Acquiring new customers can be expensive and is significantly more difficult than retaining new customers. This is why I advocate for the use of generous referral and reward campaigns in order to tap into your existing client networks for acquisition rather than costly outbound advertising campaigns. The same can be said for email campaigns. Often times, a studio’s existing customer base is overlooked. And while you can count on your die-hard clients to return each week, a large percentage of your customer base may stop returning and you may fail to notice. So which customers should you email? Here are the three groups I recommend.
Customers who haven’t taken a class in more than 2 months
One week, no big deal. One month, maybe they’re on vacation. Two months or more, you better find out they’ve moved out of the country because there is no excuse at that point. You can’t let your clients disappear without a little fight. Make sure these users are receiving regular emails. Most programs will have a reporting suite that allows you to filter out these users and export a list of customers that haven’t returned in 2 months or more. A number of programs will even have automated emails that can be sent out to users automatically if they haven’t taken a class or made a purchase in a certain number of days. I recommend setting up these emails blasts to let these users know how much you miss them, what (if anything) has changed at the studio and possibly even hand them a promo code to incentivize them to return.
First Time Customers Not Retained
How dare they come a take a class and never return! It is crucial to ensure first-time users return. These customer (first time not-retained) truly are low hanging fruit when it comes to an email blast. Send them an email, ask them how class went and possibly include a promotional code to incentivize them to return. Lastly, in most email marketing platforms, there is a simple form creation system. I recommend creating a simple form asking the user why they don’t want to return. A simple text box will suffice.
If you have a kick-ass website, a compelling brand and fitness program, many visitors to your site will sign up for an account. The issue is, many of these new accounts won’t convert to regular clients. They might not ever make a purchase, attend a class or even log back into their account after the initial creation. My recommendation: have your front desk employee(s) reach out to these users via email or preferably phone. Your system should be able to produce a list of these unused accounts along with their email and phone number (which you should make mandatory for account creation). During the down time while the class is in-session, have your front desk employees call these potential clients. And, like the other two groups, offer a discount on their first class. Or, even offer their first class for free. Have the front desk employee book them into a class over the phone if possible.
In my experience, most studios are not targeting these groups. Low hanging fruit is easy to pick but you have to know the fruit is there in the first place.
By Evan Welch, Sales Manager