional emails. Send a link to your club’s website for a quick and painless process.
You can even personalize the process in your email builder for a more complete approach.
Be sure to include all the relevant and personalized information. This way members know exactly when their contract ends.
Automation for Upselling
If you’re offering retail products, you can use your segments you’ve built earlier to offer them via email.
For example, lets say your members have opted into several yoga classes. Using segments, you can send them offers for discounted yoga mats to buy on your website.
It’s rather simple to mix and match product offers to customer segments. Yet, it requires segmentation by setting up touchpoints when they create their accounts.
Maximize the monthly spend for your customers. Make sure to keep an eye on which offers different customer segments redeem.
Also, keep an eye on click-through-rates, total sales, and online vs. in-person sales. This can help fine-tune your offers via automation. Then you’ll have a better idea on which products get redeemed online for often.
Automation for Client Satisfaction
Perhaps the second most important retention factor is client satisfaction. Using automation, you can gauge satisfaction among clients and even increase it.
Show your members that you care. Send automated class and personal training reminders. You can also send motivational messages about their goals to keep them focused.
You can segment users into the blocks of time that they visit the club. Then send a message an hour before to give them an extra motivational push not to skip a day.
Automate short surveys or NPS to get a quantitative measure about how they feel about your club. They can also provide concrete feedback in their email replies.
Automated emails can go a long way for sales, retention, and customer satisfaction. Be sure that your club management tool integrates with your automation provider. This way you can integrate your most important metrics as triggers and events.
You’ll need it to run your club effectively.