With social media all the rage, it can be tempting to ditch the email list for communicating with your association members. However, with constantly changing Facebook algorithms and the sheer volume of messages on platforms such as Twitter, there is no guarantee your audience will see your communication.
Email updates are still an incredibly valuable tool for delivering important information to your membership.
The key is to be aware of the pitfalls that this method of communication presents and to address them to remain effective.
Here are some common challenges for email communications.
Challenge: Everyone is lumped into one group.
With different audiences, such as prospective members, current members, vendors, and more, not all information is valuable to every member of your email list.
Over time, readers will not find your communications relevant.
Solution: Create multiple lists or list categories.
By segmenting your list, you can send targeted information based on each audience.
Recipients will pay attention to the emails they receive rather than skim or totally ignore them.
Use the category option within your email list software. If your membership marketing software email database does not allow you to segment your list, creating separate lists is an option.
Challenge: Emails are sent to meet a marketing deadline, rather than to share pertinent news.
Do you find yourself creating emails just so you can cross something off your monthly to-do list, and then wonder why people aren’t reading your newsletter? An editorial calendar may make things easier, but it can also take away from the emails because they become routine.
Solution: Send emails when there is something important to share.
Of course, staying top of mind is important, too. Conduct tests to find out the perfect frequency for sharing news.
Challenge: Not receiving email subscriber data (or not reviewing it)
Are you using Microsoft Outlook to send out your group emails? While using tools you already have may seem obvious, you are missing out on extremely helpful data.
Solution: Use list dedicated software.
Using membership management software or an email list tool, you will gain access to data that will help you improve your emails.
Knowing items such as the open rate, click through rates, and more can provide feedback that will help you improve your emails.
Email, when used well, can be an extremely effective way to share information your association members will find beneficial. Steer clear of these challenges, and you will rediscover the value of email communication.