The Anatomy Of A Gym Email

Eamonn Curley
07 May 19
12 min read
two women doing TRX in a blue lit room

Sometimes new methods aren’t always the best. When it comes to marketing your gym business, the best way to reach a wide audience and keep them coming until they’ve finally concluded that you are what they’ve been looking for is through email marketing

Email has been around forever, that’s true, but that doesn’t make it a dinosaur. Email continues to be one of the best ways to reach your target audience and turn readers into members. In fact, according to HubSpot, more than 70% of millennials prefer to get communications from businesses through email.

These stats are backed up by our own Glofox Data Insights; email campaigns are still one of the best ways to convert prospects into full-time members. As a marketing tool, it is invaluable for any small business and we included it as one of the proven marketing strategies for gyms in our recent fitness marketing guide. 

So in this article, we will break down the type of email you should be using for your marketing campaigns. We will also show you how you can use this tried and true marketing method to expand your gym business and start to see your membership numbers climb.

Email Marketing Works for Gyms

glofox graphic showing email open rates for the health and fitness industry stand at 20.06%

The numbers don’t lie. According to Mailchimp, one of the top email services for businesses, open rates for the health and fitness industry stand at 20.06% while click rates are at 2.06%. That means that in every 100 emails you send out, two people are clicking over to your website, interested in what you have to offer.

Why Does it Work?

Email is yours: With the ever-changing scenery of the internet, it’s nice to have something that is totally in your control. Every year, Google has a new SEO algorithm that keeps us on our toes. Facebook can change its policies overnight, leaving your head spinning trying to adjust your social media campaign to fit.

When running your email marketing campaigns, you have total freedom. It’s yours to do what you want. When you know something works for your clientele, you can use it till you’re blue in the face. When it comes down to it, it is all about your list. The list is your audience, and you have a direct line to them whenever you want.

It is trackable: There’s no guessing when it comes to email. You can track every email you send out and see what works and what doesn’t. This is the single most quantifiable marketing channel available to business owners to date. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of a peek into their customer’s reaction to their marketing tactics?

Tracking email gives you an advantage when planning out a follow-up strategy. If you see the person has opened the email multiple times during the day you know you should send on an email while you are top of mind. As well as that some email tracking systems give you information about the person you are contacting which can help provide more context when writing an email.

It is engaging: Nowadays, people carry their inbox with them wherever they go. With the invention of smartphones, we no longer do we need to wait until our customers are near the computer to reach them. What other types of marketing campaign offers you a direct line of contact with your target audience without making them feel like you’ve encroached on their personal space? According to emailmonday, email topped a poll looking at the most popular activities on a smartphone with 78%.

Immediate engagement with our clientele has made email timing a strategy in itself. Reaching a person at the right time gives you more of a chance of opens and clicks. Email notifications that show up on the person’s phone are now more important than ever to email marketing as the subject line that appears needs to grab attention straight away.

graph showing mobile phone sats

Top Gym Email Marketing Tips

A/B Test Everything: Since email is so quantifiable, use it to your benefit. Use an A/B testing method to see what works for your audience. This type of email campaign involves splitting your audience of prospective members into two groups. Group A will receive a certain email while group B will receive a different email. Tracking both groups will reveal user engagement and conversion rates. Comparing these numbers will help you choose the best email to use.

For example say you wanted to launch a new workout program, weight loss challenge or group exercise classes in your fitness club. Run two different email marketing campaigns with different subject lines, copy and images to see which one has the most success converting. You can continue to use this method until you’ve created a super effective email whose conversion rates are well above average.

Use an email service: Have you ever tried to use Gmail to create a mass-email? It’s awkward! Using an email service that was created for business owners like you will save you a lot of headaches. Mailchimp is the simplest of these.

If you are starting and your email subscriber list in under 2000, Mailchimp is free and that means less risk. But that doesn’t mean that it lacks analytical information for you to use and learn from. Tracking your email campaign is easy and very helpful through Mailchimp. To make things even easier, Glofox customers can seamlessly integrate Mailchimp with our software.

You’ll be able to see not only user engagement of your emails but also how your email rates are performing against rates in different industries.

Use emojis in the subject line: Emojis can add personality to your email and act as a great ice-breaker. In a recent study conducted by Experian, fifty-six percent of brands who use an emoji in their subject line had a higher unique open rate. They also save you valuable space by conveying emotion in one character.

Use that to your advantage and add an emoji to your subject line. Think of things like the strong arm, thumbs up, or fist pump would work to get people motivated to get in the gym.

emoji stats graphic

How a Sales Funnel Works

To make your emails successful, you need to tailor them to each individual. To do this, you must know where they fit into your sales funnel. As a gym owner, your audience should fit into one of these four stages.

The Different Levels in the Sales Funnel

New lead: At this stage, your reader is interested but are still a long way from a membership. You want to get them into the trial period so feed them loads of information that will help them make that decision. The key here is to show them the benefits of your studio. Send them overviews of your fitness classes, wellness program, and weight loss challenges. Showcase the results that they could potentially get with testimonials and case studies from current members.

Engaged trial member: They have already gone through the trial and now may be ready to step up to a full membership. Emails to these leads will take on a different note than the fresh leads. You’ll want them to be ready for commitment, for the next step. Hopefully, you’ve wowed them in the gym, and now all you need to do is wow them on email. Help them see how easy it would be to continue their new fitness journey at your gym.

Unengaged member: These readers are those who are on a membership, but they just aren’t getting the best from your services as they could. You rarely see them at the gym, they don’t attend classes, and they need a little friendly push. Members who see results are happy members. Try to offer them new and fresh classes. Perhaps a small questionnaire is in order.

Leaving members: You want to do everything in your power to keep them from going, but they are nearing the end of their contract. How will you get them on board one more time? These emails need to be tailored to a veteran member. Appreciation and memories could go a long way to helping your members reaching the end of their contract to sign on for another one.

What Are the Benefits You Can Offer?

With each email, no matter where the reader is in the sales funnel, make sure you include the benefits you can offer them. Not every email should be a sales letter, but each should reinforce in the reader that you provide a service that changes their life. Whether it be information, motivation, or just a smiling emoji, you need to touch them in some way.

Building Your Gym Email Marketing Machine

So where do you get started? In the next part of this article, we will be talking about how to start your very own gym email marketing machine so that you can use the power of the email with your own spin on it.

What Will Your Email Sequence Be?

An effective email marketing machine rarely consists of just one email. Usually, you will have a sequence of emails that will be dependent on your goal. There are a few factors that you need to take into consideration. You have to map out your reader’s journey that you want them to take through this email sequence. This will determine your email cadence, which is the frequency, timing, and pattern of emails.

Let’s look at an example to explain this strategy better. Say you are writing an email campaign to one of your fresh leads. Your goal is to get them to sign up for a free trial. This might take three to four emails, possibly once a week, with each email getting more urgent with the CTA. Each email will make it super easy for the reader to get to the landing page that allows them to sign up for a free trial.

There might be some readers that only need one email to sign up. There are others that are more reserved, but each email will give them more and more incentive until they have no excuses left.

The Anatomy of a Gym Email

Let’s go into the nuts and bolts of writing a gym email that will convert at every level of the sales funnel.

Subject line: The last thing you want to be here is “spammy.” Avoid things like cliche sales phrases, or exclamation points, that will put off the receiver. Keep it short so that it can be read on all devices. And a key to any subject line is to keep it personal. With MailChimp, you can easily set up personalized emails to make a strong impression straight away with the subject line. By making it sound more like it is coming from a friend rather than a marketer it will give it more of a chance of being opened. Your subject line could also change depending on where the person is on the sales funnel.

If they are at the top of the funnel the subject line might be more generic:

Hey Daniel, have you heard about Spinning Sundays yet?

In the middle of the funnel, you can get a bit more salesy with the subject line:

Hey, Daniel, fancy 20% of our Spinning Sundays class this month?

At the bottom of the funnel, you are targeting motivated prospects on the brink of converting:

Daniel, blitz your belly fat before summer with 20% off Spinning Sundays.

The introduction- Ask, don’t sell:  When you someone walks into your gym for the first time the last thing you want to do is launch into a sales pitch straight away. This will more than likely have them heading straight back out the door!

It’s the same with email. An overly salesy approach will be off-putting to the person you are trying to target. Instead, ask them a question that will get them thinking about a problem to which you will provide the solution.

Short, sweet, and scannable: Nobody wants to open a chapter book of an email. People are busy; they will only spend seconds looking at your email. If you don’t get them to find something worth spending a little more time on within the first few moments, you’ve lost them.

The most successful emails will be easily scannable with bullet points or numbered lists. The information should be divided into subheadings, very logically organized.

Get to the point: Don’t drag it out. The layout and copy of your email should be simple and straight forward. Remember to K.I.S.S: Keep It Simple Stupid.

The point is that people don’t like to be messed around. The more forward and to the point you are the longer they’ll keep reading. If you use over complicated words and long drawn out stories, and they’ll move on in an instant.

Have a clear CTA at the end: Your email should be like a roadmap with only one direction, and that’s your call to action.  Have one, clear CTA at the end of your email to direct the person where to go. Avoid using multiple CTAs that will confuse the prospect and make them lose interest.

As well as that, make the CTA bolder or in a different color to make it stand out. Add clickable links to a landing page with an offer. With Glofox you can insert an easy to use Lead Capture form that will allow the person to sign up for a free trial very quick and easy.