Marketing

How Often Should You Email Your Clients?

Your email is by far the most effective form of marketing you can do for your business.

Spring Three | How often should you email your clients?


Data shows that email marketing has the highest ROI (Return on investment) of all!


The reason is that the investment itself is relatively low (it is cheap) and the audience is already considered “warm” - they already know you or have heard of you because they are in your database.


WIN WIN!!


But, the question of how often to email your client list comes up often. In fact, I don’t think I’ve worked with anyone on marketing who hasn’t asked this question!


Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive answer to this question. (THAT would make life too easy!)


But, let’s figure out how to determine what is right for YOUR fitness studio business:


If you are already running email campaigns frequently, then you can start by looking at your performance metrics.  How many people are on your email list? How often are they opening emails? Are people clicking on links in your email campaigns? How many are unsubscribing? Pay attention to these numbers! Once you have a baseline in place, you can test different strategies and see what works and what doesn’t.


If you are relatively new to sending out emails or perhaps haven’t been focused on this then there is a good chance your subscribers won’t know what to expect from you. Your email campaigns are not only a great way to engage with your clients and promote your business, but they are also a GREAT way to show that you are reliable and trustworthy (two important brand values!). How? By being consistent. If you send no emails for months at a time and then send 3 in a week you are not sending a great message about what clients should expect from your business.


As a business looking for long-term clients (remember it's all about building relationships) your email list is a list of your people - your tribe, your clients. This isn’t a faceless list… this is a list of people you know filled with relationships you have nurtured. The better you know your clients, the better you’ll know what they’ll want to hear about (or not!). So that’s a pretty important component - think about what your clients would appreciate (or not). What do they want to hear about? Or not? If you’re not sure - it’s time to get closer to your clients!


“What do I write?” is the second question I get asked most often about email marketing. When it comes to content, it has to be relevant. Every message you send has to have a unique value so share lots of useful information, education and insight into your studio business. That said, you are competing for the attention of your clients. They have many, many other emails in their inbox so there is no need to write a novel! Keep it short and to the point. If you want to go into more detail on something, put a link to the full content on your website. Vary the content so it stays fresh and exciting and… HAVE FUN!


Data shows that most small businesses send emails around once per month. But, I would recommend that you send your database an email once per week - at minimum. More if you have a promotion or challenge or something super important to share.  If you are currently a member of the once-a-month club, you could slowly increase the frequency of your emails. Start with 2 x month for a couple of months and then up it to weekly. Generally I find that studios send LESS emails than they should… so if you are uncomfortable with the number of emails you send your clients (as in you feel like you might be doing too much)… you are probably right at the sweet spot!

How to show you care:


  • Send a hello email to all new clients and introduce your studio

  • Be consistent - have respect for landing in the inbox of your clients. Stick to a regular schedule!

  • Be engaging - share relevant and inspiring content and information that your clients want and need!


Emails are a great way to nurture the relationship you have with your clients and develop relationships with existing clients. What is your email strategy? How often do you send emails and how do you integrate that with other marketing tools like social media? 




3 Reasons Why Customer Experience Matters

Spring Three | Marketing for fitness studios

If you deliver an incredible pilates (or barre or spin or HIIT) class but don’t have amazing customer service to match… guess what else will be missing? 



Clients.



In this highly competitive boutique fitness industry, incredible client service and client experience is an enormous contributor toward what makes one business successful and another fail.



Good customer service is part of your marketing AND part of the value you deliver. Time and time again, I hear the atmosphere and sense of community inside the studio is a big part of what keeps clients coming back for more pilates (or barre or spin or HIIT).



It’s what can set you apart and help you to increase your list of loyal long-term clients.



New clients? Check



Increased retention? Check



Revenue growth? Check



Here’s why delivering a highly-engaging high-quality customer experience matters:



There are really only two things people consider when they are deciding to purchase from you. The first is do I have enough money? The second is will this improve my situation? In the first, the only advantage you can have is lowering price, which obviously is not great for profit. But, the second is where you have the opportunity to really WOW your clients with unforgettable client service that sets you apart and establishes you as a high value problem solver. 



You have clients who are social. What do they talk about? Everything. Yup - everything. We all love to talk about our experiences and the experience clients have in your studio is no different. Clients will talk about something that is either amazing or absolutely awful. So true - right?!

You don’t want to be in the latter category, and you don’t want to fall in the middle where you don’t get a mention at all. Studios who take really good care of their clients and are consistently looking to elevate the client experience get a constant stream of referrals.



Social media makes everything louder. Before social media ruled our world, one client with a bad experience didn’t destroy a business. But today, a single review can make or break the desire for a new customer to give you a try. Instead of shying away from managing the way your studio is perceived, you have to step into the driving seat and take control of your message by sharing the impact you have on your clients and in your community. Know what you do well, know how to share it and share it often!



Good customer service is the same as good marketing. 



Invest the time in designing and delivering an experience for your clients that will elevate your value, your business, and your bottom line.

Good luck!




Marketing Plans & Metrics For Your Studio Business

MARKETING your pilates studio

The number 1 goal for most small businesses is growth.


Growth in profits, clients, reach and market share.


As a studio business you should expect your business to grow each year. More and more people are spending more and more of their income on fitness and wellness.


You get growth by strategically marketing your brand, business and products or services.



Did you know?

Businesses that have a marketing plan grow by 10% vs those without



Did you know?

Businesses that have a marketing plan AND measure metrics grow by 60% vs those without.

Pretty shocking numbers right?! 


Being proactive (vs reactive) about how you are perceived by prospect clients and how you interact with your current clients sets a solid foundation for strong and sustainable growth.

Being proactive about marketing your fitness studio business looks like:

1. Being 100% clear about who you are and what you do, what makes you special and why people should take notice

2. Have a marketing calendar that lays out all your upcoming events, promotions and topics or themes for your communication. And then implementing that plan.

3. Actively tracking what works and what doesn’t

4. Making changes according to what the numbers tell you

Let’s dive in a little deeper:

#1 is all about your brand. If we’ve ever worked together you’ll know I’m a HUGE believer in getting crystal clear about what you offer that makes you unique, and how you can talk about that with your clients for maximum impact.


(Btw: If you don’t do this… step 2,3 and 4 can get messy and frustrating)


Step 2 is all about organization. You can access my marketing planner here. I use this in my business to plan my marketing but also any other areas of focus throughout the year.


Step 3 is all about using your reports. Not sure which ones matter? Start with these three:

  1. Number of new clients each month

  2. Number of intro offers sold

  3. Referral source


And also track this:

  • Year over year retention


Step 4 is all about being proactive and managing your assets (staff, budget etc) and efforts optimally. If a marketing effort is not performing as you would like, then make a change (fast!). Or if something is going really well - do more of it! Remember to use your numbers to drive these decisions - not your gut!


Marketing your fitness studio is an opportunity to get creative and network - enjoy it…. but make sure the numbers are telling you what you want to see!

Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Hit reply and let me know.


Seran




5 reasons why studios lose clients

Spring Three | Business Consulting

We all know that we can’t do this alone.


Growing a profitable studio business takes more than one set of hands.


A team of strong, proactive, professional instructors and support staff is needed to help you grow your fitness studio to places you could never go alone.


I speak to fitness studio owners almost every day about hiring and managing a team. And …how to create the A-Team. With the average boutique fitness studio in the US hiring 14 team-members - that’s a lot of people (and personalities) to manage!


Over the course of the past 10 years I’ve spent a ton of time thinking about what does and does not make a good instructor. As an instructor myself, I’ve been through the self-discovery process of figuring out what is important to me in my role, and as a consultant to many studios this topic comes up ALL.THE.TIME


During that time, I’ve discovered (and been told) why some instructors and studios just can’t seem to make clients stick… some of these reasons may seem pretty obvious but if you’re an instructor or are thinking about making your next hire, this might help you avoid the pitfalls of low retention.


Here are just a few reasons why studios and instructors lose clients:



Negative talk

Clients walk in to your studio to escape the stress and negativity of the real world. Instructors and team members who don’t make your clients feel amazing just for being there shouldn’t be there either. 

Learning tip: what drives you as an instructor? Get clear on this and share it with your clients. They want to know what motivates you too!



Having zero awareness

Some clients love to be touched. Others don’t. Some clients love non-stop cueing. Others don’t. Being aware of those small cues (think body-language, eye-contact) that show these preferences will go a long way. So, if a client tenses up when you touch them, or if they aren’t making eye contact… be flexible to their needs.



No welcome for students

Uh oh! Did a new client walk in and out again without a proper welcome? That cannot happen. Ever. It doesn’t matter how popular or talented the instructor is…Everyone who represents your studio is responsible for making new clients feel at home. 

Learning tip: Training your teachers on this is crucial. If you are an instructor and don’t get training on this - get in touch… I can give you some pointers to help.



Too busy to chat

If your instructors are too busy to hang out after class to chit chat, or if your front desk person has their head phones on… you are losing out on the opportunity to engage and nurture the client relationship. It’s these small things that improve retention. That means that your clients spend more (for longer) at your studio which in turn means your bottom line goes in the right direction.

Key insight: your clients come to your studio for MORE than a workout.



And finally…..

The number one turn-off for any client? A studio that isn’t clean. Time and time again research has shown that this is a Big reason why clients stop visiting. No excuses here - you have been warned!



What am I missing?

What experiences have driven the way you engage with your clients - positive and negative. Let me know hello@springthree.com 




Let's review your pricing :)

Pricing your services is a sticky subject. There is no doubt about it.

Whether you are pricing a single session, a package or a membership option for appointments or classes. It can be tricky.

And what happens when you offer all different kinds of services?!

Argh! It’s enough to make your head spin!

Recently, we’ve seen the boutique fitness market evolve when it comes to pricing. 

When boutique studios really started to take off around 9 years ago, a major selling point was the no commitment price model. Studios sold packages of 1, 5, 10 or 20 plus sessions or classes. 

And clients loved it.

L.O.V.E.D IT!

At that time, there was a big shift away from big box gym memberships that seriously lacked the community and support of a smaller studio. These were usually long term commitments but didn’t necessarily encourage regular attendance

So when studios opened offering amazing classes without a long-term financial commitment, clients were happy to pay (and often a little more) for something that bought the results.

Buying classes and booking in advance put an end to that little last-minute voice saying: “bail!”

Knowing that you’d already paid for a session was motivation enough to get off the couch!

And, everyone was excited about being part of a tribe and seeing friendly faces.

However, over the past 3-5 years, boutique studios across the board have increasingly begun to offer a monthly membership model which both the studio owners and clients seem ok with. 

Kinda interesting since that is what folks wanted to get away from in the early days!

So… why does this make sense now?

For studio owners a membership price model is actually a good thing. Those gym chains were onto something! Regular stable revenue is good for business longevity. You can plan and budget with more certainty - because your cashflow is more consistent. 

It is super helpful from an admin perspective as you are not chasing clients to purchase a new package or ask for monies owed. Once you have made that initial sale, the payments are automated and so the admin hassle decreases.

For clients, there are some overlap to the benefits. They too appreciate less admin time - they can schedule as they like online and especially enjoy the freedom and flexibility of unlimited memberships.

The membership model is also more conducive to helping the client actually get results - in most cases a class or session once per week is just not enough to get the benefits most are looking for. TIP: check out your attendance analysis report and see how frequently your clients visit - you might be surprised!

That said, most studios continue to offer an option to purchase a package although the price point is usually less appealing to the client than a membership price point. Packages are usually priced higher per class than a membership option. 


Of course, there is a lot of work that goes into running a studio with a membership pricing model - think sales processes, marketing etc. And, just like everything, it won’t be the right fit for everyone. But, perhaps, it is something to consider?

I’d love to hear YOUR thoughts - email me at hello@springthree.com and let me know if you’ve tried this or are interested!







P.S. Has it been a while since you reviewed your pricing or even longer since you raised your pricing? In Empowered Branding I cover this as part of setting yourself up for success when it comes to building a thriving studio business. What you learn in this program will help you navigate the path of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to pricing. If you want to find out more, let’s set up a times to speak. Click here to schedule a time!