If you’re in the fitness industry, your job is to inspire and educate your clients to be their best, strongest and healthiest selves. Email marketing can help.
You have valuable information, skills, and services to share, so why not get them out there to a target audience who’s waiting for them?
In this email marketing guide for gym owners 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 and wellness goals.
So you want to help people be their best selves—and you have the workout plans, facilities and healthy recipes to get them there. Next up, you need a digital marketing channel to get your programs out into the world. Enter: email marketing!
Later on, we’ll jump into some fitness newsletter examples that are rockin’ it. But for starters, here’s just a few ways that you could use email marketing for your business.
✅ Create a newsletter subscription with weekly recipes and nutrition tips
✅ Promote different gym membership packages
✅ Create a 30-day workout challenge, with new exercises sent every day
✅ Send email surveys to find out what your clients want more of
✅ Share progress photos and testimonials from your customers
✅ Use content blocks to promote your latest fitness articles and videos
✅ Send daily motivational quotes and stories to keep people inspired
✅ Show a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of how you create your workouts
You can get as creative as you like! And if you’re still wondering whether email marketing is for you, here are some things to ponder:
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 new clients and keep them coming back. Email marketing will help you to promote your program and share the latest memberships.
While Facebook, Instagram and Google can change their algorithms any day and negatively affect your reach, email marketing is under your control. You can go straight to people’s inboxes and keep the dialogue flowing with your customers.
Email is still one of the most effective marketing tools out there. In fact, it’s doing better than ever! Our email marketing benchmarks data showed that open rates increased by 7% in 2020.
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 an email strategy 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 emailing targeted marketing campaigns.
The first step to email
marketing for your fitness club is to get more subscribers on your
email list. A robust list means more clients to connect with and
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.
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 share some marketing tips and show you the type of newsletter content that will keep your clients healthy, happy and coming back for more!
You can collect email addresses 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. For example, you might leave the iPad by the door at the end of your class, so that people can sign up on their way out.
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 depending on your clientele.
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 you offer an incentive to encourage people to sign up, such as a free PDF workout plan, fitness center day pass, or access to an exclusive webinar.
Found My Fitness gives out free actionable tips on health, fitness and nutrition when you sign up for their emails.
The marketers at Peloton inserted a big banner on their web page to attract new newsletter subscribers.
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.
Working out with a friend is much easier than working out alone! Exercise can be a social time as well, so tap into this trend by offering special discounts for people who want to get their friends involved.
For example, in the referrals form below, Mountainside Fitness offer people $10 off their next month when they refer a friend.
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. Just 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. Keep it short and sweet!
Curious about leveraging social media? We explain how email marketing and social media can work together for good in this guide.
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.
Check out this example from ClassPass below. When signing up for a membership plan, customers can tick a box if they don’t want to receive marketing messages from them.
Want to learn more about growing a high-quality email list of clients and fitness fans? We've got another guide just for that!
Once you’ve got your email list together, the real fun begins. With segmentation, you can group your subscribers based on their demographics and behaviors—such as which fitness classes they’ve attended, or where they’re from. This then means that you can send more targeted emails, which will be even more relevant to them. To learn more, check out this ultimate guide to email segmentation.
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 email until the moment you want something from your subscribers.
Work it harder. Make it better. Do it faster. Makes us stronger.
Remember, just like working out, email marketing campaigns require 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).
What if you're feeling a bit stuck about what kind of content to send? We've been there and done that. Here's our take on how to craft interesting email content that subscribers actually care about!
Over time, you’ll build up your own collection of newsletter templates that work for you and your audience.
And now, without further ado, let’s look at 10 email campaigns that were created by fitness professionals just like you. (Unintentional rhyming, there!)
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.
This welcome email from Fitbit arrives as soon as someone creates an account. It shares a quick reminder to get started using their features, along with testimonials from happy customers to get people inspired.
Keep your subscribers updated with useful fitness tips and advice on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This will also boost your open rates as your content is seen is relevant.
For example, you can send them tips on how to perform exercises properly, how to recover after the workout, safe weight loss advice, and what to eat to feel great.
In this email, Adidas Runtastic uses the subject line “📛 Attention, please! 6 post-workout mistakes to steer clear of!” and shares pro tips on the best recovery methods and training styles.
Content like this helps educate subscribers and inspires them to better their own lifestyle.
Having a target to work towards can make all the difference. Propose fitness goals and ways to track progress for your customers. Seeing the results will motivate them to keep pushing.
Set up a friendly competition or challenge, with a small or symbolic reward at the end to spark excitement. Also, don't forget to send a follow-up email sharing photos and videos from the competition. It'll help to generate social shares and more interest for the next one!
Take this email from the Guildford 10K for example—it congratulates everyone for participating in the event, and includes links to social media pages so that they can get more information about upcoming competitions.
When you know your clients well enough to understand their goals, challenges and pain points, you can use this to send personalized content. Personalization is a great email marketing tool to build a connection with your audience, and show them how much you care.
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 Nike Training Club, which sends this congratulatory email once someone has completed their first ‘Startup’ training plan.
Notice the strong "Explore plans" call to action (CTA) at the end of the email newsletter? It's these buttons that prompt your subscribers to do something next. We tell you more about creating a CTA that works in this guide.
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.
So, how do you automatically send a birthday greeting without dealing with a spreadsheet of dates? It's easy when you tap the power of email automation.
The next guide explains how you can surprise and delight your subscribers by automatically triggering an email on their birthday or send them a discount on their anniversary of becoming a subscriber.
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, fitness advice or healthy alternatives for not-so-great habits?
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.
This email from Blogilates does a great job of sharing customer success stories, which is a nice motivator for people to keep going.
It's okay to share promotional content like trial class schedules, 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. Gym membership 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.
With email, you can do much more than motivating, selling and teaching your subscribers. It's also a good platform for customer service.
There are various email templates you can use: welcome emails, customer satisfaction surveys or simply showing appreciation every once in a while.
This message from Anytime Fitness is personalized (they addressed the subscriber by name) and comes from a real person within the company rather than a department. Also, the customer is reassured that they’ll receive help from the team very soon. The email is then wrapped up with a big welcome and high-fives.
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 in newsletters and it increases engagement, like this email from Gibney which links to their latest video workouts.
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 online webinar?
In the newsletter below, Recreational Gymnastics Professionals is offering a virtual summit for preschool and recreational coaches.
When the fitness world was put on hold during the pandemic, gym owners and personal trainers got creative and went digital to survive. Fitness plans, workout sessions, group training and even races happened virtually.
Check out these virtual running competitions promoted by JustConnect, where people could log their distance and time from anywhere.
42Race adopted a similar strategy, promoting virtual running events with collectable badges as a reward. They also offered free home workouts for those who weren’t allowed outside, so that there was something for everyone.
Even during challenging times, fitness professionals can still keep their clients motivated with special home exercise and nutrition plans, delivered straight to their inbox.
P.S. You can design professional-looking newsletters with minimal effort. We break down elements of succesful newsletter design for you in the following guide.
P.P.S. Looking for more fitness newsletter inspiration? Check out our sports newsletter gallery for more top ideas!
There are as many email marketing campaign tactics as there are exercises. As with physical fitness, the more you engage in email marketing, the stronger and better-equipped you’ll be.
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 use to grow your fitness business?
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