Email marketing and list-building are the number one resource to create sales across many industries.  In saying that, email marketing is also commonly the most overlooked asset for martial arts academy owners. 

Martial arts schools need to attract students and retain them by building strong personal relationships. With the right tools and strategies built for martial arts school owners, it can bring in new students while also allowing them to devote their time and focus on their active students and classes. 

Overall Benefits of Email Marketing

According to a study from WordStream, email marketing has increased exponentially in the past four years, as well as it’s effectiveness. If you haven’t caught up to this trend yet, it’s probably time to start using email marketing to recruit new students and engage with existing students. These are incredibly effective tools for both student acquisition and student retention.  

Your email marketing strategy and your social media marketing strategy should be aligned to complement each other. While social media can drive new students to your school, the direct communication created with email marketing will improve conversions and student retention that much more.

You need a list of relevant prospects before creating and engaging content or sending out special promotions. Making a list of prospects can be done through several different list-building strategies. One of the major strategies is by incentivizing your social media following to subscribe to your newsletter. Another would be to offer a giveaway related to your sport in exchange for people in your area leaving their Email address.

How To Structure Your Email Content

While you can use your Youtube channel or blog to deliver long-form content, emails should be brief. Recipients of your email campaigns should get all the information that you want to convey quickly.

While different emails will vary in length based on your target audience or your intended purpose, the message should have a captivating headline to encourage email opens. Try different subject lines to see what works with your audience.

Benefits of Email Messaging Existing Students

On top of attracting recruits, email marketing can help martial arts schools retain existing students, and convince former students to return. If people took several classes and stopped attending, the school can send them messages about the benefits of continuing their training. This can help continue and maintain relationships even when they’ve been distancing or lost.

With Martial Arts on Rails‘ Email automation features, you can set up an Email sequence that guides and nurtures new members through their first few weeks. This can have a huge impact on how many of them will become long term members, by alleviating concerns, answering questions they’re afraid / don’t know how to ask, and just by checking in with them.

Your Email Marketing Checklist

  1. Focus on getting the email opened. Getting people to open your email is the most crucial part. Write a subject line that encourages the recipient to open the email.
  2. Don’t try to sell directly in the email – The email is for inviting your audience to learn more. Try to get the reader to visit your website or other online content, where you would make the offer. To do that, add a link that invites an action, for example “Visit our website to get a special offer for the new year’s training”. This is called a “call-to-action” (or CTA), and you should have one or more in each Email (but not too many).
  3. Simply be yourself.  Don’t try  to sound overly clever or quick-witted. Write with your own tone and voice. It’s ok if it’s not grammatically perfect. Mistakes are going to happen, and it’s not the end of the world, and it can even add some authenticity to your messaging.
  4. Become a storyteller. If you really want to sell, then stop selling. Start telling personal stories about yourself and your schooly. People want to buy from genuine people. Be sincere and attract people with your experiences. When the story you’re writing presents the opportunity to drop a CTA or an offer, then do it, but only to attract and not pitch.
    Don’t forget; your goal is to get them to click through for information. If they’re in the email, they’re not buyers at that very moment. Simply build interest.
  5. Lastly, keep it semi-short. I know I said, “be a storyteller,” but let’s not get long-winded in our emails. Try to keep it within 200-500 words per email.

Martial Arts on Rails has a built-in Email marketing features that allows you to send gym-branded emails to your members and leads based on their program, rank and membership. The emails are composed in a visual text editor that allows you to format your message, add images, headings, item lists and more.

If you want to try out Martial Arts on Rails and its Email marketing and communication features, you can start your 30-day free trial today.

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Published by Patrick Skinner

Patrick Skinner is a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Level 3 Practitioner in Krav Maga, and Level 2 in the US Army Combatives system. Aside from martial arts, he’s a father of two and an award winning writer. When not on the mats or with is family, he he writes about anything from software to martial arts.


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