How to grow your personal training business with email marketing

Being a self-employed personal trainer is not for the faint-hearted. Often, people think that all you need to be is a fitness enthusiast. But you know that it takes so much more than that. To be successful – to get the results that your clients desire, and build a business that’s lucrative – you need to be constantly learning, and have an entrepreneurial mindset.

As a solopreneur, you’re required to wear multiple hats. As well as being an exceptional trainer, you need a marketing strategy to attract and retain clients? That’s no easy task. With so many marketing tools to choose from, where should you focus your time and effort to get the maximum return?

Recent stats from Hubspot show that email marketing has a 4,200% ROI.  Leveraging this direct communication channel to grow your personal training business is a no-brainer.

Here are 5 ways that you can use email marketing as a personal trainer.

1 – Generate leads

If someone visits your website and leaves without making an enquiry, that’s a potential client you’ve missed. We all do it, don't we? Browse a business's products or services, then, for whatever reason, we choose not to explore them further or to buy.

But what if you could capture them at this point and continue to nurture the relationship?

Having the opportunity to provide more information about you and the positive impact that training with you would have on their lives could convert them to a client later down the line.

So, how can you do this?

Include an email opt-in on your website and send valuable emails on a regular basis.

Usually taking the form of a banner or pop-up, an email opt-in takes very little time to design via your email marketing platform. The challenge can be knowing what to include to entice people to subscribe.

Here’s some tips to help you:

  • Use a compelling headline that grabs attention.
  • Clarify what they’ll receive by joining your list, e.g., training tips, nutrition advice, exclusive insight, etc.
  • Offer an incentive to join your community, such as a downloadable cheat sheet, meal planner, training video or how-to guide.
  • Ask only for basic information such as name, email address, interests/goals - anything more than this could put people off signing up.
  • Opt for large fonts and bright colours that complement your brand, to make it visually attractive.
  • Allow sufficient time between someone visiting your site and your pop-up being displayed – you don’t want to negatively impact the user experience. Normally the time can be specified in the pop-up settings of your email software.
  • Link to your privacy policy stating how personal information you collect is stored and processed, to install confidence in your brand.

2 – Gather Insight

We don’t need to tell you that it’s essential for you to commit to upskilling as a personal trainer. To stand out amongst the competition, you have to keep your offering fresh. But with new fitness trends emerging on a regular basis, how do you know what will be appealing and bring you a return on your investment?

Before spending time and money, send an email survey to your subscribers. Collating insight from your target audience could prevent you from making the wrong choice. Most email marketing software includes a survey creator that’s user friendly. Keep in mind that your reader is more than likely short on time. Keep it brief and to the point.

Survey your personal training clients

3 – Showcase your expertise

People want to feel confident that you have the knowledge and experience to help them change their lifestyle. Are you posting training tips, testimonials, and case studies on social media to demonstrate this? Whilst this can be an effective platform, here you’re appealing to the masses. You’d favour a personal trainer who could relate to your personal obstacles and desires, right? With email, you can tailor your content to someone's individual goals.

When someone subscribes to your email list, you can give them the option to specify their specific interests such as strength training, fat loss, fitness, and nutrition via your email opt-in.

For existing subscribers, send them an email asking them to express their goals by updating their preferences. This is typically linked to in the footer of the email:

Email preferences text

4 – Win back clients

Losing a client due to their lack of motivation isn’t uncommon. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Despite you being professional and supportive, it’s inevitable that people will fall off the bandwagon and go AWOL. As disheartening as this may seem at the time, there is action that you can take to reignite the relationship and possibly win them back as a client.

Sending a regular newsletter will keep you front of mind should they decide to begin their fitness journey again. If design isn’t your forte, don’t worry, you don’t have to be artistic to produce a quality newsletter. You’ll find templates that can be tailored to suit your brand image and style within your email marketing software. If you would rather design your own, have a look at the emails in your inbox for inspiration

The key thing to pay particular attention to when designing your newsletter is that it’s optimised for viewing on mobile.

Your email must be mobile-friendly

Before sending your newsletter out, be sure to send a test to yourself. Check that the text is aligned, the images load, and links point to where you intended.

5 – Self-promotion

You’ve made the effort to gain more skills and are ready to offer your new service. Of course, you want potential and existing clients to know about it. With email, you can quickly spread the word and convert your message into a sale.

By sending a series of emails known as a sales campaign, you can drip-feed content over a period of time to introduce your offering, highlight the features and benefits, and direct people straight to your sales page. You can even send follow-up emails offering a consultation depending on whether they show buying signals, such as clicking on a link. Not only can you craft a sales sequence via your email marketing software, but you can also automate the distribution, to free up your time and generate income whilst you sleep. Email is viewed as a business tool where people expect to be sold to. Don’t be nervous about self-promoting.

Be confident in promoting yourself


4 out of 5 marketers said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing. Now that you’ve discovered 5 ways email marketing can help to grow your personal training business, is it a marketing channel that you plan to take advantage of?

Let us know in the comments.

And if you do have success, be sure to tell us on Twitter.