6 Email Marketing Tips for Sports Academies

Dhwani Shah
July 17, 2024
4 min read

Running a sports academy entails loads of work. From coaching to administration to marketing - there's certainly a lot on the plate. Email marketing is an affordable, easy and powerful way to build meaningful relationships with all the stakeholders of your academy. In fact, according to Hubspot, 4 out of 5 marketers said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing. However, it's important to employ the right email marketing tools and tips in order to run successful email marketing campaigns. Here are 6 email marketing tips for sports academies-

1. Segment

Segmentation is the process of grouping together contacts with certain common attributes in order to deliver personalized emails. You can segment your email lists into different groups based on suitable parameters. You may start, for example, by dividing all your contacts into 2 broad lists - students and staff. Each list can now be segmented further, say, the list of students into prospective students, existing students and alumni. These in turn can be dissected deeper into age group, gender, courses enrolled in and so on. Your emails can thus be accordingly customized before being sent out.

Segmenting your contacts allows you to send emails that are relevant, meaningful and unique to each section of your client base, and the more relevant your content is, the more your audience will engage with it. In fact, marketers who use segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue.


2. Personalize

Let's face it, we all LOVE being made to feel special. A “Thank you, Peter” can be so much more impactful than a simple “Thank you”. Personalizing your emails makes it more likely for them to be opened and goes a long way in enhancing customer experience. However, personalization is more than just addressing your audience by first name; while that is important and works well, customizing emails involves creating tailor-made material that a client can resonate and thus engage with.

Personalizing subject lines and senders makes the client feel like the email is addressed to and written specifically for them. You'd probably open an email which says - ‘Peter, are you ready for your first football class?’ than one that says, ‘Are you ready for your first football class?’

Similarly, personalizing senders humanizes the technical elements of your email for the reader. A message from ‘Sara from the Admin Team’ is much more likely to be opened than an email from ‘admin@abcoaching.com’.

So once you’ve collected the requisite information from your clients, the data can be used to send more targeted emails and enjoy improved open rates, click-through rates, sales and conversions. 

3. Automate 

In the words of Bill Gates, ‘Automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.’ 

Automating your email workflow is a smart way of minimizing effort and maximizing efficiency, aiding you to scale freely and increase conversion rates while the operations run themselves in the background, giving you more time to focus on the other valuable tasks of your coaching business.

With automation, you can send personalized emails for each individual. From personalized onboarding mails for new enrollments (Tom, we're all set to make you a tennis champ!) to personalized birthday and anniversary emails and offers for existing customers (Happy birthday David! Let's celebrate together with a 20% off on your next coaching session!), automating messages keeps leads engaged and converts them into sales, while helping you build a loyal client base.

Automation softwares also ensure that your clients are not being flooded by a large volume of emails day after day. It's always a good idea to create a well-timed email workflow with well-spaced intervals - to give customers some time to open and read the first email, before immediately bombarding them with another one. In this game, it helps to remember that slow but steady wins the race. 

It takes only a few simple steps to automate your entire workflow - from personalizing emails to scheduling them to tracking client activity - but the benefits it reaps are invaluable.


4. A/B Testing

Try, try till you succeed. Email marketing has no ‘one fit for all’ strategy; it's crucial to identify what works best with your customers. You have to test and analyze, time and again, your email marketing campaigns to see how different customers are responding to the messages you are sending out, and modify them in light of these responses. 

A/B testing campaigns involve sending out different variants (variant A and variant B) of a single email to see which one is more successful. 

The variations might be something small - a coupon for 20% off v/s one for $50 off on the purchase of your next one-on-one tennis coaching session. Or they may be substantial - like a complete change in the design and layout of the email. You can also try resending an unopened email with a different subject line. By measuring the open rates, click rates and conversion rates on the different variants, you can gather clearer insights into consumer behavior and can take more informed calls about what fits best with your clients. This allows you to tailor-make your following future email campaigns accordingly.

5. Unsubscribe

‘Unsubscribe’ is not always a bad thing. Most of us have an inbox overflowing with emails that we are struggling to keep pace with, and being constantly pestered by irrelevant emails can be annoying. Removing people that are not interested in receiving your messages clears not only their inboxes, but your mailing lists as well. Moreover, unsubscribes enable us to maintain a good sender reputation and to devote more time and effort to improving the user experience for our active subscribers. 

It would be advisable to remove people from a workflow when they have failed to open 5 emails; they probably have no interest in what you are offering them and are unlikely to open and read those emails. After a number of unopened mails, you can create a separate workflow that leads to an end where they politely stop receiving any future mails. 

So while it can be painful to see people unsubscribing from your email list, you've got to remember that every dark cloud has a silver lining. 

6. Optimize for Mobile

In today's fast-paced world, everyone is always on the go, and their mobiles are the one device accompanying them literally everywhere! That, coupled with this generation’s obsession with their phones, suggests that most emails are likely to be read on the mobile device. Infact, according to Mailchimp, launching a mobile-responsive email design can increase unique mobile clicks by 15%. This makes optimizing your emails for mobile phones very important.

While optimizing for mobile, it's important to keep in mind to -

  • Keep it short and sweet. You have little space and all the information to give, make every word count.
  • Break up the text, avoid long paragraphs.
  • Pay special attention to your subject line and pre-header text to improve your click-throughs. Keep it crisp yet compelling.
  • Use prominent buttons for CTAs to optimize audience engagement.
  • Ensure the links on your email redirect to mobile friendly web pages.
  • Optimize your images. Don't embed large files that may take time to load on poor connections.
  • Always preview and test emails before hitting send.

These effective and practical email marketing tips can assist you in designing and implementing successful email marketing campaigns, and in turn, foster relationships with existing students, facilitate the onboarding of new students, and communicate effectively with your staff. Email marketing tools like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, and HubSpot, to name a few, allow you to work smarter while they do all the hard work for you. The ball is in your court, it's time to win the game! 

Sports Academy
Dhwani Shah

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