To build community and grow your association you need to retain current members, attract new ones, and most importantly, grow engagement. Providing rich content and connecting personally makes email marketing a communication channel you cannot ignore.
Here are 5 emails associations should be sending:
1) Anniversary Emails
Important dates to your members are a great reason to reach out with an email. For example, you can send out an email wishing a happy membership anniversary or happy birthday email. Two things are accomplished with these emails; showing your members that you care and putting your association top of mind.
These types of anniversary emails should be personalized and not generic. Use the information you have about your members to customize their emails.
“Happy 2 Year Anniversary, Crystal!” is much better than “Happy Anniversary!”
2) Welcome Emails
You only get to make one first impression – that’s true, even with email. You won’t get a second chance to e-introduce yourself. Welcome every new member joining or wishing to join your association with a friendly, helpful and personalized email.
You can use various association management systems to automate the process of sending out your customized welcome email to new members. All you need to do is integrate your association’s contact database lists with an email marketing tool.
Make sure to point them in the direction of helpful resources without giving them too much homework right off the bat.
3) Renewal Reminder Emails
Retaining membership is vital for your association’s growth. Reminder emails can help to remove the friction of renewing a membership. Your members have busy lives and renewal can be easy to forget – don’t make them seek it out, make it easy. If you have the tools, you can even offer them the option to automatically renew every year.
Try not to spam them with a salesy pitch to renew their membership. A nice friendly reminder email will do fine. It’s an excellent customer support gesture to remind them of the approaching expiry date. If you have to send additional reminders, do so with at least a few days in between.
4) Email Newsletters
All associations should be sending an email newsletter. It could be sent weekly or monthly, it could be full of blog posts or links to events – the directions an association email newsletter could go are endless.
Two huge benefits of an email newsletter:
Providing Value: If you can create a really content-rich newsletter, you have half won the battle to engage with the target audience. Your members expect to get value from being a part of your association, and this is a great way to deliver it. Include informative and interesting content written by your association or by relevant external sources.
Increasing Engagement: There are so many ways to engage with your members, but your association should have a strong focus on email. It’s one of the few ways to directly communicate with someone without anything getting in the way. Social media channels have complicated algorithms to navigate and live events don’t give you the chance to speak to everyone individually. An email inbox is the best way to relevantly and regularly stay top of mind with your members.
5) Survey Emails
Survey emails are a great way to get to know your members better and show them you care about their feedback. They are exceptionally effective in capturing information about your members that can help you to improve their experience with your association.
Three scenarios to use survey emails:
- When a new member joins your association: Get as much info as you can. Your first few emails with new members could get the highest engagement, take advantage of it.
- When an existing member decides or shows intent to leave your association: Exit surveys can be a great way to collect valuable feedback and to learn more about your associations’ weaknesses. Ask, learn, improve.
- Whenever your association is about to hold a big event: Ask for more than just contact information. Take this opportunity to ask what your member is hoping to gain from this experience. Events are an important part of member engagement, don’t miss an opportunity to provide a better experience.
Ideas for questions to send in a survey to members:
- What do you like about being a part of this association?
- What types of content would be most valuable for this association to provide?
- What style of event would you most like to attend? Virtual? In-person?
- How satisfied you with the association’s services and why?