I recently discussed the huge impact simple automations can have on your business. For those who missed the post, we found that Zen Planner subscribers who activated between one and five automations generated almost 28% more revenue than those with no automations.
Since these automations can have such a huge impact, I wanted to share strategies for creating and implementing them for your business. For those of you who have already logged in and activated 20+ Automations after seeing the graph I shared, I applaud your enthusiasm, but let’s take a step back. Surely it can’t be as simple as spamming your prospects and members with a ton of emails, right? Of course not!
Use these emails as an opportunity to express yourself, your business and your employees. Especially to prospects. Prospects don’t know you. Chances are, they are also looking at your competitors. Make yourself stand out. It’s easy to use the pre-built templates that Zen Planner offers. For some automations, I would even suggest it. But that’s not you! Those templates are meant to be generic guidelines that are hopefully somewhat relevant for whatever type of business that may be using Zen Planner. Put your own spin on them! If you have an awesome website, use hyperlinks to drive prospects there (If you don’t have an awesome website, I know a guy). Leverage your testimonials! Leverage your space! The more personality you show in your communication, the more it begins to feel like a community over a gym.
Pair Automations with Reports
While one of the biggest advantages automations have is the easy setup and lack of maintenance, I would recommend pairing some automations with reports to help you stay on top of your business. If you have a “Miss You” email to send out to clients that have not attended a class in seven days, also have a report so you can see a macro view of all the members that haven’t attended. Maybe there are members that you have a good personal relationship with who are on the report. In that case, a phone call or text message may be useful. I would highly recommend an automatic email to send out if a member is past due, but having a report will help you manage the past due total. Other examples may include:
- Birthday Automations/Reports
- New Member Automation/Reports
- Dropped Member Automations/Reports
Real Life Example
When I think of using automations, there is one client that I work with regularly that comes to mind. Their database has 132 automations active (that’s right, one hundred thirty two)! These automations range from “Happy Birthday Client” and “Happy Birthday Alumni” to New Member Emails 1-21 spanning the first 140 days of a client’s membership. Their six-Week Challenge has 15 automated emails, including a “Why” Video and a Program Guide. Each template is customized. There are automated Staff Tasks that require a personal text/call directly from a staff member scattered throughout.
Did this take a lot of time and effort? Yes. Do you need 132 automations to be successful? No. Has this increased their last three month’s revenue 25% over last year? It sure has.
Where to Start
So, you want to activate automations but don’t know where to start. There are three main categories of automations that I would recommend to use.
I think the “No-Brainer/Must Have” automations are billing-related. The templates are set up with all the necessary tags. It literally takes just a few clicks to activate and we’ve already covered the value. Failed Payment Alerts (both to Staff and the Member), Unpaid Bills Profile Alert and the Expiring Credit Card automations are among the most popular.
Now that you’ve got the Billing automations set up, the next stop would be Prospecting. Prospecting may be one of the most under-used yet valuable features in Zen Planner. We have a prebuilt funnel that can help you contact and organize your prospects. Here are links to the help documentation and webinar. Even customizing the funnel to be 100% automated is better than nothing. It will take a little effort to set up, but when properly used this funnel ensures that people aren’t falling through the cracks throughout the sales process. At the end of the day, that saves you time and helps generate money.
If the funnel is a little too intimidating to start with, at a minimum I would set up a few follow up emails after the Prospect inquires. This is your first opportunity to present your business to potential customers. These emails should tell your story and build excitement for their first visit.
The third major category is engagement. Engagement emails are meant to nurture new members and get them connected into your community. The more connected the member is, the “stickier” they become. These could include emails to:
- Download the Member App
- Subscribe to your blog
- Like your Facebook page
- Submit a review on Google or Yelp
- Wish a member Happy Birthday
- Congratulate them on their anniversary
You can get ideas from the preset automations that are in your database, but can also build your own automations from scratch.
I’ve left you with plenty of homework. It turns out, we have some pretty good tutors here. Please reference our help documentation here. If you get stuck or need help, please reach out to our Support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 866-541-3570.
Automations are a great way to increase revenue at your business. Discover what else top fitness studios around the world are doing to create success for themselves by downloading your copy of our Boutique Fitness Benchmark Report.
Strategic Relationship Manager
Josh has been with Zen Planner since June 2015. He has worked as a Customer Advocate and is now a Strategic Relationship Manager. In his spare time, Josh plays golf, volleyball, softball and anything else competitive. He also enjoys hanging out and watching sports with his dog, Lakota.