Retention

Increase Studio Membership Sales with This Simple Tool

FitGrid | October 7, 2021

Clients want to hear from you, not your business. Automated personalized communication increases re-acquisition.

Did your studio see a drop in membership during the pandemic? With people easing back into a normal-ish life thanks to widespread vaccines and safety measures, now might be the time to win back your lost clients.

It’s no secret that obtaining a brand new client is way more expensive than keeping an existing one–around 5-25 times, according to Harvard Business Review. With this in mind, FitGrid created several solutions that help studio owners retain and regain their clients. The FitGrid Win-back feature is an effective automated personalized email function that can work in harmony with other automated messaging software that typically drives purchases that cover the cost of the software itself. 

Clients have found that FitGrid’s Win-back feature is very effective at helping studio owners rebuild their membership base, increase class size, and reconnect with clients who haven’t attended class in a while. Emails sent with FitGrid’s Win-back feature have an average open rate of 50 percent, compared to the industry average for marketing emails, which falls around 20 percent. 

In one case, Cindi N., the owner of four Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping studios, sent out 1,200 win-back messages to a combination of people who had lapsed over 30, 60, and 365 days. Over 6 months, 382 of those clients returned. Cindi was able to directly interact with her lost clients without needing to take the time to send out each message manually but allowing the opportunity to personalize messages when needed. FitGrid’s Win-back feature allowed Cindi to reacquire almost 30 percent of her lost members without losing precious time.

Related: 3 Ways That FitGrid’s Features Can Help You Save Time When You're Short-Staffed

How does FitGrid’s Win-back feature work?

  1. First, you set up your FitGrid Win-back feature within your FitGrid dashboard by selecting who is going to have access to this feature and what the messages and offer will include.

  2. Once you activate your Win-back feature, your FitGrid platform automatically sends an outreach message to clients who have not visited the studio in a specific timeframe of your choosing, encouraging them to come back.

  3. FitGrid's Win-back technology delivers an incentive message from the instructor the client saw most during their active time at the studio (or from the studio manager, depending on how you configure the feature).

  4. Studio owners and managers can add promotions or pricing options with purchase buttons to the instructor message to drive retention and revenue.

  5. Effectiveness reports in the owner dashboard show how many clients came back to the studio as a result of getting a message and how many dollars were won from any attached offers.

Here are three tips for getting the most out of FitGrid’s Win-back feature:

  1. Increase your open rate: In order for people to take action on your marketing emails, they need to open them! People are inundated with email messages, so you need to make sure that yours are standing out. There are two main ways that you can increase the open rate of your FitGrid Win-back emails:

    • Edit the sender’s name: Using the name of a client’s favorite instructor as the win-back message sender, will increase the likelihood that the recipient will open an email. For example, using a sender like “Lesley at Studio NYC,” could make someone excited to hear from Lesly, their past favorite instructor. If you’re thinking, “how on Earth would I know each person’s favorite teacher?” FitGrid has this covered. The software can determine a client’s most visited instructor for you. If that person does not have a win-back template, the email will be sent from a “fallback sender.” It is important that you set this up as someone who your clients will recognize, maybe the first name of an owner, manager, or beloved front desk staff.

    • Craft a catchy subject line: If you want people to read your emails, you will want to create subject lines that encourage people to open them. Be creative, and spend some time thinking about what incentivizes your community to take action - will it be a sense of urgency, with a subject line like “Only one day left to take us up on this amazing offer,” or a sense of curiosity, with a subject line like “This one thing will make you super fit,” subject lines that are humorous, mysterious or personalized are also effective. Test out subject line styles a few times to see what works best for your clients. 

  2. Create engaging email content that inspires action: Once your past clients have opened their email, you want them to find engaging content that encourages them to take immediate action that brings them closer to becoming a member again. 

Here is how to craft an effective win-back email: 

  • Write a message that encourages sales, without being too sales-y: Most of the time, the message the client is receiving is written by an instructor, who may not be a trained salesperson. Create templates of effective marketing emails for your instructors, and then let them edit the messages into their own words. Make sure to use catchy calls to action that inspires the former client to click through and book their next class or renew their membership.

    Related: Stop Managing your Business with Your Gut. Use Real Data to Empower Your Instructors

  • Offer incentives to win them back: The FitGrid Win-back function allows you to add offers into your messages (though this is not necessary). You can offer incentives such as discounted packages, a free class for a friend, or even some merch. Keep in mind that depending on your community, you might not need to send out a big offer in this environment. A lot of people let their gym memberships lapse last year because of the pandemic, and they may just need a little reminder to get them back in the studio. We’ve found that about 27 percent of lapsed clients who receive FitGrid win-back messages return to the studio and attend more classes.

  • Give it time: You might not see win-back results right away. Win-backs are a long-term sales strategy because you are reaching out to clients who are not engaged. Getting them back occurs over time, sometimes by sending multiple messages. When someone lapses it usually means their life and habits have changed. Your objective in this situation is to keep your studio top of mind so that when the former client is ready, they will return to you and not the studio down the street.

Win-backs are a top strategy to strengthen your community and increase your revenue without expending too much time and energy. Don’t forget that obtaining a new client costs much more money, time, and resources than retaining a preexisting one. If you’re using FitGrid’s Win-back feature to its fullest potential, it will essentially pay for itself. If you convert a single additional lapsed client and they get a membership, you’ve paid for your entire FitGrid membership for as long as they remain a member. Any other win-backs—along with results from the many other tools FitGrid provides studio owners—are pure profit for you.

Try FitGrid free for 30 days - start winning back your lost clients today.

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FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level