The Beginners Guide to Email Marketing for Fitness Businesses

by | Nov 1, 2021 | Email Marketing, Marketing, marketing message | 3 comments

(Last Updated On: March 14, 2024)

Everyone tells you that social media, content marketing, and paid advertising are the most important channels to develop for your digital marketing efforts. They are very powerful tools to broadcast your brand and bring you new leads and subscribers. But do you have a method for staying in touch with these people in a personal way? Where you will always have control and not be at the mercy of new algorithms or policies. If you want to learn the basics of email marketing for fitness businesses then this guide is for you. Let’s talk email! This is what this guide will cover:

  1. Email Marketing for Fitness Businesses
  2. What is an Email Software Provider? (ESP)
  3. Setting up your Email Software Provider
  4. How to Collect Leads from your Website
  5. Write a Trust Building Welcome Sequence
  6. Outline of a 4-Email Welcome Sequence


Email Marketing for Fitness Businesses:

Email marketing is an important component to your digital marketing campaign. It is very inexpensive and an effective way to consistently stay in touch with your current members and clients. It can also help you nurture and sell to new prospects. It is very different from using social media. Social media is a “public” digital space. In the sense that when you post something, all of your subscribers (and others) can come see it on your page. Think of it like a bulletin board in a community center.  Email is different. Think of email as a letter or postcard. Where does someone receive mail? In a private mail box. Somewhere outside their home or guarded behind a locked door at the post office. Just like mail is private, email is as well. People treat their email boxes as a private and intimate space. They don’t want to see spam or advertising but rather hear from people that are most important to them. Your goal is to become one of those people. Email gives you the ability to write seemingly personalized letters to the people on your email list.  Here a few ways you can use your email channel:

  • Ask your members for feedback on a program you may want to offer and use that data to inform your decision
  • Ready to launch a new program? Let your new members know and sell it directly from email
  • Build trust with new prospects by giving away valuable fitness and nutrition information
  • Keep your current members and clients up-to-date on important changes in your business 

(Note: Email will help to increase your overall retention)

What is an Email Software Provider? (ESP)

An email software provider is software that allows you to manage your contacts, send mass emails, create branded templates, integrate with your CRM, and track and report important KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). Each ESP is different for different niches. Some, like Klaviyo, work better for ecommerce, whereas others like Convertkit were designed for freelancers and artists.  Two ESP that we recommend for the fitness industry are Aweber and Active Campaign. Both are very effective tools for managing your email campaigns.  Aweber is very popular for fitness business owners because of its simplicity and ability to create effective email marketing campaigns. If you want to keep costs low, it is a good place to start. It does have a tiered service, but they always allow you to access their core features like email, analytics, segmenting and automations.  Active Campaign is another great software to use for your email marketing campaigns. It is simple to use and it’s extremely inexpensive. They will charge more as your list of subscribers grows. They give you full access to their tools from the start. What makes Active Campaign stand out is that it integrates well with hundreds of other softwares. Meaning, it plays nice with your existing systems. Additionally, it is a very comprehensive CRM software if you are looking for that as well.  If you want a comprehensive breakdown of several ESP then check out this great article

Setting up your Email Software Provider

Once you choose the ESP that is right for your fitness business then the first thing you will need to do is import your contacts. You may be holding member information in the software that you use to manage your business. You are going to want to download that information as a .csv file, which is an excel document. Then you can upload that information directly into your new ESP. Once the contacts are in your system you should send a welcome email where they have the opportunity to opt-in for your marketing emails. You may have already done this when you took their information when they signed up. In that case, you are set to begin your email marketing efforts.

How to Collect Leads from your Website

The next thing that you are going to want to do is set up a method for collecting prospect contact information on your website. Most ESP’s give you the ability to create an email sign-up form that you can embed directly into your website. Some companies like to put this form right in the footer of their site so that it shows up on every page.  Another way to put this form onto your website is by using a pop-up feature. This is a great way to bring attention to your email sign-up form. It also increases the likelihood that a prospect will sign up for your list. Make sure that you let them know what you plan on emailing them about. You could say “Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get free workout and nutrition tips!” This is the most basic way of collecting leads that land on your website. If you want to ensure that you get the maximum number of people to sign up for your list you are going to need to make a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a free item (usually an information product) or service (free consultation) that you give your prospect in exchange for their contact information. I am sure that you have seen this all the time! Most companies have some type of lead magnet when you visit their website. You may want to create a nutritional guide, a beginner workout plan, or a short report on weight loss. When creating your lead magnet you have to create it with your ideal customer in mind. Make something that they actually want. You can send an email to your current members with a few ideas and see which one they would like the most. Since they are your ideal customers then they will give you a very accurate idea of whether your lead magnet will be effective. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

Write a Trust Building Welcome Sequence

A welcome sequence is an automated email sequence that has several different functions: delivering your lead magnet, building trust, and making an initial offer. A welcome sequence can be anywhere from 1 to 15 fifteen emails. But a solid welcome sequence only needs  3-5 emails. I am going to outline a welcome sequence framework for an effective sequence. But before writing your welcome sequence consider the following: When writing your welcome sequence take into consideration your ideal client. You want to completely understand who will be reading your emails. So you can write to that ideal client. You should consider this: Why should a customer choose your business over someone else’s?

  • Are you clearly communicating who you’re for?
  • Are you clearly communicating who you’ll help?
  • Are you talking about what matters to them?

Avoid 3 common messaging mistakes! Watch the video below!  

Outline of a 4-Email Welcome Sequence:

Before jumping into the outline there are a few things that you are going to want to know about email writing in general. This is what you want to do whenever you send an email to your list.

  1. Set up the send account from an actual person which will help build a better and more real relationship with your subscribers. (Example instead of
  2.  Always use personalized merge fields in your greeting “Hey [First Name]” (Tip: these options are available in your ESP)
  3. Always write to one person because when someone reads your email they are typically alone. Don’t address the email with “HEY GUYS!”

When setting up your welcome sequence you are going to have to use your ESP’s automation option. Most ESP have tutorial videos on how to build a welcome sequence automation. With these tutorials you should be able to put this automation together pretty quickly. Let’s take a look at what you will need in each email. (Note: You can either use plain text emails with a header that has your logo. Or you can use a templated email that has more images. Plain text emails resemble personal letters and can be more effective in building a relationship. If you want to use more image heavy emails, just make sure that you balance it with plenty of writing. The writing builds the relationship!) Email #1 – Welcome to the list and deliver lead magnet Who to send to: People who sign up to get your free lead magnet  When to send: Immediately after someone opts in to your list Critical points to include in email:

  • Deliver link to lead magnet
  • Ask them to reply and tell you about themselves 
  • Tell them to whitelist your email address (White listing is when a subscriber adds your contact information to their email address book. This keeps you in their main inbox and out of spam.)

 Email #2 – Your Origin Story And Who you are Who to send to: People who sign up to get your free lead magnet  When to send: 24 hours after last email Critical points to include in email:

  • Confirm that they received and downloaded the lead magnet
  • Tell them why and how you started your gym
  • Let them know what your specialty is and your commitment 

 Email #3 – Make An Offer Who to send to: People who sign up to get your free lead magnet  When to send: 24 hours after last email Critical points to include in email:

  • Tell them about your Front end Offer or Core offer
  • Explain the benefits and feature of the offer
  • CTA: Schedule a meeting or call

Email #4 – Social proof Who to send to: People who sign up to get your free lead magnet  When to send: 24 hours after last email Critical points to include in email:

  • Offer social proof for your gym or program
  • CTA: Schedule a meeting or call

(If you’re struggling to get social proof, don’t fret, learn a simple way to generate killer testimonials in this quick article) This welcome sequence is a great way to introduce new prospects to who you are and what your gym offers. It also contains a built in mechanism to generate sales conversations. Even if they don’t take you up on this initial offer, they will still have the benefit of receiving your lead magnet and understanding your goals. The majority of buyers take up to 6 months to actually purchase! So keep emailing, and keep them engaged! By staying at the top of their mind, and consistently offering value, when they are ready to get fit. You will be there waiting to sign them up!  If you found this helpful and you are looking for more help with marketing, sales, finance, or business. I invite you to join one of our coaches on a free strategy call where we can discuss your goals, your obstacles, and if one of our programs is right for you. Schedule a Strategy Call Today! (Not sure what fitness business coaching is all about? Check out this article to learn about how coaching can help you reach your goals.)   Justin Hanover Success Coach, Fitness Revolution The Beginners Guide to Email Marketing for Fitness Businesses

Justin is the Head of Client Success at Fitness Revolution. Justin has been in the fitness industry for more than 15 years and loves helping fitness business owners become better business owners.

The Secret to Reliably Generating New Clients Every Month

Discover the proven foundations needed to build a marketing machine in your business to reliably generate new clients every month.

The Secret to Reliably Generating New Clients Every Month