Own vs. Rent: The Paradox of Client Connections

I’m not talking about housing; I’m talking about the relationship you have with your customer.

Social platforms have allowed us to connect and “rent” customer lists.  A great tool to stay engaged with old friends, new friends, and for brand awareness.

However, in a world where ownership is king, its time to start owning the connections.   A way in which we can do this is to start building specific email list(s), and building the rapport through content that educates, inspires, and informs.

According to Smart Insights, email lists still provide up to 100x return on investment over social followings.  Email list click to open rate is 22% as opposed to average social engagement rate is 1%.

Still don’t believe me?

As of 2014 there were 4.1 billion active email accounts, present day there are 6 billion (More than double the amount of Social Site users)!  Email isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon!

If you’ve spent tons of time with social and have a massive following that’s amazing, now it’s time to leverage that following into a list that YOU own!

One of the most commonly asked questions with strength professionals is,

‘How do I build the list?’

Here are 3 ways that we built our list …

Without spending A SINGLE PENNY!

  1. Release a training plan for FREE

Who CARES if the gym down the street downloads the plan!  You can do opt-in plans utilizing form-site or word-press. Document the realness, doesn’t have to be earth shattering with pictures, videos, perfect letterhead etc.

Great content sells, period.  You keep a training journal of your groups and clients release a 10-week plan of someone who had great success with a before an after picture or testimonial.   I guarantee that will yield new contacts added to the list!

  1. Raffle away something for FREE.

We recently did a sweepstakes for a free @TreadSled, all we required was their email address and phone number. We did organic posting via social sites and ended up with over 1,000 brand new contacts!

For gyms you could raffle away a free transformation, free athlete training block, could be something as simple as a FREE specialty t-shirt!   Get creative, what would YOU be interested in getting for free?


Remember you market with two things, either TIME or MONEY.   Most strength pro’s have more time than money in the start so hit up all the local business and exchange the business cards.  The key is in the follow up, adding them to your contacts, and thanking them for taking THEIR time to meet you and discuss your training.

We recently had a local restaurant owner, (must listen to the podcast and know how much we like to eat) stop by the gym and let us know who he was, what they were providing and that he would “hook it up” if we stopped by.

Now we didn’t get a follow up email from him, but I saw the card on my desk daily and within the month we went to show our support for the restaurant.  I would have never ever known of the place had he not stopped by!

We market with TIME not only money, get out and meet your neighbors.   Get famous locally before you spend time focused on hashtags and retweets!


 “How you sell matters.  What your process is matters.  But how your customers feel when they      engage with you matters more.”

Below is a sample email template that we stick to when writing emails with the end consumer in mind.

The Email Checklist:

  1. Educate – expertise.  Educate the client, not the peer.  When writing newsletter’s, we are trying to educate the athlete and their parents. Our client’s knowledge base is not that of someone who has a degree in Exercise Science.  Think about speaking about your gym and what you do for people as if you were describing it to your Uncle at a BBQ.
  1. Inspire – story tell.   Why are YOU in a position to help someone achieve their goals?   What set you on this path, people want to know.
  1. Inform – make sure people know what you do and how you can help them!

Remember, it is not about YOU; it is about the individual you are speaking to and how you can bet help them. Provide value first and then ask for something in return.

If you would like to learn more about some of the tactics we have used to grow our email list you can reply to this email with “List Building”.

In Strength,

– Dan Goodman


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