Email Marketing for Fitness Businesses


3 Types of Emails You Should be Sending  

For those of you in the fitness industry, the season is upon you. The time of year when people are committing to a regular workout schedule and have big dreams about what part fitness will play in their lives in the New Year. You know that they won’t all stick to their five times a week work outs, but that doesn’t mean you won’t try your hardest to inspire them to reach their new goals. Why? Because that is what you do!


This is the time of year when making an impression on new clients is essential to fueling your through the next 365.


Having launched a successful fitness business and consulted for a number of others including personal training gyms, yoga studios, and group fitness centers, I am here to proclaim VERY LOUDLY that email marketing is essential to staying top of mind in the ever-competitive fitness industry.

A successful email marketing strategy will do two things, 1) get new clients (client acquisition) and 2) make your current clients more loyal (client retention).

So let’s talk about the three types of emails you should be sending.



These are the emails that automatically send without you having to do anything. Who doesn’t love that? The most important auto-email that exists in the world today is the New Client Welcome email. If you are using MindBody for your class scheduling, the auto-email features are built in, but you have to customize them for them to work effectively. If you are a studio who offers a first class free or any type of introductory pricing option (which I encourage you to do) then this email is extra important to make sure you are turning interested clients into paying clients.

Here’s how it works:

  1. A new client comes to class for free and they love it.
  2. They get home feeling awesome and there is an email in their inbox from you the owner.
  3. They open the email to read the personal message you wrote “just for them” and find a link to a special pricing package for new clients.
  4. They click on this link, get to your website, buy it, and sign up for future sessions.
  5. They love you forever, never leave, and tell all their friends.

Let’s hope that it goes down like that, right? Here is what to do to increase your chances that it does. First, you must must must personalize the auto-emails that are coming from whatever scheduling system you are using. Your new clients should feel like you wrote it just for them (even though you didn’t) which means your name goes in the signature. Second, there has got to be a working link for a new client special (or if you don’t have one, to your regular pricing option) It should be super easy to click and book. And lastly, you have to follow up on whatever promise you are making to them in this email, meaning that you are providing an experience worth paying for. It really is that simple.*

Other types of auto-emails include: Anniversary, Birthday, Schedule Confirmations, Purchase Receipts, Schedule Changes – Make Sure Your All Emails are Personalized!!!


Weekly Emails

You might hate me for saying this but, you should be sending an email to every contact in your database of existing and previous clients EVERY WEEK!!! Yes, I said it, once per week they should see your name in their inbox. These emails should be going out on Sunday night or Monday mornings when people are jazzed and ready to tackle a new week of health and fitness. Don’t send an email at noon on Wednesday. Please, just don’t.

Here is the tricky part. These emails also have to contain information that your clients will want to read. That means you have to come up with interesting material on a weekly basis. Not so easy, I know.

Here are a few ideas of what you could include in those emails:

  • Any upcoming event at your business like, a themed class, a special workshop, or a guest trainer
  • A health or fitness tip, keep it short and simple
  • Links to articles that your clients would find interesting. (Keep in mind this is something your clients need to find interesting. The full scientific breakdown of a particular workout may be riveting to you, but may be too much for a quick lunchtime email scroll.)
  • Events happening in your community that are aligned with your mission.
  • A snazzy quote that has to do with achieving goals. People love quotes.


Referral Request Emails

I make it a point to say as often as possible that Word of Mouth is the most valuable form of marketing. For a fitness business, you know this is more than true. You need your clients bringing you new clients in order to grow. Here is how to do that with an email.

Host something for free and ask your clients to share it with their friends. Whether it is a beginner intro session, a first class free, or a special workshop targeted to new clients, you can promote this via email to your current client database.

You send the information about this event as a special email to your database. Specifically, ask them to forward to this email to someone that they know would be interested. Here is why this works: people love to be the friend who knows all the hot deals at the cool places. Your clients have hopefully been talking about you to all of their friends already, so now they have a “gift” to share to let them try you out with no strings. Your referring client is seen as the “go-to” for all things awesome, your potential new client has a friend who is already in, and you get new faces in the door to impress and retain as new loyal clients forever. **


Now that you know the three types of emails you should be sending, here is how to make the writing process simpler even if you are not a writer.


*If you are not using MindBody, most other scheduling software comes with auto-email functions built in. If you do not use an online scheduler, email services like AWeber and Mail Chimp have automation options, too.

**The referral email concept also works on social media. When you ask people to “tag a friend to win” you will be amazed how many comments come rolling through because friends like to help other friends win stuff.

email marketingShannon