Text message marketing is a tactic that marketers have used for many years. But today, it has more power than ever. Why?
Simple – smartphones.
If you think about it, most consumers connect with brands across social media, forums, emails, and text messages on a daily basis. And text marketing is part of this. A few years ago, text message marketing was used predominantly by retail businesses. But in 2023, almost any business can use it – including gyms.
Text marketing for gyms has become increasingly popular because gym members want their fitness centers to be more engaged with them. And text messages can fulfill this need.
As a result, gym owners have started to use text messages to remind members about their next fitness class or to welcome them to the gym. They also use it to help share information on referral programs, new services, and new trainers.
Business owners also tend to use text message marketing because it’s relatively cheap to implement. It’s also something that’s easily maintained using text message marketing software.
So, how can you use text marketing to help increase gym membership sales and boost customer engagement?
Let’s look at the top ten ways to do so.
10 Ways to Boost Gym Sales Using Text Marketing
We’ve established that text marketing for gym owners can really help boost sales and increase member retention. But you can take text marketing to the next level by being creative with your messages. Here are a few ways to do so:
Step #1: Send fitness class confirmations and reminders
The first thing you need to know about text marketing for gyms is that it should be used for much more than just promoting your services. Instead, look at your entire gym member experience and ask yourself, “What can I do as a gym owner to enhance their experience?”
By doing this exercise, you will quickly see that there are so many more touchpoints in which you can engage with your members. Some of these include text messages about fitness class reminders and attendance confirmations. Remembering that members are busy and may forget about scheduled classes during their week is vital. To avoid this, use text messages to help them remember that they have a class scheduled for tomorrow or in the next few minutes. This should be done for in-person and digital classes. For example, if your online fitness class is about to start, text ten minutes before to remind members.
That little text can make a difference in how often your customer engages with your gym services and trainers. And that all links to your member retention rate.
Step #2: Share your “refer a friend” program
We all know the power of referral marketing – it helps your members advocate for your gym. This is what makes referral marketing one of the most powerful tactics. It’s been around forever but still works a charm. So, you should always share your referral program with members via text. The program is often shared via promotional emails. But as we know, consumers are exposed to dozens of emails per day, and the refer-a-friend program could get lost in the noise. So, this is where text messages come in handy.
You can send a text explaining the referral program to members. Be sure also to include their referral code which can be used to refer a friend. (Referral codes can be managed easily via text message marketing software). If members do refer a friend or family member, reward them! Rewards include membership discounts, free fitness classes, discounted apparel, etc. You want to keep members motivated by sending them updates on the number of referrals and rewards they have received. This helps them stay inspired to refer and get rewarded more frequently.
Step #3: Promote deals and special offers
If you use advanced text message marketing software, you can send out personalized bulk text messages in minutes. These messages can include promotions and special offers your gym has on at that point in time. This is an excellent way to persuade members to buy more complementary products or services from your business.
Some gym owners strategically promote fitness classes that aren’t fully booked via text marketing. This way, the chances of filling and profiting from those classes are pretty high. You can entice members to join these classes by offering an “exclusive discount.”
The more generic version of text marketing for promotions is when business owners share their limited offers for campaigns like Black Friday or New Year. These should form part of your annual marketing calendar, which can be referred to each year and updated as time goes by.
Remember to measure the performance of your promotional text marketing campaigns to see which offers to resonate with customers the most.
Step #4: Gather gym member feedback
Feedback is the most valuable (and daunting) element of customer experience. And it’s true – many business owners feel overwhelmed by feedback because negative feedback can be challenging to deal with.
But feedback always helps you realize which areas of your gym need more attention or change. By sending a quick SMS survey, you can easily get valuable customer feedback without taking too much of their time. Surveys should include information about your fitness classes, equipment, facilities, or customer service. But keep them short and sweet, so that customers don’t feel like it’s too much effort to fill in. It’s also a good idea to give them the option to respond anonymously – sometimes, people feel more comfortable answering honestly when they’re anonymous.
Remember, the more feedback you have – the more relevant your gym will become to your members.
Step #5: Send customers motivational messages
We all know about the “Motivational Monday” posts we see on social media each week. And they’re excellent content for gyms. But if you take this a bit further, you can be creative (and effective) with it for your members.
For example, if a client hasn’t entered your gym for the past four weeks – send them a personalized text message with a motivational note. You can even add a coupon for a class or apparel. These tailored marketing messages help members see that you’re engaged with them and care about their overall wellness and fitness goals.
Motivational messages can also be in the form of tips and advice about how your customers can improve their overall lifestyle and health. You can add links to helpful wellness information in your texts. Text message marketing software can also help you manage specific text shortcodes. These codes will send specific content topics to members who text that code back to you.
Step #6: Send reminders for membership renewals
Gym member retention is one of the most crucial parts of your success. And sometimes, membership numbers drop because of the simple fact that people forget to renew their subscriptions.
A quick and easy way to prevent this is by using text marketing. All your message has to say is something along the lines of, “Hi [name]! Did you know your gym membership with us expires in just a month? Renew using code 12345 and receive your first renewed month free!”
As you can see, this text is personalized and allows your member to enjoy a discount without much effort. The shortcode also helps members renew within seconds. This is the type of action that can help keep those retention numbers high.
When you send renewal reminders, you should always send them early enough to answer any questions customers may have in time.
Step #7: Send COVID-19 crisis updates
The recent pandemic was tough on businesses, especially gyms, which had their doors closed for months. This is why COVID-19 updates are an essential part of business now.
If you have a member or trainer who tested positive in your gym over the past few days, it’s important to share this information with your client base. And the best way to do this instantly and cheaply is via text. Yes, you can use email. But as we discussed, emails can get lost in inboxes and are often unopened. You want your members to be engaged, informed, and adaptable. So, provide them with the information so that they can be successful.
If your gym has a critical event, such as a positive case – use text to inform members of the situation and include your recovery method. For example: “Hi [name]. We recently had a positive case of COVID-19 on the premises. We ask that you, please refrain from coming into the gym while we commence with our 2-day deep clean and sanitize. You are free to come in from [x] date. Thank you for your patience and understanding.”
This type of message reassures members that you are aware of the situation and you’re implementing your crisis plan accordingly. Being honest with members is essential – they’ll be thankful for that.
Step #8: Share your gym’s reopening strategy
Gym marketing has become a lot more complex since the COVID-19 pandemic. But by taking a few extra steps in your communication strategy, you will keep members calm, cool, and collected through the process.
As we know, many gyms have had to close down due to positive COVID-19 cases. The question is, how do you reopen effectively once all is well again?
Text marketing can help you communicate your reopening strategy rapidly and efficiently. As you deal with limited capacity in gyms, cleaning protocols, and mask mandates, you can share information with members anytime.
When your customers receive texts about the gym reopening, they will feel comfortable knowing everyone is on the same page. Safety and transparency are key here.
Step #9: Share virtual fitness challenge info
Like most industries, the health and fitness industry also moves into the digital world. And it’s time for gym owners to gym on the virtual bandwagon. One way in which you can do this is by starting virtual fitness challenges. These are great because they can include gym members who prefer to work out online.
Use text message marketing to promote these virtual fitness challenges. Once the challenge has begun, you can also send updates about how the challenge is going, who is in the lead, and what prizes are up for grabs. This will keep engagement levels high and keep members motivated throughout the challenge. Moreover, challenges like this help members feel like they’re part of a larger fitness community – a potent business engagement tactic.
Virtual challenges can be anything from a 5km run to a 30-day aerobics challenge. You can host different challenges for various audience segments too.
Step #10: Use it to welcome new gym members
The last step on this list is all about your new recruits. You can use text to help show new gym members what your gym is about, what it stands for, and how you engage with your customers. Text message marketing is the place that can really impress them quickly – because it’s a concise and effective way to communicate with people.
As a result, you can use text messages to your advantage. Try to be creative with your messages. Share interesting gym information, class recommendations, helpful workout tips, wellness goals, discount codes, and more.
But you must remember that you should never flood them with messages about multiple topics all at once. Pace it well and engage with them on topics they’re interested in using text codes (text message marketing software can help you with this personalization). If you get this implementation right, new members will be impressed from month one.
Getting new gym members signed up is important, but retaining those members is of the utmost importance. Text message marketing can help you build your engagement with customers and make them feel part of your wellness community.
In order to do this most efficiently and automatically, invest in modern text message marketing software. Here at Gleantap, our team can help you set up your text marketing campaign, personalize it, and run it easily. Schedule a demo to find out more today.
1. How successful is text marketing?
98% of texts are opened, compared to only 20% of emails being read. 60% of consumers feel more comfortable receiving customer support via text rather than email.
2. Is text marketing right for your business?
Yes. If you are looking for a leading form of communication that helps you generate leads, boost engagement, and inform customers – then text marketing is right for your business.