How to Utilize Automation in Your Member Acquisition Strategy

6 min read


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Email automation is a fantastic way to build stronger relationships with your current members.

It helps you stay connected and makes them consistently feel valued, even when you haven’t personally seen them in a week or so. When used strategically, it can also be a great tool to help you build relationships with prospective members.

Growth of Automation

Email automation has skyrocketed in popularity over the last several years. With the tools currently available, business owners have realized the simplicity and intelligence of this form of communication, as well as the benefit it brings their businesses. If you’re not using email automation, there’s a good chance your nearby competitors are.

If you perform a Google search for “email automation statistics” you’ll find thousands of results talking about the extreme growth this tactic has experienced over the past several years. There’s no doubt that marketing automation is extremely beneficial to businesses, so how can your fitness business utilize it for member acquisition purposes?

1). Respond Instantly

If you’re looking to grow your fitness business, and there’s a good chance you are, your website needs to have a form. This form should encourage people to sign up for a free class, consultation or week at your fitness business. Once someone fills out the form, providing you with information like his or her name and email address, you have everything you need to instantly follow up with a customized, automated email. This email should:

  • Thank the individual for signing up for a free class, week or consultation. Show them that you’re excited to meet them and honored that they chose to try out your fitness business.
  • Provide them with any information they need to know before attending. This could include what to wear, what to should bring, what to eat beforehand, etc.
  • Include any additional information to help them get to know you better. You could encourage them to get to know you and the other coaches by visiting your About Us page. If you have any videos that provide an overview of your classes, community and coaching style, include a link to those as well.
  • Inform the individual if they’ll need to show up early to sign waivers or to get an introduction before starting the class.

Providing individuals with this key information will help make your life easier when they arrive, and will help them feel valued before they walk through your door. While we mentioned several things for you to include in the email, we highly recommend that you keep it short and sweet to increase the likelihood that someone will take the time to read through the entire thing.

2). Follow Up Instantly

Once the individual has attended their free class, consultation, session, etc. at your fitness business, you’ll want to ensure that you follow up with them promptly to continue making them feel welcome. Set up an automated email to go out after the person leaves your studio, school or gym. This email should:

  • Thank them for attending!
  • Provide recovery tips for after the first class.
  • Present them with the next steps. If they liked what they experienced, present them with information on memberships or punch passes. If they’re on the fence, consider offering a 15-minute consultation to chat about goals and provide them with an action plan to help them reach those goals.
  • Share links that will give them more insight into your community. Encourage them to like your business on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or check out your awesome blog.

3). Keep in Touch

If the individual does not sign up for a membership or punch pass after attending a class and receiving the follow-up email, setup an automation to follow up a few weeks later to nurture that relationship. This email should provide the individual with additional information they might find useful, such as a blog post or overview on setting attainable goals. It should also invite them back to try another class or check out an upcoming event your gym is hosting. Try to keep that relationship open if they’re on the fence about signing up for a membership.

While email automation is a great way to help build relationships with prospective members, it’s important that you still work to make personal relationships with these individuals, whether that be shaking their hand and welcoming them when they’re in your gym, or following up after their first class with a phone call. Nothing will ever beat those personal conversations and introductions, but email automation is a fantastic way to further nurture those relationships you’re working hard to build.

Want additional tips to help you close the deal with prospective members? Check out our informative webinar, Sell More by Not Selling at All, hosted by Zen Planner’s Director of Sales, Phil Stern. Stern provides ideas on how you can start selling more memberships immediately without using manipulation or strong-arm tactics and offers tips on how you can make every interaction with a potential member more valuable. Download your copy today!

Sell Without Selling Webinar