Email Marketing For Community Associations: Messages Members Will Keep Reading
If you operate a member-based organization, you know that member engagement is paramount to the your success. The more absorbed your members are, the better it is for morale in the organization, as well as communication and turnout at member-only events.
One key strategy to connect with your members is to conduct and send out a digital newsletter. According to the 2015 DMA National Client Email Report, email campaigns generate $38 for every $1 spent. This shows us just how powerful email campaigns can be for your marketing strategy.
But it takes more than just words in an email to craft a newsletter that your members will look forward to. Here are our tips for writing newsletters that your members will be looking forward to.
Draft Up Mobile-Friendly Newsletters
Did you know that 46% email views come from mobile phones? Increasingly, more and more people are viewing emails on their smartphones, as opposed to their desktop computers. It’s never been more important to send a test draft to yourself, and make sure everything works in mobile before scheduling an email to go out.
Don't use too many columns in your text, and make sure the copy is spaced out evenly. When displayed on mobile, a paragraph can appear much longer, making it harder to read than it actually is.
Write Enticing Subject Lines—But Don’t Write Click Bait
The best newsletters are the ones that make the receiver curious, but still provide the value promised upfront. Your subject line of your newsletter should do exactly this: tell your members what they will get in the newsletter, but perhaps leave out just enough out to make them curious.
For example, if you were going to write ‘Tips for saving water this summer using your sprinkler’, try writing ‘Here’s how much water you could save with these sprinkler tips.' It provides more context as to the value the reader will get out of the newsletter, that they will learn how much water they will save.
Your audience is likely quite like you and responds to the same messaging you do. Ask yourself, “Would I want to open this email?” If the answer is no, review your subject line again and workshop again if needed.
Use a Name Instead of The Organization as a Sender
Think about the last piece of physical junk mail you received in the mail. Did you open it? If not, why? It's likely that, if the sender was a group or an organization, you made assumptions on what was inside, and decided before even opening it that you weren’t interested. Your members may do the same with your emails when they appear to come from an entire organization rather than just one person.
Instead, using your name (i.e. “________ from ____________”) will help establish that you are a person, writing a message just for them. This can help improve your chances of your message being opened for several reasons. Most people don’t feel compelled to open emails that don’t seem personal and receiving one from an organization does not feel personal at all.
Keep The Content Brief Where You Can
How brief depends on your distribution schedule, and how often your members receive updates. If you schedule your newsletters for once a week, then your members may require more information. However, if you distribute them more often than that, we recommend keeping your content down to the essentials, and then sending your members back to your website for more information.
As you prepare for the next newsletter, take note of updates, announcements and events that your members need to know about, and group them together appropriately within the body of the newsletter. Avoid writing that is too sales-driven, or too marketing-heavy, and instead focus on writing the way that you would talk to your members in person.
Send Out Emails On a Set Schedule
Tuesdays tend to be the days with the highest open rates on emails, but you can experiment with this and see what day of the week, and what time, your subscribers respond to. Perhaps your members go through their emails all at once on the weekend, or they read them on their lunch break at work.
Either way, once you figure out what day seems to garner the most engagement, set a schedule for newsletter campaigns and stick to it. This will help your members know what to expect in your newsletter, and when to expect it.
Segment Your Audiences For More Specific Newsletters
In email marketing, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Your newsletters need to be tailored to specific audiences. After all, you probably don’t talk to prospective members the way that you speak to current members, right?
Segmenting your audience doesn’t have to be a daunting, time-consuming task, either. Start simple by grouping your contacts by their demographics, including where they live, how old they are, and any other information applicable to your organization. You can collect this data from your CRM when members sign up, but make sure to allow an option for them to opt-in for newsletters.
Even if you don’t use your segments right away, it is a good idea to group your like-minded members together on the mailing list. You can always add all of your segments to your newsletter, but you can’t take specific groups away from one mailing list.
Effortlessly Engage With Your Community Members
When everything is said and done, you want to continue expanding on the sense of community you have built with your members. Xplor Recreation helps you do just that—with ease! Our platform tightly integrates with your existing website, enabling you to run your scheduling, marketing, billing, POS, and more from one easy-to-use system.
Xplor Recreation is fully responsive, so students and visitors can use any smart device to register, purchase, and view offers. Learn more about how Xplor Recreation can help you generate new leads, engage your existing members and even win back your former ones with email nurturing programs.