Social media is excellent. It’s fast-paced, dynamic, and there are multiple opportunities to deliver valuable relationship-building content with your audience at scale.
However, your social media accounts are owned by someone else. You're never fully in control of who sees your posts and under what circumstances they receive your content. Your email is list owned by you, you can also be fully, unapologetically yourself without worries about the people you went to school with passing judgement on your content marketing!
How Do People Join Your Email List?For someone to get on your email list, you'll have given them something valuable and usually free. This is called a lead magnet. The lead magnet is obtained through a landing page, where someone puts their name and email address in to download it. The landing page is linked up or sometimes actually built through your email marketing software.
The email software is different from the usual personal email address you'd use to manage and respond to your personal and professional correspondence. It also gives you a lot more data, including whether or not the recipients opened your email, how many times someone opened it, and what percentage of clicks each link in your email had.
Once someone has subscribed to an email list for a specific lead magnet, you can set up an automated sequence of emails to be delivered at set intervals to each new person that joins that list.
Which Email Software Is Best?Many email service providers (ESPs) are available, and up to a set number of subscribers, many are free. It's not difficult to export your email contacts and import them into different software for use at a later date, so don't get too caught up with trying to select the "perfect" one straight away. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Active Campaign
Some of these offer additional features at paid pricing tiers. Still, for most personal trainers looking to get started with email marketing, this probably won't be necessary for some time yet. Mailerlite is perhaps the easiest of them to use and offers the option to build an integrated landing page at a free membership level.
How Often Should You Email Your List?Some fitness businesses email every weekday from Monday to Friday. Others email their subscribers weekly or two or three times a week. There is no "one size fits all" approach to this beyond emailing as often as you can stick to consistently providing value.
To begin with, start with once a week. The goal is to have your list expecting and anticipating your email. Once a week will start to feel comfortable, and then you can increase it to twice a week. The more often you email, the more opportunities you have to get better at email marketing.
What Content Should You Send to Your List?The content of your email is likely to relate to what you've given away as a lead magnet. Congruent content is what will make people open and read your emails. If you've got people on the list because you've given away a lead magnet about how brides to be can lose weight for their wedding dress, but then all your email content is about adding an inch to your bicep and that time you won a bodybuilding competition - it's not going to be congruent for your audience.
Think about the issues that interest your audience. You can use email as an extension of your social media posts. Any topic that your audience might ask you about casually on social media or more formally in training sessions is an idea for an email. You aim to provide valuable insight into their problems, so ask people the topics they'd like to hear more about.
What Are The Benefits Of Email For Personal Trainers?The type of posts you'd make on social media platforms can be made even better by email because you can provide more detail without worrying about getting cut off and having to continue in the comments.
You don't have to spend any time dealing with hashtag research. Instead, you can put that time back into writing meaningful and useful emails that build your authority as a professional.
Your list already knows, likes and trusts you. You're building on relationships that are even more established. That means calls to action - invitations to reply to the email or free things you're giving away to thank them for reading - are clicked through far more frequently. This is why the email list is easier to sell to when you have a launch.
What Are The Drawbacks Of Email For Personal Trainers?Probably the main drawback is the time it takes to learn any new skill. It does take time to learn how to write well, and unlike social media, where we're able to inject personality into content through video or hearing the trainer's voice, that can be harder to express in writing at first.
ConclusionSo, do you need to be marketing via email? The answer is it depends. It offers more certainty and freedom than social media as you own your list yourself, and you know who is reading your content from your warm list.
However, if you're pushing hard for new clients and serving the clients that you already have, there may be higher priority tasks for you in your business right now. Email marketing is a skill, and that takes time to learn. This is something you'll eventually need inside your personal training business for long-term marketing success. Still, if you need cash flow right now, you can spend your energy elsewhere until you feel you have the capacity to start working for the long-haul.