4 Tips for getting started with email marketing in the fitness industry

The fitness industry today is ever-growing, and so is the competition. Getting started with email marketing in this space is one of the most powerful ways you can set your brand above the rest.

According to reports, the gym and fitness industries are going to continue to boom. In the last five years, the fitness industry alone has grown by about 5% to reach an overall revenue of $4 billion in 2018, with the total number of businesses reaching just under 8,000 in the US alone.

With the industry sure to continue its swell, it’s essential that fitness businesses—from franchises to boutique studios, personal coaches to products—need to jump on the email marketing bandwagon if they haven’t already.

Recent data suggests that those in the fitness industry, for the most part, understand the value of email marketing, with 53% of fitness business owners saying they already engage in email campaigns.

Recent data suggests that those in the fitness industry, for the most part, understand the value of email marketing, with 53% of fitness business owners saying they already engage in email campaigns.

Source: Benchmark Emails

When asked, 36% of fitness business owners said they did plan on implementing email marketing into their marketing plans in the future, while only 11% said they had no current plans to.

Getting started with email marketing has various benefits that suit different industries. However, in this particular space, it’s all about creating and maintaining that customer relationship. A fitness studio isn’t worth much if it doesn’t have dedicated customers who return regularly and spread the word about the business, now is it?

Here are a few of the most vital reasons why getting started with email marketing is in the best interest for our fitness friends.

Increase your lead generation.

Many businesses begin building their leads by the simple act of word of mouth. While this is an excellent way to get started, it isn’t viable to be the only option for the long run. For a business to continue growing and out-performing its competition, it needs to continuously rake in the leads.

Email marketing is a great way to increase organic lead generation, especially when paired with a social media campaign.

One nonprofit by the name of Thistle Farms was able to grow their subscriber list by over 6,000 thanks to combination email and social media campaign.

One nonprofit by the name of Thistle Farms was able to grow their subscriber list by over 6,000 thanks to combination email and social media campaign.

Source: Emma

Optimize communication.

We may live in the age of social media, but did you know that email still reigns as king when it comes to communicating with your consumers?

When it comes down to the numbers, only 17% of people prefer to receive promotional content via social media channels like Facebook. Meanwhile, 72% prefer to have their promotional content sent to them via email.

Meet your audience where they are. The numbers don’t lie—people want to receive your emails and communicate with brands in this manner.

Gather more customer reviews.

When it comes to the fitness industry, many things are very subjective, and everyone has an opinion. From new diet trends to ever-changing fitness practices, it can be hard for the general public to know where to start when they want to take that first step.

Customer reviews are extremely vital because of this. Did you know that 92% of people tend to trust the reviews of those in their peer circle over traditional advertising? It’s definitely true when it comes to the fitness industry—making it a key reason that brands in the industry should be getting started with email marketing if they haven’t already. Email is a great way to nurture and incentivize your customers into sharing helpful reviews.  

What should be included in a fitness email marketing campaign?

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of email marketing campaigns, let’s take a look at the variety of campaigns that get it right.

Welcome emails

Welcome emails are a great way to engage with your customers because it shows them that you don’t just think of them as someone who purchased a product. It shows you care about them as an individual.

These email campaigns can take on several forms, and it all depends on the nature of the business. We liked this example from Peloton because it was a quick, “Hello,” followed by some critical information the reader may find interesting before they set up their first workout.

These email campaigns can take on several forms, and it all depends on the nature of the business.

Source: Pinterest

Newsletters

Newsletters are another critical piece of the email marketing puzzle. As the industry and businesses continue to grow, change, and experience a natural businession evolution, newsletters are a great way to keep your customers informed and engaged.

Nike does a great job of updating their clients about upcoming product launches in their newsletter below.

Nike does a great job of updating their clients about upcoming product launches in their newsletter below.

Source: Really Good Emails

While having original content in your newsletters is excellent, these types of emails are also a great way to share curated content with your readers.

Sharing curated content can help build authority on specific topics, and also makes the lift a little easier on your end to create valuable content. Don’t be afraid to mix things up a little bit.

Tips, tricks & recommendations

Sharing your health and fitness related tips, tricks, exercises, or product recommendations is another fantastic way to share original content with your readers.

Just like the newsletter, this is also a great way to find and share curated content that would suit your reader’s needs. You’re also providing information to be a helpful resource—it shows you care about your customers and you’re not just trying to sell your business or be overly promotional.

Fitbit did a great job of putting together some of their favorite tips and tricks in the following email.

Fitbit did a great job of putting together some of their favorite tips and tricks in the following email.

Source: Really Good Emails

Announcements

Sharing special announcements, such as a special class or event, is another way to share vital information with your clientele. This ensures that timely information you want them to know goes right into their inbox, and they don’t have to go out of their way to find the information they need.

Sharing special announcements, such as a special class or event, is another way to share vital information with your clientele.

Source: Pinterest

Customer appreciation

Customer appreciation is another way to use email marketing effectively. One of the top ways to retain your clients is to show them a little extra appreciation. Treat and talk to them like they’re a human, and they’re likely to appreciate you in return.

Customer appreciation is another way to use email marketing effectively.

Source: Really Good Emails

In the example above, Runtastic does an excellent job of reaching out on the user’s birthday and then goes a step further to give them an exclusive birthday discount.

Recruitment

As a business, especially in this industry, recruitment is essential. So why not encourage (even incentivize!) your customers to bring their friends along for the ride?

As a business, especially in this industry, recruitment is essential. So why not encourage (even incentivize!) your customers to bring their friends along for the ride?

Source: Really Good Emails

The email above is an excellent example of spreading the word via email about a fitness brand, without making it into a high-pressure sales type situation.

4 steps to get started.

With so many different email options out there, getting started with email marketing can seem a little daunting. Don’t worry—that’s why we’re here.

1. Have a strategy.

Like any other form of marketing, you can’t simply type an email and send it out in massive bulks. You need to have an action plan in place before you jump in head first.

Crafting your strategy should start with who you are as a business—what is your value proposition? What is the value or benefit you provide? What attributes make up your brand and how does that relate to what you provide for your customer? If your brand were a person, what would they look and sound like?; how would they communicate and what would their personality be like? Hopefully you already have your brand and brand strategy in place. This will be important for informing your email strategy.

You’ll first want to determine and define your email goals and what key performance indicators (KPIs) you will use to measure success. How will you monitor, analyze, and optimize your emails as you go? Consider your content—what is the mix of content you will share, what will that look like, who will supply it, and what is the cadence?

Next up you’ll want to think design. What will your email look like? Will you be focusing on imagery or text? Where will your company logo go? How will you ensure your color palette and fonts align with your brand? How prominent will your contact information be? Think through all the things, get it down on paper, and plan with a team (if you have one).

2. Know your audience.

Before you can put together your first email marketing campaign, you do need to truly understand who your audience is and what their unique needs are. What is your product or service going to do to help them?

When you close your eyes, can you visualize your ideal customer? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are they male or female?

  • What is their age range?

  • What do they do for a living?

  • What is their primary pain point that you hope to address?

Questions like this will help you narrow down your true target audience because no product or service can cater to every single person out there.

3. Have the right tools.

Marketing means nothing if you don’t have the proper tools at your disposal. With so many different programs out there, email marketing is becoming simpler and simpler to manage. In fact, Emma’s HQ platform helps to bring all the right tools together for your marketing team.

Marketing means nothing if you don’t have the proper tools at your disposal.

Source: Emma HQ

Whichever tools you end up using, there are a few things to look for:

  • The ability to create and customize emails

  • The ability to monitor your campaign performance

  • Have support on your side when you have questions, comments, or concerns

  • The ability to test your campaigns

4. Always analyze the data.

This point cannot be stressed enough. To know if your email marketing efforts are working, you need to keep a close eye on the data.

You’ll want to closely monitor:

  • Open rates

  • Click-through rates

  • Click-to-open rates

  • Bounce rates

  • Conversion rates

  • Unsubscribes

That’s only naming a few of the most critical. If your click-through or open rates are low, you’ll know that your campaign needs an overhaul. If your numbers are higher, then you’ll know you are addressing the points you need to for your clients to feel relevant.

Wrap up

Getting started with email marketing may seem a little scary at first, but once you take the necessary steps to plan it all out before you execute and get the right ESP on your side, you’re well on your way into your email marketing journey.

Keep these tips in mind, and you’re sure to see initial success:

  • Have a plan and strategy in place

  • Know who you are trying to reach

  • Have the right tool from the beginning

  • Always analyze your data

The Emma HQ platform was built with the fitness industry in mind. It gives business owners complete control over every aspect of their email marketing efforts, while still allowing individual locations to cater to their own needs. See how Emma can work for you.

About the Author

Emma Email

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. Unlike other email providers, Emma puts their customers first. It's email marketing that works for you.

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