Here’s why growing your email list is a waste of time for fitness & wellness studio owners
You’ve heard it time and time again: if you want to grow your business, you need to grow your email list. Conventional online marketing advice is that all businesses should make gaining newsletter subscriptions via their websites priority numero uno—and I see well-meaning studios doing this all the time. The idea being, if you have regular touch points with people through your email content, they will over time begin to know, like and trust you and your services. Don’t get me wrong, this is great advice for someone running an online business — but not so much for brick-and-mortar studio owners.
Here’s why growing your email list doesn’t work for fitness and wellness studios
There’s a shorter buying cycle. The people interested in your classes are not making exercise plans for six months from now. If they’ve landed on your website, chances are they have the motivation to make a change TODAY. Subscribing to a newsletter does not help them take action on their own fitness goals, whatever they may be. It’s not action-oriented. It’s like checking out a book about marathon running from the library but never getting off the couch!
You have a limited number of ‘asks’ you can use on your website. If your website visitors are bombarded with too many options, they’re likely to not follow any of your offers. Take marketing guru Neil Patel, for example. On his website, QuickSprout, he offered three social share options: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Wanting to increase his total social shares, he tried adding LinkedIn and Pinterest to the list. The additional social share options actually decreased overall social shares by 29%! To avoid giving your users decision paralysis, it’s important to keep this quote from Oli Gardner in mind — “One Page. One Purpose. Period.” Taking up valuable space on your website asking your visitor to subscribe for ‘studio news’ distracts them from what you really want them to do: book a class or make an appointment!
The content isn’t relevant. IF you’re sending regular newsletters (and let’s be honest, most studios struggle to do this consistently) the content in them is not tailored to a newbie. Staff changes, holiday hours, upcoming workshops and retreats are not relevant info for someone who is still hesitant to try that pilates class in the first place. Of course, you can have different email lists and send multiple segmented newsletters, but who has the time?
What to do instead
That isn’t to say that email newsletters are a total waste of time for fitness studio owners. They can still be a valuable tool for getting prospective customers into your studio. However, it’s less about sending them weekly newsletter updates about what’s going on in the studio and more about prompting them to take action towards their fitness goals. Here’s how you can do this in four simple steps:
Use your website homepage to offer a free or heavily discounted week/month/consult /workshop that’s directly related to your core service offering and GETS THEM INTO YOUR STUDIO DOORS.
To claim the special offer, they will enter their basic contact info into your Mindbody widget or other form connected to your studio management software.
Follow up with reminders to get them in the door. Experiencing the high of a great class is the best marketing you can do! These reminders can be via a friendly phone call from your front desk staff, and/or email reminders to schedule their first class.
To take this one step further, set up an automated series of emails answering Frequently Asked Questions and sharing stories of past and current client transformations
If you’re using valuable real estate on your website for a generic ‘sign up for studio news and updates’ form, replace it today with something offering more value. The website space used to promote your newsletter can be changed to buttons or links directing people to your can't-refuse intro offer. It’s also a great idea to give your offering its own page, to make it super easy to buy. Put it at the top of your rates page, and promote it everywhere you can on your website (for example, as a pop-up or in a top announcement bar) If you’re doing paid advertising, promote that offer in your ads and link them to the dedicated landing page.
Your turn! Do you have a new client special that encourages people to get in your studio and see what you offer in person? If so, comment below with the link!