All the News that’s Fit to Print About Your Box

monthly newsletter
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

If you’re like most Box owners, you send out a monthly newsletter highlighting upcoming events and retail items, pitching your nutrition challenge, and featuring a member-of-the-month. If that’s all you’re doing, however, you’re missing out on a powerful marketing opportunity. 

Until about six months ago, our Box didn’t even have a monthly newsletter. In fact, the only regular member communication was through a private Facebook group or a weekly canned nutritional tip from our owner. The reality, however, is that fewer and fewer people are on Facebook these days and even those who are often don’t see posts. 

As a former journalist, the lack of communication frustrated me. So, I offered to start producing a monthly newsletter. Instead, I’ve ended up publishing a weekly newspaper about our Box – one that, our members tell me, is eagerly awaited each week. You can see a recent issue here.

Every issue includes:

  • Coaches Corner: This is a movement tip – i.e. Nailing the Triple Extension – from a Coach. Coaches rotate through so they only have to write one every eight weeks or so.
  • Wellness Corner: This is written by our nutrition coach.
  • Upcoming events.
  • New members: It’s just a list for now; we’re working on adding a 100-word brief profile and small photo.
  • Monthly member highlight.
  • Local competitions.
  • Reminders: Join the Facebook page, check out the business directory, magnets are for sale, etc.

But it’s the stories that really draw people in. I look at our Box as a small town, filled with stories just begging to be told. In the past few months, I’ve written articles on:

  • An online rowing competition that about 10 of our members participated in. One member came in first in his age group.
  • Members who competed in local competitions.
  • The results from our in-house competition.
  • Our Friday Night Lights for the Open, including people who got a PR, exceeded their expectations or did their first Open.
  • Members who met one of their goals for 2019.
  • Our new Endure program and what our members think of it.
  • The engagement of two of our members via pizza.
  • Why two of our Coaches decided to complete the uber fitness challenge of SealFit. 

This doesn’t have to take a tremendous amount of time. For instance, I have a set list of questions I send to members we’re highlighting and conduct most “interviews” via email. I reach out to members via text and our FB group and encourage people to send ideas. 

We send our newsletter to our entire mailing list, including former members and leads. Our unsubscribe rate is in the single digits each week – if any – and our open rate averages about 40 percent, compared to the industry average of 15 percent.

Even better is our members have started sharing the newsletter with their friends and family – making it a great marketing tool. We also put a link to it on our website and pull out the columns and stories for blogs on our website, Instagram and Facebook page – keeping them more dynamic which, in turn, leads to increased clicks and higher search engine results.

I never intended to put my reporter hat back on for my CrossFit Box, but I’m having a blast doing it. 

Deb Gordon handles marketing and member relations for CrossFit RPE in Deerfield and Northbrook, Illinois. In real life, she’s is a freelance healthcare writer based in Highland Park, Illinois.