Email communication is not only the norm, it’s outright expected. But when your members open their email inboxes they’re buried under work notes of varying importance, blog subscriptions, social media notifications, message board updates, dozens of newsletters, ads, spam, and then maybe some personal correspondence too. How is your association communication supposed to get through all that mess?
Here are five ways to improve your association’s email communication:
1) Dress up your newsletter
In fact, is it time to spend a little time on your newsletter in general? Make sure your templates are easy to use and fit in with your associations’ brand. Is it pleasant to look at? Are you relaying important information? Do your members find some benefit from reading it beyond just updates in your association news? Give them a reason to never delete it!
2) Get your timing perfect
Because members are constantly barraged with information in this form, make sure your timing is right. When are your members likely to be sitting at their computers with a minute to read over your email? Will they see it pop up in their inbox, when there’s a much greater chance of them reading it, or will it sit in there for awhile before they get to it, if ever? Timing is important!
3) Send less often
The blanket term, unfortunately, for emailing (or any kind of communication) too often is “spam” and even though your emails are not unsolicited or intending harm, you don’t want to be lumped into that category. Only email as necessary or on a regular, prescheduled basis like with a newsletter. Don’t get annoying! It’s really easy on most email platforms for a user to just click “mark as spam” and then you’re automatically shuffled to a box that never gets looked at, and that’s not the kind of reputation you want!
4) Remind members to check spam and “promotion” folders
Sometimes you wind up in that folder by accident. Also, Gmail updated their email platforms for the ease of use of their members by adding two folders to sort email, the “social” folder for social media updates and the promotions folder for offers and ads. But it’s not a flawless system. Things wind up in the wrong folder all the time. Remind your members, especially gmail users, to check their spam and promotions folders for association communications. Then they can set their preferences to allow your emails to go directly to their inbox.
5) Cherry pick your content
The content is the most important thing about your email communications that will get your association recognized and read. Before you hit send, consider the following questions: do my members need this? Can my members use this? Will this entertain my members? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, go ahead and hit send. If not, maybe save that information for a meeting or send it to a smaller subset of people who are interested. Not all emails should go to everyone!
There are probably several more things you should consider when it comes to freshening up your email efforts, but mostly it involves zeroing in on your members. Engagement is key! What are they looking for and what do they want? Answer those questions and everything, including email communications, will be a breeze!