When the Sweat Box first opened its doors in June 2019, it started with a business model that emphasized functional fitness, both in group fitness and personalized training. The studio was successful, with classes at or above capacity regularly.
Then COVID-19 happened.
Sweat Box owners Marc and Christine Steiniger knew that they had to focus on the community for the business to survive the business closure that came with COVID-19 spread prevention. The first step they took was suspending all memberships and extending the expiration dates of all packages.
"We didn't want to give the impression that we were continuing to charge people for a service that they weren't receiving," Marc said. "We've seen other gyms in the region do that, and like they're getting a pretty bad rap."
Trying new strategies
With that taken care of, the Steinigers needed to figure out how to stay relevant. They began recording group fitness workouts and posting them online, free of charge, and set up virtual training appointments with their personal training clients.
To make these strategies work long-term, the Sweat Box needed a way to ensure customers knew about the workouts. The Steinigers had been using Mindbody Marketing Suite automations since the fall of 2019, earning them over $4,500 of revenue. But Marc hadn't used email marketing campaigns. Now the coronavirus was forcing his hand—he needed to build an email marketing strategy.
"Prior to that, I've only been using MailChimp for my email marketing, and it was very sparse," Marc said. "I thought, 'Yes! Thank God I've got the highest Mindbody package now, because I've got the email campaigns at my disposal,' and I started using those on day one of COVID-19."
Engaged and retained
Every day, the Steinigers publish a new workout video and send it to their clients—past, present, and potential. They've seen engagement through measuring video views, but the most impactful email that Marc sent was the one that may have saved his business.
"I was very, very transparent about what's going on in the business of The Sweat Box," Marc said. "At the time I sent out the email, we were not eligible for any government program. So, I just let people know that we're still on the hook for full rent."
The result? Marc and Christine were inundated by emails and text messages of support—and ended up reactivating around 40% of members volunteering to continue their payments while the gym was closed.
"That's the number one saving grace of using the Mindbody campaigns is just being open and transparent with our memberships," Marc said. "And choosing to keep things voluntary has been fantastic for us."