The 2024 Guide to SMS Marketing for Gyms

Stay ahead in 2024 with our guide on SMS marketing for gyms. Learn how to maximize member engagement, promote offers, and build a community.

Boosting member retention and membership renewals is one of the more challenging parts of managing a gym or fitness center.

With SMS text message marketing, gym members have unparalleled access to convenient communication and helpful reminders that improve their experience. Gym text messages are well-suited for any fitness business, allowing for unprecedented communication and marketing capabilities.

Learn more in this article by your friends at Sakari.

What is Text Message Marketing?

While SMS has been around for decades, only recently have application-to-peer (A2P) SMS platforms enabled everyone to take advantage of text message marketing. Platforms like Sakari allow businesses like fitness centers and gyms to communicate directly with members and clients.

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Why SMS Marketing for Fitness Centers?

While many fitness centers and gyms opt for phone calls and emails, they simply don’t have the results of a thought-out SMS messaging campaign. Here’s what SMS marketing can do for your gym, fitness center, or martial arts dojo.

  • Higher Attendance: Keep every class full by informing new members and reminding scheduled attendees.
  • More Membership Renewals: Make sure every client renews their membership by reminding them of their contract end date.
  • Better Retention Rate: Keep members engaged with SMS messages and updates.
  • Fewer Missed Appointments: Roughly half of missed appointments are due to people forgetting. Make sure clients remember with a text message.
  • Closer Community: Texts are great at getting fitness enthusiasts involved in the community.

These are but a few of the many benefits of a well-thought-out SMS campaign. While text message marketing takes time and effort to fully utilize, it can fill empty classes with new members.

The 2024 Guide to SMS Marketing for Gyms

The Stats on Gym Text Messages

The bounty of text message marketing is best seen in its statistics. We can discuss what it can do all day, but the proof is in the numbers.

Almost 300 million people text in North America (around 80% of the population). Everyone in your gym is probably texting already (or at least using their phones to play some tunes).

Texts have an open rate of 98%; almost every SMS will be read. Compared that sky-high stat to the approximate 20% open rate of emails.

SMS messages are almost always read within a few minutes. When an SMS hits the inbox, subscribers will see it immediately. That’s peerlessly fast engagement, ensuring members will be reminded of their need to renew long before their subscription is canceled.

Approximately 94% of SMS users recommend A2P texting to their colleagues. Furthermore, 97% of newcomers report higher communication.

How Gyms and Fitness Centers Can Use Text Message Marketing

There are many uses for SMS. Gyms and fitness centers can take advantage of text messages in a myriad of contexts, allowing for all sorts of benefits.

Billing Reminders

Have a long-term membership lapse? Not everyone who cancels means to do so. Sometimes, members will cancel credit cards but forget to change their payment information. A text message is the best way to inform members. Subscribers can read the message at any time without it getting lost in the tide of spam found in phone calls and emails. Since they have a high open rate, members are likely to read membership renewal reminders.

Training Appointment Times

One of the more frustrating parts of operating a gym or fitness center is the prevalence of cancellations, especially for personal trainers. Many fitness clients miss appointments and upset their routine simply because they forget. Regular text messages like appointment reminders ensure that clients remember when their personal training session is coming up.

You can also utilize SMS to send class reminders for people interested in a cycling course or a yoga session. The more full class schedules are, the better. Keeping clients coming in makes them part of the team, guaranteeing that their gym membership will last a long time.

Motivational Messages

Everyone needs a little motivation now and then. If some members stop going to the gym regularly, it may be a great time to start introducing some free fitness challenges. For example, try introducing programs that incentive gym attendance.

Give free t-shirts to members who visit the gym often or praise members who complete their fitness goals. Spread the word by sending text messages. This will encourage members to get back in the groove, bettering their health and your business. The purpose is to get people involved in the community, creating a more personal environment that attracts prospective members.

Alerts, Closures, and Emergencies

While gyms and fitness centers emergencies are hopefully few and far between, there may be occasions where inclement weather and other disasters necessitate a closure. On such occasions, SMS is the ideal way to get the word out due to its high and fast open rate.

What Gyms and Fitness Centers Need to Start SMS Marketing

When beginning an SMS campaign (including promotional messages, appointment reminders, and emergency messages), there is much a gym needs to get started.

Selecting an A2P SMS Platform

First, any company using SMS must pick a platform to use for bulk texting. We recommend Sakari. Our easy-to-use and cost-effective mass text messaging service offers a plethora of features like two-way texting, multimedia messaging service (MMS), and autoresponders.

Getting Opt-Ins

Unlike phone calls and emails, text recipients must agree to receive text messages from a business. This agreement is called an “opt-in.” This requirement makes texting better for everyone. Not only does it make every inbox spam-free, but it also separates legitimate organizations from fraudulent ones. Once you start any text messaging campaign, start gathering opt-ins as soon as you can.

There are many rules about opt-ins about language, intent, and so on. Read our SMS Opt-Ins and 6 Great Ways to Get Them article on the subject to learn more about them. Next, check out our Understanding 10DLC Compliance and Opt-Ins: A Comprehensive Guide for more information on the world surrounding SMS marketing. Our Opt-In ebook is unreleased at the time of writing, but it will be the perfect way to get acquainted with the nuances.

Get Verified

Once you’re ready, you’ll want to start filling out an application right away. Sakari makes it easy to start, providing an easy-to-understand form. For reference, here’s what you’ll have to put in.

  1. Business Information: This includes the gym or fitness center’s address, EIN (in the United States), and contact information.
  2. Campaign Details: Send information about opt-ins, the intent behind your campaign, and how many text messages you plan to send.
  3. Sample Messages: Write 1-3 texts the fitness center plans on sending. Note that they must include an opt-out. If there are any documents like privacy policies or onboarding controls, attach those as well.

Remember that humans look these applications over and will deny anything that looks suspicious or is improperly written.

The 2024 Guide to SMS Marketing for Gyms

Use Sakari SMS for Gym or Fitness Center

With the array of features enabled by Sakari, it’s easy to raise membership renewals and encourage the communal fitness journey. Our A2P SMS platform is a valuable tool for mass texting and sending messages, allowing every gym and fitness center to take advantage of SMS marketing campaigns. Book a demo with us today for a hands-on free session with one of our SMS masters.

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