Sending emails is a simple, low-cost way to recruit prospective members and engage your current ones. And it’s pretty direct, as long as you can figure out how to cut through the inbox clutter. Luckily, your membership management software has features that can make those emails stand out — and help you save time, too!
Whether you’re using Oasis or Atlas, there are four features you should definitely be using to make your emails more effective:
1. Design options
With emails, you want them to really POP visually. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean with bright colors or outrageous graphics. Use the formatting and design options at your disposal to focus on strong branding (so the recipients immediately associate it with your organization) and creating plenty of balance between text, images, and white space. Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find out what is engaging for your audience!
2. Automated send
If you’re not already taking advantage of this feature, you should be! Being able to schedule your emails in advance is a huge time (and sanity) saver — especially for messages you’ll send on a regular, recurring basis like dues renewals and event reminders. Moreover, this capability also allows you to ensure your message will appear in the recipient's inbox at just the right moment for prime engagement.
3. Personalization and segmentation
People get hundreds of emails a day, so you want your messages to speak directly to them and their specific interests. Even if you’re sending emails in mass, you can use personalization features to insert a contact’s specific name, organization, title, etc. to accomplish that.
And as far as their interests, segmenting your members and prospective members based on certain attributes allows you to send more targeted communications. For example, if you’re a chamber of commerce sharing hospitality-related content, you could segment your list to only include member hotels, restaurants, catering companies, etc.
4. Email analytics
To determine the success of your emails, you’ll of course want to track how many contacts act on your call-to-action (paying dues, downloading content, etc.) but your email analytics — opens, clicks, unsubscribes — will tell you how well you’re getting your message across in the first place. Don’t just view the data and move on: use it to make tweaks to your messaging, timing, and formatting. You’ll know you’re on the right track if the data and action improves — numbers don’t lie!
Email can seem pretty basic — after all, we use it regularly day in and day out. But, there’s a lot to consider with a truly robust email marketing initiative. And email is cost-effective! For more best practices, download our guide:
This article was originally published on 4/30/19; updated on 8/25/20 for added value.