The email marketing workout plan for gyms & personal trainers

If you’re in the fitness business, your job is to inspire and educate your clients to be their best, strongest and healthiest selves. This translates perfectly to email marketing.

You have valuable information, skills, and services to share, so why not get them out there to an audience who’s waiting for them?

In this email marketing guide for gyms and personal trainers, you’ll learn how to implement solid email marketing strategies to continuously bring in new business. The email campaigns will also help you build a community of loyal customers who, with your help, can achieve their fitness goals.

Your forte is motivating people to be their best selves and creating workout plans that'll get your clients the results they want, not email marketing, right?

Even as a gym or personal coach, you'll want to get busy with email marketing. It's simply the best channel to attract new prospects and maintain relationships with your clients.

Pump it up a little more. Get the party going on the dance floor.


You retain more customers

Whether you run a gym, offer specialized fitness classes like yoga, pilates, spin or barre, or you’re a personal trainer, your success rests on your ability to get clients and keep them coming back. No channel does this better than email marketing.

You own the platform

How many likes do you get on your Facebook post these days? If you're like most businesses, you've probably noticed the organic reach of your posts dropping and the cost of running ads increasing.  

While Facebook, Instagram and Google can change their algorithms any day and negatively affect your reach, email marketing is under your control. You choose how and when to communicate with your customers.

Email marketing is growing

Email not only delivers a greater return on investment than other marketing channels ($38 to $44 for every $1 you invest), but it's also getting bigger. The number of email users is expected to reach 4.3 billion users by 2022. That's a whole lot!

It's cheap and easy to manage

Have you tried running PPC ads on Google before? It can be a headache, not to mention expensive. Email marketing, on the other hand, is straightforward and cost-effective.

Plus, your customers actually prefer you to send marketing messages through email. Which is why email marketing is a no-brainer in the marketing mix of your fitness business.

Now, let’s get this session started. We'll show you how to use email marketing for your gym or personal training business — from building a list to sending targeted campaigns.

In both fitness and email marketing, it takes focus, discipline and perseverance to get the results you want. But most of all, the chances of success are much higher when you're teaming up together. Which is why you need an email list to collect emails from prospects and to start building your online network.

Everybody get on the floor. Crank the party up. We about to get it on. Let me see ya, 1, 2 step.


Grab your towel and water. To ease into this workout, we’ll start with the basics.

Here are simple ways to grow your email list. Once you're warmed up, we'll show the type of newsletter content that will keep your clients healthy, happy and coming back for more.

Step 1. Grow your email list

The first step to email marketing for your fitness business is to get more subscribers on your email list. A robust list means more clients to connect with and inspire. 

Collect email addresses in person

You can collect email address offline using an iPad subscriber app. Ask your front desk staff to collect email addresses from new and existing clients or do it yourself wherever you see fit.   

To build trust and anticipation, share with customers that they will receive free tips about health and fitness, motivational material, fitness challenges, discounts, diet tips and more on a regular basis. Aim for once a week, but you can tailor this for your clientele.

Add opt-in forms on your website 

The easiest way to grow your list organically is to use an opt-in form that your website visitors can use to subscribe.

To make sports fanatics aware of your newsletter, you can use a variety of options.

The first one is to use embedded forms to get website visitors to join your gym email list. Make sure to offer an incentive to encourage people to sign up. 

Personal trainer Scott Laidler gives out free actionable tips in a video when you sign up for his personal trainer emails.

Scott Laidler embedded form example

Peloton inserted a big banner on their web page to attract new newsletter subscribers.

Peloton email subscription form example

Another option to collect new subscribers is by implementing a pop-up form on your website — either one that pops up after some seconds or when visitors are about to leave your website.

Create an opt-in landing page 

If your gym has a social media presence, you can leverage that to grow your list. Simply create a landing page that contains an opt-in form. Then add the link to the bio or about section of your social media profiles, or share your fitness newsletter in a post directly.

Design the landing page to be inspirational and clearly explain what the reader gets by signing up. 

Do keep in mind that asking for too much information could deter people from subscribing. Getting a name, email address and/or phone number is enough to get you started.

Enable opt-ins when registering for classes or personal training sessions

When someone registers online for a class or personal training session, they’re already putting in their email addresses. Why not ask them directly whether they'd also like to hear from you in the future?

Provide an opt-in (a yes/no drop-down menu or a small checkbox) that people can check to confirm the sports newsletter subscription.

Newsletter subscription affordable yoga and fitness example

Once your email list starts growing, you need to focus on building a relationship with your subscribers. The last thing you want to do is quietly collect email addresses and wait with your first gym email until the moment you want something from your subscribers.

Work it harder. Make it better. Do it faster. Makes us stronger.

Daft Punk

Remember, just like working out, email marketing requires consistency to achieve great results. From the moment a subscriber joins your list, you should send them regular email content (that isn't fully focused on promotional content).

Here are a few ideas on what type of sports campaigns you can send.

The welcome email

The most important email you can send when someone becomes a subscriber is a welcome email. When someone signs up you can set up an automated message that will be sent the moment they confirm their subscription. The welcome email is your opportunity to set expectations and make a strong first impression.

Welcome fitness email example

Educational content email

Send your subscribers useful information that'll help improve their lives. For example, you can send them tips on how to perform exercises properly, how to recover after the workout and what to eat to feel great.

In this email, Women's Health shares an inspiring story from a fitness coach who went from party lover to dedicated fitness coach. Content like this helps educate subscribers and inspires them to better their own lifestyle.

Women's Health educational content example

Goals and competitions

Propose fitness goals and ways to track progress to your customers. Seeing results will motivate them to continue with their resolutions.

Create friendly competitions or challenges and encourage people to participate. Establish some small or symbolic awards to spark excitement and boost motivation.

Sweat nation newsletter example

Personalized content

When you know your clients well enough to understand their goals, challenges and pain points, you can use this to send personalized content. 

You can start by asking for their goals and give unique advice that'll bring them closer to that specific goal. Just like the example below from 366 Days of Running.

Birthdays are also a good time to send some wishes. Offer a discount or small present in your birthday email to spark even more joy into their day.

Furthermore, you can send targeted emails at certain times of the year. The summer season and holiday festivities are big happenings for many gyms and personal trainers. 

Use these time periods to create special email campaigns for your subscribers. During Thanksgiving, you can send tips on how to feel less bloated and sluggish. Or inform readers about how to keep fit and get outside during Christmas. Or why not share fun summer exercises or healthy alternatives for not-so-great habits?

Personalized running newsletter example

Success stories

Exercising consistently isn't easy. When you consider the busy schedules your clients have, a lack of motivation quickly becomes an issue.

The easiest way to boost client morale is to share stories of people just like them who have achieved or are seeing great results. Your clients are more likely to trust stories from people like themselves who face (or have faced) the same challenges.

Blogilates fitness email example

Promotional content

It's okay to share promotional content like discounts and special offers once in a while. You can also ask for reviews and testimonials to boost your gym’s credibility.

In this email, New Heights Fitness announces its 6-week email subscriber package. Discounts like these give subscribers an added value for being part of the newsletter. New Heights Fitness also does an excellent job including a contest and announcing the winner in the newsletter.

New Heights Fitness newsletter example

Customer service-oriented emails

With email, you can do much more than motivating, selling and teaching your subscribers. It's also a good platform for customer service.

This can come through welcome emails, customer satisfaction surveys or simply showing appreciation every once in a while.

This message from Outdoor Voices is personalized (they addressed the subscriber by name) and comes from a real person within the company rather than a department. Also, customers are asked to reach out if they have any questions. The email is then wrapped up with a big welcome and high-fives.

Outdoor Voices newsletter example

Video content 

You’re in the business of constant movement. Show your clients what that looks like through video content. Provide workout tutorials, show what a sample personal training session might look like, share teaser videos of fitness classes or inspire them with testimonial videos. 

It’s easy to embed videos within newsletters and it increases engagement. 

Sport newsletter with video example

Leverage special events

Don't forget to think out of the box and come up with new ideas to make your newsletters exciting and current. Is there a health fair coming up that you’ll be attending? A special holiday that resonates with your customers?

Or maybe you're hosting a one-time webinar? In the newsletter below, health coach Nagina reminds her readers about an upcoming webinar on food psychology.

Nagina webinar newsletter example

There are as many email marketing tactics as there are exercises. As with physical fitness, the more you engage in email marketing, the stronger and better-equipped you’ll be. 

Eat your salad, no dessert. Get that man you deserve. It's Kanye's workout plan.

Kanye West

With email, you own the platform, which means it's up to you to get subscribers, interact with them consistently, and move them — literally and metaphorically — with your content. 

Creating targeted and relevant content is not only useful, but it also helps cultivate a positive and healthy relationship with your clients. And as you’re in the business of health and fitness, what could be better than that?  

Which email marketing tactics will you implement to grow your fitness business?

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