Find out how text message drip campaigns can help your gym bring in new members, re-engage lapsed gym-goers and reward your regulars.
Since its inception, you have worked diligently to make your fitness center or gym a successful business. And, by now, you are the master of 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.
Being a business owner is all about balance. And 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?
It’s 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. Because knowing what your customer’s interests are helps tailor your messaging to them and creates a targeted and engaging campaign.
Segment your audience based on fitness goals
Take, for instance, a customer segment that is based on their 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 the customers’ whose fitness goals were to gain muscle. Your first text could say:
The soft sell puts your brand into the hands of your customer without being overbearing—it simply shows your know your stuff! (And everyone needs a little nudge on Mondays.) The second message should be slightly more targeted and speak more to your gym’s services:
The link could take the reader to content on your gym’s blog and detail both weight-lifting exercises as well as machine exercises; this creates value for your gym by being the source of information as well as equipment.
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:
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 their fitness goals is just one way strategy that could lead to successfully selling a specific service (e.g., the instruction of a personal trainer).
What if, say, the goal was ultimately to increase class attendance? You could segment your audience based on their favorite workout such as yoga, pilates, spin or bootcamp, and target your messaging to each workout. For instance, if yoga was their workout of choice, then you could text:
The link should go to curated or self-created content that is helpful, but not overtly selling anything. YouTube is a great resource if you don’t have time to record anything yourself—just make sure it wasn’t made by a competitor of your gym.
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:
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:
The link should go to an offer landing page that is specific to your segment.
Segment based on start date
If your goal is to reengage with lapsing members or to maintain your attendance numbers, then 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:
The second text should be slightly more targeted, though still lack 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.
And the last text should offer a sell that best captures your audience’s interests. In this case, it would be a general membership:
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 the campaign to promote the benefits of your specific location such as events, classes and instructors your members can’t find anywhere else, amenities and much more.
The first text can speak to these specific characteristics. Such as:
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 a sell on the page they are directed to as this is the first text in the campaign and should just provide help and information.
Given that these texts are scheduled, the second or third texts can speak to an upcoming event or special guest.
The final text can offer a general or specific sell—either a membership or class pass depending on the goals of your fitness center. But remember, it should never be an all-in offer. Instead, propose something small as you continue to build a relationship.
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.