If you are part of the fitness industry then you sure are aware of the massive disruption that is going through. A disruption interconnected with the “so-called” brave new world.
If you missed it, is because you most probably live in a cave for the last two years or so. If you are a gym regular, you must have noticed a lot of clients working out using their smartphone or tablet. They do not use them just as a music companionship when they sweat on the treadmill. They also use them as their training buddy that keeps them motivated and gives them tips on how to achieve that perfect plank. Classic treadmills and bikes are gone. Their replacements? High-tech, wifi-connected, motion – sensitive machinery that makes the workout more enjoyable and productive. To this add the ever increasing volume of fitness, always-connected wearables, and health apps and you will get the full picture.
While the way fitness professionals interact with their customers during the workout changes, email marketing revolutionizes the way they communicate with their clientele as well. Whether it is pre- or post- workout. Today we will analyze some great case studies of fitness brands. All had nailed the art of email communications when interacting with their existing and prospect customers
Email marketing tips for fitness professionals – Make a great first impression!
Do not underestimate the importance of a warm welcome email. It is useful when a prospect customer signs up on your website, mobile app or even visits in person one of your local branches. 71% of users that sign up to a new web page expect a welcome email. The analysis shows that the users perceive it as evidence that the website is active and functioning.
ClassPass – “We are excited to meet you, here is the scoop”.
Classpass is a fitness membership program that offers an innovative concept. For a fixed price ($99) it gives you access to the most high-end studios of your area. Initially, it was launched in the US but recently it was introduced in Europe, by making its first stop in the United Kingdom.
ClassPass sees the welcome email as an opportunity to summarize the key points of their offering.
Title– If you aspire to transform couch potatoes to fitness freaks, you already know you need to beam energy, passion, and friendliness. Put in simple terms, your emails need to “scream” motivation! The use of a strong motivational world in the header does exactly that! Welcome to the community of happy, motivated, fit Classpassers. Well done!
Use of Visual – The email’s central visual is catchy and targeted to newcomers and people that possibly haven’t trained for a while. Instead of great-looking photoshopped bodies, the recipient sees real people working out instead.
Clear call to action – ClassPass reserves the most premium spots for the call to action, which is to visit the website to purchase a membership.
Promote special offers to the right audience
Equinox – Promotion of special offers
Equinox, one of the leading gym chains in the US, is a pioneer in content marketing. It is not a pioneer only in the fitness industry but also amongst other retail brands as well. Its content focuses to their excellent health and fitness blog. Which includes post-workout recovery and heart-healthy foods.
Autumnal Equinox Celebration
Equinox uses email marketing to promote special events and promotions to its clients. Here is an excellent email promotion example of a typical marketing event that with the right “packaging” it feels a lot a more unique and “privy”.
The header states this as an exclusive event. Meaning, an action that makes the recipient think that the event addresses to a privileged group of users, including himself.
The email sub headers, also in sizeable font and prominent position continue to build up the impression of seclusion. They manage that by stating that this is a once-in-12-months promotion. Take special note as well, on how Equinox plays with their brand name and a yearly seasonal event (the autumnal equinox) to create a unique theme-inspired promotion. Once it gives the impression that only selected recipients will receive event invitations, it increases its chances of people taking advantage of the offer.
A personalized pack of news and promotions – The case of Virgin Active newsletters
Confession: OK, here at Moosend we have a huge crush on Virgin group as a whole. Few retail brands place the offer of an unforgettable client experience at the heart of their brand promise as Virgin does. The same principle reflects in their products, services and channels. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that Virgin Active would be no exception to this rule. The brand stays loyal to its mission statement by enriching their client experience outside the gym club. So, it crafts its email campaigns with the same concept in mind.
The above email campaign abounds in great tips for email marketing. Clear CTAs, optimized use of visuals and F-shaped formats are just some of them. If you are a regular visitor to Moosend’s blog, these practices for sending emails should be no news to you. But for this article, we will cherry-pick the highlights you should be watching out in your campaign if you are a fitness professional.
Pay attention of how this email stays clear from looking like just like another ordinary automated, mass email. The recipient’s first name in the opening line gives the feeling of personalization. It also presupposes the recipient that the content that follows will be relevant for him.
Competitions and freebies – Competitions, freebies, and referral schemes are great ways to engage with your client base and reach new prospects. In the past, it has been hard for gym owners to approach customers in such way. The most critical inhibitor was the limited time span. In essence, they had to interact with them in the premises of a gym studio. Moreover, reaching them via traditional marketing channels such as outdoors or TV advertising has been too expensive and not targeted. In 2016, digital marketing and email marketing allow you to target specific segments of your client base at selected day and time. You can even test out different ways to optimize your interaction with them via A|B testing. E.g. A competition for yoga workout gear would excite your female yoga clients but not a HIIT enthusiast
– Continue the engagement outside the regular workout – Virgin Active’s tagline is “We’ll get there together” and they go over and above to make this happen. Virgin Active blog is an excellent source of nutrition- and fitness-related content. Its huge success lies in the fact that it takes the coaching ability far beyond personal training. Using email marketing to distribute their content increases visiting rates to their website. While, at the same time they manage to give unparalleled insights to their customers interests!
Frame – Re-engagement Campaign
Frame Studios introduces an accessible and fun approach to fitness. The organization pitches its classes towards working females, regardless of age or fitness level. The classes usually come with fun and imaginative class names. Some of them can be “Bend it like Barbie”, “Bridal Bootcamp” and “Get Leggy”. In that way, they make their branding super cool. All their emails campaigns are always fun, relevant and with catchy subject lines. Ingredients that always result to high open rates.
The above email is a great example of how to re-engage with inactive customers. In other words with clients that have not visited their studio for a while or have not renewed their subscription.
Your customers’ motivation comes with high and lows throughout the year. That fact happens especially if they are past the “honeymoon” phase with your brand. As we move into the year, the initial excitement and commitment may fade away. This does not mean that because that first sparkle is gone, you have to grow apart.
Customer’s motivational levels going down is a common challenge. All fitness professionals face that during certain periods of time e.g. before Christmas holidays. Email marketing though proves a powerful weapon. Both when it comes to re-engage with customers or to motivate them to re-interact with your brand.
Frame’s “pay- as-you-go” classes’ concept allows them to track in great depth which clients and for how long have been inactive. Following this insight, they developed a unique “re-engagement” offer for their customers.
Try to position the offer as exclusive to named subscribers. This technique may also increase sharing. As a result, it will further expand the reach of your campaign outside your distribution list.
Although the above example focuses to a monetary offer, make no mistake that incentives need to be always of monetary nature. Try playing around with a combination of free giveaways. Such as being the first to hear of new offers or “bring-a-friend” scheme. The results will surprise you.
Be extra careful about how far you go with your re-engagement strategy, no matter how strong it is. Even with a compelling offer, inactive subscribers may well stay like that. In this case, it’s wiser to delete them from your distribution lists. It would be much more practical to focus on a shorter but more engaged target group.
Help your clients stay organized and disciplined about their work out – The case study of Freeletics.
Two things are worth noticed on Freeletics email strategy if you’re looking for email marketing tips for fitness professionals. It goes far beyond the concept of traditional promo campaigns and succeeds to be embedded in their strategic product offering.
Freeletics is the new fitness kid on the block. It is a website/app that offers free exercise, workout ideas, routines, and support. For a monthly or yearly fee, you can get access to the “Training Coach”. The “Coach” offers “The most individualized and dynamic fitness program on the planet”.
“How could a virtual, remote trainer keep you motivated and disciplined?” we hear you asking, and those were our thoughts exactly. Thanks to their automated, email communications, Freeletics create a virtual 360-degree training support mechanism. It enriches the workout experience via social media engagement, virtual “group” training etc.
Freeletics email communications are a great complement to their high-quality free content. They offer amazing advice on exercise, nutritional and well-being matters. They are persistent when it comes to getting their new subscribers up and running within the initial period of the service. That’s how they manage to transform the hype to a loyal customer base. This is critical for their freemium business model. Why? Because customer engagement from the early days of membership has better chances to result in sign-ups for a premium service.
Freeletics is a digital-only product. A fact which means, that there are no physical premises. Also, there is not a renowned fitness instructor that can fuel the customer acquisition and brand awareness.
Generating traffic to their website/app via email, is essential in order to find out if their free content remains appealing enough to attract, convert into and keep new customers. They also need valuable feedback on how their product and content should evolve over time and how to build awareness. Freeletics use email to deliver the weekly work-out routine and indulge new subscribers on other things on offer. These may be community engagement via Freeletics training groups, promotions, local events, etc.
There is only one common underlying theme across all emails and that is the action to sign up for the paid service.
This has been a mash-up of the best uses of email marketing from hot new to well-established, billion-worth brands in the fitness arena. How would you rate their ideas? Do you think you could see yourself applying those tactics to the email marketing strategy of your business? Have you come across other successful examples of fitness brands with great email marketing campaigns?
We’d love to hear feedback from you! Feel free to leave your comments and questions on this article by replying to the comments on this post!
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