This post was written by our guest blogger, Josh Leve. Josh is responsible for the strategic business operations for the Association of Fitness Studios. Josh brings more than 10 years of sales, consulting, advertising, marketing, operations, and retail experience to AFS.
In this day and age it's critical to stay in touch with clients and members. It's also incredibly important to build your list of prospects so you always have a segmented list to market to. Newsletters are a great way to keep your audience engaged while promoting the benefits of what you do.
Here are my top tips for creating a successful newsletter.
- Make some of the content educational.It's one thing to promote how many great programs you have but you also want to be seen as the fitness expert in your community. Content such as the value of stretching, exercises that can be done at home or between visits to the studio go a long way. Plus, go a step further and embed a video of yourself demonstrating these particular exercises. You want to become the face of your business, what better way than video!
- Introduce new employees.Newsletters provide the platform for you to introduce new trainers, employees, and front-line staff. Add in pictures, their background, expertise, but also sprinkle in some fun facts about them. What do they love to do during their time off?
- Spotlight the success stories.Never under estimate the power of change. By showcasing a client's success story coupled with before and after pictures you directly showcase how your business has positively impacted their life! This is a huge motivating factor for anyone on your distribution list. If one client can achieve success, others can as well!
- Cross promote with local businesses.With your own newsletter you know have the ability to send out a communication to your group of email contacts. As you build your list through social media ads, website lead capture fields, walk-in traffic, your list becomes more desirable to other local businesses. Expert tip: One studio owner I met was able to provide his local dry cleaners free advertising on his newsletter; in return, the dry cleaner hung cardboard pods around the necks of the hangers promoting his studio to all the dry cleaning customers! What a fantastic way to stretch your marketing budget for a low cost!
- Ask for feedback.Want to find out what your members think about you? Survey them. Online solutions such as surveymonkey.com offer easy tools to implement and link directly from your newsletter. Make sure to form any questions to sell your brand and think about doing them quarterly around the seasons. Typical questions to ask might be "On a scale of 1-10 how likely are you to refer a friend?" or "How satisfied are you with the parking options?"
- Market new programs.No matter the time of year you should always have your 12-month marketing calendar set before the start of the year. Understanding what programs to market at the right time could make all the difference in participation. Is summer around the corner? Market a 6-8 week beach body program. Newsletters provide the opportunity to hit a large number of people to promote your offerings.
- Showcase the new members that have joined and if someone referred them, spotlight them too!Your clients/members love recognition. Why not thank them in a way that showcases their loyalty to your business?
- Spotlight speaking arrangements.Are you conducting a seminar, workshop or presenting to a mom's group, health food store, or elsewhere in the near future? Any time you have an opportunity to promote yourself and your brand is an opportunity to utilize your newsletter for further exposure! Remember, it's all about getting people engaged, get them talking and the feedback you'll receive will only fuel your business' success.
If you're not sure where to start, online solutions such as constant contact, mailchimp, icontact provide cost effective platforms with easy templates to create your newsletter. With some simple editing and linking, you'll be well on your way to mastering the techniques necessary to improve the reach of your business.