Operating a successful gym, fitness center or boot camp is a huge challenge for many owners in the industry. In order for fitness business owners to continuously generate new members while retaining existing ones, the key is communication.
In business, it’s all about building relationships with customers over time to gain trust and loyalty, and the fitness industry is no exception. Fast, clear and efficient communication is essential for fitness business owners to accelerate membership growth and reduce cancellations.
One effective way fitness business owners are communicating with leads and members is through text messaging. Zingle partners with a variety of gyms, fitness clubs, yoga studios and other fitness businesses, and we want to show you some examples of how they are using messaging to improve their business.
Here are 10 ways fitness businesses are using text messaging to enhance communication and build stronger customer relationships.
1) Lead Engagement
Engaging your leads at the right time is curial to generating new members. People who are exploring new fitness solutions may typically sign up for a few free trials before committing to joining. With busy work and personal schedules, they may sometimes forget that they signed up for a trial in the first place.
Increasing memberships start with effective lead communication. The faster you can engage a lead to help answer questions and setup trial appointments or classes, the more likely you can convert those leads.
Besides email and phone calls, many of fitness businesses are communicating with leads via text messaging when emails and voicemails are ignored. Since these messages are not promotional in nature, there is no need for the person to opt-in to the message. However, you do need to respect the communication preferences of your leads so it’s a good idea to include an opt-out option in your lead engagement message (ex. Reply STOP to discontinue text communication).
2) Welcome Message
Once you have converted your leads into members, it’s time to start building that relationship. Sending a welcome message makes your members feel special and motivated right from the start. This is another opportunity to let members know that they can text you anytime for questions, directions, scheduling classes or other needs they may have.
3) Goals & Milestone Updates
Building loyalty with your members means keeping them engaged and motivated after the workout. This is especially true for the “resolution seekers”, who are motivated to get fit in January, but often fall off soon after. In fact, 80% of people who joined a gym in January quit within 5 months.
To keep members motivated and coming back, make sure you discuss any personal goals that each member has and keep track of it. Send a weekly goal or milestone update message to let members know where they are in terms of meeting their goals and hold them accountable. People lose motivation all the time due to various circumstances, but when they see all the work they have put in, it makes it harder for them to give up.
4) Appointment Scheduling & Reminders
Another way to keep members coming back is to send them schedule class appointment if they have signed up for personal training sessions, any specialized classes or bootcamps.
With busy schedules, it’s easy for members to forget they have a class so you need to also send them appointment reminders. Instead of sending appointment reminders manually, Zingle customers are leveraging segments and scheduling to automatically send out appointment reminders via text message.
For example, a gym manager can create a list of members who signed up for spinning on Monday night and automate a text message to those members by scheduling it in the morning or couple hours before the class. This strategy ensures all members who signed up gets notified to decrease no-shows and at the same time making it easy with automation.
5) Give Advice
Your members may see you as an authority when it comes to health and fitness. Why not extend your knowledge to them by enabling them to ask questions about certain workouts, diets and other fitness/health related questions.
6) Payment Notification
It’s a no brainer that you need members to pay their fees to sustain your fitness business. Unless your members have auto-pay, they can sometimes forget to pay their monthly fees. Make it easy for your members to pay by sending them a payment notification message along with the link to pay.
Additionally, for members who are overdue, you can send a friendly late payment reminder to them. By using a mobile messaging software like Zingle, you can schedule and automate these messages based on when their payment is due.
7) Personalized Promotions
Have an opening for the yoga class tonight or a special on personal training sessions? Why not send your members a message letting them know about it? By sending out promotions via text messaging, you can capture members in real-time and receive a faster response.
Additionally, by segmenting your member base by interest or previous class history, you can personalize the promotions to members who are interested in the promotion you are offering.
8) Birthday & Holiday Wishes
Sometimes, a nice note can go along way for building a relationship with your members. Sending a quick happy birthday note or holiday wish lets your members know you care about them, not just their money. And it’s a quick and simple thing to do by simply scheduling messages to members based on their birthday or during the holidays. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can also include a gift like a gift card or a free training session to show your appreciation.
9) Cancellation Prevention
There are several reasons your members may want to cancel. Sometimes it’s out of your control like if they are moving. However, there may be chances you can recover potential cancellations by sending a text message asking why they are cancelling and potentially work out any issues that caused the member to want to cancel and get them back.
10) Feedback Survey
Getting feedback is crucial to understanding what your members like and dislike about your fitness business. However, in order to get accurate feedback, it has to be timely.
Sending a quick text message survey to your members after a training session, class or on a scheduled basis engages them while their memory is still fresh and can provide more precise feedback. Whether the feedback is bad or good, you can use that information to improve your member experience and shows that you take their feedback to heart.
Texting a survey can also be a convenient gateway to having members leave online reviews without the hassle. Whenever a member responds to your satisfaction survey positively, you can send them a link to Yelp, Google Business or any other review site that you desire. This makes the process quick and easy for your members while helping boost your brand reputation.
As you can see in these examples, text messaging is a versatile communication channel that can help your fitness business improve customer engagement to increase lead conversion and member retention. If you have any question or other examples of how texting can be used for fitness businesses, let us know in the comment section.
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