3 Automated Email Tips (and Campaigns) for Fitness Franchisees
By Lauren McAlister
Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways your franchisees engage with clients. It’s also key to maintaining your brand’s reputation.
Automated email marketing, more specifically, helps engage, retain, and win-back clients—but without ongoing time and effort for your franchisees. That’s why it’s important to start them off on the right foot upfront. Here’s how:
Provide a branded image library.
This is particularly important if franchisees are responsible for their own email marketing and/or automation. Size these images for a variety of specific needs (headers, body images, etc.) to ensure each email aligns with your brand and renders properly on both desktop and mobile devices.
Confirm visibility into other locations.
When building out automation, make sure each list takes into account visits at other locations. For example, a rescue email should only be triggered if the customer hasn't visited any franchise location for a set period of time. Advanced automated marketing software has this capability.
Set up effective automated campaigns, including the following three must-haves:
#1. Intro Offer Follow-up
The goal is to convert each intro offer into membership before expiration, but it often takes more nurturing (and perhaps an incentive or two) to make the sale. Hence, an automated, intro offer follow-up series is a must.
Once set, your automated series will convert not-quite-ready-to-commit clients without generating extra work for franchisees.
- Step 1: Use your automated marketing software to segment clients who are close to completing your intro offer and have yet to purchase a class package or membership. With MINDBODY’s Marketing Suite, it’s easy to make Smart Lists based on these specific criteria.
- Step 2: Send a message one week prior to their intro offer expiring. Express gratitude and include a time-sensitive discount to sweeten the deal.
- Step 3: Set a second follow-up one week after expiration for those who haven’t converted yet (even after your first offer). Offer them another incentive for coming back—a secondary discount off their next class/class pack, free branded merch, etc.
Do your franchisees create their own automated emails? This is where the branded image library comes in! With images already in hand, franchisees can keep branding consistent and create beautiful, enticing emails.
#2. Upsell to membership
When a customer purchases a class package, it’s a win, but an auto-pay membership is ideal (hello, predictable revenue). An automated email series comes in handy when trying to upsell a client from a class package to an ongoing membership.
- Step 1: Segment individuals who’ve purchased a class pack but haven’t committed to membership.
- Step 2: Set an automated thank you email to be sent immediately after their pack purchase.
- Step 3: Set a secondary email to send highlighting the benefits of your membership—think priority booking, guest passes, discounts on merchandise, etc.—and offer an upsell incentive, potentially at a discounted rate for a period of time. The timing of this automation will depend on a few factors, including the number of classes included in the package (is there five or twenty-five classes?) and how long, on average, it takes customers to use them up. Ideally, the automation will send as each class pack runs out. This may require separate automation for each class package.
Remember: If a client has upgraded to membership since they purchased a package, they should no longer receive the upsell automation.
#3. Terminated membership follow-up/rescue
Clients terminate memberships for many reasons. The good news is, you can often win back members with a simple, and automated, approach to email marketing.
- Step 1: Use Smart Lists to email those who’ve previously terminated their membership.
- Step 2: Upon termination, send an automated email thanking them for being a part of your business. This is also an opportunity to ask for their honest feedback.
- Step 3: Set an email to send three months after termination. Express your gratitude again and offer a discount to win them back. Be sure to highlight any changes in the schedule and new offerings, pricing options, amenities, etc.
Ensure automated marketing success for your franchisees with the right platform. Learn more at mindbodyonline.com/marketing