Can Email Make You Feel Lucky?
Have you ever felt lucky to belong to an organization? Fraternities or sororities, sports teams, charities, local advocacy groups; whatever the type may be that sense of belonging can make you feel lucky, like you’re special. I recently experienced this very thing with a gym I joined. The same day that I signed up online I received a phone call where they asked questions about my goals, what I wanted, what my needs are, and so on. Since then I have seen an impressive nurturing campaign with a strong mix of emails, texts, and social posts all encouraging me to reach my goals. I genuinely feel like I belong to something and I’m lucky that I am a member.
How did this happen? I mean, it’s a gym class! I am paying someone to make me do things that hurt for an hour when I could just go home and make myself a drink, and I feel lucky for letting them do it? Yep, and it’s a perfect example for what every association should try to establish with their members. So how do you use a nurture campaign to make your members feel lucky?
First and foremost, know what you are trying to say in the campaign. You don’t need to cram a month’s worth of information into one email. You know how awesome your organization is – make sure your members do as well. Structure your campaign in such a way that each email has something different to offer. For example, one email from my gym may be about an upcoming appointment, the next about nutrition, then one about improving recovery. This variation keeps the messages fresh and members eager to see what you are going to send next.
Establish the Relationship
The first few weeks after someone joins an organization are the most crucial for helping them understand the benefits of membership and establishing the relationship to make them advocates for your brand. If you do not currently have a welcome campaign for new members, start here. You want them to feel appreciated and like a valued member, so continue the conversation once they join. Pay attention to important dates too, like membership anniversary dates or birthdays. Letting them know that you appreciate them with a simple “thank you” type of email goes a long way.
Know Your Audience
Did you notice the questions I was asked in my story about the gym? What were my goals, what are my needs, what do I want. Instead of saying “this is what we can do for you,” they flipped it so that I was the focal point. This is important because not only did they still get their message across, but they also got more information out of me than they would have otherwise. Changing the focus to your members will allow you to get a better sense of what they are interested in. Preference centers are great ways to learn more about your audience and what they want to hear about, but they should not be your only source. Pay attention to the content they interact with in your emails, the pages they visit on your website, whether they follow you on social media, etc. and use this information to customize your messages with relevant content that speaks to their needs.
In the 2015 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, marketers listed members not being able to justify membership costs as one of the top reasons people do not renew. Many times, this can be prevented by ensuring that your members are taking advantage of everything they have at their disposal. Create a campaign that targets people that have not visited your website in more than 30 days, identify people that have not leveraged online content, community, or other “members only” areas that you may have. Being proactive to help your members get the most out of their membership can result in higher renewals down the line.
Test What Works
By knowing what content your subscribers engage with more often, you can structure your email in a way that the most relevant story appears first. Content does not have to be the only area you personalize. If you know a specific story will resonate better with certain subscribers, test using targeted subject lines that references the pertinent stories.
No matter how you communicate with your members, use what you know to deliver a stronger message that deepens their connection with you and ultimately makes them feel lucky to be a part of your organization.
Ready to get started with automated campaigns? Check out our How to Create Effective Automated Campaigns guide, which includes a welcome campaign template to get you started.