Imagine this: you attract new members, encourage existing members, automate renewals, and even reduce membership cancellation all with the touch of a “send” button.
Seems pretty incredible, right? Well, that is exactly what a text message marketing software can do. If you’ve never heard of text message marketing, that’s ok–we’ll get into the nitty gritty in a minute. But first, let’s look at some numbers.
Text message marketing has jumped in popularity over the last two years with a 27% increase in adoption by businesses in the last year alone. Here’s why.
- Over half of consumers check their text messages over 11 times per day (simpletexting)
- 70%of consumers opt in to receive texts from businesses (simpletexting)
- SMS click through rates are between 20% and 35% (simpletexting)
Case and point–Texting. Is.Effective. And, not only is it effective, it’s cheap. On average, it cost three cents to send out a single text message. That means you could send out 330 text messages for under $10. That’s a pretty big ROI.
When you compare the success and cost of text message marketing to other marketing methods, it becomes an obvious choice for marketing strategies.
For gyms and fitness clubs, customer retention and engagement are critical for business success. Whether you’re a brand new business or a long established club, using text message marketing for your gym can help you get and keep members.
So, without further ado, here are nine steps to setting up a text message marketing plan for your gym or fitness club.
Steps for Setting Up a Text Message Marketing Plan
Step 1: Why Text?
The first step is understanding why you need text message marketing.
How many unread emails do you have sitting in your inbox right now? If you’re like most people, it’s probably quite a few.
Now, how many unread text messages do you have? Probably a lot less than unread emails, right?
Most of us check our texts within five minutes of receiving the text. So, when you send a text message you can almost be guaranteed it will be opened. In fact, 98% of text messages aren’t just going to be opened–they’re going to be read.
Furthermore, text is becoming the preferred method of communication for consumers, having seen a 12% increase in opt-in rates over the last year. 61% of those consumers said that they want the ability to text a business back. Text messages make it easy to do that.
Text is the ultimate medium. They are easy to create, quick to send, and their engagement rates are sky high. These messages give you a direct line to the forefront of your consumers attention.
Moreover, when you employ a text message marketing software, the work you have to do to generate higher engagement significantly decreases. Text makes marketing easier and more effective than ever.
Step 2: Text marketing for Gym: Deployment Tactics
Now, we know that those statistics seem to make text message marketing the solution for every problem. Unfortunately, that is not the case; however, when used correctly, it can solve many problems. Here are a few ways that text message marketing can be used to maximize efficacy.
- Confirmations and Account renewal
For gyms, memberships are the bread and butter of generating revenue. So, it makes sense that you want to keep your members engaged and aware of their account status.
Text messages are a great way to keep your clients up to date about the status of their accounts. Send renewal confirmations or requests to keep your clients focused on your gym before they have a chance to look to other gyms come renewal time.
- Welcome texts
Client retention begins the minute a prospective customer walks through your door–or, in this case, opts-in to text messages. Make them feel valued by sending them a welcome text. This text can also include important information about account set up, gym hours, or even reminders to fill out forms. If you do make requests or motivations in these texts, make sure to provide links to make it easy for your clients to accomplish those actions.
- Urgent updates
As a business owner, you know that life can sometimes throw unexpected things your way. Having a text message marketing system in your back pocket can help prepare you for when things go awry.
Need to send out an emergency notice, class cancellation, or even just a waiting-list update? The immediacy of text offers a great avenue to do so.
Text message marketing gives you lots of opportunity to explore what works best with your business and your clientele. Depending on your needs and goals, text message marketing offers several creative ways to be implemented.
Step 3: Lead Nurturing: SMS Marketing Automations for Gyms
Deployment tactics should extend to lead nurturing. For gyms, long term membership drives profit, which means that being on top of your lead capture is critical.
To maximize their potential for conversion, it is a good rule of thumb to aim to send them five or six messages over the course of three days.
These texts should be short, actionable, and personalized. It is also okay to use casual language, slang, or even the occasional emoji.
“Hi Quinn, thanks for your interest! Are you ready to talk fitness? We can’t wait to get to know you!”
After the first couple days, you can continue to send them messages at a slower pace. You can follow a three-for-three rule (three texts over three months) as you continue to pursue the relationship.
Lead nurturing with text messages is a delicate balance of motivating potential clients and not overwhelming them with texts. When you use a text message marketing software, you can adjust and analyze exactly what works for your clients through data points and insights.
Employing a software allows you to tinker with your sales pipeline without uprooting the whole thing. In this way, you can be more agile and, therefore, more effective.
Step 4: Connections and Confirmations
One of the biggest strengths of SMS messages is that they are instantaneous and personal. The moment a potential lead opts-in to receive texts, you can begin to build a connection with them.
Having a quick response can drastically increase the odds of lead conversion. This is where it is crucial to have a text message marketing software.
As a gym owner, you don’t have time to monitor every lead and send every text. Utilizing a text message marketing software can help you instantly automate a text to begin engaging with every lead and can even catalog leads into a comprehensive CRM.
As that client moves down the sales pipeline, you will be able to send texts that motivate next steps and lead to sales. Once you have made the sale, it is always good to send a confirmation text.
“Hi Jill, your monthly payment of $87.59 will be processed on Jan.15, 2023. Follow the link to check or update your account. We appreciate you and look forward to seeing you in the gym this month! [link]”
This confirmation text, much like a welcome text, can include next steps in setting up their account, filling out forms, or even introducing the client to the team. You can also follow this up with an email for good measure. Once again, just be sure to include direct links.
Confirmation text can also be utilized to confirm auto-renewals or be set up as a reminder for clients whose memberships are about to expire–all important parts of the sales pipeline.
Step 5: Loyalty Rewards and Reviews
We can’t stress it enough: reviews are essential. Everyday millions of reviews are posted online, read, and acted upon. Reviews get businesses noticed and move people to action.
As a gym, you cannot afford to be neglecting your reviews, much less overlooking them as a critical marketing tactic.
What does that have to do with SMS messaging? Around 30% of members who opt-in for text will click the links you have provided. Take advantage of that engagement and ask your satisfied customers to leave you a review or answer a few questions.
“Hey Chris, It was great seeing you in class today! If you’ve got time, we would love to know how we did. Would you consider leaving us a review? [link review]”
Text messaging offers you flexibility in templates and styles when it comes to sending out surveys and reviews. When you ask for reviews, you want to make sure what you’re asking your customer to do is simple, actionable, and efficient.
Text message marketing even allows your clients a space to voice concerns or dissatisfactions. This will allow you the ability to address their complaints head on and before they become bigger issues.
When it comes to building loyal customers, that is a big deal!
On that same token, SMS messaging is a great way to show your loyal customers how much you care about them. Use texts to send out thank-yous, dole out loyalty rewards, or even notify customers of loyalty programs.
Step 6: Retention: Increasing Length of Engagement
Your best customers are the ones who are loyal. Help build a loyal customer base by increasing the length of engagement through text message marketing.
Depending on the size of your gym, your use of text message marketing to build customer retention will vary.
For medium and large gyms, engaging your customers through text automations is a great way to bring them into conversation and know you value their business.
Medium to large gyms and fitness clubs can also motivate engagement by sending out class schedules via sms, asking for class feedback, informing members of events and so on.
For small and micro-gyms, the odds are that your client pool is too small to get away with only automations. Yes, you should keep your members informed about events, classes, and closures–automations are great for that.
But, when it comes to improving retention, nothing can replace a personal message from an owner or coach. And, when we say personal we mean going beyond the name.
Have a client that hasn’t been in this week? Shoot them a “Haven’t seen you in a while,” text. Or, cheer on the successes of clients who have been progressing and working hard.
Not only will this make your customers feel valued, they will feel personally invested in–nothing beats that when it comes to building loyalty.
Step 7: Sales and Promotions
Who doesn’t love a great deal? Your clients certainly do.
In fact, one of the biggest reasons customers choose to opt -in to SMS marketing is to be kept up to date on offers and promotions. 75% of customers who have opted-in want to receive promotional deals via text.
In the same way you want to reward loyal customers, it’s also important to show customers that you are loyal to them. Text message marketing is a phenomenal way to do this. You can feature new products, classes, counseling opportunities, training, and even discounted membership fees.
There is, however, a caveat here. Don’t go overboard. With text, short and sweet should be your motto. Even if you have multiple promotions going on at once, choose one product or promotion, provide a link, and keep it brief.
If you want to inform clients of multiple offers and product discounts, email is going to be a better format.
Step 8: Newsletters
As we’ve said, short and sweet is your motto when using a text message campaign. So, following that rule, you should not copy and paste your newsletter into a text message template.
Instead, send a short text to your clients letting them know your monthly newsletter is out and then link the newsletter.
“Hey Evan! Checkout what’s going on this month in our monthly newsletter. We’ve got new classes and exciting events coming your way. [link]”
You can double down on this text by sending an email with the actual newsletter in it. Sending a regular newsletter is a great way to normalize updates with your members and keep them informed.
Step 9: Customer Service
Great service brings in great customers. For gym and fitness club owners, SMS can be the solution to customer service.
Text messaging offers a less formal platform to address concerns or problems directly. It is both personal and brings a casual tone to dealing with the customer experience. The culmination of these things can be beneficial in boosting customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, text messages help improve the efficiency with which you are able to handle customer inquiries because it allows you to handle multiple interactions at one time.
It can also help you, as a gym or fitness club owner, standardize your brand voice in order to ensure that you are providing top tier customer service.
Text message marketing is a great way to develop personal relationships with customers no matter where they fall on the sales pipeline. Show potential clients how awesome your services are and show loyal customers how much you appreciate them.
No matter what your goals are, using a text message marketing software like Gleantap can help you achieve them.
Are you ready to take your marketing strategy to the next level? Let us show you how our software can take you beyond rudimentary marketing strategies to maximize growth in the way you need it. Start your free trial today.
Why should I consider text marketing for my business?
Text message marketing is one of the best marketing methods at minimal cost. It engages customers immediately to generate a huge ROI.
How frequently should I send text messages to subscribers?
You can send up to 5 messages per month without seeing a high unsubscribe rate. Just be sure to mix up your content.
Get a look at those steps right here