Despite the introduction of shiny new forms of communication over the past number of years, email still remains one of the best ways to engage with your members and keep retention rates high.
Recent statistics show that email is in fact not dead(despite the opinion of some experts) and it still forms a crucial part of not only your marketing strategy, but your retention strategy too.
Email open rates have increased by more than 100% since 2011 and 60% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. The push notifications alerts on mobile have clearly boosted the performance of email.
Why this topic matters: Regular, value driven engagement is vital to retaining your members for longer, and higher retention equals higher recurring revenue. Sending the right message at the right time on the right channel is the only way to do this.
What you’re going to learn: In this article you will learn what retention emails are, how they fit into the member journey, what should be included in a retention email and we will lay out 8 highly effective retention email templates. We will also hear some practical advice from world renowned retention expert Dr. Paul Bedford.
Here’s what’s coming up:
- What is a retention email?
- What the experts say: Dr. Paul Bedford
- What are the elements of an effective retention email?
- 7 retention boosting email templates
What is a retention email?
A retention email is typically sent out to current members of your fitness studio with the goal of keeping them engaged with your business. Retention emails are used in combination with SMS and push notifications(if you have an app for your members) in a studios overall member engagement strategy.
There are 4 different types of retention email:
- Milestones and accomplishments: This would typically be welcome emails when the member joins, recognising anniversaries of membership, congratulations for achieving goals.
- Events and challenges: Communicate any social events coming up as well as fitness challenges for your members to take part in.
- Educational content: Send out recipe ebooks, workout instructional videos and other important information to help members succeed in their journey.
- Prompts and reminders: An extremely important form of communication. Send out emails to remind members to attend a class they’ve booked, to remind them to book a class. Members who haven’t booked in a while should be priority with this kind of outreach – they may be in danger of churning.
What the experts say: Dr. Paul Bedford
“We know what response we want. It’s a visit. We want them to visit again.”
Dr. Paul Bedford is one of the leading experts on retention in the fitness industry. When he joined us on The Fitness Founders Podcast back in 2020, he discussed various topics around retention and the member experience.
One of the key points he made was around the response you want to get from your member communication. And it’s very simple – a visit. After that you want the member to visit consistently.
He covered two areas in relation to this:
- Map out the member journey: When a member signs up for a membership in your gym, there needs to be a pathway for them. If they sign up and are left to their own devices, the likelihood is that they will become lost and disengaged with their studio. You need to set a pathway for the member to reach their goals with various touch points along the way.
- Send the right message at the right time: Most modern fitness studios have comprehensive gym management software that allows them to send out specific messages to specific groups of members at the right time. An example of this could be sending out booking reminders to members who’ve booked less than 3 classes that week.
Member engagement shouldn’t be a random, scattergun approach. Each communication should have a purpose and prompt a desired outcome. In the next part of this article, we will look at some of the important elements of a retention email.
What are the elements of an effective retention email?
Retention emails are designed to get a specific response from a member – a visit. But what are the key elements of a retention email? Let’s take a closer look at 5 different areas.
Personalization and automation: In general, personalized emails are more successful than standard emails. It’s a good idea to personalize your emails based on the needs of your readers. Not only do you want to address the person you are speaking to but, send targeted emails that align with your audience’s needs and problems. This improves the overall experience customers have with your brand through email.
Engaging and memorable: Creating an engaging and memorable email experience starts with a great subject line. When writing emails, think about adding a personal touch, and get to the point. Eye-catching subject lines encourage readers to open your email. But great emails engage users and leave a memorable impression. It’s a combination of great copy, subject line, and design that creates the overall experience.
Design to attract a response: Often, when someone opens up an email they scan it quickly. This is where great design is key. If at first glance, the email doesn’t offer value or looks too dense, the reader will quickly close the email and not take any action. Having a great email design helps to capture the attention of the reader and encourage action.
Speak the customer’s language: One of the best ways to craft an email is to speak your customer’s language. If you want a lasting, positive impact, use words and language that your prospect understands and can relate to. Although you are the expert, potential members come to you for a solution. It’s your job to break down specialist knowledge into language that can motivate and drive member results.
Simple and clear message: If your email resembles a novel, you might struggle to achieve the kind of results you’re looking for in your email campaigns. Lengthy emails tend to have lower open rates and slower response times. By keeping your messaging short and sweet, you can better communicate with your audience and receive a quicker response if necessary.
7 retention boosting email templates
Whether you’re looking for the best way to welcome a new member or you’re trying to promote your referral program, gym email templates can help you craft a simple yet effective message. Gym email templates are designed for a fitness business and can easily be adapted to your specific niche and audience. Here are eight fitness center email templates to inspire your next email marketing campaign.
1. Welcome email
The welcome email is one of the most common trigger-based emails. You send this email after a specific action has been performed. So, after a new member signs up for your digital fitness membership, or has joined your in-person fitness studio. Trigger emails show that your website or service is fully functioning and helps to guide your new customer through the member journey.
Hey [MEMBER FIRST NAME],
Welcome to the [BUSINESS NAME] family!
Thanks for joining us – we’re very excited to have you on board.
You can get started by booking your induction training session [LINK]. You can find our class timetable, opening times, and any updates on our [WEBSITE LINK].
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can simply give us a call on [NUMBER] or reply to this email.
We can’t wait to see what you’re going to achieve!
2. Encourage member referrals
A great referral email can help grow your business in an organic and relatively inexpensive way. Turn your gym members into brand cheerleaders and encourage referrals by offering the right incentive. Referrals are a vital lead generation tool, especially for gym owners. You have the power to get more customers through your existing members.
Subject Line: Refer Your Friend and Get a Free [OFFER]
Hi [CUSTOMER FIRST NAME]
Congratulations on hitting your latest fitness goal – you’re amazing!
Because you’re such a valued member, we’d like to show you how much we appreciate you.
From [DATE] until [DATE], you can get a free [OFFER] by simply referring your friends and family. All you have to do is encourage a friend to sign up for [CLASS] and use the promo code [CODE].
It’s that simple!
Thanks again for being part of the [BUSINESS NAME] family!
The Customer Discover more
for Your Fitness
3. Post-workout email
The post-workout email is another email that’s simple to automate and can help to motivate members. This is a trigger-based email that’s designed to help members feel like they have a sense of accomplishment. After a workout, they get an email that congratulates them on their hard work and makes them feel good about themselves. It also gives members an opportunity to feedback on a class and show you where you have room for improvement.
Great work in [CLASS] – you crushed it!
We would love to hear your feedback and how we can help you hit your fitness goals.
Keep up the amazing work!
4. Class reminder email
An automated class reminder email can help to reduce cancellations and increase group class attendance and the overall member experience at the same time. By sending timely class reminders, it gives members a gentle nudge to stick to their workout. This holds them accountable and increases motivation simultaneously.
Hey [FIRST NAME]
Don’t forget your [CLASS] on [DATE] at [TIME].
We can’t wait to see you there!
If you need to cancel, simply click [LINK].
5. Re-engaging with an inactive member
Email marketing is a great tool for re-engaging inactive customers. You can reach out with offers, valuable content, show readers what they have missed, and reignite motivation to hit their fitness goals. Make sure to personalize all emails and send valuable content that will make an impact. Your win-back email campaign can help with your member attrition rate and boost engagement.
Subject Line: We Missed You!
Hi [FIRST NAME]
We haven’t seen you in a while!
Since your last visit, we’ve added hundreds of classes to our digital fitness platform.
For a limited time only, we’re giving you an exclusive offer of [OFFER].
Hurry – this offer ends soon!
6. Follow-up email
The follow-up email is another essential part of your email marketing. You can send this trigger-based email after certain behaviors. For example, you could use this when a customer starts to book and pay for a class and then stops, or has abandoned their basket on your branded merchandise. Either way, the follow-up brings focus back to the purchase and encourages the user to take action.
Subject Link: [CUSTOMER NAME] Is it something we did?
We noticed that you haven’t signed up for [CLASS] after adding it to your basket. We hope you didn’t get cold feet!
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you have. Here at [HEALTH CLUB], we understand how hard it can be to start your fitness journey, but we know you can do it.
See you soon,
7. Special offers and promotion
Another way to use email marketing is for promotion and upselling. You can send offers to existing and new customers, promote your latest fitness classes, and upsell digital gym memberships to your current members.
We’re thrilled that you signed up for [CLASS].
Did you know that we offer a range of products to make your fitness experience even better? Visit [WEBSITE LINK] to browse our products today.
Keep up the amazing work!
Email is one of the most effective retention channels. It’s a cost-effective method that can play a significant part in retention strategy.
Here’s an overview of what we covered today:
- The basics of a retention email
- How email fits into the member journey
- The elements of a retention email
- 7 retention email templates
- For more information on how to engage your customers, download our expert driven customer engagement playbook directly below.
- Speak to a member of our team if you’d like to know more about how Glofox can drive your retention and member engagement – simply click on the Demo & Pricing button at the top of this page.