The Basketball Trainer's Guide to Email Marketing

These days, everyone is on Social media.

It’s all about the Tweets, likes, hearts and status updates, right?

It’s where everyone’s attention is placed, so it would be obvious to think that’s where you should be spending all of your time marketing your basketball training business, right?

Well it’s not wrong, but it’s not the whole truth either.

There’s a few things to consider.

You could spend years building a community on social media platforms and at any time, they can shutdown your page without giving any indication why. Or they can introduce new rules like “Paid post”,  and suddenly you no longer have clear access to that community you’ve built. Facebook and Instagram have already demonstrated the ladder.

Let’s say you have 5000 fans on Facebook. Roughly only 10% will see a status you post, without you having to pay to “boost” your post for more exposure to the fans you’ve already built through your page.

It sucks, we know.

So what’s the best way to market your knowledge and services so that everyone who’s interested sees 100% of the value you’re offering?

Leveraging Email Marketing.

First, let’s break down exactly What Email Marketing is.

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that uses Electronic mail (Email) as a means of communicating your message to your audience (athletes and parents). In its broadest sense, every email sent to a potential or current client could be considered email marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to 2 main objectives:

  • Sending emails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a business with its current or previous clients, while encouraging customer loyalty and repeat business.
  • Sending emails with the purpose of acquiring new clients or convincing current clients to purchase something immediately.

The difference between email and social media is that the Facebooks of the world owns the algorithm. They’re the ones deciding what is most valuable to your audience and what gets seen.

Email marketing delivers more effective results because unlike social media, Email is a channel that You own.

You will always have a direct 1 to 1 relationship with the people who sign up for your offers and/or newsletter through your website. This gives you instant access to their inbox. Also, email allows you to be highly personal. On Facebook, when you post an update, regardless if they’re a lead or a client, everybody reads that same post. The content can’t changed or personalized based on who the person is.

With all the noise that is on social media, one could argue that the inbox has become our one place of peace from the advertisements and marketing chaos on social networks.

Getting into someone’s inbox is like being invited to their home. Email Marketing moves the conversation about your business to a more personal environment, the inbox aka their HOME. This provides you with the most direct line of communication for converting sells for your training services.

This is why, as a basketball trainer, building successful email marketing campaigns has never been more important than it is now. But there’s a problem; most trainers don’t know how to do it right or even worst, most aren’t leveraging this at All.

So in the interest of helping you succeed as a pro trainer, let’s break down the basics and talk about the entire scope of how your Email Marketing game plan should be built, from the ground up.

Permission Based Marketing

No email campaign was ever built without getting permission to get started, so first we’ll need to focus on building a sizable email list.

There are many ways you can do this of course. Some trainers prefer to give away downloadable workout PDF’s or ebooks in exchange for the athlete’s email address, while others simply offer a newsletter.

The objective is to have a clear purpose when asking for an someones email. You want to make sure you’re delivering value, something enticing enough that will make them happy to give you their email address for.

This is where a strong Call To Action comes into play.

Simply posting “Enter your email for updates” isn’t going to get most athletes excited if they don’t yet know who you are.

Instead, consider sharing specifics:

Example:

Note the Clear and Concise Call to Action in the Examples Above (This is one of the many Done-For-You Email opt-ins provided by Hoops Institute for trainers to attract more clients from their website, learn more about the Playbook Plus here).

Take a look at the examples above, You’ll see it tells you to enter your email for “11 Free Tips to Improve your Shooting Performance”. This is a far more specific, and effective, way to peak an athlete or parent’s interest. You want to make it a “No Brainer” for them to Opt-in to your offer.

Here’s a list of what athletes are most likely to opt-in to your email list for:

  • Email Series’ (Example: How to’s, Ways to improve parts of their game)
  • Informative blog post on the improving their game
  • Free Basketball drill Downloads
  • Free White Papers or eBooks
  • Update Lists (Training Notifications, Camp Updates, New Releases)

One thing you’ll want to do is make sure that they “Whitelist” your emails. Getting whitelisted is basically the equivalent to being marked as a friend, and the best way to achieve this is by being added to the recipient’s address book. The best way to do this is by providing instructions to do so at the top of each email, especially on the initial thank you and first autoresponder email.

Your Email list is one of your most valuable assets/resources in business, nothing else gives you On-Demand traffic and repeat customers like a mailing list. If you learn how to treat it right, it will grow your business in ways no other channel can.

One of the issues most trainers run into is that they forget to talk to there list until I have something to sell. Obviously, this is not ideal. So one of your main objectives will be to setup a Series of emails once, that will be sent out repeatedly, building a system to engage your list and for new clients to roll in every month/week on Autopilot.

This is where the Autoresponder comes in.

Autoresponders are emails set to go out automatically. They help you automate email campaigns and manage one-to-one communication with your email list.

It’s recommended to schedule content to be delivered on a consistent basis over the course of several months.

The benefit of that is when you do need to announce a new training program, camp or product, you can count on the fact that you’ve already been in touch, having built a relationship over several weeks/months, and are much less likely to seem spammy to your readers. It’s important to schedule your autoresponder sequence on specific days so that you know when it’s appropriate to send an email. More than one per day and you’re probably emailing too much.

Keep in mind that you don’t need a big email list to start seeing amazing results from email marketing.  You simply need a plan and a system.

Here’s how it works…

Each email you send needs to have one of five purposes:

  • Introduction – Teach athletes and parents who you are
  • Engage – Educate them on the game and get them to buy
  • Upsell – Get them to buy more
  • Segment – Learn what they want to improve on to make the next offer
  • Reengage/Win Back – Bring them back

Each one of these emails is dependent on the previous email which creates the 5 stages of Email Marketing.

Remember… This is how you build an Unstoppable Training business. By putting marketing systems in place that work for you to educate and generate new clients without any heavy continuous lifting on your part.

NOTE:  We understand this process is pivotal for building your successful basketball training business online. Which is why we offer to set this entire process up for you for FREE for a limited time only. To take advantage, schedule your consultation here.  To learn more, click here.

Your competitors aren’t using all five stages of Email marketing… this is an costly mistake on their part.

… which is why once you start implementing this plan, you’ll be in position to dominate the competition.

Once you thoroughly understand the stages of email marketing — you’ll be able to plug in a couple of autoresponder series and create a new revenue stream.

Each step must be done in a specific order because you can’t have one without the other. For example you can’t have engagement from your list until you have introduced yourself. And you can’t segment your lists until you have engagement. Make sense?

Great.

This is how you maximize profit through email marketing. You send an email with a purpose — moving clients and prospects from one stage to the next.

Let’s go through the five steps!​​

Step 1: Introduction Emails

Awesome!  You have a new opt-in to your email list.

Now what?

The initial email should be sent immediately as a way to introduce yourself, teaching your new prospect about you and your program. You need to become familiar to them. It’s better to be long-winded and detailed than it is to be quick.

  • Who are you?
  • What do you stand for?
  • Why are you different?
  • What should they expect from you?
  • How often?
  • What should they do next?

Your new prospect will receive the introduction series.

We’re going to take a look at some pre-builds email opt-in autoresponders that we at Hoops Institute create on your behalf, to save you the time and energy.

Here’s the initial autoresponder that an athlete will receive with the The Playbook Plus, after opting into the “11 Tips to Perfect Your Shooting Performance” Offer on your website…

As you can see above, they receive the download link for the Shooting Tips, AND You’ve been introduced. This is the power of an autoresponder working on your behalf automatically, no more manual labor. Every sentence in the above email is designed to teach the athlete what Your Company is about.

Notice how in the email, it asks the athlete to engage with the email by replying back.  This is important and we’ll talk more about why in a second.

Once you’ve introduced yourself to your prospect, you can move them into an Engagement series.

Step 2: Engagement Emails

The purpose of engagement emails is to convert your leads into clients.

These emails should be making offers to your lists. Your engagement emails should be a series of emails spread out over a designated period of time.

You want to make sure you’re providing value to your email list.

This can be done by providing tips in the email on improving certain areas of the athletes game via newsletters, or in the form of in-linking to blog posts, videos or other forms of media content.

Here’s an example of an Engagement email autoresponder from Hoops Institute, well designed and provides value to your email list of athletes by offering Shooting tips to improve your Jump shot.  This is the second email that will be triggered when the athlete opted into the initial email opt-in above called, “11 Free Tips to Improve your Shooting Performance”. After they receive the Introduction email, days later, they receive this Engagement email.

”  

After providing helpful tips, this is the time to make an offer the athlete or parent can’t refuse. Usually offering a free session or consultation like the one shown above is a No Brainer for them, because of the Low Barrier to entry.

You can also offer a training session without it being Free or discounted.

Your business can see a major increase in results by plugging in an Engagement Series.

It’s important to remember, once this entire process is setup once, you are no longer sending these emails out manually. It works for you over and over automatically every time someone opts in to one of your offers.

(If you see the value of this, you may want to see how Hoops Institute can develop your entire online marketing platform for you, learn how here.)

Once you’ve engaged your audience, it’s time for an Upsell series.

Step 3: Upsell Emails

This is where a lot of trainers drop the ball and miss out on more potential revenue for their business, as well as maximize ways to effect the careers of more athletes… For every offer you make, there is some percentage of clients that would buy more.  

Every customer/client you obtain through your engagement series should also receive an Upsell series.

This Example Upsell offer from Hoops Institute The Playbook, is sent to Trainer’s clients that had previously purchased a training session…

This is a great way to cross promote other products/services you have or offer higher end training products/services once you have built trust with lower level services.

One great example of this is to offer free content then quickly move to offer additional higher level content to upgrade them to your online basketball training membership.

So… what do you do when customers and prospects say “NO” to the Engagement or Upsell series you send them?

Simple, you change the message until they respond.

Stage 4: Segmentation Emails

The goal of Segmenting your lists is to get your potential clients to raise their hand (open the email, click or opt in) and show a level of interest into something you are offering them.

When they do show interest via an open, click or opt-in they will be placed within the appropriate Engagement Series. This does mean you may have several Engagement Series (Ball Handling Series, Jump shooting series, Defensive fundamentals series, etc.) created for different purposes.

For example let’s say you sent an email to Joe and Tim asking which area of basketball are they interested in learning to improve. Joe opened the email and clicked ball handling. Once he clicked the ball handling link, it triggered an action in your auto responder to say Joe is interested in ball handling. Once that has been triggered, Joe is automatically going to receive an Upsell offer about improving his ball handling through training with you.

Now Tim was not interested in one of the above options, which let you know 1 of 2 things.

1) He was not interested in this product/service

2) He didn’t have time to open it.

The next email could be one of 2 things

1) A new offer

2) The same offer presented in a different way.

Segmenting your lists and moving them through the sales funnels for the different products and services you have can set off a chain reaction of sales.

When they do, they will be placed in the appropriate Engagement Series.

Check out the Pre-built email from Hoops Institute below. We design these for specifically for basketball trainers on your behalf to generate new clients for you.

Notice how we use questions to determine what athletes might be interested in learning next, as mentioned above.

We have different areas of the game hyperlinked, so when an athlete clicks on a specific one, it moves them into the Engagement Series about that specific topic of basketball to educate them on the subject, Call To Action to bring the athlete through the door, or purchase an online product from you.

(If you’d like to learn more on having this online marketing platform setup for you, feel free to schedule a Free Consultation. Or if you’re ready to hop onboard, check out the The Playbook here.)

” 

By them clicking through on one of the options (Segmenting the athlete), they’ll then receive an follow up Engagement email on the topic they selected to learn about, which puts them back into the Engagement email series…

Do you see the power of Segmentation and how it moves prospects back into your Engagement and Upsell email series?

Sending a single Segmentation email to your list can set off a chain reaction of sales.

Ok… now let’s look at the simplest (and often the most impactful) stage of email marketing…

ANALYTICS

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Notice the details you receive for daily statistics including open rate, clicks, unsubscribes with each campaign.

With The Playbook, we provide these complimentary analytics.

Though they’re all important, the 3 most important are open rate, click through rate (CTR), and unsubscribes.

Your open rate will tell you how well you’ve built your relationship; if the number is low, it means that people aren’t engaged, which means you need to work harder on providing value and/or managing expectations.

If your CTR is low, it means that your message is either not targeted enough, or simply not getting through. In this case, focus on improving your copy and content.

If your unsubscribe rate is high in relation to your opt-in rate, then you’ve passed the point of building value and writing good copy. If this is you, try to examine why people are leaving and take action based on those leaks.

Email analytics are critical in that if you’re paying attention, they’ll give you very specific clues as to what you’re doing wrong. Of course the key variable here is “paying attention.”

Segmentation is the practice of splitting up your email list into more targeted groups.

For example, the following are ways to segment a larger, more unified list:

  • Client List (in comparison to leads)
  • Newsletter
  • Daily Email List (in comparison to weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc)

By dividing your list like this, you give yourself the ability to send more targeted communication. Some clients want both training content and sales updates. Since current clients have already purchased training from you, it’s fairly obvious why you want to keep them subscribed to your client email list.

With segmentation, you can send a broadcast only to those that didn’t open your last email (ask them why), or to those that showed interest (a 2nd pitch).

As you can see, segmentation isn’t rocket science, but it is work, which is why most trainers don’t take the time to do it. If you do, you’ll immediately separate yourself from the competition.

Step 5: Reengagement/Win Back Emails

What happens when customers and prospects stop opening and clicking on your email?

If your answer is NOTHING — you’re leaving big money on the table.

Setting up a Reengagement and Win Back Series is the lowest of low hanging fruit.  It just makes sense to put an autoresponder series in place that reenergizes disengaged subscribers and brings them back into an Engagement and Upsell emails to buy.

But that’s just half the benefit…

Leaving disengaged emails on your list does tremendous damage to the deliverability of your email.  By reengaging subscribers that haven’t been active will have you avoid the Spam folder.

Think about ways you could use email to reengage and win back clients and prospects.

How do I get started?

It starts with understanding that the 5 stages of email marketing exist.

If you’ve made it this far, give yourself a HUGE pat on the back.

You know have more knowledge than 95% of the industry on how marketing works.

You not only understand the value of Email Marketing now, but you’re more than likely ready to take action.

It is a well known fact that if action isn’t taken instantly upon coming across new information, 9 times out of 10 it’s not going to happen if you wait.

While the information is fresh in your mind, schedule your call now to learn how to have this Email Marketing plan built for you with your own Online Marketing Platform. After that, head over to the The Playbook to learn a little more about what this will do for your business.

We’re looking forward to helping you take your basketball training business to the next level online!

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