Email, social media, messaging apps — oh my! It’s safe to say that the abundance of communications channels available these days have made keeping up slightly overwhelming.
If you think your members may be experiencing “communications fatigue,” it can be hard to keep them engaged. Take a look at these four things you can do to ensure your members stay in-the-know:
1. Ask for their preferences
First thing’s first, take a moment to ask members specifically what they want to hear about, and how. (Some may want to only receive information over email, while others may want reminders in as many places as possible.) If you know what topics they’re interested in, you won’t have to bother them with other information. We do recommend always sending important news and announcements to everyone, but generally those are few and far between.
2. Be more strategic with segmentation
Getting more specific with what you’re communicating and to whom will make all of your communications more relevant – and, therefore, engaging. Asking for those preferences will help you get started on segmentation, but you can do some on your own as well.
For example, a group of young professionals from a certain area of town may only want to hear about events happening near them. When trying to segment a specific message, always think about what details might only be important or valuable to groups within your membership. Even if it’s a small group, it’s almost always worth the extra effort to send them a separate message.
3. Try something new
One way to REALLY cut through the clutter is to use a communication channel you’ve never tried before. Instagram, LinkedIn, SMS (or text messaging), etc. — the possibilities are (seemingly) endless, and would surely be unexpected if members aren’t used to hearing from you that way.
Do your best to stay on top of communication trends, and don’t be afraid to try something new! You never know what you’ll stumble upon. And if it doesn’t resonate with your members, and least you know! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
4. Be refreshing
When you write a communication, try to write it similar to how you’d say it if you were chatting with someone on the topic. The topic of your communication will dictate your tone, but generally we recommend to keep it casual! Yes, there’s a time to be straightforward and a little more buttoned-up, but many organizations are moving toward a friendlier tone these days simply because it’s more relatable. We’re all humans here, so talk — or, in this case, write — like one! Start by using simpler language (shorter words, conjunctions, etc.), and adding in your sense of humor.
Fact is, you have to be able to get through to your members in order to effectively engage them. Email marketing is one way to reach a lot of people at little to no cost. Brush off your association or chamber’s email marketing program with our best practices guide:
Originally published on 8/15/18; updated on 12/29/20 for added value and clarity.