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Automating email across the buyer lifecycle: a guide for TrainHeroic Marketplace sellers

In this comprehensive guide designed to make you more money selling online training memberships we’ll cover how to leverage TrainHeroic, Zapier, and Mailchimp to automate email like the pros.

Selling memberships to training communities in the TrainHeroic Marketplace is a powerful, scaleable way to grow your coaching business. Creating these virtual gyms using TrainHeroic allows you to easily scale to serve a nearly infinitely large online community. You can just as easily program for 1,000 athletes in a community as you can 50.

What about the other vital aspects of running a gym like welcoming people on their first day, answering important questions, deepening ties to your team, and keeping people from canceling?

Sending personal emails or texts to dozens of new athletes per day (much less hundreds) is simply not scalable.

You have to automate, and we’re here to help.

This guide will teach you to connect TrainHeroic, Zapier, and Mailchimp to create automatic email flows that nurture your customers across their entire lifecycle, earning you more money each month.

 

// unlocking the power of event-triggered email communications

Sending communication that feels personalized and timely to your customers can be a real business game-changer. Well crafted email communication can help you convert more athletes, reduce churn, upsell and cross-sell, and keep your athlete engaged for longer. It’s a powerful business tool. But, it’s not always simple.

We wanted to change that.

We wanted to unlock the power of email automation for our sellers.

 

Bringing you the power to automate like the pros

We’ve now integrated TrainHeroic with Zapier, meaning signals or events from the TrainHeroic platform can now be sent into Zapier and connected for use with thousands of other apps. 

Zapier is known for “handling your busy work.” It connects more than 3,000 apps to easily automate your tasks and workflows. Our guides focus on automating emails but that just scratches the surface of what else Zapier can help you automate. 

Zapier offers a free 14-day trial to get started. Once you take advantage of this, they have multiple pricing plans to choose from.

The Free plan is a good option if you’re just getting started with email automation. This plan is “free forever” and allows you to set up 5 different Zap triggers and run 100 tasks/month. A Task is counted every time a Zap successfully moves data or takes action for you. 

Once you outgrow the free plan, the Started plan is $19.99 billed annually or $29.99 month-to-month. This allows you to set up 20 Zap triggers and run 750 tasks/month.

Think about how many clients you currently have, what your growth goals are, and how many Zaps you would like to automate to help you decide which plan is right for you.

In our eyes, $20/month is worth it if it means you no longer have to do manual, repetitive busywork. Plus, it’s more cost-effective than hiring someone to manually do the same work.

Picking the right email service provider

When we set out to develop an integration with Zapier, one of the most exciting use cases in our eyes was bringing the potential of true email automation to our power sellers in the TrainHeroic Marketplace.

In order to do this, we needed to pick a single Email Service Provider (ESP) to base our guides on. Our email automation expert spent hours comparing multiple ESPs so you don’t have to. If you’re not already using an ESP, MailChimp is a great tool for email marketing for small businesses in particular. It’s user-friendly and integrates with many apps that help you to automate tasks. They have a simple, yet effective email design tool that allows you to add the flavor packet to your emails, which helps bring your brand to life in your customer’s eyes.  A big bonus is tracking the performance and engagement of your emails, a feature you don’t get when using Gmail, for example.

If you already have an ESP of choice, don’t fret. The strategy and basic connections you’ll read in these guides translate to other ESPs with just a bit of work and research required on your end.

We recommend purchasing the Standard MailChimp plan because it’s the most affordable plan that allows you to create a series of automated emails.

// understanding the customer lifecycle

Before you begin working on your email automations, it’s worth spending a few minutes reviewing or learning the basic customer lifecycle. Understanding the basic principle of a customer lifecycle as well as the behaviors and motivations of your customers at each stage will help put the content covered in each guide into the proper context. 

Awareness

Customers (athlete’s in your case) typically begin their life cycle with a need, a goal, or a pain point. This is when they become aware of something they could benefit from having and the desire for a new product or service begins to form.

Consideration

Once they become aware of this desire, they begin to search for the product or service they think will meet their needs based on goals, price point, and reviews. This is when they might start doing research and narrowing down which brand, coach, and program they would like to invest in.

Evaluation

Next, athletes begin evaluating their narrowed down list. This is the stage when they would start a free 7-day trial to get a feel for the coach, the community, the culture, and the training. Communicating to athletes at this stage is crucial because we know they have many options to choose from when it comes to training. 

Purchase

Potential clients have completed their trial of your training community and they have decided that yours is the one they want to move forward with. Cha-ching! You’ve won that customer over and have converted a potential client into a paying customer. Now it’s time to deepen their connection to your brand and turn them into a brand advocate. 

Churn

It’s an unfortunate truth, running a recurring subscription online training business means your customers (athletes) can churn at any time, and without warning. But don’t fear, it’s not always goodbye forever. In fact, this may be the most vital time to communicate with your customers not only to learn about their sentiments around your product, but also to “save” them.

// putting automation into action

Now that we understand every stage in the customer journey and what it takes to move a customer from each stage, we can better strategize how to communicate and when.

Each of the following guides walks through the content, communication strategy, and step-by-step technical instructions you need to connect your TrainHeroic account to MailChimp using the TrainHeroic & Zapier integration.

Because email is a “lower funnel” tactic, our focus is going to begin in the evaluation stage. We simply cannot email a potential customer until they begin a trial and/or give us their permission and email address. 

 

Evaluation Stage

You want to create a welcoming experience that converts the person “walking through the door” into a raving fan.
By following this guide, you can set up a series of emails that will automatically send to every one of your incoming trial athletes, nurturing them along their journey and converting them to a paying customer.

Purchase Stage

When you make an online purchase, you probably check your email to look for a confirmation. Sometimes you’re looking for instructions, shipping tracking numbers, etc. At the very least, it’s reassurance that your order went through.
But the power of a welcome email doesn’t stop there, we’ll walk you through a strategy to use this touchpoint to deepen the connection between you and your newest customers all with automation. 

Churn Stage

Running a recurring revenue business like an online training membership requires more than filling the top of your funnel. Churn, if left unchecked, can easily drop your take-home revenue from month to month. 
You might be asking, “what can I do about churn?” Luckily, the answer might surprise you. By delivering the right message to your customers who churn from your training community at the right time, you can save many more customer relationships than you might think.

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