Fitness email marketing isn’t just about newsletters and promotions. Yes, it’s great for those purposes, but it can have a MUCH wider business impact when utilised to its full potential.


Life Time Fitness recently introduced email marketing automation into their gym strategy, and saw profits increase as a result. Here’s an overview of exactly what they did, and how you can apply similar strategies in your own business…


How Life Time Used Fitness Email Marketing To Increase Profits

Life Time’s goal was to connect each prospect or member in a one-to-one relationship. For a business of their size and scale, that’s a big undertaking. So they decided to use fitness email marketing as a means to achieving it.


Fitness Marketing Ideas Ebook AdIndividual profiles were created for each member, which recorded all of their personal info and preferences. They then developed personalised emails with tailored messaging, based on their members’ interests, goals, and situation.


This approach helped them to communicate more relevant and meaningful messages to their members, as well as stand out in busy inboxes.


Taking a personalised approach is one way you can differentiate from large low-cost gyms. They often struggle to develop individual relationships with all their members, since they don’t have many staff to interact. This is also a way you can remain competitive against smaller studios (like CrossFit and Soul Cycle), who find it much easier to develop these connections and communities. Or if you run a small studio yourself, then this is definitely something you can use to your advantage …


Here are two examples of how this email personalisation worked in practice…


Member #1 – visits the club with their kids which gets recorded on their profile. They then receive an email with a 10% discount off the spa, whilst the child attends Life Time’s on-site kids programme. This offer is tailored to their precise situation and need, so is more likely to be taken up.

Member #2 – mentions that they’re training for a triathlon during induction, which gets recorded on their profile. They then receive reminders via the Life Time mobile app to record and track their workout. This helps ensure that they stay on track and train in the right way.


Each of these people is on a unique fitness journey and therefore needs different information in order to succeed. But how exactly did these personalised emails generate profit?


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Life Time’s Results & Statistics

There are several ways that fitness email marketing contributed to an increase in profits. Firstly it increased staff productivity which saved money. Then it also improved member acquisition and engagement which increased revenue…


More Efficiency + More Engagement = More Profit


More Efficiency

Life Time send over 7 million emails each month. Their new process streamlined the management of their communications by automating much of the work. This reduced the amount of time and money spent on managing marketing, which increased efficiency. It also improved productivity in comparison to the old system they had been using.


More Engagement

Email open rates almost doubled, going from 40% to 70% (which is incredibly high). To put it into perspective, the average email open rate for the health and fitness industry is 22%.


They also saw the open rate of lead generation emails, new membership services, and offer emails increase by 40%. Their customised mailings increased the number of new memberships, and conversions to full paying memberships. They also created additional cross-channel selling opportunities which further increased revenue.


By personalising communications before, during, and after sign-up, they boosted engagement. This also created opportunities for targeted follow-up mailings to drive even more revenue.


In less than 9 months, the new process has generated a benefit equivalent to $608,297. But best of all, results show that members are now more engaged around their health objectives, athletic aspirations, and fitness goals.


How To Apply This In Your Own Fitness Business

Side note – we may earn a commission if you click the MailChimp link below but that’s not why we included it. We recommend them because they’re the easiest and cheapest of all the email service providers.


The good news is that you don’t need Life Time’s marketing budget or personnel to achieve similar results. Unless you have hundreds of sites, you probably don’t even need to invest in expensive software. MailChimp now includes automation within its free package, so there’s zero investment needed. All that’s required is an hour or two to create the email content and automation sequence (also known as an auto-responder).


Level #1 – Create A Welcome Email

This should be tailored towards new joiners, and contain general info that’s relevant to all of them (regardless of their interests)…


  • Reinforce that joining your facility was a good decision – this helps avoid buyer’s remorse and cancellations
  • Provide essential club info – like your opening times, class timetable, and a list of what to bring or wear
  • Ask them to visit – prompt them to visit by asking them to put a workout date in their calendar that’s within the next 3 days


Level #2 – Create An Automated Series Of Welcome Emails

Build on level one by creating a series of 3-4 welcome emails instead of just one. So the ‘level 1 welcome email’ could be the very first one, and then you could follow up 3 days later with an email reminder to visit. Then the third email could be an overview of the different group exercise classes, and the fourth could be your most popular services and how to book them.


Did you know? Welcome email templates are included in our Fitness Marketing Kit.


Level #3 – Create Automated Emails That Are Personalised

Take things a step further by creating personalised emails based on different member goals. Think about the 3 most popular workout goals that your members tend to have, and then create 3 different email series based around them. That way when a new member signs up whose goal is ‘weight loss’, you can send them a series of emails that are tailored to their specific needs. Think workout tips, healthy recipes, and best classes for burning calories. Whereas a new member who’s interested in ‘bulking up’ receives completely different content.


Alternatively, you can create emails around different fitness interests. So if some of your members are training for a triathlon event, you can develop emails that are helpful or promote beneficial products and services. Then create additional emails tailored to other popular interests, such as PT, yoga, or nutrition.


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Fitness Email Marketing – Next Steps

Personalising your client emails can help your marketing become even more effective. You can use email to sign up more members, keep them engaged, and generate more revenue in the process.


Take a look at our Fitness Marketing Templates for ready-made welcome email templates that you can use in your business. If you’d like help or advice about creating fitness emails, then get in touch using our contact form.


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