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Written by Devon Zimny

Fitness Marketing Reduce cost per lead
Increasing your gym’s memberships and ROI involves acquiring lots of leads as inexpensively as possible for your sales team to close. Is email marketing really an effective way to make that happen? If you want to reduce costs per lead, then yes - email marketing should be a key focus of your fitness marketing plan.

Why Use Email in Your Fitness Marketing?

We never suggest anything simply because it sounds like a good idea or because everybody else is doing it - we like to look at the data and tell you what actually works.

Let’s take a look at some email marketing stats. According to HubSpot’s Email Marketing Statistics:

  • Email use worldwide will top 3 billion users by 2020. (The Radicati Group, 2016)
  • Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers "excellent" to "good" ROI. (Econsultancy, 2016)
  • Segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. (The Direct Marketing Association, 2015)
  • 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015)

So, everybody’s using email; email contributes significantly to ROI; and consumers actually want to receive email. Sounds like plenty of reasons to start email marketing right there! But what types of email marketing campaigns should you be running? We’ve got some suggestions to help you get started.

3 Effective Email Campaigns to Start With

Before you get started emailing your contacts, we’ve got some ideas for effective campaigns you should run. Here are 3 types of email campaigns that you can start using now to reduce your cost per lead:



Description: Giveaway Campaigns are designed to attract new interested prospects into your email database and to keep members engaged.

Why It’s Effective: Email for giveaways is very effective at engaging & converting current prospects and members.

  • Average stats from our campaigns for CAC, 1 year / 6 campaigns:
    • Average conversion rate from email = 82.2%
    • Average entries from email = 5,460

Best Run: Paired with a social media ad campaign.

  • This campaign brought in the most new contacts - 67% of new contacts come from social.

Timing x Volume: Time-sensitive; run 1-4 times per year.

Generates: MQLs and SQLs

Case Study: Chicago Athletic Club



Description: Bottom-of-the-Funnel Offer Campaigns are designed to attract sales-qualified leads to be routed to your sales team.

Why It’s Effective: Bottom-of-the-funnel offers lead to great conversion numbers.

  • Ad = 10% conversion
  • Email = 20% conversion (double)
  • Approximately 50% of leads come from email (contacts already connected with the brand)
  • Converts sales-ready leads to send to your sales team - warm prospects, already connected to you, ready to join

Best Run: Paired with a social media ad campaign/and or Google PPC

  • This brings in new bottom-of-the-funnel leads

Timing x Volume: Time-sensitive; run 12 - 100+ (depending on the number of locations)

Generates: SQLs

Case Study: Texas Family Fitness


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Description: Persona Nurturing Workflow Campaigns drip and deliver personalized content over time to segmented lists of prospects and customers to keep them motivated, inspired and engaged.

Why It’s Effective: Persona nurturing workflows engage both prospects & members.

  • Can educate about your gym - highlight amenities, classes, offerings
  • Gives value first - keeps prospects connected to your brand & builds thought leadership
  • Motivate prospects to take a trial / come into the gym

Best Run: Solo

  • Engagement - Open rates & CTR are double compared to bottom-of-funnel offers

Timing x Volume: Long-term; run 1-10 per year depending on the number of personas you have - evergreen, once set up they can continue to run for all new contacts; review stats & optimize 1-2 times per year.

Generates: MQLs and SQLs

Case Study: Gold’s Gym SoCal

Which campaign to run first?

All 3 of these campaigns are equally important and work well together. However, it’s a good idea to lead with a Giveaway Campaign as you work on the others so you can grow your email list (adding MQLs) prior to nurturing those contacts through email campaigns or sending bottom-of-the-funnel offers.

We recommend running these 3 types of campaigns for 6 months, and then analyzing your results and making the necessary adjustments. Following the above examples will help you bring in new contacts and increase your conversion rates, resulting in a reduced cost per lead like our fitness clients have experienced.

As you plan your fitness marketing email campaigns, make sure you follow our email marketing dos and don’ts. If you don’t have the staff to handle multiple high-quality email campaigns with the necessary content, graphics, segmentation, and analysis, an agile digital marketing agency like WindFarm can help you.

How often do you email your fitness contacts? Have you tried any of these 3 campaigns?

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Devon is our Strategy Implementation Specialist. She is responsible for the development and refinement of a successful inbound marketing strategy for each client vertical.
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