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Email Marketing Part 1 — The Basics

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In Part 1 of this email marketing series, marketing experts from across the industry share why email marketing is such an effective method in today’s fitness landscape.

A recent Statista study shows 90.9% of internet users in the U.S. regularly use an email account throughout the day. With such a high percentage of the U.S. population (292.8 million people) regularly using the internet, email marketing is a great way to send your message to the masses.

“Email marketing is extremely cost effective, and you have the ability to fully track or test almost any component of an email campaign, so you know what works and what doesn’t,” said Merikay Marzoni, the director of marketing and public relations at Fitness Formula Clubs.

According to Tiffany Hock, the marketing director of Elite Sports Clubs, email marketing helps clubs pinpoint their exact audience and demographic out of such a high population of internet users. “Most people still rely heavily on email for many of their communications, and the reporting available for email marketing is extremely robust,” she said.

The ability to target specific prospects is one of email marketing’s major strengths. It takes this same principle from direct mail and delivers your message more effectively through a medium through which millions of people consume content.

“You have targeting options that aren’t available on other channels,” said Ali Stauffer, the vice president of marketing at City Fitness. “You can deliver something of value to exactly the right people at exactly the right time, and — if you do it right — avoid spamming people who don’t want to hear from you.”

The “right people” are an important part of all this. Email marketing is most effective when you’re sending your emails to prospects or members who have subscribed to receive them.

“Assuming you are working with your own list — not a purchased one — these are earned contacts, people who have already engaged with your brand in some way and are much more likely to listen to your offerings and messages than other, more generally targeted marketing methods,” said Hock.

According to Marzoni, email marketing also helps clubs create good connections with prospects. “It’s the perfect medium to have a more in-depth conversation with a prospect or member,” she said.

Getting those in-depth conversations is the ultimate goal of marketing. This goes for any marketing method, but considering email marketing is a medium so often associated with spam, there are levels of intentionality with which these campaigns should be crafted.

When formulating City Fitness’ email marketing campaigns, Stauffer follows these two basic rules:

  • Email less. Having someone’s email address is a privilege — don’t abuse it. We all get too much email. Every time you send an email, ask yourself if you would want it to land in your own inbox. Would you find it useful or entertaining? If not, your audience won’t either. So don’t send it.
  • Send better emails. Make them more useful and entertaining. If you can consistently delight people, they will open your emails, engage with them and look forward to them. Your message will actually get across.

The more engaging, informative and relevant your emails are to a prospect, the more likely they are to open them. And just like that, your foot is in the door.

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Bobby Dyer

Bobby is the assistant editor of Club Solutions Magazine. He can be reached at bobby@peakemedia.com.

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