One of the most effective and low-cost marketing methods for fitness professionals is through email marketing. If you're just starting your fitness business, email marketing is the first place you should focus to promote and build your business. Email marketing is low-cost and requires minimal time. More importantly, email marketing gives you a platform to enable potential clients to get to know you and like you and then hopefully to trust you enough to pay you for your services.

Here is a quick five-step formula that will help you systematize and demystify email marketing, especially if you're new to it.

1. Sign up for an email marketing platform and familiarize yourself with the options available. There are several platforms out there that offer very reasonable monthly subscriptions for all budgets; many with free trials and no contracts. www.fitpronewsletter.com, www.aweber.com and www.constantcontact.com are just a few of the options out there to compare and see what is the best fit for your needs.

2. Build your list of email subscribers. There are a few laws and regulations to be aware of when it comes to email marketing, but the most important to know is that you must receive permission to add someone's email address to your distribution list. The easiest way to get blocked by spam filters (and make lots of enemies) is to add email addresses to your list without permission. Each of the platforms mentioned above have easy ways to increase your list and with the power of Facebook and other social media, you can very quickly grow your list of loyal followers.

3. Consistency is the key! You can have great information to offer your subscribers, but if you're not consistent, your emails will be dead to the delete button. Your subscribers need to learn to trust you, so consistency is key. Pick a day of the week each week or every other week that you will send your email. Or try the 1st and 15th of each month, for example. Whatever your schedule, you must be consistent to be effective.

4. Give and give, then ask. Try a 60%/40% ratio of your "giving" emails to your "asking" emails. If you are consistently giving good information to your subscribers like recipes, motivation, workout tips and advice, etc. you should feel as though you've earned your opportunity to ask for them for the sale. Keep in mind, you are always "promoting" yourself and the value you can bring to their lives; it's just in those 40% of emails, you're directly asking them to take an action. By giving them good information, you are showing them that they can know and like you then trust you enough to invest in your services.

5. Find your "voice." Writing does not come naturally to everyone, but don't let that keep you from email marketing. As you become more consistent with your writing you will "find your voice" and it will come more easily to you... just give yourself some time, the rewards will pay off multifold. Follow other leaders who are successful email marketers both in and out of the fitness industry. What are they writing about? Pay attention to their writing style, content and marketing schedule. It goes without saying that plagiarism is absolutely off-limits, but following successful fitness professionals who have mastered email marketing will keep you on top of your email marketing game and differentiate you as an extraordinary professional.