If membership is the lifeblood of any association, then it’s imperative to have a sound recruitment and retention strategy that clearly defines the value of joining a group. Did you know that it costs up to 10x more to recruit new members than it does to retain them? You can’t have one without the other, so let’s examine some effective methods for gaining new members and keeping them.
Instead of taking a blanket approach to boosting membership, tap into existing data to target prospects who have already indicated they want to know more about what you have to offer. Identify those who have downloaded a whitepaper, inquired about upcoming meetings, purchased materials or interacted with your association on social media.
Once you know who you want to recruit, your number one priority is to clearly establish what value new members will gain by joining forces with you. This can range from attaining certifications to networking to having access to important industry news.
A great method for converting prospects to members is by sharing short videos of longtime members who can explain to prospects how they’ve benefitted from their membership with your organization. Highlight similarities between what your current members value and how that overlaps with what prospects are seeking.
As new members start to roll in, you’ll want to properly welcome them with…a welcome campaign. You can do this by creating a series of triggered emails that often kicks off with an introductory welcome message and is sent soon after a new member is added to your database.
There are two important best practices to keep in mind here. Since these people just paid money to join your organization, hold off on sending anything too sales-oriented right away. Instead, remind these newbies why they joined and the value their membership holds.
The best way to do this is to customize your welcome campaign messages based on the issues your new members have expressed interest in – webinars, awards, networking, etc. Simply put, targeted emails that subscribers find relevant can only help your open and click-thru rates.
You can’t win ‘em all, but just because a member doesn’t renew with you, there’s still a chance they could come back down the road. Try sending a survey to everyone who doesn’t renew their membership to find out why.
Maybe there is something you can offer that will bring them back. At the very least, this valuable feedback can help you unearth areas for improvement to make each member’s experience more rewarding.
Looking for more ideas? Take a look at this webinar, Attract, Recruit and Retain: Effectively Communicating Member Value, for more strategies to boost your membership numbers.
Everyone on the Informz team is busy preparing for the arrival of our clients in Saratoga Springs on October 16th. We can’t wait to have our superfans in town! I asked a handful of members of the Informz team to share why they think this event is a must-attend for Informz users. To keep it interesting, I asked them to keep it short — 7 words or less — and simple. Here’s what they had to say.
That’s right — it’s free. There are no early-bird, super early-bird, or late fees to worry about, because there are no fees at all! Just find your way to Saratoga Springs and we’ll take care of the rest. Lunch and a reception on our rooftop patio on day 1 are also included.
We have an entire session on day 1 dedicated to deliverability, Arriving Safely at the Inbox. If you’re staying for day 2, schedule one-on-one time with Greg to chat about deliverability issues and questions you have.
Kevin is covering design best practices, the importance of branding, and rendering. His presentation is peppered with responsive design and mobile trends, too.
Your trusty eMarketing Advisor will be onsite both days so you can finally put a name to a face. If you want to sit down and talk strategy, schedule one-on-one time on day 2.
Located in the heart of Downtown Saratoga Springs, our office is steps away from fabulous restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. The fall foliage is not to be missed.
From one-on-one meetings to in-depth Informz training sessions, this is the perfect event for both new and seasoned Informz users. Some highlights of the training include:
Microsoft is quickly shifting their Outlook platform from desktop to the web. We first saw Hotmail.com change to Outlook.com, and now their desktop component is changing into a paid subscription based service online: Outlook 365. A new addition to the already long list of email clients available online, 365 is already displaying signs of stubbornness (already known from Outlook by designers and users alike) when trying to keep layouts consistent between email clients. One inconsistency is with image splitting for multiple images positioned next to each other. In the past, adhering a display:block to the image itself would fix the error in web based email clients like Gmail, but needs more steps for Microsoft’s paid online service.
Let’s take this example of a banana split image:
Wow, that’s what I call a banana split split. Let’s go through how to fix this in Outlook 365. First, the image will need alignment set to the images itself. So setting the left image align=right, and right image align=left, will fuse the two sections together. We will also need to set style=”margin:0″ to prevent this fix from creating errors in Thunderbird and other email clients.
Lastly, we’ll need to wrap each image in a div tag. The div is already a block element, and can simulate the display:block property (although it’s good practice to keep the display:block property in each images for Gmail and older email clients). Also, give the div a height relative the image’s height. This will remove the unwanted gap below each image. Thus the code and final image should look like this:
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Now you can eat your ice cream sundae in peace and use images in Outlook 365.
Are you on a mission to create a more efficient email marketing program at your organization? Here are our favorite tools to keep in your back pocket to save time and money and elevate your efficiency and effectiveness.
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We are clearly big fans of integrated email marketing at Informz. If you want to do efficient email marketing, our go-to tip is to integrate as much as possible, primarily your email platform with your member database. The time savings you’ll discover when you are no longer pulling queries, uploading and downloading queries, and monitoring data integrity will open up your schedule and allow you to accomplish more on your to-do list than ever before. One organization, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, saved over 300 staff hours when they integrated Informz with their AMS. (They also saved $38,000. Wow!)
In an effort to reduce the amount of time spent scratching your head and/or pulling out your hair trying to analyze reporting data (okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic), the Informz Mailing Summary Report quickly compiles stats from multiple emails and provides an easy-to-read analysis of results. Best day and time to send? No problem. Are you sending too much email? It’ll tell you. How engaged are your mobile readers? It can pull that too. This report houses a lot of valuable information based on past campaigns so you can strategically plan for future campaigns and increase results.
Benchmark data has shown that emails sent to smaller lists, when tend to be targeted and contain relevant information, have higher open and click rates than emails sent to larger lists. In a perfect world, every email you send would have custom content that’s been personalized to subscribers interests, but when your database contains thousands and thousands of members, breaking a big list down into smaller segments and sending dozens of smaller emails is going to be very time consuming. That’s where dynamic segmentation comes in. With dynamic segmentation, you can create one core newsletter and then make customized stories that only certain segments see. The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association uses this feature and has cut their email creation time in half.
As a marketer myself, I can honestly say that without our team’s communications calendar, we’d be lost! A communications calendar is the number one way to keep your team on track and ensure everyone is aware of all activities — past, present, and upcoming — to avoid miscommunication, which leads to inefficiency. The communications calendar right within Informz is a great tool to help you keep track of your email campaign schedule. You can even add non-Informz activities, like events, advertising, and social media posts, to keep all facets of your department covered.
Automated welcome emails tend to see higher levels of engagement than promotional emails because they are sent at the start of the subscription period, when subscribers are most interested in hearing from you. High levels of engagement at the start of a subscription period will lead to ongoing deliverability — keeping you at the top of the inbox. And let’s face it; an automated email is about as efficient as you could possibly be! Set it up once, and forget it. ASM International implemented an automated membership welcome campaign in lieu of printed materials. This campaign outperformed their average email open rates by 257% and cut $30,000 from their budget.
One of the newest Informz features, The Reviewer, has already created efficiencies for users. The American Academy of Neurology has saved at least 30 minutes per mailing with this tool! If the email review process has ever held you up from getting an email out on time, you might want to try using the Reviewer. The collaboration and feedback process has never been easier. The Reviewer will send a snapshot of your mailing to editors at your organization and collect comments, edits, and approval, notify you — the editor — and you can quickly make edits and updates. No more sifting through your inbox for feedback, fearing you’ll miss something. Get your emails out the door faster!
You may or may not know about our awesome team of email experts that are assisting clients with consulting and marketing strategy to increase revenue and email performance, but did you know that they will do the work for you, too? Allow our Professional Services team to step in and manage campaigns when your in-house email marketers are out on leave, switch jobs, or are busy with other things. Rest easy knowing that your email campaigns are in good hands.
Do you include articles from your website in your daily, weekly, or monthly newsletters? Try using RSS feeds to easily collect and feed stories into a newsletter. RSS feeds (which stands for RDF Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) are a standardized method that allows for the automatic update of content. Michigan Farm Bureau uses RSS feeds and has seen a time savings of 15 minutes per story, which adds up to a lot over an entire newsletter or a couple of newsletters each week. If you are already planning to load articles to your website, be more efficient by setting up an RSS template and pull in the teaser and headline that are already hyperlinked.
If you have an active presence on social media and you share your email communications with your social audience, cut one step out of your process and use social posting. During the email setup process, select the accounts you want to post to and craft the message you want to appear before the link to your mailing. Don’t worry about counting the characters; we’ve taken care of that based on the type of account you’ve selected and reserved enough space for your shortened URL. Then, after your mailing is created and before you send, preview your social posts and modify them if you’d like. You can even view how many people have clicked on the link in the social posts, and when they’ve clicked in the Mailing Activity Report. Now you can have true insight into your social media followers and eliminate the need to manually post to Twitter or Facebook.
What email marketing tools have you used to save time in your day?
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