[Webinar] The Power of Automated Emails

Webinar Overview

Do you want to know why the smartest martial arts school owners are using automated emails to drive their marketing efforts? It's an easy way to turn leads into students, and it's a feature that allows your business to make money - even while you're sleeping.

The problem is lots of martial arts school owners don’t know what to send, when to send it and how to drive customer activity with automated emails. If you’re one of the many, then you should join Alex Davydov of Amerikick on this educational webinar.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • What retention email strategy is and how you can use it in your school
  • How to create killer birthday, lead enrollment, and merchandise sales strategies through automated emails
  • Best practices for turning leads into loyal students using automated emails


Alex Davydov
Alex is the Head Instructor of AmeriKick Karate Studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn. With an honors degree in Business Management and Finance, Alex understands the significant impact automated emails have in converting leads into students.


Video Transcript

Whitney: Hello everyone. We're just about ready to get started. Really quickly can we do a sound check? If you can hear my voice, can you please type 'yes' into the questions or the chat box? Yes, ton of yes's. Great!

Welcome to another ChampionsWay webinar. My name is Whitney and I will be your host for today. We're so happy that you guys can join us this morning, this afternoon or this evening depending on where you're coming from, for The Power of Automated Emails with Alex Davydov, Head Instructor at Amerikick Karate Studio in Park Slope, Brooklyn. He's going to go into his background in details so I won't get into the good stuff, but he has a fantastic presentation for you guys today so I hope you're prepared to have your socks knocked off. I've / his slides I swear I even learn a thing or two about automated emails and I'm a marketer focused on email so I thought that was pretty cool. So Alex is going to give his presentation and then we're going to open it up to Q&A after. Throughout the presentation if you have any questions, please ask them in the questions box and we'll get to them after. Depending on time, if we don't get to your questions, please email marketing@perfectmind.com. We will get to those as quickly as possible. I know Alex is going to share his information with you as well so you will be able to contact him should you need to. We always like to hear from you guys so join the conversation on Facebook at facebook.com/championswayfans and Twitter @championsway. So Alex, I know I'm as excited as everyone here so let's bring you out and get the presentation going. Welcome Alex!

Alex: What's up guys! This is Alex Davydov here. For those of you that know me, what's up! And for those of you that don't know me, I'm hoping I'm meeting you guys soon. If you guys could hear me, can you guys just give me a 'hey' in the chat box and we'll get started.

Whitney: We've got a bunch of hey's coming through, Alex.

Alex: Alright, awesome! Well I've been with ChampionsWay since I opened up my school. I want to give you guys a little history about myself. I started martial arts when I was a young kid. I started martial arts due to racial bullying. I'm originally from Uzbekistan and I'm Jewish, so you know there was a little controversy going on there, so I had to kind of defend myself. In 1995 we made our way to the United States. I started training martial arts, I continued to train here, I started a Taekwondo program. But before I started, honestly we came to the United States with nothing so I had to find my way to get some money to pay for programs. I had to clean the school to reduce my tuition, and I had to wait at tables and did some catering jobs here and there, and got my way to competition world. In 1997 I started competing and made my way to the NASCA and the MBL circuits where I was introduced to team IDC. It was powered by Amerikick. I want to give a shout out to one of my coaches and mentors Mark Russo, and good friends - Chris Millares, Bob /. They basically took me through competitive world and make me a champion. A little after once I graduated college, I had needed another direction where I joined the corporate world and become financial analyst before I found my own school. So I decided to go ahead and open up an Amerikick Martial Arts Studio in 2005 and had an amazing transformation to my life. With guidance of these mentors I was able to break some records and enroll 380 students within my first six months in operation, which is an amazing number.

05:03

I know some people done it but I think it is pretty amazing. Currently we have a little over 550 students. The school has been rocking since day one. For about eight years we've been stuck, maybe a little more, we've been stuck at like 450 to close to 500 members and our goal is to break 550 members. So we sat down with my brother Rod and I set out to write to Dave /, he owns two schools Amerikick locations in Staten Island, New York. So we sat down and we went over the auto email campaigns, what we could do to make our program a little better. We came up with some great ideas and I'm going to share with you right down, which basically took us over our goal numbers which were 550. I hope you guys take something away from this.

Alright so here is our system. Like everybody already knows everyone has their system. We have retention system and the enrollment system. So what we decided to do is we decided to create email systems, the auto email systems. We systemize all of our campaigns. So with a lead auto campaign, where once we got a lead, once we got an email for lead, we want to have some type of connection with them so we follow up by emails. Not just one email but multiple emails.

We also created a retention email. Once we got those students enrolled, we want to make sure that we keep them forever, right, you want to you keep that back door closed. Having an auto email system and stay connected with your students I think is a huge plus to growth. We want to make sure that we enroll students but we also want to ensure that we don't lose what we have.

This is also huge one, building all the email campaign that we've set up as well. I used to have about 15 close to 20% in delinquencies, especially for those that collect funds in-house, you probably have a little higher. When we started, we started without the auto billing system. So we had to chase people down and ask for cash or checks or whatever. Eventually once we found our channel which was PerfectMind to do our direct billing, our delinquent rate went down a lot. But still we had maybe 10 - 15% in delinquency. So once we created this auto billing emails, now we went down to 2% which is amazing to have 550 student body and have 2% delinquencies, maybe 5 - 10 people every month which is amazing. Sometimes their credit card expires, or they cancel their credit card and new one needs to be updated, so the system is really important. If you guys don't have that set up please do so right away.

Former member emails. You know whenever somebody wants to quit, we don't just close our doors and telling them not to come back, right. We still stay in contact with them and try to get them back to training. Thankfully most of our members that do quit, quit because they move to new locations or they have financial problems, things like that.

We also have a really cool birthday party auto email campaign. We do run a lot of birthday parties which is a great income generator and lead generator. So we created this really cool system that I would share with you guys soon. I think it's going to blow you away.

The same thing with our summer camp. Our summer camps, we're good - but this year they were best. Because in the beginning of the year we set up some really cool email campaigns to leads that made our leads take action and actually enroll their children to our camps.

10:08

We're going to start off with the lead auto email system. The first thing is we need to have a really good website. The website has to also be connected to a landing page. So basically people find you and the website or search engine, get to your website. Your website has to do its work to sell and make sure that the leads are taking action to enter their information so that it goes to your portal so you could to follow up, or you can have the automatic emails that will go out.

Once the prospect enters as a lead, they get a welcome letter where they basically 'Welcome to the school.' We basically explain how the program works and the process. They're going to get another email what the process is, where you get intro lesson, and then after the intro lesson you're going to attend a group class to see if this is something that you really want to do before you commit to it. Then we send them some tips on learning tips - how to become a good martial artist or just tips in general, and I'll share that with you in a minute.

Once you get these leads calling and booking appointment, then we have auto email go out to confirm their appointments. And obviously we'll also make the calls as well. If they miss their appointments, we have an email go out as well so they can reschedule. They call back to reschedule, we call them to reschedule, but that's an important one as well.

Each of these emails contains a link that goes back to our landing page which sells them the web special or the current special that we are running. I know some of you guys are not great at computers or don't have a lot of time to use the computers. My tip will be if you can't create it yourself these systems, then you will need to outsource it somehow. For example I used to make my art work, my flyers, the artwork for flyers, the artwork for my T-shirt designs, any type of advertisement and it was just killing me and it was taking me a lot of my time, and I don't have any time for myself. So what I said I'm going to start outsourcing everything. Since then I've been delegating most of my tasks so that I have some time for myself to train and do more important things throughout the day.

This is the kids page on our website. What this does is basically gives them an idea. I know everybody has a website already which is awesome. One thing I found through research that if you give your prospects too much information on your website, then they have no reason to take action, enter their information and submit the information so that you could get that lead or you can catch that lead, right. One thing was the schedule on the website. I took my schedule completely out of this website. Not completely but actually I hid it. I hid it in the Events tab. So if my students want to look at the schedule I tell them 'Just click on the Events tab and you're going to find it there.' But on the right hand side where's the 'Start Now!', you see I give them a reason to enter their information so they could opt in and become a lead for me so you could contact them and send them emails. That's really important part of this whole idea. Once they enter their information, they come to the portal here and the emails will go out obviously, we all know that.

This is our welcome letter. We go through different programs that we offer, that we offer birthday parties, we offer camps, we offer different type of activities. On the bottom here I put a link so they could read up on some reviews on Google or other channels that you guys have, Yelp or whatever.

15:04

And then on the bottom here we could click on a link which will take them back to our offer, to our online deal which we probably know everybody probably has the online trials. If you guys haven't had that set up yet, you have to do that right away. Again if you guys can't do it, I know ChampionsWay is more than capable of getting it up for you.

This is our Week 1 email - the process. They got an email saying 'Okay first you're going to go to the private lesson and then you're going to take the group class.' Once again we have the web special on the bottom, so keep mentioning that out.

Week 2 we give them some tips - posture matters. And then once again we got that link going back to our website.

This is the auto appointment confirmation email that goes out - 'If you need to reschedule the appointment, please don't hesitate to call us.'

The main purpose of these auto email campaigns is that not only staying connected with your client, but also saving a lot of your own time to get these things done. Because we have this cool portal which is PerfectMind which where you can do all of this, I think you guys should all be on top of this.

Missed appointments - we offer them a VIP session.

Here's our landing page. All these links that we have, right away take a look at our introductory offer. Every time they click on here, it'll take them to this landing page which will sell them right away. Our special is $19.95 for two classes, but here online we say you get four classes with these offers, so make sure you buy. So you're always giving them something extra to make sure that they try to buy it right online. Like other martial arts specialists say once they buy through your website, they are most likely buy when they come in, because they will develop that trust.

We're going to go ahead with retention email system which is huge part of your student body and it will save a lot of your students. Sometimes you want to go on a vacation, or you want some time with your family, or you just don't have enough time to spend with your students, you set up these retention emails and they will keep them strong as if you're connected with them all the time even though you're away.

One of them is the certificates. We have certificates that go out through rating. When a student comes in, they naturally get rated. They're either going to be C student, B student or an A student. Once they become a B student, they're going to get a certificate saying 'You're doing a great job. You're rated B. You work your way to become an A student.' And once they become an A student they get another certificate says they're now an A rated member, keep up the good job, which motivates them.

The rock star students - you know in our Amerikick system we have something called a job list and random acts of kindness sheets. So when other children bring them in, I set up, I have my / section set up these sheets that go out to all the parents to see that children are cleaning their room, children are doing their homework, and they're brushing their teeth, so we call them the rock star students.

The essays - we also want to make our black belt essay and the red belt essays. When we do the higher rank tests, we have a requirement that children write an essay - how has the martial arts changed your life or something like that. All the great essays we automate them. Once a lead opts in, we'll send them one of these essays that our children wrote about their life story and it's really powerful. That's a huge one.

Intent to promote form - before children graduate, once they get to a graduation list, they automatically get an email with an intent to promote form. This form goes to the teachers and the teachers calling out to see how the kids are doing at school and they'll show the instructors how well they're doing.

20:04

But not only we get to see how they're doing in their class, there's also a space where the teachers could write in whether they want us to come out and do bully busted program or some type of special event in their class, and that's another way we get new students.

Curriculum sheets - once a student graduates to a new rank, we have an automated email go out. If a person become a green belt or blue belt, they get a green belt curriculum saying 'Okay Johnny, now you need to know this, this and that.' So all the requirements are broken down through email.

Weapons program - that's another form. We require that children from green belt, brown, red and up start learning weapons. Once they become a green belt, automated email goes out saying 'Johnny, here's the weapon form video. If you don't have a pair of chucks, make sure you get yourself a pair and start training.'

Obviously we send out miss you cards and --sorry guys, I'll be right then, my kids just got home.

Alright, student of the week. Every week we have a student of the week. Obviously again they're all sorted by task. So we have an email go out, the student will leave a picture and a nice design artwork.

As students lose interest, which obviously happens all the time, we have a grand master letter that goes out, try to remotivate our children to get back to action.

Here's a certificate that we send out. You could probably take a snap picture of it. I design this thing. If you want a copy of it, I could obviously send it over to you. But not only they get a certificate, on the bottom here you see that it takes them to our store so they could get a high belt coupon. They'll buy a pair of weapons and save $5. So children print this out and bring them in.

Here's our intent to promote letter - 'Congratulations, you are getting promoted this week. We have a link on the bottom to intent to promote form.'

Here's the way the intent to promote form works. As I told you on the bottom here in the middle of the page, we have an interactive child safety program that we teach, so they could circle yes or no, put the teacher's email address and we email the teacher and we set up our session in school. So now we don't have to print anything. Even though we still do but all this is automated which is awesome.

Here's our weapons program - Bo staff for green belts and Kamas for brown belts. The offer is / if you don't have a pair of speed chucks, please see the front desk and pick up a pair. If you train the green belt, obviously you would want to go ahead and buy yourself a pair of weapons, give yourself preparing for the brown belt which one of these children to stay with martial arts and to keep training at your school.

Miss you email.

And we come to the billing auto email. Three days prior to the billing date, the email goes out as a reminder telling our students that your payment is about to go through, please make sure that you have the funds available. If the credit card is expired, then the email will go out and say 'Your card is about to get expired, please update it and get that email update your card by calling us.' If it happens to be that the student is now a delinquent member, the email will go out multiple times to remind them to update their card or update their status, so they'll come in and they take care of it.

In terms of former members auto email campaign - when the student becomes a former member, they get an automated email go out to their email as a farewell, that they're always welcomed back.

25:00

About three months after, we'll send them a hey letter where we try to reconnect with them and to see how they're doing. And a little bit after, we'll send them a letter that we want them back with a special incentive as well. So we'll give them an incentive where they pay for the first month and they count for three, and we'll throw in a uniform as well just to get them back. And again all of this is automated.

Alright we get to our birthday party auto email system. We send out a lot of birthday emails. The birthday emails usually go out to children that have birthdays coming up within next 2 - 3 months. Once the birthdays are booked, they invite their friends to birthday parties. When they come in, we used to have them write their names on a piece of paper. Now we have couple of iPads available and desktop in the front so the guest could enter their information right into our portal and I'll show you guys how I did that.

Once they enter their information, they get the first email on a Monday, just to thank them for coming to the birthday party. A couple weeks after they'll get another email with a special offer as well.

Here's our birthday bash email, that we do exciting birthday parties and then we'll have a link that takes them straight to our website so they can get some information how our birthday system or birthday party works and possibly book a birthday party.

Also on our website / to link that takes them to our birthday party guest sign in page. They will need to enter all these information in order to join our party. There's also a waiver on the side here that could be set up. So again if you guys don't know how to set this up, you guys could have one of the guys at ChampionsWay to care for that for you.

Here's the first follow up email. We offer them four weeks of classes instead of $49 at $24.50 which is 50% off. Even though we don't run, we run this $49 specials we still kind of offer it anyways. We set up a coupon for birthday specials as well which is BIRTHDAY50. Again if you don't know how to set it up, tell to ChampionsWay. Here's the second follow up email.

Now we're going to our summer camp auto email campaign. Again we need to make sure that our presence online is strong and we drive people to our website. Once they're on our website, there needs to be a strategy behind our page that takes these people that are looking at your page opt in to your website or I should say to your portal. You want to make sure that they enter their information so they become your lead so you can contact them through emails. The email will go out.

Now we have a couple of emails that follow up after that. The first email will subject 'Summer Sports Camp (prices and details)'. Obviously everybody's looking for prices and everybody's looking for details, then they open that email and they're probably going to click on the link as well.

Then the second email goes out. Here we subject it 'Hey really? I'm surprised!' I'm surprised that you didn't take action, we have a great special going on, why didn't you take (action). Sometimes people are just busy and when you follow up with emails, it kind of helps them to take action.

And then the third email will go out - 'You're about to miss it!' It's kind of like a sense of urgency.

Here's our page. With this page it tells them early bird deals which you submit to / and details. So when people submit their information, they'll go to our portal and it'll directly take them to a page that will show them the early bird deals and a landing page.

29:57

Here's our first email that go out with prices and details. And then we have a landing page. The landing page, we design it to look like we give them all the dates that are available. If they register it's only $50 to register to save their spot. And then in the bottom we have our special rates if they sign up three weeks, five weeks or eight weeks.

Alright so that's our email system, guys. Again my name is Alex Davydov. I'm a franchise owner at Amerikick Martial Arts. I want to give applaud to a great tournament that we run. The first one is amerikickinternationals.com - make sure you guys check that out, it's a very organized event. The nycompetitions.com is my tournament that I run with my brother Rod which is also really good. If I do the next webinar, I would like to theme it to email sales pages.

And I want to share with you guys that we've just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and that we had our special deal running that I set up 10 weeks for 100 / over 100 people to that special. The same thing with our really cool we track email system that I've created as well. If you guys have any questions, you could always reach me through my email - amerikick1@gmail.com. Alright, Whitney, you can take it away from here and we can take some questions.

Whitney: Awesome, Alex, thank you so much that was fantastic. So we are going to open up to Q&A now. I know there have been some questions that have come in already. But if you have any more questions, please type them into the question box.