Communication and customer service have always played a key role in how gyms retain and grow membership. But another factor that has entered the equation is convenience.
Consumers want instant replies and updates. And with the ever-changing restrictions and regulations surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, quickly getting information to your members is critical.
You can provide quick communication to your gym members through text messaging.
Unlike emails, your members are guaranteed to receive texts and read them immediately. In fact, more than 60 percent of people read their SMS within 5 minutes.
You can keep customers informed on important changes or class cancellations with text message marketing. And can also keep them engaged with other resources they may find valuable.
Text message marketing has been around for some time, but we’ve seen changes in the way people interact with texts in the past few years. For instance, about 54 percent of consumers prefer promotional texts to emails.
In this guide, we’ll go over the benefits of SMS marketing and shares ways you can use it to boost business in 2022.
You’ll also learn:
- How text message marketing software features can help execute your campaigns.
- 5 ways you can use automated SMS marketing for your fitness business.
Benefits of Automated Text Message Marketing
About 92 percent of the U.S. population own a mobile device that receives SMS. And about 75 percent of consumers are happy to receive texts from businesses after they’ve opted in.
Text message communication has the power to increase brand awareness, boost engagement, and keep your business booming.
Don’t believe us? Here are more reasons why you should take advantage of SMS marketing:
High Open Rates
One of the top benefits of SMS marketing is that it has the highest open rates compared to emails.
Text messages have a staggering 98 percent open rate. Text messages are the perfect way to ramp up engagement with this astronomical open rate. And research proves that engagement from SMS is six to eight times higher than email marketing.
Better Conversion Rates
Not only do text messages see higher open rates, but they also have higher conversions. For example, SMS marketing has the potential to increase your conversions by 32 percent.
The reason is that people are more likely to complete an action shared through an SMS than any other marketing medium.
With text message marketing software, you have the option to automate your SMS campaigns. This allows you to reach thousands of customers in a few easy steps.
Compared to other forms of marketing like billboards, mobile ads, and television ads, this saves time and money.
Reach A Wide Audience
Nearly 49 million people chose to receive business texts in 2020. And the number of text registrations continues to rise.
And with SMS marketing, you can reach your audience at the right time — we’ll get more into this later.
Integration With Other Channels
SMS platforms should seamlessly enhance other marketing mediums — such as social media and email.
For example, text messaging marketing can remind customers to read an email sent hours or days before. A follow-up asking, “have you read our email” can help boost email open rates by 20 to 30 percent.
With other marketing methods like email, there’s a chance that your message will be sent to spam. But with SMS marketing for business, your customer will always receive your message.
Brands can use text message marketing for more immediate time-sensitive offers such as discounts and promotions.
Boost Customer Engagement
SMS is the perfect way to improve how your brand engages with all customers across the customer lifecycle.
Although text messages may feel invasive, many consumers welcome texts from their favorite brands. The reason is that they are familiar with text messaging, and it feels conversational.
Increase Gym Membership Retention
It’s essential to nurture your existing membership base and make them feel valued. Regular text messages help them re-engage with your brand and let them know you care about their patronage.
One example could be sending them a birthday text message and a discount code or offer.
7 Key Features of Text Message Marketing Software for Businesses
Sending text messages to your customers seems simple enough, right? Well, there’s a little more to SMS marketing than hitting “send.”
The real power of text message marketing for gyms lies within the SMS marketing tool functions. Check out 7 essential features:
Keywords are tools that help build your text message marketing list.
A keyword is a word or short phrase that your subscribers text to your number. They’re usually simple and easy to remember, like “JOIN.”
With our text message automation platform, you can create multiple keywords. And you can have each keyword represent a specific segment of your subscriber list.
For example, to have customers sign up to receive updates on their fitness progress, you can have them text the word “PROGRESS.” Or, for more information on class availability, they can send the word “CLASS.”
2. Images and Video
A PWC survey revealed that 59 percent of consumers feel that brands are losing touch with the human element of customer experience.
One way to communicate with your subscribers on a human level is by sending images. And text messages with pictures and videos are the most engaging.
In the context of fitness, you can have your subscribers sign up to receive weekly workout tutorial videos for fitness businesses. Text messages with images or videos set you apart from your competitors.
Our SMS marketing platform lets you send text messages with photos and videos.
3. Auto Reply Texts
When customers text your number, they expect a reply — and fast. Consumers expect responses within 10 minutes. But you can exceed their expectations with SMS autoresponders.
Adding auto-reply texts to your SMS marketing means your customers don’t have to wait to get a reply. Instead, SMS autoresponders instantly send automated and pre-selected messages based on the keywords used in the text.
For instance, if a member signs up for a class using text, you automate a thank you message. Auto replies can also send appointment or order confirmations.
Automated texts give subscribers information faster than email or in-person communication.
With our text platform, you can see which keywords garner the most traffic and whether customers respond to your automated messages. You can also use this information to improve your SMS marketing strategy — which brings us to our next point.
4. Data Collection
An effective marketing campaign begins with gathering information. Using your SMS campaigns to collect data, you efficiently get to know your customers.
Gathering information about your customers on your SMS marketing platform allows you to personalize future messages and segment your list to send more targeted texts. The data you collect could even allow you to adjust delivery times to improve open and click rates.
Our reporting dashboard features allow you to see all the information you need to send targeted messages to your subscribers. You can even customize notifications based on factors like age range, location, and birthday.
5. Email Capture
Why not leverage SMS marketing to help grow your email list?
You can easily export this data to your email marketing platform by using SMS to collect email addresses.
To do this, just have your subscribers text their email address. You can also use SMS to find missing email subscribers.
Our platform allows you to easily collect email addresses from your subscribers and sync them with various email marketing tools.
6. Chat/ Two-Way SMS
If your SMS marketing feels too sales-y, your customers will unsubscribe. Therefore, your SMS marketing should feel natural and conversational.
One way to do this is through two-way text messages. With this, you can provide support and communicate with your customers organically.
For example, you can have members text a customer service representative or a staff member at your gym.
7. App Integrations
Integrations make it easier for businesses to get started with SMS marketing. With app integration, you can seamlessly sync your data from your text message campaigns with your existing marketing software and vice versa.
Our automated text message platform lets you connect with all major POS systems, CRMs, and other marketing tools.
A few integrations include:
- ABC Financial
5 Ways to Use SMS Marketing for Fitness Businesses
How can you use text messages to connect with your gym members and keep them coming back? Below are a few demonstrations of ways you can take your gym business to the next level with SMS marketing:
1. Membership Renewals
According to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association, about 90 percent of club members value communication from staff.
Following up with a member via text increases the likelihood of renewing their membership.
You can send a message to your customer one or two months before their membership ends. This is because some customers may have forgotten that they need to renew their membership, and others may be actively looking to move to another gym.
The key here is to get clients before they have a chance to leave. If you can reel them in before they cancel their membership, you may have a higher chance of them staying with you.
In your text message, you can even give members the option to reply to renew.
You can also use text messages to remove barriers customers may face while renewing their membership — one of them being billing issues.
For instance, you can send members a text reminding them to review or update their billing information. Doing this decreases the chance of delayed payments or canceled memberships.
2. Offers and Promotions
Looking to fill up a class or introduce a new service? Send a text message — especially in the morning.
About 80 percent of mobile users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up.
Along with a text advertising the class or service, you can also include a 20 percent discount for personal training sessions when they book a class.
3. Personalized Member Experience
Consumers expect personalization. In fact, 79 percent of consumers say they are only likely to engage with brands if they have a personalized offer.
From online logins to mobile apps, most fitness clubs rely on technology. And with so many data points available, you have access to valuable data about your customer base. You can use this data to personalize your marketing messages.
Check out a few ways you can send personalized messages to enhance the customer experience:
- Send workout tips and nutrition advice
- Class recommendations based on member’s interest
- Messages displaying weekly or monthly progress
- Allow members to ask staff questions about services or equipment
4. Motivational Messages
One of the reasons people ditch their gym membership is a lack of motivation. So, sending inspirational texts is a fantastic way to encourage them to come back to your gym — especially if they are a new customer.
You can include motivation quotes, or you can send testimonials from people who’ve had successful fitness journeys at your gym.
Along with sending motivational text messages, you can also attach a link to check out personal training packages or fitness classes.
5. Milestone Rewards/Offers
Another great way to use SMS is to create a customized experience. How can you do this? Send milestone rewards. A happy birthday text is a great way to show your customers you care.
Not to mention, a birthday or holiday message is something you can automate. So, it doesn’t require a lot of time and energy to create and send.
Along with birthday and holiday messages, you can also send messages acknowledging the anniversary date the member joined your gym.
Enhance Your Text Marketing With Gleantap
SMS marketing has boomed in the last two years, and it is expected to grow even more in 2022. As a result, consumers now expect brands to use SMS as a communication channel.
Health clubs and fitness businesses can especially leverage the power of text message marketing. SMS allows you to personalize the customer experience, motivate members, and show that you value them.
And with an effective text marketing strategy, you have the potential to grow your business and create a solid relationship with your customer base.
Of course, you can’t do this without an SMS automation platform. So, request a free demo of our integrative text message marketing tool today!
Co-Founder, Gleantap & Mastera