Keeping your list current
Follow up. Most fitness facility staff members are better at initiating contact with prospects and members than in following-up. Follow-up on the Internet can be simplified through the use of autoresponders (www.aweber.com). An autoresponder will automatically send an email. For example, when someone signs up for your e-zine or newsletter, they automatically receive a thank you email, which may include further information and choices. Another example of an autoresponder is sending a series of weekly, or biweekly, emails to a prospect who contacts you on the Internet.
Back up. Remember to be conscious of your system security. As your facility becomes more dependent on computers and the Internet, some basic safeguards are important. Back up daily so you don’t lose a carefully built database. Also, install password access to computers.
Basic email structure
What you say in the emails you send to members and prospective members can make or break their effectiveness.Here are some rules of thumb for creating emails.
Keep emails short; long emails often get discarded.If you have a lot to say, give a brief summary in your email, and add links to your website, where more content can be stored.
If using attachments, purchase Adobe Acrobat and convert all attachments into Acrobat files. Offer a link to people to download the free version if they do not have it. This will enable just about everyone to open your attachment with little hassle.
Also, keep your emails narrow. Just because you can type a full-width page on your email doesn’t mean the person opening it can do the same. If the recipient has a narrower format than the one you used to create the email, it can make a mess of it. As a general rule, aim at a maximum of 4 inches in width.
Send content that members are interested in seeing. Use the check-list on the sign-up card (mentioned above) to identify areas of interest. Consider what prospects would be interested in. Did they come to a sales or tour appointment, yet fail to become a member? Why didn’t they buy? Was it price? Facilities? Salesperson’s behavior? Send them a follow-up email with a new offer and incentives.
In addition,every email you send should include a low-key call to action, which is an offer extended to therecipient. Remember to include a way they can respond to the call to action, such as “email a reply or call this number.” If you do not provide instant ways to respond to your offer, the message may fail.
Finally, include a reminder that the recipient opted in to receive the email, and offer an easy way to opt out.
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