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How to Measure the Success of an Email Campaign

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, Email Marketing, Fitness Marketing, How to Measure the Success of an Email Campaign

Reading Time: 5 minutes 35 seconds

Emails are a great way to keep in touch with personal training clients. They can also help you grow your fitness business by promoting your products and services. But how do you know whether your email marketing strategy is working?

It’s All About Your Metrics

The only way to identify if your email marketing campaign is successful is to look at your analytics. This will tell you if a specific marketing metric needs attention. Which analytics are the most important? 

Bounce rate, open rate, and click rate are a few. You also want to monitor your conversion rate, spam rate, and unsubscribe rate. Let’s go through each of these now.

Email Marketing and Bounce Rate

Bounce rate refers to the number of emails sent back from your recipient’s email provider. When this occurs, you will receive a message indicating that your email has not been delivered.

Bounced emails can be soft or hard. A soft bounce means the customer has a full inbox or suspended account. If your email was too big, this could create a soft bounce as well. A hard bounce means the email address is invalid or no longer exists. 

It’s hard to have a successful email campaign if you can’t even get into people’s inboxes. If your bounce rate is higher than 2%, this metric is worth further investigation.

There’s not much you can do with a soft bounce, except reduce the size of your emails if that is the issue. If you’re experiencing a hard bounce, this could be due to a typo when it was entered. So, check this first.

If you have your subscribers sign up directly, this can help lower your bounce rate. Ask them to input a valid email address. This reduces the odds that you’ll misread their handwriting and get it wrong.

Determining Your Open Rate

Another metric to measure your email marketing success is your open rate. This refers to the percentage of delivered emails that are opened by your subscribers.

The average open rate for companies in the health and fitness industry is 21.48%. If your percentage of opened emails is lower, it’s time to dig a little deeper.

When monitoring your open rate, pay attention to the unique open rate. This signifies how many recipients opened your email. This is different than the total open rate, which could be elevated if one person opened your email several times.

Sometimes a low open rate is caused by a poor subject line. Think about your subscribers’ inboxes for a moment. If your subject line doesn’t stand out, a good deliverability rate isn’t going to matter. Your emails will be deleted before they are ever opened.

A declining open rate might also be due to your emails not being optimized for a mobile device. Approximately 80% of recipients say they will delete emails that don’t load properly on their phone or tablet. Test this yourself to see if this is occurring. 

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The Importance of Your Click Through Rate

Maybe you have good deliverability and the rate of opened emails is okay. The next metric to consider is your click through rate. 

One of the goals of email marketing is typically to get people to your website or a specific landing page. You’re trying to promote a new workout video or strength training program and want them to check it out. Your click through rate is the number of people who click on the link contained within your email.

Unfortunately, this number can be quite low. In fact, a typical click rate in the fitness industry is only around 2.69%. Like with open rate, it’s also necessary to pay attention to unique clicks versus total clicks. This tells you how many individuals were interested enough to take action.

To increase your click through rate, end your emails with a clear and compelling call to action. Actually tell them to click on the link. It sounds silly, but it does help.

Play around with your content marketing strategy to see which type of emails inspire the most clicks. Do short and concise messages improve this rate? What about longer forms of content? Do they impact the rate more?

Learn which emails are most appealing to your target audience. When your messages inspire them to click on your links, you’ll have a more successful marketing campaign.

How to Measure the Success of an Email Campaign via Conversion Rate

What is your ultimate marketing goal? To get more personal training clients, right? Each individual email typically has a goal as well. The metric that tells you whether they’re achieving this goal is your conversion rate.

Your conversion rate tells you how many people completed a specific action contained within your email. For example, if you send a newsletter and ask clients to click a certain link, the number that do this is your conversion rate. 

Essentially, this rate measures engagement with your email links. This engagement may signal that the recipient is a good lead. Engagement could also mean that they are transitioning into a paying customer.

Look at the conversion rate for each type of email you send. See if the rate is better for newsletters versus new member follow-ups, for instance. You may have to alter your marketing plan to get better results.

Monitoring Your Spam Rate is Critical

We can’t talk about email success without also looking at your spam score. Certainly, you’ve received spam mail yourself. This is an email that you didn’t request. Usually, it is by a sender you don’t know. Though, sometimes bulk emails can be marked as spam. 

The problem with having your emails labeled as spam is that the recipient can report you to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This can create issues for your personal training business. One spam complaint may not be a big deal. But if you have a high complaint rate, the FTC may take further action. This can inhibit your future campaigns.

To keep this important metric in check, always obtain permission before sending emails. Specifically ask your customer base if they’d like to be added to your subscriber list. If they say yes, you should be good to go.

Also, request that they put you in their address book. This ensures deliverability of your emails.

The Rate of Clients Who Click “Unsubscribe”

When looking at your email analytics, also pay attention to the number of people who choose to unsubscribe. This means that people who had originally provided permission to be contacted no longer want to hear from you.

Does a high unsubscribe rate mean that your marketing efforts are a flop? Not necessarily. It may just mean that you’re reaching out to the wrong audience. But if your list growth rate suffers, so too will your revenue.

Put on your marketing cap and seek to understand why you’re being removed from people’s inboxes. Are you sending emails too often? (If your spam complaints and unsubscribe rates are both high, this may be the issue.) To rectify this situation, reduce the total emails you send and see if that makes a difference.

It’s also possible that your emails aren’t offering enough value. People are incredibly busy nowadays. If they aren’t getting what they want from your messages, they’re more likely to hit “unsubscribe.”

How do you send a high-value email? Tailor the content to that specific audience. For example, if you work primarily with new moms, send emails that share effective post pregnancy workout plans. If your clients are older, talk about why strength training is important for seniors.

To create highly engaging content, try to answer the question: what’s in it for me? That is what the recipient is going to be asking when opening your emails. If they aren’t satisfied with the answer, they’ll probably unsubscribe.

Also consider that some people will unsubscribe if they don’t feel like you have the knowledge to help them reach their fitness goals. To prevent this from happening, include “Certified Personal Trainer” in your signature.


If you don’t yet have this certification, the ISSA offers an online Personal Trainer certification program. This tells your list that you have the education and skills to create an effective fitness program. When your contacts can trust what you say, get ready for better digital marketing results.

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