In our mobile-manic world, text marketing is a huge opportunity. While website, social and email pack a big punch, text marketing is no lightweight.
Texting is a way for businesses to communicate information to customers via promotional text messages. It’s also commonly referred to as SMS marketing or mass texting. The concept is similar to email marketing but significantly more effective, as it reaches customers on their phones, where they’re most receptive.
From the initial contact point to maintaining a long-term membership, text marketing can greatly enhance the member experience and increase revenue. According to Attentive Mobile, 96% of marketers using text messages said it helped them drive revenue. TBH, that’s a big deal.
Advantages Of Text Marketing
There are plenty of reasons to implement a text marketing campaign for your fitness business. Here are just a few:
- It’s easy to use. The beauty is in the brevity with text messages. You want them to be short and to-the-point. Especially compared to composing an email or designing an ad, texting is incredibly simple.
- Open rates are high. According to ManyChat and MarketerHire, the average open rate for text message marketing campaigns is 98%, compared to 20% for email marketing campaigns.
- It’s cost-effective. Marketing campaigns can - and should - include a variety of platforms for message delivery. In comparison, text messaging can be one of the most cost-effective options in your arsenal.
- Success is trackable. When a campaign is launched, you’ll be able to see how well it’s performing immediately. The basics include open rates and link clicks, but you can also gauge things like response time and conversion rates.
OMW to Launch a Text Marketing Campaign
Texting is obviously a solid addition to your marketing strategy, if you do it right. Here are a few key factors to get you ROFL (rolling on the floor in revenue):
Decide on a budget.
As with any element to your marketing campaign, start with choosing your budget. Most text marketing companies charge based on the number of messages sent monthly. Note that the Attentive Mobile Consumer Report says the majority of consumers (42%) prefer to receive four to six messages per month from businesses.
Select a text message platform.
If your gym management software doesn’t already have a texting CRM system, you’ll need to select a platform to use. Look for options that do integrate with your gym software and support auto response. Be sure you’re able to fully control your messaging, manage your lists and access reports.
If text marketing came with a big ‘ol warning label stuck to the side of the box, this would be it: Get permission. You’ll want to ensure your recipients are giving you the go-ahead to send them messages. Wherever they’re opting in, make sure you clearly define how you will use their contact info, and how they can opt out of receiving messages.
Give your audience a reason to opt in. People will trust you and be receptive to your messages if you’re providing them value. Don’t just bother people with useless info or constant offers. Give them helpful, relevant messages that fill a need for them. This can include offers, as long as your customers find them useful.
Keep it short and personalized.
A great text marketing strategy is simple, straightforward and personal. Using their first name goes a lot farther than “hey.” This makes people feel like you're speaking directly to them. Be professional, clear and relevant. Finally, focus your message on just one thing. Stuffing multiple messages into one text will get you deleted quicker than a 2am text from their ex.
Determine your timing.
Speaking of 2am texts, the timing of your campaigns is essential. Tailor your messaging to suit the times your audience is most likely to read and respond. For example, try sending a merchandise promo offer during the lunch hour. This gives your members more free time to scroll through your apparel options. You may need to experiment with timing to gauge days and times that get the highest response rates.
Provide a clear CTA.
Picture this: You send a personalized text to members about an upcoming challenge at your gym. You briefly outline the dates and prizes, getting them hyped for the big event. You hit send and no one signs up. Why? You forgot the CTA (call to action). Always include a way for them to take some kind of action. From buying to signing up to being fully informed, they always need to know what to do next.
BRB, Reading Some Text Campaign Ideas
Here are some fun and creative text marketing campaigns to run at your gym:
Welcome new members. Greet new clients personally and welcome them to your gym family. Chances are, you have a lot of new info to share with them. Include a link to your website or a PDF with all the details.
Introduce new staff, classes or equipment. Keep your members informed with any new roll-outs at your gym. People will appreciate being included and feeling like they’re in the loop. This can also include up-to-the-minute class updates for inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
Promote specials and deals. People love to feel like they’re getting an exclusive deal. You’re providing relevant info to your members, so mix some promos and specials into your text marketing to drive revenue as well.
Send billing and membership renewal reminders. Keep your members up to date with information regarding their accounts. This is great if someone needs to update their billing info or a punchcard member is down to their last class.
Celebrate milestones. Whether a new member just attended their tenth class or a long-term member just hit a PR, everyone loves recognition. Send a quick congratulations text to let them know you see them and their journey. This will also improve member experience through accountability and motivation.
Provide tips and tricks. Establish authority as a trusted resource by giving your members helpful info. Topics can include fitness, wellness, nutrition, mobility, mental health and more. This is also a collaborative way to get local experts and businesses involved. Invite them to contribute helpful tips and include offers, when relevant.
To Sum Up: ICYMI, You Should Be Texting
Text marketing is an incredibly powerful option for your gym’s marketing toolkit. It’s easy to use, cost effective and trackable. Be intentional with your messaging, making it personalized and relevant. Create some fun campaigns to welcome members, celebrate milestones and provide them offers. You’ll simultaneously grow your revenue and show them you care about their member experience.