As a member-based organization, your goals differ from traditional businesses. While many companies focus on gaining leads and making sales, your priorities are different. For you, it’s all about engaging with and providing value for your current members.
The nuance of bringing value to your members is challenging, especially in an organization where your marketing team is pulling double or triple duty. Your focus is on giving your members the information and connections they can’t get on their own. But, with an overworked team, maintaining consistent, effective member communication can fall to the back burner.
With marketing automation and these tips, you can stay on top of your communications, providing efficient, regular outreach to increase engagement and bolster your member community.
1. Understand What Your Members Value
Generic communications about who you are and what you do can only go so far. For impactful content that engages your constituents, you must understand what your members value. Market research can help you discover areas like legislative or environmental news, valuable events and partnerships, or grants and discounts relevant to your members. Your goal is to establish the value of their donations or member dues clearly – it’s why you matter.
Marketing automation can assist in understanding what your members value through targeted A/B email testing. You can send out one correspondence highlighting a relevant event and another that details specific grants your members can access. See which gets more engagement, and you’ve got your answer on which has the higher value.
2. Establish Automated Journeys
Automated journeys are the cornerstone of effective outreach. With marketing automation, you can set up specific email cadences based on various elements. These journeys are all about efficiency. You set up a journey once, and you’ve got an established, consistent messaging cadence to engage your members. You can be assured you’re hitting critical touchpoints without additional administrative overhead.
Some common member journeys include:
- Membership renewal reminders
- Funding application reminders
- Event-based journeys to promote and follow-up on happenings
- Donation and membership thank-you journeys, including end of quarter or end of year follow-ups
These are just a few examples of the paths you can set up to engage and nurture your membership. The beauty of an automated journey is that you can increase your engagement without increasing your staff.
3. Track Member Engagement
The marking of quality communications is engagement. Do recipients open your emails? Click on links? Fill out forms? If you don’t have this data, you’re essentially operating in a vacuum. Marketing automation runs on data and provides a wealth of stats. Unlike email marketing platforms, marketing automation can go beyond tracking deliverability and open data. Once you understand which members are taking what actions, and which are taking no action at all, you can adjust your journeys and content to increase engagement.
4. Sustain List Integrity
Contact list integrity is one of the areas that gets away from organizations the most. You may see a contact list of thousands but be surprised to see only a few hundred received your message. Old or incorrectly entered contact information can easily slip through if you’re not paying attention. Regularly clean up your contact lists to ensure your message is getting out.
Another great way to keep your list updated is to let recipients update their information and preferences. Marketing automation tools have the option to allow recipients to log into a portal and change their contact info, list preferences, and even preferred contact method. Giving members the ability to self-select what information they want to receive will increase deliverability and provide insights into what content resonates with your constituents.
5. Maintain Deliverability
After investing in popular email marketing systems, organizations are often shocked to find that their messages are not getting through. Spam filters have become more sophisticated, and your messages could be blocked for several reasons. Suspect subject lines, “spammy” content, or even flagged origin addresses associated with mass-email systems can block delivery.
Before investing in a system, do your research. Different tools have different success rates, and you may be surprised to find that the most popular have shockingly low deliverability. Pay attention to reviews about blocked delivery. You want a system, like marketing automation tools, that can identify and flag issues before emails send. If a system has low deliverability or poor tracking, money saved upfront may cost you two or three-fold in lost dues or donations down the line.
Get the Help You Need
Email marketing is incredibly powerful, but it isn’t as simple as it seems. Email has one of the highest ROIs of any marketing channel, making an estimated $42 for every $1 invested in your systems. But that’s only if it’s done right.
If you’re struggling with your current system or have yet to establish your email marketing journey, it’s worth it to get help to do it right. Low open rates, spotty deliverability, and minimal engagement can be maddening. Remove barriers by investing in experts like the team at NuGrowth Solutions.
Our team is poised to help any organization struggling with regular, consistent communication. With a clean subscription list, optimized email builds, and targeted campaigns, NuGrowth can help you increase member engagement and boost financial commitments.
Let us help you bring discipline to your communications, driving traffic, and growing membership for your organization. Check out our marketing campaign offerings and get in touch to start building your audience and engagement today.
Sarah Deak is a veteran copywriter and content strategist with NuGrowth Solutions. She likes to look for the unexpected angle and uses her background in education, business development, and marketing to create interesting and informative pieces to equip readers with actionable data