Free 120 minute indoor cycling profile
by Angela Reed Fox
6 keys to email marketing success for indoor cycling studios
Email marketing works. It still works. With our own public-facing indoor cycling 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.
Free 45 minute aerobic indoor cycling session profile: 45M Aspirational Horse
by Angela Reed Fox
5 reasons gyms should develop their own indoor cycling instructors
If you don't have a training strategy for your indoor cycling instructors, stick it on your to-do list - you're missing a massive trick.
Opening the region's first boutique cycling studio, we were immediately faced with the issue: Where are we going to get our instructors from? And for the next year or so, we recruited any instructor we thought was suitable who had already done some form of indoor cycling training. We have between 12-15 instructors at any time, there's very low turnover, and the instructors pull together as an excellent team - it wasn't always like that, but here are the reasons why having an indoor cycling training strategy helped:
Developing and upholding your brand
This is huge. Just because someone looks OK on paper doesn't mean they're a team player. It doesn't mean they're going to care about your members as much as you do, and it doesn't mean they're going to take instructing for you seriously. You need to be able to trust your instructors to uphold your brand when you're not there. Because you can't always be there.
If you have a strategy for recognising which of your regular riders would make great instructors and empower them to go do the training, you're going to have instructors who are already signed up to uphold your brand. Why? Because they already think it's great - because they're paying you for it. Added to that, it's a huge boost for them when someone recognises the greatness within! If you're thinking "Ah, but I'll lose members if I turn them into instructors!" Well, yes, you would move that person from the member column to the instructor column - but instructors who understand and love what you're doing and want to be part of it are valuable to you - and worth more than you'll lose in membership fees.
In our public-facing studio, we do not recruit instructors from elsewhere - we always develop instructors from our member-base. It works. It cuts the risk of cliques, instructors undermining each other and bad habits brought in from elsewhere. Our instructors are good, we invest in them, and they help maintain the open, friendly and inclusive studio set-up. In return, we help to make them the best they can be.
There are certain things that we didn't want our instructors doing in class - things that are still taught in some training courses. We'd had occasions where the response was "Well they like it at xxxxx". It's important to have your studio policy updated with banned moves as some dangerous and/or ineffective moves are still doing the rounds, despite the increased risk of injury and litigation.
If you're developing your riders, you can set the training pathway. Obviously it's easy for us; our instructors-to-be go on our own course - because it's the only instructor course that reaches the quality standard we expect. If this is something you'd like to start - we're happy to work with you and provide discounts for the delegates you send to us.
If you proactively manage your recruitment and training strategy, then you'll be able to arrange easily and seamlessly the succession planning for when an instructor leaves. Having said that, when you're developing instructors from your own membership, retention is much better, so not only is it less hassle, it's something you'll rarely need to think about. And that's going to save you both time and money.
How do you ensure your instructors stay at the top of their game so that you can stay at the top of yours? Most gyms don't even consider this, so if you do, then you're a step ahead of your competition. If you've got a training strategy,
Save on training costs
Whether you pay for the training or your instructors do, there are savings that can be made when you're buying several courses at a time. ICI offers a scheme whereby we partner with you to support you and your instructors, and as you invest in your instructors, we pass on discounts. We might still be the only training company to offer this.
Want to bring together a cohesive team? Check out our preferred venues scheme. Click below:
Free 45 minute indoor cycling profile: 45H Potty Pyramids