FBA 17: Email Marketing – get the most out of this undervalued, underutilized (and free!) tool

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In episode 17, Jack talks about email marketing, which is one of the best ways to really build a strong relationship with your clients.

When done correctly, email marketing can help to position you as an authority in your industry, it can strengthen the bond you have with your clients and ultimately it can really help to drive sales.

In today’s episode:

  1. Why you MUST be collecting your clients’ email addresses
  2. Setting up a welcome email for all new clients
  3. How often you should send emails to your list and types of content
  4. Why getting the ‘value vs sales’ balance right is so important
  5. The trick to increasing your open rates by 10%
  6. Why a strong subject line is crucial
  7. Keep your emails short and snappy so everyone reads to the end, not just your mum
  8. 7 tips for maximum email impac

 

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RESOURCES

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EPISODE https://fitnessbusinessasia.com/email-marketing

 

TRANSCRIPT

Welcome back to the Fitness Business Asia podcast. I am your host, Jack Thomas and if you work in fitness or wellness, a fitness business owner, an investor or simply someone looking for an insight into the industry then this is the show for you.

Some of what we discuss is Asia-focused, but wherever you are in the world there are topics that we discuss that are still very relevant to you, such as today’s one.

Our most popular podcasts so far have been on marketing so over the coming months we’re diving into some marketing related topics. Our industry typically doesn’t do a great job at marketing and there are many businesses that are doing great things but struggling to get their message out.

Through this podcast I hope to help change that and if that sounds like music to your ears then subscribe for future episodes that we release every Monday and go through our past episodes to get up to scratch on what we’ve covered so far.

Today’s area of marketing is possibly one of the most underutilized and underrated ways to get your message out. It’s free – or cheap at least – and it’s one of the most effective forms of marketing.

Today’s podcast is on email marketing and although this is quite a large topic that has a lot to it, I want to offer a bit of an introduction into email marketing to give you some things to think about and maybe tidy up some of the practices you currently use.

There are a lot of factors to consider when putting together an email marketing campaign such as photography, design, copy and calls to action and there are whole courses and qualifications that can be done to get you to a high level. We can’t revolutionize your email marketing in one podcast but today we’ll be able to give you a good idea of what email marketing is, what you may need to learn more about or work on and if you’re already doing it, you’ll get some fresh ideas and it should help you tidy things up

In summary, I’m a big believer in email as a tool to keep connected with your clients, to reengage your old clients and to drive sales.

So, here’s my guide to email marketing starting and we’re going to start with

Step 1, which is make sure you collect your client’s email addresses and store them correctly.

Some fitness businesses that I’ve visited haven’t even asked for my email address. This is just criminal, you absolutely must ask for the contact details of your clients, even if you’re not intending to market to them (which would be crazy), it’s just good practice and service to be able to contact them if you need to.

So make sure you get their email address and then store it in an email automation platform. We use MailChimp but there are a few other good ones out there. When you store their email, also log their name too.

So that was easy, right? Get their email and store it and you’ve made a positive step towards doing something with it.

Step 2 – set up an automated email so that when you add their details they are sent a welcome message. This is a great chance to welcome them to your business, elicit some feedback, give them important information and tell them more about your brand. We’ve discussed copy in previous episodes and as I always say, get help with this if you’re not very confident doing it yourself. This email will represent your brand so If you get this right then it will strengthen the relationship and bond that your new client has with your brand. It should go without saying that it should be concise, friendly and without any spelling or grammatical errors. Ours at BASE is signed off by me so it’s a good way for me to connect with our clients and make it more personal.

In this welcome email, think about including things such as

– information on schedule and opening hours
– how to book another session with you
– how they can give feedback
– how to contact you or your team if they have any questions
– details on your services
– perhaps some value you can give like an offer or blog post

In addition to this initial email, you can also set up a follow up email perhaps 2-3 days later with more information. You can even add more emails to this series but make sure that the content is high quality and you’re not just bugging them. This may require help from someone experienced in this. If in doubt, keep it to one email.

Step 3 – once you have a list of your clients email, send them frequent emails to keep them engaged with your brand.

I would recommend at most once per week and at least once every two weeks. These emails are a really great chance for your clients to stay connected with what’s going on with your business.

So what kind of things should you put in your email?

Firstly, I’d say keep each email to 1, 2 or maximum 3 messages. If you’re weekly email newsletter has your top 7 stories of the week then your main, most important messages are going to get diluted. Don’t be afraid to make the email about one important story and you’ll get maximum impact.

Secondly, you want to make the majority of your content that which adds value such as blog posts, educational videos and things like this. Once you’ve built up some trust and people enjoy receiving and reading your content, you start adding sales emails in there.

This, of course, requires some effort – you’ll need to create engaging and interesting content. Some ideas for this can be blog posts on training, nutrition, interviews with your trainers, videos with exercise tips or inspiring success stories.

It’s important to mention here that you should be including sales in there somewhere. Sometimes businesses get shy about asking for sales but if you’re providing a lot of value in between then it’s fine and good to do this.

Gary Vee is famous for his approach of jab, jab, jab, right hook. Which basically represents the jabs as giving value and then the right hook is a call to action on sales. When you’re providing consistent value people are inclined to buy from you. They trust you, you’re adding value to them and so when they have the chance to get more from you at a price, they’re happy to do it.

Let’s put this into the context of a studio. Everyone that comes into your studio that’s happy to provide their email gets added to your email list. Each week they get sent engaging, interesting and valuable content. They look forward to it and they open it each week. No other studio they’ve visited has done this. They start to buy into your brand more and believe that you are the voice of authority in this area and they are happy to open up your email each week. A month later when you have a new program starting they feel great about joining and they jump in on the early bird discount you have for 10%.

Let’s look at it not being done well. A client joins your studio for a one off session and they are added to your email list where they sit there for a few months. They know little about you and you haven’t built up any kind of relationship with them. A month later you’re running a 20% off promo and you email everyone with a big 20% off banner and a list of prices crossed out with the new discounted rate next to it. That person has no warm feeling about your brand, they haven’t bought into what you’re about and they certainly don’t see you as an authority (unless perhaps you’ve built up this trust and respect through other channels).. assuming you haven’t, they see this email as junk email and they unsubscribe or worse case, they mark it as spam which raises the chance of your future emails being marked as spam for others.

In summary on this point, if you warm them up, give them value and start to position yourself correctly, sales emails are actually welcomed rather than rejected

So now you have your welcome email set up and you’re sending out regular emails that are a mix of value and sales.

Step 4 is more of a tip than a step. You’ll probably have around 20-30% of people open and read the emails. I highly recommend that you resend the email 3 or so days later to everyone that hasn’t opened the first email. This will get you about another 10% of people opening the email – people that perhaps missed the first one or they open it as it pops up on their phone the second time round. If you have 1,000 on your list then this means that another 100 people will read what you put out which is pretty huge. This was quite a game changer for us and has resulted in many more converted sales when promoting programs.

So that’s a very very basic step by step guide – to do this well will require a lot of thought and planning but it gives you a good idea of how to start putting an email marketing campaign together.

To finish up, I’m going to run through some quick tips on email marketing that will help increase your open rates and convert:

Number 1 – make sure you have an attention grabbing email subject. There are different types you can use such as a question, something like – What’s the secret to good nutrtion? – or you can get the reader curious about something, introduce some scarcity such as – only 3 places left on our fitness retreat – act now – or it could be simply telling them the cold hard facts of the sale that will entice them. For example, your once a year black Friday sale would work well with – 50% off all packages for one day only.

The purpose of the subject line is simple – to get them to open the email (without lying, of course, don’t say 99% off all packages if it’s not true).

Tip 2 – you can personalize your emails so that their name is included. For example, the email title can be ‘Jack, we’ve got a special offer for you’ and the email can start with Hey Jack. This is shown to increase opens and conversions, even though I think most people know that emails aren’t being sent individually.

Tip 3 – Don’t make your emails too wordy and long. I get quite a few emails from gyms I’ve visited in the past and often they’re huge lengths of text, multiple paragraphs long. Unfortunately probably only your mum will get the end, where you have your call to action.

Images and graphics are engaging and with text you should keep it short with mini paragraphs or single sentence paragraphs. Make the copy engaging, impactful and get to the point quickly.

Tip 4 – Use the preview text, which is basically the wording that appears under the subject when the recipient gets a notification. This is your second chance to pull them in if the subject line didn’t quite do it’s job, which is to get them to open the email. It’s amazing how many businesses don’t use the preview text, even some of the biggest ones

Tip 5 – regularly clean your email list of people that never open the emails. It’s good to keep a lean list of engaged people as it’s cheaper and deleting people that aren’t opening will mean you have higher open rates – this means that the email service providers will see you as sending content of higher value and are less likely to mark you as spam

Tip 6 – Make sure the emails are mobile friendly. Over half of your emails will be opened on mobile so it should look engaging and easy to view on the device. You don’t want to be scrolling left and right because you’ve got huge images on the email. And this leads to the final tip, tip 7 which is:

Test your emails by sending out a test and viewing it on both desktop and mobile. Proof them yourself and have at least one other person fully proof it and check all links. There’s nothing worse than an email littered with spelling mistakes and incorrect links, so be totally sure that it’s all in order before firing them off. Remember, a poor quality and unprofessional email will give the impression of a poor quality and unprofessional business and that could end up having the opposite effect of what we’re looking for.

There’s a lot to take in today and as I said – see this as an introduction to what good email marketing should be. Take care with this process, put attention and resources into it and do it well. If it’s done correctly it can really reap rewards in both brand building and, ultimately, sales too.

OK, so here’s a quick recap on email marketing

Step 1 etc.

That wraps up today’s podcast on email marketing – I hope you gained some insights and direction on where and how to get started.

If you know anyone who needs to hear this, whether it’s a work colleague or a friend in the industry, please do share this episode with them

Thanks for listening, we’ve got some big interviews coming up in the next few months which I’m really excited to share.

As always, if you have any questions, comments or topics you’d like covered please contact me through LinkedIn or at [email protected] – my details are in the shownotes.

Wherever you are in Asia or the world, have a great week ahead and I’ll catch you next Monday…

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