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Automated drip campaigns for fitness centers and gyms

Find out how text message drip campaigns can help your gym bring in new members, re-engage lapsed gym-goers and reward your regulars.

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Since its inception, you have worked diligently to make your fitness center or gym a successful business.

By now, you’ve mastered the job’s many different demands and duties, and you juggle them all with poise and precision. Fitness coach, working the laundry machines, wiping down equipment, hiring manager, and marketing director—you do it all. And you make it look easy.

Not quite?

Being a business owner is all about balance. Sometimes, that means delegating. Or, in this case, automating. By setting up an automated campaign, you can nurture your leads and put valuable, engaging marketing into place without having to compromise on your business’s most precious commodity—time.

In fact, with the right segmenting and the right timing, you’ll be able to build loyalty and grow your sales with a single campaign in a single click.

What is a drip campaign?

A drip campaign is a type of text marketing automation that sends a series of pre-scheduled, pre-written text messages to your customer segments based on their behaviors, interests, gym membership type, etc.

These messages are built into a larger workflow, one that is automatically triggered by the actions of your audience—it could be they have just signed up for a fitness class, renewed their membership or even opted-in to a specific location.

How can they help gyms?

Now that you understand the basics, you can put one (or several) campaigns in motion. The best drip campaigns are built with two things: content and a well-segmented list of customers. Knowing your customers’ interests will help you tailor your messaging to them and create a targeted and engaging campaign.

Segment your audience based on fitness goals

Take, for instance, a customer segment based on fitness goals. You could group them into “gain muscle,” “lose weight,” or “improve stamina” and, from there, adjust your content accordingly.

This type of campaign is structured as a funnel, so your initial message should be very broad and general. For example, if you are speaking to customers whose fitness goals were to gain muscle, your first text could say:

You can make excuses or you can make it happen! Here are a few Motivational Monday quotes that will inspire you to hit the weight room and start the week off strong:

The soft sell puts your brand into customers’ hands without being overbearing—it simply shows you know your stuff (and everyone needs a little nudge on Mondays). The second message should be slightly more targeted and speak more about your gym’s services:

Want to get more out of your trips to the gym? We’ve put together ten exercises that will max out your muscles in just a few minutes:

The link could take the reader to content on your gym’s blog and detail both weightlifting exercises as well as machine exercises. This creates value for your gym by making you a source of information as well as a workout venue.

The final message (whether that’s the third, sixth, eleventh, or so on) should be your sales offer—a low-stakes commitment that doesn’t overwhelm your customer. It should be something like:

Change up your lifting routine with the help of our personal trainers. Sign up for six sessions today and you’ll get the seventh free:

This should link to a landing page that was created for this specific segment and offer.

An important practice when you are implementing any campaign is to use trackable links. A trackable link gives you real-time insight into how many times your link is clicked.

Segment based on favorite workouts

Creating an audience segment based on fitness goals is just one strategy that can help you successfully sell a specific service (e.g., personal training services).

What if, say, the goal was to increase class attendance? You could segment your audience based on their favorite workout such as yoga, Pilates, spin, or boot camp, and target your messaging to each workout. For instance, if yoga was their workout of choice, then you could text:

Need some stress relief? This video walks you through the best yoga poses to do when you need to unwind after a tough day:

The link should go to curated or self-created content that is helpful, but not overtly sales-y. YouTube is a great resource if you don’t have time to record anything yourself—just make sure it wasn’t made by one of your competitors.

Your second text in the campaign should be slightly more direct and, when you can, refer to blog posts or videos that come directly from your business. Consider something like:

Our yoga instructors don’t just teach yoga—they live it. Here are a few ways they have implemented the lessons of yoga into their lives and how you can, too:

The final text should always serve up the offer you created the campaign for. In this instance, it would be something along the lines of:

Daily yoga practice helps heal the heart and clear the mind. Sign up for a 10-day class pass and make yoga part of your relaxation routine:

The link should go to an offer landing page that is specific to your segment.

Segment based on start date

Say your goal is to reengage with lapsing members or to maintain your attendance numbers.

Segmenting your audience by the month they joined or their membership type helps you keep track of when they are set to renew, when they will most likely fall off the wagon, and how you can rekindle their interest with specific, targeted content. The same old, “We miss you!” message won’t get you far.

Instead, you should reach out with low-impact information that offers some encouragement. For instance:

What are the five must-have habits of healthy people? Eating well, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, spending time with friends, and, you guessed it—exercise!

The second text should be slightly more targeted, though it should still steer clear of a hard sell. That should always be saved for the final message in the campaign. Instead, provide them with an article or some facts and figures.

Studies show that working out for 28 minutes a day can help add 11 years to the average person’s lifespan. Browse some of our favorite workouts that are all under 30 minutes:

The last text should make an offer that best captures your audience’s interests. In this case, it would be a general membership:

Ready to renew? Sign up for a 1-month membership and get 10% off. That’s 31 days of incredible workouts:

Segment based on location

If you are a franchise and have multiple locations, then consider segmenting your audience by their go-to location. You could use your campaign to promote the benefits of your specific location, such as events, classes, amenities, and instructors your members can’t find anywhere else.

The first text can speak to these highlights. Something like:

At Joe’s General Gym, we’re always adding new classes based on your feedback. Let us know which classes you want to see and check out the newest additions:

The link should take your reader to a list of classes and possibly a comments section that allows them to browse your course offerings and make suggestions. There shouldn’t be an offer on the page they are directed to. This first text in the campaign should just provide helpful information.

Given that these texts are scheduled, the second or third texts can speak to an upcoming event or special guest.

Our monthly “Yoga Under the Stars” event is happening next Thursday, October 25. It’s free to members, but spots fill up quickly. Save your spot:

The final text can offer a general or specific offer—either a membership or class pass, depending on your goals. But remember, it should never be an all-in offer. Instead, propose something small as you continue to build a relationship.

Joe’s General Gym is getting an all-new weight rack and we’re adding a kickboxing class that’s free to members. Want to join? Sign up for a 1-month membership today:

Ready to automate your gym’s marketing efforts? SimpleTexting can help. Actually, we have an entire SMS marketing guide for gyms and fitness centers

Our robust features like segmenting and autoresponders can help you curate and schedule a drip campaign that’s perfect for your business. Best of all, it’s free to get started. No card, no kidding.

Alfredo Salkeld
Alfredo Salkeld

Alfredo is SimpleTexting's brand manager. He's passionate about using his 10+ years of marketing experience to help small businesses grow.

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