Brand Experience

Gym Gains 45 Reviews With One Magic Email

27 July, 2018

It was 2:31 PM on a Thursday when I decided it was time to dramatically increase the number of reviews for a new client of mine, James, owner of FitnFirm Gym.

Taking over all his marketing and online presence, I knew I had to begin by boosting his social score and trust. Starting with only 4 Google reviews and 17 Facebook reviews, an improvement had to be made!

But really, why should you care about the reviews?

Did I mention these new reviews increased the gyms Google position by FOUR? Yes, we overtook FOUR competitors in Google maps when searching for ‘gyms’.

Well, Google’s ranking algorithm uses your reviews for roughly 10% of it’s determining factors for how high you rank. So more Google reviews = more competitors outranked = more new customers or members.


And how about Facebook?

Surveys have shown that consumers are 80% more likely to purchase from businesses with positive Facebook reviews… duh. Facebook ranks only second (after Google) as the go-to business review site, leaving Yelp as third.

Okay, so you’re already sold on needing more reviews, how do you do it?

Easy! Offer something in return.

This ethical bribe can be anything… But don’t say “Leave me a five-star review for…” Just request an honest review.

In this case, the bribe was free gym membership for the next 2 weeks to existing members. In particular, we sent this email only to the most frequent 25% of members.


Okay, so what exactly did I write in the email?


Luckily for you, I split test a few variations of the email to determine which writing achieved the greatest response.

Email Subject: “[Name], Want your gym membership free for 2 weeks?”

Email body:

“Hey [Name]!

I’m giving our most active members (you’re one of them!) the next 2 weeks completely free!

All I ask in return is… [Continued]”

[Click here to download the full email template for free]


Pretty easy, right?

This gave us 24 new google reviews and 21 new Facebook reviews.

Here’s a few extra tips:

Use a free email campaign software like Mailchimp to import names automatically into individual emails, and to send out mass emails to many people in this personalised way.
Include links to your Facebook page and Google inside the email to make it as easy as possible. In this case I made the words ‘Facebook’ and ‘Google’ hyperlinks so when clicked the reader is taken straight there.

If you get very little response (Less than 10% of recipients leave a review), increase your bribe and simply send another email to those who didn’t the first time… But don’t do this more than once.
Have fun and goodluck!


Riley, Gym Owner & Founder