6 metrics for text message marketing


  • List growth rate

    This is a measure of how fast your subscriber list is growing. This growth rate can be calculated on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. A steady growth rate means you are acquiring new customers and retaining them consistently. If the growth rate reduces you should look for solutions in two places – marketing to acquire new users and attrition of existing users.

    You can calculate this weekly or monthly, by dividing the increase in this time period with the original number of subscribers at the start

    Formula = (Subscribers at end of a time period – subscribers at the beginning)/(subscribers at the beginning of the time period)

  • List size

    This metric is the total number of phone numbers subscribed to your campaign. This number does not necessarily equal the number of customers reached, since there will inevitably be some inactive phone numbers. But this is the best metric for measuring how large your subscriber base is.

  • Attrition rate

    Some customers will inevitably unsubscribe from your text marketing campaigns. Some will do so because they are simply no longer interested in your service, but others will because they find your messages intrusive or the value proposition lacking. Changing the frequency and content of your messages may lower your attrition rate. You need to work to tune the content and frequency until you reach an acceptable attrition rate.

    To reduce the risk of high attrition you can segment your audience on Gleantap and run different campaigns to each segment and understand which messaging converts more.

    Formula = (Opt outs during the week or month)/original number subscribers at the beginning of the week or month

  • Response rate

    This metric is the primary measure of effectiveness for an individual broadcast. It’s a measurement of how many subscribers have taken action after receiving a text message. Keeping track of this statistic will let you know what format for messages is most effective. Other factors to consider are timing, message structure, and offer type.

    Not all messages may have a response rate component to them. For example you could be sending your customers fitness tips if you are a gym and in those moments, you should look at open rate

    Formula = offers redeemed/total offers delivered

  • Acquisition cost per subscriber

    This metric is used to measure the cost of acquiring a mobile subscriber. Comparing this cost to the average profit of a subscriber tells you how much you can offer customers to sign up to your list.

  • Return on investment

    This metric is used to determine the overall effectiveness of your text marketing, either on a per-campaign basis or over all your campaigns. As long as this metric is in positive territory, your campaigns are successful.

sms marketing

3 out of the box ways to use automated text marketing in fitness

I’ve written in some of my previous blogs that text marketing has been making a comeback as a reliable marketing channel.

The rise of the Cozy Web

The primary reason text message marketing is making a comeback is that the last three years has seen a huge shift in how people consume content and interact on the internet. Public timelines such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming less relevant, and more people choose to interact inside Facebook groups, chat groups on messenger or WhatsApp etc. This is called the Cozy Web. The main characteristics of the Cozy Web that you need to know as a business owner are:

  1. People you communicate with have given you permission to get in touch with them – this may be by signing up for your newsletter, being part of a Facebook group or being a member of your club.
  2. You get to be more personal and targeted in your messaging in the Cozy Web. You don’t have to be like brands on Twitter that try too hard, you can produce content and information that gives value to the user interacting with you.
  3. It is harder to get metrics on how well you’re doing. This remains a problem inside Coz Web, one for which there are not a lot of existing solutions

Text message marketing is a channel that fits this criterion well, and you should be using it to make loyal fans out of your customers and users

Does automated text marketing work?

Our users in the fitness industry such as Planet Fitness have had a lot of success with automated text marketing. They have used it to promote their premium plan upgrades and seen an increase of up to 72% in conversion with targeted messaging.

We made a small case study video for this:

These kind of automated text campaigns are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do with text messaging. Let’s talk about a few other ideas that you can experiment whether you are running a gym, a wellness center or pilates club.

Promote your valuable content with text message marketing

Facebook and YouTube has been seeing a decrease in organic reach for a while now. Other channels such as Snapchat, TikTok or Twitch are not very friendly to brands. But you still want your content to go “viral” or atleast be seen by people who care about your business. I can understand if your first tendency is to take your customer list and bombard them with email newsletters that inevitably get drowned in the endless sea of email. But, what about all the phone numbers you have collected from your customers?

Sharing links has become progressively easier over the last couple of years. The link unfurls to display a preview and some chat apps such as Messenger load the link within their own browser.

Use text messaging to reach out to your members and customers and share content that would help them built a relationship with your business. These can be fitness tips, blogs that you wrote, fitness podcasts that you created/loved, those personal training videos that you have been uploading on YouTube.

You may feel that this is a small group of people to share content with but these are people who care about your business, and it is more likely that they will share your content when compared to the people who see your content in a public timeline on Facebook or Twitter.

Use Shortcodes to book and track reservations

Some of my clients have mentioned a couple of times that they find it hard to fill personal training sessions or special sessions hosted occasionally. A big reason for this may be that not everyone has heard about it or you may not have hit the person enough times with the right message to nudge them towards attending the event.

Short codes have existed for a long time but their overuse by brands led to most customers ignoring them and this lead to lower conversions.

You should take your lessons from this and design more personal messages with shortcodes that nudge users to attend the event you are hosting. For example: If you are doing a special session on how to look good in the summer, design an automated text campaign that looks like this:

  1. Narrow down the target audience – if you run a club with a large member base, split your messaging into two types. One for members who attend regularly and another for members who have been absent for a while
  2. Run a 3-4 touch campaign with adequate time between the messages. You can use your intuition here, a message every day would annoy your members, but a timely personalized set of messages is more likely to help you convert them
  3. Use incentives based on actions that your customer has taken – give discounts to members who have not attended in a while, give reward points to redeem to members who are regular
Driving referrals with SMS marketing

Use two-way texting for better customer experience

Make it easy for your customers to reach you. Making the customer email you or make a phone call is going to make the feedback process much longer than necessary. The customer feedback loop is essential for you to keep innovating and to keep your customers happy. If you don’t address them as they arise, it is quite likely that they will end up being Yelp and Google reviews.

At the moment, one unwieldy option that exists are the social media comments. Most brands have a long list of comments or reply tweets from customers asking for help. Two ways these are not so good for business:

  1. It’s hard to manage conversation threads like these and they are easy to miss out
  2. It’s not a really good advertisement for your business if people are complaining on Facebook comments.


Two way texting makes it easy for you engage real time or asynchronously with your members. It’s no secret that people prefer texting to phone calls or emails threads. Modern text message marketing software makes two way texting possible and quite easy to do. So put your customer success hat on and engage with users and get instant feedback from them on how your business is doing.

I’m making a small video series on campaigns that have helped fitness businesses like your retain their customers. Sign up for the email newsletter below to get the occasional update and new material

fitness club members

Personalization and Automation is The Future of Marketing for Gyms

Fitness businesses have been addicted to social media marketing and online advertising. It’s time to get over that addiction and deliver a more focussed and better customer experience in gyms.

There is an infinite number of options available to someone who wants to get a good workout in. It now depends upon what they want to optimize for and what experience they enjoy. For example, if the user wants to optimize for convenience – They could invest in a Peloton or set-up a small home gym. To optimize for time, the user could use any of numerous fitness apps available, such as 7-minute workout.

In short, your fitness business/gym is not only up against other competing gyms and fitness centers, it is also up against technology that is more convenient To compete against this, it is also becoming important to focus on designing a powerful customer experience for the members of your gym.

Seth Godin recently wrote in a fantastic blog post about brands and brand design:

“Design is the new marketing. It is the product itself, not the ads or the slogan. Design is the supply chain of Patagonia, the ethics of Purple Carrot and the customer service at Union Square Cafe. It’s design, not advertising, that turned Apple into the most valuable luxury brand (and the most valuable company) in the world.

But design requires a point of view. The confidence to make an assertion. And the skill to turn that assertion into something that resonates with the person you seek to serve.

It’s probably easier to create heavily adorned mash-up than it is to produce a Field Notes notebook. Stripping away the artifice doesn’t always leave something pure. It often creates banality, the simple commodity that’s easy to buy cheaper one click away.

The elegant nothing brands aren’t about nothing. Not all. They merely have a different, more difficult sort of artifice. The artifice of no artifice. The elegance of leading with utility as its own form of style.

And what is a brand? It’s not the logo, certainly. I have no idea what Everlane’s logo is. The brand is our shorthand for the feelings that an experience creates, the promises that a product or service brings with it.”

Understanding why your current users are fans of your business and focussing on those factors while stripping away everything else will be the key to improving your customer experience.

One oft-cited example of this is the consistency of the growth of Planet Fitness. By being hyper-focussed on their brand positioning as a “Gym for the rest of us”. They have been able to reduce costs and be pinpointed in their targeting.

Sometime back, it was enough for an offline business to just focus on the in-store experience, do some social media marketing and just let things be. This is no longer true when you’re competing against companies and technologies that are in the business of providing a better customer experience.

Your marketing and communication with your members should also reflect the commitment to better customer experience for your members. For this, it’s important to burst out of the social media bubble and expand your marketing toolkit

How to expand your marketing toolkit and make it personalized

Marketing automation has come a long way in the past couple of years. More than automation for automation’s sake, what marketing automation enables you to do is to :

  • Be ultra-specific in targeting – moving away from mass advertising to more personalized advertising
  • Measure ROI on every campaign that you run
  • Run multiple campaigns and tests for different segments of your members, at the same time
  • Use multiple software tools at the same time with integrations between them

These four things should be kept in mind when you decide on what software to use at your business.

Stepping away from mass online and offline advertising can seem intimidating. You can run marketing experiments in automated, personalized channels and make the decisions that suit the kind of the business that you are.

marketing automation
The marketing automation ecosystem is big and you need to select the tools that fit you

When you are looking for software tools to automate and personalize your marketing for your members, these are a few channels that you should look out for:

Text message marketing automation: Text message marketing is the bread and butter of making your marketing more personalized. Although texting your members using shortcodes have been well and alive since the beginning of SMS, it is only in the last couple of years that automation has caught on this channel. Now, you can segment your members depending upon what stage of the customer journey they are on and schedule automated messages for them. For example: If you want to offer a member who has completed two weeks, a free personal training session, you can use text message automation to sent him a message when that milestone is reached – just set it up for all members and forget it.

The major advantages of text message marketing are:

  • It is a channel that has a high Click Through Rate. 95% of text messages sent are opened
  • It gives you the opportunity to hyper-personalized in targeting

When choosing a tool to do text message marketing with, it is important to choose one that integrates with your POS and current systems. This will make, setting up automation much easier


Email marketing automation:

Email marketing is a channel in which marketing automation has been active and developing for the past 15 years or so. You could use any of the industry standard tools such as MailChimp, Klaviyo, Hatchback, etc to run your email campaigns, but to add more personalization and improve your customer experience – you need more than that. Just like in the case of text message marketing, to make complete hands-free automation possible, it is important to have good integrations with the tools that you currently use – especially your POS system.

MailChimp, Klaviyo, etc are software tools that have built deep expertise in running email campaigns and hence don’t have the depth in integrations to service a gym or fitness club.

This where Gleantap can help you. Gleantap is specifically built for fitness businesses and It integrates with your POS systems and other software with ease so that you can get started easily.

Measuring your ROI on automation

When choosing a marketing automation system. How do you measure your ROI on the investment? What metrics should you be looking at?

Have a good system to measure the returns on your investment in automation

A few metrics to keep an eye on when implementing a marketing automation system:

  1. The conversion rate of leads into customers (whatever leads and customers means to you)
  2. The amount of time saved with automation – How much time would it take for your marketing team to reach out to every member with targeted messaging depending on what part of the customer funnel that they are on?
  3. Percentage of new opportunities that you have been able to pursue – Once a marketing automation system has been implemented, are you able to run more campaigns than you previously could? Has it freed time to focus on other parts of the customer experience

It’s no secret that hyper-personalized content is the way ahead for better customer experience and for better ROI on your market. Where are you going to start automating?

If you are thinking about testing marketing automation at your fitness business, book a demo with us and we’ll take you through the options available to you.

Dear Small Business Owner, Business Automation Is Not What You Think It Is

The last couple of years have seen a lot of brouhaha over automation taking over jobs and disrupting industries. While a lot of it is true, the tales of automation taking over the world have been greatly exaggerated. Today I want to give you an overview of where automation is at and what it can do for your small business. What I don’t want to do is sell you a Ted talk or a vision of robot overlords doing all our work for us.

As small business owners, there are two things that we focus on in our work on a day to day basis:

  1. Value creation
  2. Value maintenance

We’ll talk about small business automation in these terms so that it can be applied today to day decision making on what to automate and how to do it.

Automating value creation at your small business

“This week, Hewlett-Packard (where I am on the board) announced that it is exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees a better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I’ve observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market.

In short, software is eating the world.”

– Marc Andreessen, Spring 2011


In the earlier days, the software world was separated from the brick and mortar world. All the earlier, big software products existed in a world of their own – Facebook, Twitter, even e-commerce behemoth Amazon was not eating into brick and mortar sales until the last couple of years.

Things have changed massively in the 6 years since Marc Andreessen wrote about software eating the world. Amazon has been growing so fast that it now it owns twice as much square footage than it did in 2012. Restaurants that don’t have a physical store and deliver food through Uber eats and Postmates are becoming increasingly popular, a gym in 2019 is not just competing against other gyms, it’s competing against Netflix, Strava and Nike run. In short, software is everywhere.

But what has also changed is that it is now quite easy to create your own software.

Once upon a time, creating good software was limited to a species that small business owners did not understand that they called “coders”. The last couple of years have seen a lot of tools pop up that help you create your own software without writing any code at all. This is a type of business automation that did not exist even 3-4 years back.  You no longer have to hire a full-fledged agency to build you a website or hire 3 developers just to make and maintain a small internal tool.

Here is a list of no-code tools and what you can use them for.

Creating a CMS driven website

A good CMS driven website has been essential for a small business for a while now, but it is surprising how few small businesses have this. These are a few tools you could use to make a CMS driven website.

  • Webflow – Simple SMS, good design
  • Wordpress – Always reliable with extra customization
  • Wix –  Build a website like building a Lego

CMS Driven Website

While not necessary, it would help you to know the basics of HTML, CSS, and Javascript when making a CMS. Think of it like owning a $20 toolkit from Homedepot so that you don’t have to call maintenance every time something breaks in your house. The basics of web development, which would take you 10-15 hours to learn will go a long way in helping you run things smoothly, with poise. Here are a few free classes I can recommend.

Creating a simple landing page

If you want to create a simple landing page for marketing your business, running Facebook ads or to promote seasonal offers, these are some of the tools that you can use.

Creating Landing Page

  • Carrd – Simple single page websites if you want to make something quick
  • Instapage – More number of features, more customization

Creating apps

Now we are getting to the true magic of what automation can do for you. Imagine making a web app or mobile app by yourself 2-3 years back? You would probably have to quit working on your business for sometimes and spent all your time pulling your hair out as you make your way through the nuance of software and code. No more. Use these tools instead:

Resources for helping you with creating apps without code

Automating value maintenance at your small business

So you have a business that is running smoothly. Now all you want to do is either run it sustainably with as little overhead as possible or focus on growing your business without being bogged down by the mundane day to day repetitive tasks.  These are a few tools that will help you do just that

Automating repetitive small tasks

Things such as organizing all your Facebook leads/comments in a Google sheet so that you can reach out or respond to them, capturing more data in Dropbox or your favorite note-taking apps. These are the most popular tools you can use for that

  • Zapier – Connecting apps that you use for businesses so that you can avoid mundane and repetitive tasks
  • IFTT  – The same use case as Zapier but more for personal and home tasks
  • Airtable – Not a big fan of Excel or Google Sheets? This is an app that gives you all that functionality without any of the headaches.

Automating your marketing and sales

Marketing and sales productivity can take a hit if you spend a lot of time doing things that can be automated with ease. A lot of salespeople say that finding and qualifying prospects take up a lot of their time. In fact data entry has been the chief complaint of salespeople for a long time.

A few tools you can use to automate marketing  

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator/Mattermark+ Hunter.io – Find emails and details of the people you want to prospect
  • MailChimp/Klaviyo – Create aesthetic emails to send out to prospects or customers
  • Hubspot – All in one tool to automate marketing and sales
  • Wordstream – Struggling with Google Adwords? Let the marketing experts at Wordstream help you

Automating Customer Engagement

So you’ve got customers and you are running a good sustainable business. But, have you tapped into your existing list of customers to make them loyal users who use your business again and again? You have all the data you need and instead of painstakingly going through your database to reach out to random users with the hope of winning them back, you can use automation to make a process for it.

customer engagement strategy

This is what we help you do at Gleantap.  Automate your reach outs to existing customers via text, email, and mobile push notifications.

Customer engagement is becoming even more important in 2019 because unlike 10 or even 5 years ago, a lot of products are competing for the attention of your customers. Attention, as you know, is the new currency and you don’t want to be left behind, especially when you can do it with less effort than ever before.

I know, I know. Of course, there are other tools that help you do this, I’ll do a review and a list of the other tools in another blog 🙂

Automation has a lot of promise, especially for small businesses that want to keep overheads light and reduce the number of mundane tasks that you have to do every day. You can use these tools to automate parts of your value creation and value maintenance and this will help you focus on the things that are more important – be it spending time with your kids or on focussing on growing your business.