Serve up appetizing association email, not spam

spam plate
Dailey
Dailey Fly Member Support Specialist

How many of your members request to be unsubscribed from your association emails? Ever wonder why? After all, you’re just providing information that they want and need to be successful in the industry, right?

Chances are, your members may be too busy for fun association stuff.

Or, more than likely, the answer is that you’re spamming them.

Oxforddictionaries.com
has two definitions for spam; both kinds may be considered unpleasant and could find their way to the trash:

  1. Irrelevant or inappropriate messages sent on the Internet to a large number of recipients;
  2. A canned meat product made mainly from ham.

As associations, we are fortunate that our members provide their contact information, but it’s up to us to provide the presentation and planning to ensure our messages make it to the right audience.

Here are a few tips to keep your emails in the inbox and out of the black hole that is the spam box:

Sit down with your calendar and PLAN. Go month by month and see what events, classes, or deadlines you have and put them on the calendar. There may be several that can be marketed together. CONSOLIDATE your emails. Your goal is to send no more than two marketing emails a week to the same people. More than that and most likely they will go in the trash.

Timing is everything. When you are scheduling your emails, keep in mind that studies suggest the best time to send out email blasts (and have them read) is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Know your audience. We all know that capturing and retaining the attention of an audience can make or break a campaign, so keep your subject lines between five to eight words and 48 characters. None of these characters should be punctuation, especially exclamation marks. You don’t want your members shouting at you, so don’t shout at them.

Think short and sweet. The average reader spends 52 seconds reading an email, which means you have 52 seconds to provide a concise prompt for action. Your clients already have a website where members can find the association’s important information. Members just need to be led to the gold, so use hyperlinks to bring them to the information and let the website do the work.

Polish your email campaign. Branding is huge when it comes to email marketing. Email campaigns should coordinate your association’s color scheme, logo and a list of quick links to important pages on your website. Again, lead the member back to the website, which has the full story.

Proof, proof and then proof again. No one ever regretted not proofing their work. You don’t want to damage your association’s credibility and image with poor grammar and spelling errors.

At the end of the day, we are all consumers. Think about which emails you send to your own junk or trash box. Resolve to make the ones you send better than those! Remember to personalize emails as best you can and to thank members for their time and commitment to the organization.