Grow Your Club With Email Marketing

Email should be one of the key pillars in any club’s marketing strategy. It’s vital in driving new member sign-ups, maximising the value of your current members and increasing retention.

Despite it’s undeniable importance, there are a lot of clubs out there who aren’t using the channel effectively (or at all) to help maximise their revenue and profitability.   Now, there’s an old saying – ‘it’s not what you do but the way that you do it’ – and it’s never been more applicable than when it comes to the use of email for clubs like yours.

We work with a lot of gym & clubs here at Ashbourne who are using email and they’re having great success. It’s making a real difference to their new member sign-ups and, ultimately, their bottom line. And it can do the same for any club if it’s implemented in the right way!

The clubs who are making it work have refined their tactics and are using email in a smarter way and it’s something that’s working really, really well.

We’ve created this blog to share a couple of strategies that you can use to grow the conversion rates of your prospects into new sign-ups and to help increase member retention.



Firstly, we’ll begin by addressing GDPR.

GDPR came into affect last year as a regulation in EU law to help help protect the data and privacy of European citizens. It certainly had an effect on the amount of email marketing which clubs were carrying out.

Now, we won’t go into the specific rules and regulations on GDPR because there’s enough good information online for you already, but the long and short of it is that…

1| You need your privacy policy to be updated and water tight.

2| If you’re using cookies on your site (anything to do with analytics or remarketing) you need a pop up to ask for your visitors’ consent.

3| You need to be able to prove that anyone you’re emailing has opted in to receive marketing communications (this is easily done by adding privacy statements to forms on your website and when you ask for people’s details at your club stating that the person is happy for you to send marketing emails to them – this is standard protocol now for all companies, not just in our industry).

If you’re doing these things, you’ll be absolutely fine and won’t have any issues with emailing people.


Using Email Marketing To Convert Prospects Into Paying Members

A lead comes into your club and you or a member of your team follows it up with a phone call or an email. Some of these leads will request information about prices & facilities etc., some will come and visit you and some of them will just have questions they want answered. Eventually, some of these leads become members which, of course, is fantastic!

The reality is though, like in any business, a large proportion of these prospects don’t become members. Not so fantastic.

But, what’s most baffling, is that there’s lack of activity that a lot of gyms and clubs have in place to convert more of their leads into customers in the longer term.

You see, what you have to understand is that just because someone is ready to enquire or visit for a trial, it doesn’t mean that they’re ready to sign up and become a paying a member. A significant percentage of people aren’t ready to commit to that and haven’t reached that stage.

The industry in which we operate is one with well-thought out and researched customer journeys and your marketing needs to adapt to that reality. On top of that, the industry is highly competitive and the need to stand out and build better relationships with your prospects is key.


So, how do you convert more prospects into members?


Some prospects go dark. That’s life. You or your sales team marks a prospect as ‘dead’. But, if you think that there’s no benefit in communicating with that person from that point on, you’re wrong. Really wrong.

Deciding to join a new club or change from your current club is something people give a lot of thought to. These decisions are well thought-out and well researched. Your prospect has almost certainly looked at least a couple of other clubs and possibly visited them too.

The gyms and clubs that adopt a longer-term strategy to the conversion of their prospects into members can win big. The most effective way to do this: email!

Emailing prospects in the weeks and months after they initially become an enquiry will increase your conversion rates and will help increase new member sign-ups. That’s a fact.

Continuing to send personal and valuable content will help build relationships with these people and drive ongoing engagement with your club. Whether it’s current promotions, client testimonials which build trust, details of your facilities, it doesn’t matter. As long as the content is relevant, personal and valuable, it will help your conversion rates.

It will also help you to stand out from your competition as a club which that puts its members first and it will bring in sales to your club which would have otherwise been lost. What’s more is that it will barely cost your business a penny and will deliver a colossal ROI.


Increase Retention & Member Lifetime Value

There are three core ways to grow any gym or club….

…increase the number of members you have, increase retention or increase the average lifetime value of your members.

It’s the second and third ways which we’re going to look at now. You see, keeping members and getting them to spend more is generally much easier and cost-effective than signing up new members. Email serves as a beautifully simple and inexpensive way to frequently engage with your current members, build stronger relationships with them and ensure that they feel valued and more than just another customer who pays you money every month.

What you include in these emails is of course up to you but they may just be updates on events at your club, information about new facilities & classes or free passes for their friends and family (which is a great way to generate additional enquiries). It may even include an email once in a while which lets you know how much you value them or which asks for feedback on ways to improve your services. Emailing your current members is also a great way to promote offers and bring additional revenue into your business.

Sending regular emails to your members requires very little investment both in terms of time and financially and is guaranteed increase retention. If you aren’t doing it at the moment, you need to start. It’s an absolute no-brainer!

So there you have it. Two simple but highly effective ways to better utilise email for your club which will help increase your conversion rates and improve retention.


If you’d like to know more about email marketing and good email marketing platforms, simply get in touch with us today and a member of our team will be happy to help.

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