How to Improve the Sales Process Of Your Fitness Boutique Without Hiring

As a fitness boutique, the very nature of your business is that you don’t have a huge team at your disposal.
Therefore having the manpower to handle incoming leads and sales enquiries can be problematic.
Instructors shouldn’t be spending time following up with leads, they’re not trained sales people.
They should be focusing on leading classes.
But you can’t afford to hire a full time sales person.
So what’s the solution?
Two words. Marketing Automation.
“Marketing automation is the use of software and Web-based services to execute, manage and automate marketing tasks and processes. It replaces manual and repetitive marketing processes (emails, social media, certain Website actions) with purpose-built software and applications geared toward performance.” — Techopedia
Or if you want the simple Gravity 7 definition, “Marketing automation is a way of executing tasks that would normally have to be done manually.”
So throughout this post we’re going to explain how you can streamline your sales process and scale your fitness boutique without having to hire any new staff or dilute existing roles.

Your New PA

The best way to think of marketing automation is as your own personal PA.
It does the tasks that you don’t want to do, it stops you from forgetting anything important and it generally dots the i’s and crosses the t’s.
Marketing automation can be used for:
  • Instantly replying to new leads
  • Building better relationships with leads
  • Generating customer referrals
  • Improving trial customer conversions
  • Gathering customer feedback
While there are many types of automation such as messenger marketing automation and SMS automation, our main focus in this post is going to be email automation because that seems to be what so many boutiques need the most help with.

The Golden Window Of Opportunity

According to research carried out by the Harvard Business Review, companies that contact leads within an hour of receiving an enquiry are nearly 7 times more likely to qualify the lead as those who contact them after an hour, and 60 times more likely than companies who wait longer than 24 hours.
And if you’re relying on yourself or an instructor to handle leads and sales enquiries then the chances of responding in that golden window of opportunity are very slim.
So to ensure you’re consistently responding to leads and enquiries on time you need to have email automation set up to do the work for you.

Setting Up Your First Automation

There are hundreds of different marketing automation platforms to choose from, but the most popular tends to be Mailchimp, Active Campaign, and Infusionsoft.
All offer very similar services, it all just depends on which interface you get on the best with.
We’re going to use GIF examples from Mailchimp for the purposes of the walkthrough.
So, a good place to start for your first automation is a new mailing list subscriber automation.
And the first place to start is to think about what your goal is.
So for a mailing list subscriber you want to:
  • Let them know that their subscription was successful
  • Create a positive first impression of your brand
  • Find out what their communication preferences are
And one of the biggest mistakes that many boutiques make is getting a new mailing list subscriber and then instantly trying to sell them classes.
Think about what the user intent is here.
They’ve signed up for email updates, they haven’t necessarily shown an interest in booking a class, they might just like your blog content and be interested in learning more about fitness.

Step 1: Create a new automation campaign

So the first step from the dashboard is to create a new email automation campaign. Remember to give the automation a clear name that you won’t confuse with any other campaigns and remember to select the list that you want to trigger your email.

Step 2: Set the Trigger to ‘immediate’

The next step is to make sure the trigger is set to ‘immediate’. This means that as soon as a new subscriber hits your list they’ll get sent Email 1 of your automation sequence.

Step 3: Design Your Email

Next up it’s time for you to create your email. Keep it brief, keep it personable and try and find out why they subscribed so that you can then tag them and segment them in your email database going forward. Remember, not everyone should be receiving the same emails.
This can also be a good time to ask new subscribers to follow your social channels.

Step 4: Add a second email to go out to those that don’t open the first

Set up a second email to go out to those people that haven’t opened the first one. This is a technique that you should be using right across the board of all your automation, especially when following up with leads.
If you’re trying to get people to book in their trial session and you only send them one email then lots of leads are going to slip through the net.

Step 5: Send a test email to yourself

Always, always, always, send the emails to yourself to check that everything is working ok.

Step 6: Set it live

Now all that’s left to do is set the campaign live!

Mastering the Art

So that was an example of email automation in it’s most basic form.
You can get as experimental as you like.
However, when you first get started it can be tempting to go overboard with how many emails you cram into an automation.
All of a sudden you’re like “Hang on, I can set up an automation with an entire years worth of emails and not have to lift a finger!”
While this sounds great on the surface, it becomes incredible messy and hard to keep track of.
It’s a good rule of thumb to not have more than7 or 8 emails in a single automation.
In fact we’ve found the sweet spot to be 4.
So we’d recommend starting off with a few simple automations to handle things like new subscribers and new leads.
Then once those are working well you can start trying out more advanced strategies.