Pump up your brand with SMS for gyms and fitness clubs.

Build healthy relationships with each and every one of your members by embracing the power of SMS.

This article has been written by Sinch Messagemedia Sinch Messagemedia wrote in industries February 20, 2024
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Whether you run a boutique pilates studio or a big gym, one thing’s for sure. The health of your fitness business depends on having a strong game plan in place to recruit new members and nurture current members.

And one of the best ways to do this? SMS. With 95% of text messages sent within two seconds, it’s an incredibly easy, effective, and direct way to get your messages across.

What is SMS marketing for gyms and fitness clubs?

Think of a classic training program. There’s a strength session, a cardio workout, circuit training, and perhaps a yoga class – all tailored just for you and your fitness goals.

Now, think about how you promote your gym or fitness club. Just like that training program, you’ll want the ideal mix of marketing channels – like, a website, social media, paid advertising, email, and SMS – to make sure you’re always connecting with the right people at the right time.

So how does SMS slot into your marketing program? If you run a gym, then you’ll need quick and reliable ways to send messages out to existing members. For example, their contract may be expiring soon, or their favorite class has just been canceled. Or perhaps you want to promote a new offer to all members. 

In cases like these, nothing beats SMS for getting time-sensitive messages or punchy promos out to your member database.

For this pilates studio, conversational messaging and MMS helped deliver a +16% CTR

Image for For this pilates studio, conversational messaging and MMS helped deliver a +16% CTR

How to sculpt your gym’s SMS subscriber list.

To hit your goals with SMS marketing, you need numbers. Phone numbers, that is. Hopefully, you’ve already got a bunch of these. When people join your gym, they’ll fill out a new membership form, right?

But just be aware that you can’t actually use phone numbers for SMS marketing unless you’ve got consent. So, if your new membership form doesn’t include a checkbox to capture consent for SMS marketing, then add one pronto. 

And be sure to chase up all existing members to get their OK before you start sending motivational training messages their way. 
As for all those potential gym-junkies out there who aren’t on your database, think about how you could get their details so you can start promoting your classes or facilities and lure in new members. For inspo, check out these 17 strategies to collect new customers’ phone numbers.

Take SMS for a spin.

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Top tips for sending high-impact text messages.

Once you’ve built your database and gotten everyone’s consent, you’re ready to start sending SMS to gym members and potential clients. To maximise the results of every SMS you send, keep the following tips in mind.

1. Be like a personal trainer.

That is, personalise each message. It’s easy to include personal details like the member’s name or their local gym – and this personalisation goes a long way towards building lasting relationships with your members.

2. Follow gym SMS etiquette.

Just like you’d wipe down the treadmill after a sweaty interval session, you need to follow some basic rules around sending SMS, too. Avoid annoying behavior or ill-timed texts — you need to strike the right balance with the volume and timing of the messages you send. Keep your messages short and sweet, too.

3. Hit auto-pilot for peak performance.

With the right SMS platform in place, it’s easy to set up automated workflows for key messages. Automation frees up your team’s time – and ensures your members get texts in a timely and reliable way. For example, you could trigger a welcome message when a new member joins, with a top training tip or an exclusive discount.

4. Track your gym SMS results.

How do you know your SMS workout is working? You need to track the results. Analyse open rates, click-through rates, and opt-out rates, and measure the performance of different types of texts and campaigns. Then, adjust your program accordingly to keep improving the overall effectiveness of your SMS strategy.

5. Segment into suitable classes.

The messages you send to a gym junkie in their prime may be a little different to the messages you send to a retiree with a penchant for water aerobics. If you can, sort your database into segments so you can tailor messages to the right groups.

6. Follow the rules of the SMS game.

Remember, if you want to use text messages for marketing purposes, you need to follow the rules. If you don’t, you could get hit with a hefty fine. In the US, the rules are governed by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and state that you must:

  • Display clear calls-to-action 
  • Get consent in writing  
  • Send opt-in confirmation messages 
  • Acknowledge and honor opt-out requests 

Learn more about how to play by the rules. And just note, our rules are not complete – it’ll be up to you to know and abide by all content and consent rules.

7. Integrate texting into your training kit.

To streamline admin and operations, integrate your SMS marketing platform with the business tools you already use – like a CMS, appointment booking tool, or email program. It means less time switching between platforms, which means more time to power up marketing performance.

8. Crosstrain like a pro with our multichannel inbox.

Use one shared inbox to manage all your messaging, including SMS, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. With our multichannel inbox, your customers can chat in the platforms they love best, while you can keep all conversations in the one place.

Text templates to help you hit the ground running.

The way you use SMS to promote your gym or fitness club is ultimately up to you and the type of business you operate. That said, there are some common use cases that crop up.

Here are some handy templates that you may be able to use. Make them your own by injecting your tone of voice and brand personality. Then, watch the results from your SMS campaigns roll in.

A welcome message.

Send a message (or two) when a new member joins your gym. You could create a little welcome series with ‘did you know’ tips and handy info about getting the most from their membership. At the very least, thank them for joining.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name], thanks for joining [Business name]. We’re pumped to have you on board and can’t wait to help you smash your fitness goals.  Reply STOP to opt out.

Changes to class times.

If a fitness instructor calls in sick or you need to reschedule some classes, SMS is a sure-fire way to get the message out to members before they show up.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name], tonight’s [Time] [Class] has been canceled. All other classes on as usual. See timetable at [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

A birthday treat.

Make your members feel extra special by sending them a treat on their birthday. Sure, they might not make it in for a workout on their special day, but they’ll appreciate the fact that you’re thinking of them.

TEMPLATE: Happy birthday [Name]. Show this text next time you’re at [Business name] for a complimentary post-workout [Gift]. Reply STOP to opt out.

Last-minute classes.

Maximise class numbers and give members the opportunity to join classes they might otherwise miss. Sending out alerts like the one below will help keep your members motivated and moving.

TEMPLATE: There are still a few spots available in tonight’s [Class]. Respond to this text to reserve your spot. Reply STOP to opt out.

Training tips.

Boost members’ motivation with helpful messages about how to get the most from a gym workout. Each message could link to a more detailed blog or video on your website, further boosting engagement.

TEMPLATE: Hi [Name], want the secret to sculpted abs? Here are 10 core exercises to tack onto the end of every session: [URL] Reply STOP to opt out.

Time to kick into gear with SMS for your gym or fitness club?

To see how easy and impactful SMS can be in connecting with your gym members and growing your membership base, get in touch with Sinch MessageMedia today.

FAQs about SMS for gyms and fitness clubs.

Within the fitness industry, SMS marketing is when you use text messages to help you achieve a specific marketing goal. For example, you could use SMS to grow your membership, promote new classes or fitness products, offer customer support, or strengthen brand loyalty.
Absolutely. Personalisation is easy, and it’s a great way to increase member engagement and encourage more people to join.

You can add custom fields like your customer’s name and their nearest gym when you’re sending bulk SMS. Plus, you can segment your customers based on things like demographics, preferences, or past activities. And, if you’re using an integration, you can sync those lists with our platform.

Learn how to personalise your text messages.
Great question. Use the templates above as a guide, and keep it short and sweet. If nothing else, remember to identify yourself, provide a clear call to action (that is, something for the customer to click on or do), and the option to opt out.
There are many ways you can build your SMS subscriber list. It can depend on the channels and systems you’ve got in place today. For example, you could have a sign-up sheet at your actual gym, or add a check-box to an online membership form. Or, if you’re starting from scratch, you could run a competition to encourage people to sign up.

Here are some great tips and tricks for building your SMS subscriber list.
While there are no hard and fast rules here, you don’t want to bombard members or prospects with too many SMS messages promoting your gym or fitness club. The frequency of your texts can depend on your campaign goals and customer preferences — for example, you might send more messages to drive new memberships at the start of the year.

Find the right balance by conducting tests and monitoring customer responses.

Discover how to nail conversational messaging.
It sure can. In fact, SMS is the ideal channel for supporting your members. If you’ve got two-way texting set up, they can reach out with queries, seek assistance, or get class times or information — all from the convenience of their phone.

Here are four reasons why SMS shines for customer support.
Given its immediate, conversational nature, SMS helps you nurture relationships with your members. Use it to give them helpful information, program updates, personalised recommendations, and birthday treats.

Ready to roll?

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