Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways for fitness businesses to engage customers, promote services, and grow revenue. Yet many fitness entrepreneurs struggle to get the most out of their email campaigns.
This article will provide 13 concrete email marketing tips to help fitness business owners reinvigorate their approach, boost engagement, and expand their reach.
Whether you’re looking for inspiration on email design, strategies to improve open rates or ways to convert more subscribers into paying members, these proven ideas will help you take your fitness email marketing to the next level. You should also consider using email marketing services as they have proven to be very effective at automating most of the email campaign process.
Why Fitness Businesses Should Use Email Marketing
Email marketing delivers unmatched returns for fitness businesses. Studies show that email achieves a 4,400% ROI on average, the highest of any marketing channel.
Beyond sheer revenue growth, branded email newsletters raise brand awareness, foster customer loyalty, and provide valuable analytics into subscriber preferences. With email, gym owners can segment contacts, promote new services, advertise special events, and drive membership sales.
Personal trainers can share workout tips, announce new programs, and upsell current clients. Yoga and boutique studios can build community and stay top of mind between classes. Whether you run a big-box gym or solo coaching business, branded email newsletters and campaigns provide inexpensive exposure to your existing contacts.
With a strategic email approach, fitness businesses can earn 20-50% more revenue per subscriber while strengthening their brand. The consistently high returns justify investing time into sending targeted, valuable emails.
1. Offer Free Trial Classes in Exchange for Email Signups
Getting new contacts into your email list should be a top priority for fitness businesses. One of the most effective ways to rapidly grow your subscriber list is by offering a free 1-week trial or class in exchange for an email signup.
Rather than simply asking visitors to hand over their inbox credentials with no context, consider incentivizing them by promoting a free session. This could be a complimentary weekly yoga class, a solo session with a personal trainer, or week-long gym access — whatever aligns with your offerings.
Not only does this tactic convert visitors into subscribers at higher rates, but it also gets new leads into your facility to experience services first-hand.
Once a prospect attends their free session, be sure to follow up with a personalized email recapping their visit. Thank them for coming in, share any photos/videos, and provide membership details should they wish to continue.
This post-session email also presents another opportunity to segment contacts based on their attendance and interest level, allowing for more targeted email campaigns down the road.
2. Send Welcome Emails When Clients Sign Up
Don’t miss the opportunity to welcome new subscribers into the fold. The moment someone signs up for your email list is when they’re most excited about your brand. Capitalize on this peak interest by sending an automated welcome email to all new subscribers.
Tailor the message to reinforce what the person signed up for and get them acquainted with your brand. For example, thank them for signing up for personal training session alerts. Include an overview of what communications they can expect to receive going forward. Consider attaching free content like workout plans or healthy recipes to continue providing value.
Sending welcome emails is a chance to set the foundation for an engaging subscriber relationship. Keep the email concise but personable and focused on onboarding individuals to receive your emails.
Software like Mailchimp makes it easy to configure automated messages that make new signups feel recognized. Take advantage of this email real estate when subscriber interest is piqued.
3. Promote Membership Discounts and Special Offers
One of the most direct ways to increase revenue through email is by promoting tempting offers like limited-time membership discounts or special promotions. Whether you run a special one-month-only sale or gift membership access for the holidays, featuring discounts in your email campaigns can quickly convert subscribers into paying members.
When promoting deals and sales, clearly state the value and what you’re offering in your subject line or main copy by highlighting the discounted rate and regular price. Be upfront about expiration dates to add a sense of urgency.
Also importantly, incentivize current members to forward your promotions to friends or family with a referral or incentive program to gain new prospects.
Beyond discounts, you can also use email to promote in-demand class packages, contests like workout challenges with prizes, and special events like sponsorship of 5k runs or charity fundraisers. Think through the promotions and perks that will resonate with your audience. Then promote them via email to incentivize both member signups and renewals.
4. Share Fitness and Nutrition Tips
One of the best ways to add value to your subscriber base is by sharing tangible fitness and nutrition tips in your email campaigns. For example, feature a weekly exercise that targets a specific muscle group along with tips on proper form. Or send a healthy smoothie recipe that incorporates fresh, seasonal produce.
The example below is of an email packed with educational content that users will find helpful:
This type of practical, informative content establishes your expertise in health and wellness. It shows subscribers you’re invested in helping them meet their goals versus solely promoting your offerings. Use tips as a way to supplement sales emails focused on driving higher conversion rates and renewals.
Aim to incorporate a fitness or nutrition tip into every 3rd or 4th email sent. Source ideas by polling your membership base about areas they want guidance on or checking trending topics on health blogs.
Then tailor tips to your audience’s demographics and interests for maximum relevance. Value-driven emails demonstrating your health knowledge strengthen subscriber relationships.
5. Spotlight Client Success Stories
Leverage the inspiring journeys of your clients to showcase your impact and engage subscribers. From a member who lost 50 pounds training in your gym to a client maintaining sobriety through yoga, ask individuals if you can feature their success stories.
Not only do these testimonials make great social media and website content, but they also deliver high click and open rates in emails. Use client spotlights to break up promo-heavy emails with authentic storytelling. Ideally, feature a photo of the client along with a summary of the challenges they faced and progress made training with you.
Spotlighting compelling member stories helps current and prospective clients envision success working with you. It builds trust and affirms you can create customized plans to help people overcome obstacles. Allow client testimonials to inspire your audience while putting a relatable face on your brand.
6. Email Class and Event Reminders
Fitness businesses host everything from weekly club classes to one-off charity events. Drive attendance and registrations by leveraging email reminders to prompt your subscribers.
Effective email reminders hit inboxes 1-3 days before the class or event date. They reiterate logistical details like start times, locations, and costs. Reminders should provide value by outlining what attendees can expect, the necessary preparations, and the perks of participating.
Give subscribers who haven’t registered a last-chance incentive by promoting day-of sign-ups or limited drop-in capacity.
Routine promotional blasts build brand excitement around your offerings and upcoming calendar. Reminder emails also help ensure you fill classes and hit event attendance targets after dedicating resources to hosting. Maintain top-of-mind awareness of all programs by integrating reminder emails into the standard workflow in your email platform.
7. Reward Loyal Email Subscribers
Don’t take your longtime subscribers for granted. Identify and reward the contacts who regularly open, click, and convert from your email campaigns. Little perks of appreciation strengthen reader rapport and loyalty over time.
For example, after someone has been subscribed for 6 months, you can send an exclusive email allowing early access to event registrations.
Or if someone clicks over half of the emails in 3 months, automatically enter them into a gift card giveaway. Consider birthday perks like free classes or merchandise discounts for your VIP contacts who have been opening emails for a year or longer.
Loyalty programs encourage subscribers to remain engaged over many years versus fast sign-up attrition. Promote tiered rewards in campaigns and create badges like “VIP Subscriber” so contacts feel a heightened status receiving your emails. It’s wise business to treasure loyal subscribers who drive results.
8. Send Post-Workout Surveys for Feedback
The moments after someone completes a workout or class are an opportune time to survey them for feedback while the experience is still fresh. Create customized surveys with questions like: Did you achieve your training goals? How likely are you to attend another session? What can we improve?
Email surveys directly to clients immediately following appointments or classes to capture responses. This proactive approach yields higher survey completion rates and more constructive suggestions than generalized or delayed review requests. Consider offering incentives like free merchandise for completing post-session surveys as well.
Analyzing feedback enables you to capitalize on strengths and address weaknesses before issues jeopardize client retention. Both positive reviews and constructive criticism provide key customer insights you can use to elevate programs and make data-backed improvements to your service approach.
9. Promote Webinars and Online Fitness Courses
Expand your digital reach by promoting online services like virtual fitness classes, webinars, and pre-recorded courses via email. Especially after the pandemic uptick, at-home workouts and on-demand learning remain in demand.
Dedicate a sequence of emails to advertise new online offerings as they launch. Share instructor bios, class previews, and technology requirements to spur sign-ups. Promote limited-time discounts on webinar series or capsule your most popular class formats into digital courses subscribers can purchase 24/7.
Online programming diversifies income streams while expanding your brand’s accessibility. Some subscribers may prefer at-home options rather than an in-studio commitment. Promote virtual services in dedicated emails as well as in your general promotional campaigns to capitalize on widening online opportunities.
10. Announce New Classes and Programs
Don’t keep new offerings under wraps – announce classes and programs via email when they launch. Dedicate an email specifically to outline details of each new service like style of training, instructor bios, ideal clientele, and pricing packages.
Weave in success stories and testimonials from early adopters who participated in pilot programs. Share enticing photos of your updated facilities or sneak peeks of specialty equipment that supports new modalities. Gift a free session and incentivize current members to spread the word to supplement email promotion.
Proactively announcing additions to your catalog via email alleviates curiosity from long-time subscribers. It also activates new sign-ups from prospects seeking niche services you now offer. Promoting launch campaigns for new classes, workshops, and training programs helps quickly establish enrollment while the content remains fresh.
11. Segment Subscribers for Targeted Promos
Rather than blasting the same promotions to all subscribers, take time to segment your lists based on subscriber attributes like past purchases, interests, demographics, and engagement metrics. Then develop laser-focused email campaigns suited to each group.
For example, send special motherhood fitness packages to contacts who recently gave birth. Or promote senior strength training classes to subscribers who are 65+. Niche down by interests too – if cycling is trending in your area, create bike-focused email promos to related leads.
Segmenting allows you to cater offers, improving conversion potential because they directly align with what different segments want.
Invest time upfront in determining how to best tier your subscribers for maximum personalization. Software like Mailchimp makes it easy to tag contacts based on characteristics and behavior in your gym. Divide and conquer each subset with tailored offers that feel more 1:1 thanks to smart list segmentation.
12. Automate Milestone Emails for Goals Achieved
Recognizing client achievements, no matter how small, fosters encouragement and loyalty. Set up automated emails in your CRM to trigger when subscribers reach key milestones like attending 5 yoga classes or losing 2% body fat with a trainer.
Milestone emails should praise the tangible progress made while reminding contacts of the big-picture vision behind their goals. Along with kudos for strides forward so far, suggest next steps to maintain motivation like upcoming workshops related to their aims or expert coaching calls if they want more specialized guidance.
Automated milestone messages require a CRM integration to sync data points like check-ins, body measurements, and class registers to trigger sends. While setup takes some effort, the campaign instantly activates meaningful business-to-human touches based on the unique journey of each subscriber. Celebrate your audience while they celebrate wins.
13. Continuously Test and Analyze Performance
Don’t just set up email campaigns and forget them. Consistently check your list analytics for crucial insights into subscriber behaviors and response rates. Monitor which subject lines and content prompt the highest engagement. Pay close attention to the rise and fall of open and click-through rates to infer when subscribers feel fatigued by message frequency.
Complement macro observations by A/B testing various email variants to drill down on what works at a micro level. For example, how do open rates compare sending Tuesday at 2 pm vs. Sunday at 8 pm? Or what about lists segmented by men vs women: which subject lines drive the strongest engagement per group?
Dedicate time each week to analyze subscriber trends and test new angles until you find your email cadence sweet spot. The more you can amplify the highs and avoid the lows based on data, the more email momentum your business will experience. Even the most basic testing delivers optimization insights that dramatically magnify ROI when email is a revenue vehicle.
Email marketing provides unmatched returns for fitness businesses when leveraged strategically. By optimizing list growth tactics, crafting targeted campaigns and continuously honing your approach based on insights, you can elevate client engagement and revenue with this free channel.
Whether you’re looking to drive new member sign-ups, improve class participation, or boost loyalty, applying the email best practices in this article will help you see tangible results. Re-think your fitness brand’s current email strategy and subscriber communications. Then watch your following, sales and bottom line grow month after month.