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What Everyone Gets Wrong About Fitness Direct Mail Marketing

Gym with red barbells in the foreground
Let’s get right into it. The one thing most people get wrong about fitness direct mail marketing is failing to use segmented, targeted lists. Sure, most clubs target their local area and send out a mailer or two to the community, but failing to dive deeper into the different segmentations of your target audience can hurt your campaign’s response rate.

The Importance of Segmented Lists

Using segmented mailing lists allows a fitness company to create targeted messaging for different subgroups within a larger list or database. Various demographics, such as age, income, marital status, gender, and family status make a difference in what kind of message to include in a direct mail campaign.

Retired man exercising with barbells in the gym

Age: It’s important to know the age of your direct mail recipients. For example, if your fitness club is located in an area with the majority are retired or senior residents, you can invite them to join classes that are specifically designed for a more advanced age group. It’s a much more relatable experience to receive an invitation to something that suits one’s needs, versus a general solicitation to work out at the local gym. It’s also a great opportunity to make your gym the local hub for people to create a sense of community and belonging.

Likewise, if your area is hugely populated with students, offering discounted spinning or yoga classes might be a great idea for your mailer.

Man lifting very heavy weights along with others in the gym

Income: Knowledge about household income levels in your community can be imperative to your direct mail campaign. It allows for specific targeting to individuals who are more likely to have the means to pay for a monthly gym membership, as you can set minimum income levels for your direct mail campaign. Financial information may also be useful when you decide what kind of offer to include on your mailer. For lower income areas, you may want to consider a 2-for-1 kind of deal, essentially offering a free gym pass to a person within the same household of a member. Again, establishing a sense of community and inclusivity is a great way to solidify your business as the go-to gym in the area.

Marital status: This is a fun category! Think of all the great creative you can come up with for spouses to get them motivated to join the gym together. It’s always easier to start something like an exercise routine together with someone else, rather than going at it alone. For those who are listed as not married, it’s equally important to find fun ways to get everyone to the gym. After all, just because someone doesn’t have a spouse, doesn’t mean they’re not in a relationship, or have friends that they can go with. This specific demographic simply allows you to have fun with the creative and messaging.

Three females practicing yoga on a yoga mats

Gender: Knowing this demographic can be useful if you own a gym that focuses on fitness classes. One example is yoga. According to Statista’s graph below, there’s a significant gender gap between women who practice yoga or Pilates, compared to men. You can use personalized direct mail to invite females in your community to take up yoga in your studio. This kind of direct mail is a gentle, welcoming, and friendly way to raise awareness of your yoga classes. In a way, a personal invite creates a bond between your studio and the recipient in a similar way to that of a yoga master and their student.

Yoga Gender Gap graph showing the percentage of male and females by country

Furthermore, based on research conducted by the National Library of Medicine, women and men exercise for different reasons. If you are a gym owner, you’d probably want to motivate your members based on their reasons for wanting to exercise in the first place. In short, women visit the gym for weight loss and toning, while men tend to go for the enjoyment of exercising and a better quality of life. When creating your direct mail campaigns, the messaging should vary depending on if the mailer is intended for a female or a male. With Modern Postcard’s VDP services, this is a very easy thing to do!

Family status: This might feel like a strange demographic to look for, but if your community has a lot of young families, it might be a good indication to offer a babysitting area for parents who wouldn’t normally think it’s possible to bring a child to the gym. A direct mail piece targeting parents of young children might also include a message about how important working out is to one’s mental health. With all the stresses of parenting, your mailer is likely to be a welcomed invitation for parents to take some time for their well-being while not feeling guilty or worried for their children while at the gym. Many businesses that offer this type of service become a part of people’s weekly routines. It’s a way to promote consistency and membership sign-ups.

There are many different demographics to choose from, and our Direct Mail Specialists can help you procure lists local to your business with segmentations to fit your specific needs. Just give us a call at 800.959.8365 to see what’s available.

Fitness Direct Mail

It might feel overwhelming to think about creating a direct mail campaign for your business. Where do you even start? Well, the simplest way is to give us a call. Don’t worry about not knowing exactly what you’re looking for. That’s why we’re here. Our Direct Mail Specialists know exactly what to ask in order to get an idea of what might work for your specific needs. And you’ll be surprised to discover how affordable a direct mail campaign can be!

We’ve put together some points that may come up during the initial conversation, but these are by no means an all-inclusive list.

Lists & Data: As we’ve previously mentioned, the list you’ll be using for your direct mail campaign is of the utmost importance. You may already have a list or a partial list. We can take your data, create lookalike audiences, and mail to new prospects in your target area. However, if you don’t have any data to work with we can still look into what local lists we can acquire on your behalf based on particular demographics. There are many different ways to go about obtaining a mailing list and we’ll work with you to find the right way for your unique circumstances.

Direct Mail Formats: There are different options and sizes to choose from. Some fitness studios opt for large postcard formats such as a Sumo postcard. This type of card stands out in the mail at 6” x 11” but still mails at the same rate as a standard letter. Then there are those who prefer folded postcards. These formats provide a more interactive engagement for the recipient, and they allow for more images and copy to be displayed. Modern Postcard has a variety of card and letter formats to choose from. Depending on your budget, message, and offer, together we’ll be able to choose the right fit for your business.

Design: As far as designing your mailer, you can submit materials that are ready to print and mail, or you can have one of our designers create something for your business from scratch. We’ll go over image options and copywriting needs during our conversation. Again, you certainly do not need to be a designer in order for us to produce an effective direct mail piece to advertise your fitness company.

What is the Success Rate of Direct Mail?

Hopefully, this article has encouraged you to have a conversation with one of our Direct Mail Specialists to help boost attendance at your fitness studio. We know it’s not always easy to get started with a new marketing channel such as direct mail. It can seem daunting from the outside. However, it’s really not complicated when you have Modern Postcard on your side. We handle every aspect of your campaign. You don’t have to have a marketing department to work with us. In fact, most of our clients don’t have a marketing team, but that’s exactly why they choose us to handle that aspect of the business through our various marketing services. At the end of the day, we’re in the business of helping your business thrive, from start to finish, we’re there every step of the way. When it comes to direct mail, there are so many reasons why you should consider this highly effective channel.

According to Newswire, direct mail has an average response rate between 2.7% to 4.4% compared to 0.62% for a combination of mobile, email, social media, paid search, and display. In addition, the cost-per-acquisition is extremely competitive at an average of $19 compared to mobile and social at $16-$18, paid search at $21-$30, and internet display at a whopping $41-$50. Only email outperformed direct mail, coming in at $11-$15 cost-per-acquisition. (Source: DMA Response Rate Report)

For an in-depth, fact-based look at direct mail statistics, and to learn how this channel brings in results, download the free Direct Mail Statistics Guide.

When you’re ready to have direct mail work hard for your business, to help bring in new customers and retain the ones you have, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Contact a Direct Marketing Specialist

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