When I first got into consulting for other fitness professionals and large corporations, my focus was largely on email marketing. When I was building my first business from one gym to five gyms, there was no Facebook, so email marketing was the game-changer for me. You know what? It still is. Even with Facebook, which is a huge personal trainer marketing tool, you still need to understand how to make the most of your email list if you want to have a constant supply of new clients.
But there’s a big difference between having 5,000 people on your email list and having 5,000 who are potential clients. If you go about your email marketing in a haphazard way or make it all about selling, selling, selling, you will leave a ton of money on the table.
Once I understood that email marketing was about building relationships and establishing trust, I was able to add 19 new clients to my first boot camp in 30 days. Each of those clients was paying almost $300 per month, so I had increased my income by $5,700 per month in one month. That was with an email list of only 377 people, folks.
Later on, when I got into consulting and coaching, I made my first $1,000,000 from a mailing list of 4,200 fitness entrepreneurs.
I had figured out two really important things about personal trainer email marketing.
First, it’s not how many people you have on your list; it’s how many of them read and value your content. Second, it’s not just what you say but the passion behind what you’re saying.
I learned both of these things while consulting for a multi-million dollar company that had an email list of over 80,000 people. They sent one boring email out each month and made about $12,000 a month from that email.
The first month that I consulted for them, I started sending out three emails per week. These emails were filled with useful content that would have value to those people who were actually in the market for what this company was selling.
After that first month, almost 20,000 unsubscribed and the company had a collective heart attack. But then I pointed out two things: 1) they actually made $4,000 more on my email campaign than they averaged on theirs. 2) Their open rate was much better than it had been before. Yes, they had lost subscribers, but they hadn’t lost customers.
I learned two valuable things, too. I learned that subject lines are all-important because it’s not how many email subscribers you have, it’s how many of them actually read your emails. So make your subject lines compelling, interesting and benefit-rich. Don’t make them boring. Don’t make them salesy. Make people curious about what you’ve sent. Make promises in your subject line and then deliver on those promises with the content.
The second lesson I learned was that it’s okay to lose subscribers. Your email list is a sales funnel and it’s the best sales funnel out there, but you want potential clients moving through that funnel, not dead wood. So don’t be afraid to piss people off. Don’t be afraid of giving them too much valuable content. If they don’t want it, they’re never going to sign up with you anyway.
Of course, the content does have to be valuable. Give your email subscribers fitness and nutrition info they can really use to make their lives better. Approach them with a giving hand, not just an open one.
Send out a client case study periodically – these have major value for your prospects because they’re motivating and they’re one of the best ways of providing social proof of your value as a trainer.
Send out a healthy recipe – everyone likes trying new recipes, especially if it’s something simple and inexpensive. This really helps prospects know, like, and trust you.
Every now and then, just send your prospects something to make them smile, like a motivational or inspirational image or quote. This makes people feel good and it makes them feel good about you.
If you don’t feel like you have the time or writing skills or creativity to do this yourself, then go for a done-for-you product like FitPro Newsletter. I’ll do all the email work for you and your job will be to give all those new clients the best workout experience they’ve ever had.
Whatever you do, don’t treat your email list like an obligation or a way to broadcast commercials. Use it to build relationships and you will have a ready supply of new clients at your fingertips forever.
Committed to Your Success,