The idea behind free email newsletters is simple.
It’s an inexpensive and easy way for health clubs, fitness centers, and other wellness businesses to stay “top of mind” with potential customers until they’re ready to buy. And it’s a way to strengthen the relationship you have with your current customers.
So the question quickly becomes “Great! Um….how do we actually find new subscribers?”
Implement a couple of these tips each month and your email newsletter subscriber list will quickly fill with people who are likely to someday become your customer:
1. Put a prominent email newsletter sign-up box on every page of your health club’s website.
2. Make it easy and quick to sign up by asking only for a first name and email address – not all the name, address and demographic details.
3. Do a postcard campaign specifically to promote your newsletter.
4. Share registrations with related local businesses like dietitians, natural food stores, and other health and wellness businesses (and of course, let subscribers know that you do this).
5. Do fishbowl campaigns at related businesses where people can enter drawings by providing their email addresses and agreeing to receive your health club’s email newsletter.
6. Show potential subscribers a sample of your wellness center’s email newsletter so they can see it’s informative and not a sales pitch.
7. Approach local employers and offer to let them send your email newsletter to their employees. Important: it’s got to be informative, not blatantly self-promotional.
8. Ask your local vendors and supplier to send it to their employees.
9. Whenever you’re interviewed by the local press, mention your wellness center’s free newsletter
10. Put pictures and names (“John L.”) of your customers and employees in the newsletter so that featured people are likelier to forward it.
11. When health club members renew, train your staff to confirm their current email address and double-check that they’re getting the newsletter.
12. Add an exit pop-up to your website that asks visitors if they want to sign up before leaving your site.
13. Have all of your employees use an email signature that includes a link to the newsletter signup page on your website.
14. Swap newsletter mentions with related local businesses.
15. Ask everyone who buys something from your wellness center or yoga studio if they’d like to subscribe to the newsletter.
16. Ask current readers to forward the newsletter to friends who would find it helpful.
17. Mention your free newsletter at seminars and talks. Put the signup link on the last slide of your presentation.
18. Entice people to sign up by entering names of new subscribers in a drawing.
19. Send a sample newsletter to local churches, networking groups, civic organizations, PTAs, or other large groups. Explain your commitment to a healthy community and invite them to send it to their members.
20. Offer a relevant and useful gift in exchange for signing up. For example, you could offer to send them a list of “125 Healthy Snacks Your Kids Will Enjoy Making & Eating.”
21. Promise that you will never rent or sell the list and that they can leave the list at any time.
22. When you present at meetings, have everyone drop off their business cards for a drawing. Tell them to cross off their email address if they don’t want to get your free newsletter.
23. Include fun or interesting content that makes it likelier that people will want to forward your newsletter.
24. Make sure your listings on local Chamber of Commerce and similar sites prominently mention your free weekly newsletter.
25. Post articles on article submission sites like EzineArticles.com. Make sure you optimize the article for local search by working in references to your city, state, zip, phone number with area code and website.
26. Post insightful comments (not blatantly self-promotional blather) on health and wellness-related blogs that your customers are likely to read. Always include a link your health club or yoga studio newsletter signup page on your site and a subtle mention (“As we shared last week in our newsletter on “Fun In Your Fifties”…”) of your newsletter.
27. When relevant newspaper articles allow you to comment online about health or wellness topics, do so.
28. Post a classified ad about your health or wellness newsletter on the CraigsList for your city.
29. Include a newsletter signup prompt on your business card
30. Include a newsletter signup prompt on return envelopes, invoices and other paperwork you provide customers and vendor.
31. Periodically make hard copy newsletter samples available at your front desk and elsewhere in your health club, yoga studio, fitness center or wellness center.
32. Identify the websites and online publications that serve your geographical area, like your local newspaper’s website. Submit letters to the editor, post your comments on stories, and post on discussion forums. Include the info from Tip # to make it likelier that people will stumble upon your post.
33. When you hold open houses, health fairs, health screening and risk assessments or other community events, market your free newsletter through fishbowl drawings or similar promotions.
34. You probably send out marketing emails promoting fitness center membership deals or other specials. Every few months, promote your newsletter. Mention a few recent stories and encourage folks to invite friends to sign up.
35. Include a newsletter signup prompt on all sales and marketing materials that your wellness center uses.
36. Keep your content fresh and interesting so people actually look forward to seeing what you’ve got this time.
37. Pass around a sign-up sheet at all events where you’re speaking.
38. Check the click-throughs reported by your email service providers to tell which content is most interesting to your readers.
39. Use your email as your “default” customer communication tool. For example, if you’re running a weight loss challenge, make sure everyone knows that “next Monday, check out the winners in our free weekly newsletter. If you’re not getting it, sign up at…”
40. Provide sign-up cards throughout your brick&mortar business – on checkout counters and front desks, locker room counters, product shelves, etc.
41. Add an email newsletter opt-in line on your credit card receipts.
42. If you sell supplement, apparel, or other health and wellness products, drop a flyer promoting your free newsletter into each customer’s bag or shipping box.
43. Mention your free email newsletter in the “on hold” recording that plays while callers are waiting. Make sure you tell them how to sign up.
44. Buy a 30 – 60 second radio ad that sends people to a sign-up page for your newsletter. Include business name, address, telephone number and your key message – and mention your web address at least twice. Offer a relevant and useful freebie in exchange for the signup.
45. Consider billboard advertising if you can make your newsletter pitch in about 7 words and include the domain name. Rates are usually cheaper at the end of the month – or you can use a pay-by-the-day billboard.
46. List the reasons people give for not wanting to provide their email addresses. Train everyone in your business on appropriate responses for these typical concerns.
47. Promote your email newsletter with ads in weekly shoppers, local magazine ads, coupon packs, and doorhangers.
48. Run a special for anyone who brings in a printout of your newsletter or spots an “Easter egg” - a hidden message, image or other feature in your newsletter.
49. Treat your free newsletter just like any other product or service. Develop a marketing calendar with specific activities that runs throughout the year.
50. If you periodically offer free fitness classes, healthy living seminars or similar events to non-members, pass around a newsletter sign-up sheet at these events.
51. Include a newsletter signup link at the end of every post on your blog.
52. Include a newsletter signup link at the end of any comments you post on other blogs.
53. Include a newsletter signup call to action in any bios you post online – for example, if you’re an Examiner.com topic expert.
54. LinkedIn allows you to include three web addresses at the top of your profile. Make one of them a link to your newsletter signup page.
55. Get subscribers via mobile visitors to your website by including an email signup link at the bottom of your main content, rather than in a sidebar, header or footer. That way, even readers who have zoomed in on your content will see the signup link.
56. Show potential subscribers a sample of your wellness center’s email newsletter so they can see it’s informative and not a sales pitch.