by Angela Reed Fox
Email marketing works. It still works. With our own public-facing studio, we've found that email marketing is one of the most effective marketing streams to invest in - but there are ways to ensure that your marketing hits the spots and gets you the results you want:
Often, but not too often. Recommendations vary, but around 7-10 days works well with us - providing a balance of information and advice along with offers, discounts and studio promotions.
Diarise. Plan your offers to make sure they're reasonably well spaced, and then when you get to know your marketing year really well, you'll be able to form some offers that just slot in when you need a bit of a boost.
Segment. This is really important, and if you don't do it, there's a risk of sending people mail they don't want which makes them more likely to unsubscribe and therefore difficult for you to reach again. Email marketing software will enable you to add 'tags' to email addresses - perhaps separating your members from your non-members, or detailing when they last purchased so that you can reach them again with a different offer. This ONE think will add immense power to your email marketing.
Play nice. GDPR. Have an easy way for people to subscribe. We added a simple check box to our online registration forms, and 70% of riders sign up for our email marketing. Once they're subscribed, play nice. Enable them to unsubscribe easily if they want to, and provide them with plenty of nice, friendly and useful content to make sure they don't want to.
Use a combination of broadcasts and campaigns. A broadcast is a one off email. You might want to send an offer to all of your riders who bought rides last month, for example. If you've segmented your list you can easily do this. You'll schedule a time (or 'send now') your email and it will hit everyone's inbox at the same time. A campaign is different. When a subscriber joins your list, or is given a particular tag, that will trigger the campaign. This is a list of different emails that are set to arrive at agreed intervals. We have one for all new registrants - as soon as they sign up, they're added to the list and they receive the first email in the campaign, introducing us, welcoming them, and showing them the ropes. Subsequent emails are set about a week apart and feature a different aspect of getting the most from their workout.
Test! There's really no excuse, and this is super-powerful. Email marketing will give you lots of metrics and most providers offer an A/B test feature where you send two almost identical emails to two parts of your list, and then when one of them gets a better open rate or click through rate, the winning mail goes out to the rest of your subscribers. Test everything. Do your subscribers prefer plain emails (ours do) or emails with embedded pictures? Do they like shorter emails, or do they prefer more content in the email and less to click through to? How about subject lines? This is really important because this is what people read when they're deciding whether to open and read your email or just delete it. Test everything you can think of.