We all know that texting between presses on the bench is not cool—but texting as a way of communicating with clients is awesome.
Here’s why: Unsurprisingly, 56 percent of millennials polled said they prefer mobile for everything from communication to shopping. Not to mention, 71 percent of parents with small children prefer SMS to other forms of communication and 44 percent of those surveyed would rather “push a button” to initiate a conversation than wait on hold.
The best part is they’re not the only ones that benefit: Text messages have a 97 percent read rate. Take a look at your open rates for emails—this is likely much higher.
Try something new and add text messaging to your toolbox of communication tools with these three creative ideas. You’ll be able to provide more value to your clients, hold them accountable and more.
Confirm and Cancel Appointments
Why: As a trainer, your time is limited. As such, a last-minute cancellation or no-show can be frustrating. If you don’t have a cancellation policy in place, it may also be something that happens more frequently than you’d like.
Using text messaging to confirm appointments with clients and allow them to cancel will help reduce the amount of times that this happens.
How: Many CRM or client management systems come with text messaging features built-in. This is the best way to execute this idea, as you may be able to automate it so the message sends at a time that you set in advance. For example, you could have appointment reminders send 24 or 48 hours in advance for every client you have.
Be sure that the text message also has a way for clients to cancel. In many cases, you can customize the text to say something like: You have an appointment with [Trainer name] on 8/15/16 at 3pm. To cancel please respond to this message with “Cancel.”
Share Exclusive Offers
Why: You put a lot of work into creating new programs and designing seasonal offers for current and prospective clients. Make sure people know about these opportunities before it’s too late by giving them an exclusive first look.
How: Use a tool like EZ Texting to send a short message. Choose one or two lines to describe what you’re sharing along with a link to the mobile landing page. Be sure the page is optimized for mobile so clients can easily sign up, express their interest, etc.
Remember to keep it casual, use emojis when they fit naturally, and don’t abuse the communication. Your exclusive offers will lose value if you’re always sending them.
Motivate or Guide Clients
Why: Your clients likely know one side of you—the side that works them into a sweat every week. However, you have a wealth of knowledge in terms of adherence, motivation, healthy eating and more that can help them be successful while showing also your value as a trainer.
How: Use text messaging to send weekly or monthly tips to clients. Again, it would be smart to use an SMS marketing tool, like the one mentioned above, to make this as minimally labor-intensive as possible. Choose a focus each week and send your best tip for that topic.
Note that you don’t just have to send tips. You could send recipes, workout challenges or ways for clients to get a discount on training packages. Still, the focus should always be on providing value and helping clients achieve their health and fitness goals.
Text messaging is new for businesses big and small, but it’s a great way to connect with clients for many reasons. Get new programs in front of prospects, show your value as a trainer, and keep clients accountable with these three ideas that everyone can try.
Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and is currently a lifestyle blogger and the editor of Whooo’s Reading and Carpe Daily. She is also the owner of her own small fitness business, Honest Body Fitness, and is using her experience from writing, editing and marketing to become a successful entrepreneur. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.