Email Marketing Strategy for Associations


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In this presentation, we discuss tips and strategies for a successful email marketing strategy, with specific examples for Associations and Non-Profits. You can expect to learn why having a multi-channel marketing strategy is important, how to target the right person with the right message, at the right time, examples of how you can use email marketing to increase member engagement, communicate value and promote events, and tips for a strong email marketing program.

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  • Now to clarify when I use the term “email” we are referring to “email Marketing”. What that means is we provide a service that allows users to easily create html messages that maintain their unique organizational branding - target those messages to a segmented list – and do things like schedule the mailing to be published at an appropriate time or be automatically triggered by an action, all while leverage our deliverability expertise so they can make sure the message reaches the inbox…. and gaining valuable metrics from the extensive reporting capabilities.. So basically - I refer to “email” we are not referring to just creating and sending text based messages via Outlook. Email Marketing is so much more than that – and there are many ways you can utilize a tool like Informz. Because of emails ability to easily personalize emails with data and content and the fact that it is cost effective email can easily IT effectively fit in many areas of your association.So before we dive deeper into the strategy portion, lets look at some examples.
  • Let’s start with member retention. CLICK - One way email can help is in that it can be a great vehicle to conduct online surveys. Surveys should be a routine part of your email marketing strategy, not only does it help with engagement, but also things like: - also can provide feedback on what benefits get used the most - What benefits are most valuable to members - also what member interests areas are. If you keep them routine it will allow you just to ask 3-4 questions which will typically garner higher response rates. Also another good idea - like in the example on screen it also can provide valuable feedback when conducting an exit survey to understand why members aren’t renewing.CLICK - Email also can deliver information on member benefits and can help you communicate the value of the benefits. You should leverage your database and even survey data to personalize these benefit emails to send benefit information to that a member is most interested in. Another great way to target benefit information is to first year members which are the toughest to retain and communicating value is especially important. So you can clearly demonstrate all of the benefits available and what the value of the benefit is. Also, if they are clickable to your website or landing page you can then track the click thrus and target future emails based on that information.CLICK - And also, obviously the other side of member retention is having a renewal plan. Its recommended that members receive at least three personalized renewal notices – with direct mail that can get costly so email can be a cost effective way to send these renewal notices – also , by making renewing easy sending an email where you link to online renewal where members can use a credit card can make them more likely to renew. Also emails with incentives for early renewals, pre-renewal communications outlining the value of the organization to the member that you send in the months leading up to renewal date.
  • Email also can be highly effective in marketing your events or your annual conference.For example, one client APIC used email marketing as a tool to increase event attendance at their 2010 annual conference. They used the integration with their data base to segment messages into groups like Membership sections, Previous attendees, Non-members from similar medical associations, International members, Geographic region and had great success.The they would specifically outline the conference benefits that the recipient would be most interested in and find the most value in (as you can see in the example on screen.) This made their conference messages super target, personalized, and therefore super relevant to the individual recipient. We’ll talk more about sending targeted emails and relevancy in just a few minutes.
  • Email also can be a great tool to help in collecting non-dues revenue. A perfect way to do this is selling ad space in your emails and enewewsletters. With email you can easily add Ad space to your templates and then report click thrus back to advertisers to demonstrate results. Also, if you already have an ad program you can add email as part of a comprehensive advertising package where someone can have ad space on your website, in your direct mail pieces, in your online community and then your email as well and you can the place a higher price tag on this more comprehensive package. CLICKAlso you can promote products you sell and then have automated emails that sends a discount off their next order after they purchase or targets products based off of interest areas.
  • Another area email can be a highly effective tool is when organizations are looking to cut money from their budget or looking to improve staff processes. Email is great at this because it is so much cheaper than the paper and postage costs of direct mail. And also designing emails and things like triggered and automated emails are easier and efficient to produce.At Informz we see this all the time but one great real – life example of this is in one of our clients AWHONN. They were looking to cut a significant amount from their budget and they thought to look at transitioning some of their traditionally printed pieces over to email. One significant area was their big bi-annual news publication. By moving the piece to an electronic PDF they were able to now produce a 4 colo piece because of costs they were proiously limited to only two color. Also because they could pass the PDF around internally and make changes as needed with out needing to communicate to a mail house and wait for changes they also found the process to be significantly easier. IN the end they experienced a cost savings of nearly $60,000 and saved over 80 hours of staff time.
  • So now that you have a better idea of some areas emarketing can be implemented at your association lets move on to talking about a smart emarketing strategy.
  • When thinking about your strategy your success the two things that I always stress to clients– A. you want to integrate your communication strategy so your messaging is consistent across all of your marketing communications channels and B. you want to strive to target the right person with the right message at the right time.
  • First lets start by talking about what I mean when I say integrating your communications strategy --- I want to make it clear that we aren’t saying anything like direct mail is dead-- Now, more than ever – the key is to utilize multiple channels and integrating your messaging across all of them.-when your formulating your strategy, remember that email is just one of the tools in your arsenal. You should start by thinking about your message, whatever it may be, and how you can tell it in a compelling way to best connect with your audience. Then from there, decide on how you can integrate that messaging across all of the channels available to you and use them to compliment each other and extend the reach of your message – and allow people to be a part of more touch points from your org because that is going to make them more engaged.. So its very important to ensure that each of your marketing channels don’t operate in a vacuum – use them to enhance each other and connect with your audience on more levels.
  • When used as one component of your overall marketing program – email can be very powerful tool to help you do things like enhance the messaging of other channels, to drive people to take action, and promote and drive them to other channels. Really, email fits perfectly with all of your other marketing initiatives.For example, when thinking of direct mail and email people always think its one or the other. But think of the power of your marketing if you use them both. For example with a fundraising appeal or your membership drive – most people know that direct mail is still really effective for people here. But with email you can announce for people to keep an eye out for it in their mailbox – and then also use email as a way to follow up after the piece arrives reinforcing your message asking them to take action. With consistent messaging that person has now easily received 3 touch points from your renewal or fundraising campaign. Also, another example is to think about things like your public social media pages or your online member community – how else are you going to make people aware your these sites or communicate the value and benefits of it – email is a natural choice.
  • So for example look at some of the examples on screen of how well social media and email play together. I love to use this example because so often these are channels that people either don’t use together OR think that it is one over another.So as you can see on screen. Studies have found that social networking users check actually their email inboxes more frequently than those who aren’t using social sites -and also the more someone uses social networking, the more they actually consume email overall.(CLICK)studies have also found that a majority of the social network users actually said that they used the same e-mail address for their social activities as they gave for e-mail marketing campaigns they opt in to. So therefore, we know that these people are often receiving social networking updates to their email account and their checking those email accounts very frequently – and it’s the same email address they are subscribing to your email campaigns with - so therefore they are easily putting themselves in reach of email marketers. Here at Informz we’ve had numerous clients that have had great success integrating their marketing strategy across channels and with using email to launch and promote their public social networking communities as well as member only online communities.
  • One such example is the society of marketing professional services that used email as a core component of the launch of their member online community. They did a great job of using email to explain the value of the community and how to use and log in to the communitey. They also were great at cross promoting – they used their monthly enewsletter to include articles on the communitey, sent follow up campaigns with different messaging to those that didn’t take actions and also promoted on their website, in their annual magazine, and at various meetings. From the emails campaigns alone they were able to generate 716 active profiles in the community in under 6 months.
  • So to recap our first goal of integrating your marketing strategy – its important to remember that when thinking of your email strategy and how you’ll fit it into the mix – instead of starting with your email campaign you should start by thinking of the story of your organization and what your goal is – and then how you can use all of those channels together for your messaging – email is just one component of your overall strategy. Also that email naturally works well with your other channels and is a cost-effective tool that can be used to drive people to other channels and drive people to take action.
  • Ok so the second goal for a strong email marketing strategy is mastering the art of targeting the right person with the right message at the right time. So what this means is that if you are still blasting your emails to everyone in your database – and blasting is a term we HATE at informz then you are not really doing email marketing. To really have success and achieve a good return on your investment you need to start targeting and stop blasting CLICKBy segmenting your audience and targeting your messages to them you are going to start sending your members targeted and relevant messages and that is when you will see real results. It may be a little bit of work up front but in the end not only will you have results – but you will make your staff process more efficient. Lets take a look…
  • Step 1 is targeting that right person.First you want to start by identifying the right person or target group for your message. Now when you’re targeting this can be anything like profile or demographic information you collect in your database – or you can identify people based behavioral things like actions taken and this can be very effective tactic – just look at the success of companies like Amazon that are great at behavioral targeting. You can use your leverage database to reference past actions – like whether they attended an event or not.Or in Informz there’s an action based targeting tool where you can automatically create target groups for people that have clicked a certain link in an email or answered a specific question on a survey. By sending an email based upon an action and referencing it in your email – you have now achieved email relevancy. And this type of targeting can improve your response rates of 20% or more.An example of how you can use this is lets say you have an prospective members you are sending an email to about the benefits of membership. You can set up an action based target group for anyone that clicks a link your mailing for information on a certain type of benefit. Then That person will automatically be put in a target group and can be used for a future email.
  • Which leads us to step 2 about now sending that person the right message.You now have those target groups with people who click for more information on certain benefits – and now you know they have an interest in those areas – now you’re going to want to target them with messages that promotes the benefits most of interest to them. Like I’ve mentioned already -- THE MORE TARGETED AND RELEVANT YOUR MESSAGE THE MORE SUCCESSFUL – BOTTOM LINE.You can then segment out the people that took no action have different messaging for them – you may want to have a stronger message or maybe an incentive to take action.With dynaminc segmentation in Informz we have you can target each of the messages to the apporpriate target group – all within one email – and the appropriate recipient is only going to receive the message that is appropriate for them..You can see from the example on screen as one client did you can send each person target language and details for them.
  • Now you have identified the right person and their appropriate message – but that doesn’t do you any good if there person doesn’t read your message. SO the last part of this equation is sending this at the right time. This one can be tricky, BUTthere are a few ways Informz can help you do this….and this is why email is really great because no other channel can really allow you to do this part of the equation - timing.The first is through AUTOMATION – so sticking with same example of that prospective member that clicked on a link about a certain member benefit in your latest email. Well using automation – maybe you send a follow up email automatically to the person a few minutes after they click. This could be an email offer a special new member discount or send more detailed information relevant to that benefit or interest area. Well Now what you’ve done is you’ve hit them with the offer right when they’re already thinking about your organization – and this is a time when they may be more likely to take action. And the real beauty of this is you just set up the mailing and that action based target group and then forget it – it will roll out automatically for you.Now the other way to help you determine on the right time to send your message is utilizing the ANALYTICS CENTER to determine best times and day to send. This will look at your mailings how you determine – so by folder or by campaign –and over the date period you would like – and it will show you easy to read graphs that are going to identify the days of the week and the times of days that are best for you to send – you’ll see when you have the highest delivery, highest opens and clicks. This is important information to be aware of.Then probably the coolest new feature we have is our new SEND TIME OPTIMIZATION feature – this learns the behavior of the people that you send to and will automatically send your email out over a 24 hour period of time at the time they are most likely to open. If it’s the first time you send to that person it will send it at the time most people on that domain are open emails the most.So in the end – as you can see - email by nature is one of the best tool to enable you to target the right message to the right person at the right time. And mastering this equation is going to lead to great results for your campaigns and is going to maximize your roi.
  • Now that we’ve review the goals for a successful email strategy and some examples for using email marketing to be more effective at your association or non-profit – I know everyone is ready to start email marketing at their organization OR you’re ready to step it up a notch and move away from the dreaded email blast and start email marketing.So now lets go ahead and dive a little bit more into the logistics of email marketing itself and review our top 10 tips for successful email marketing campaigns.
  • This is important because if you are integrating your messaging across channels you want to make sure that you are doing a good job of balancing the recency and frequency of messages across all of the channels. You want to avoid sending too many messgaes and risk annoying your subscribers – but you want to send enough to stay in the forefront of peoples minds.This also can give you a good picture of how you messaging is targeted across all the different channels and can help you create balance to make sure you are targeting the proper channels.So in the calendar – this can be even a simple excel list - that lists out all of the communication pieces over every channel, that your audience will be receiving. Then Put an internal process in place that before sending an email, staff members need to consult the communications calendar.
  • This is important for a few reasons – when you are first getting subscribers you want to be able to collect information and preferences in the beginning do you can target your email programs to them appropriately.Also you want to set expectations about things like content and frequency right from the start – that way there are no surprises. Just make sure that you actually deliver on any promises you make in the sign up process.In the example on screen they list out the different options and have details. Then include a link to the form everywhere – on your website, all of your emails, social pages everywhere. I just had a client that increase there subscriber base by 5,000 people in under a year by cross promoting their newsletter on their webpage and social sites.
  • As with all forms of marketing Branding is so important in email marketing. With email once your email is opened you generally have about 3 seconds for some to get who you are and what is in your message – what you want them to do or what value is in it for them So make sure to maintain your schools branding in your email as well.Also, you want to bring that branding into your from address and subject line as well. People often times are receiving 100’s of emails a day and when they are scanning their inboxes they are looking for either email that is clearly spam or opt in email the they trust and want. So you obviously want yours to fall into that trusted and wanted category – so therefore use you schools name in the from address and again in the subject line.
  • First – don’t always just email people when you want something! You need to have a two sided relationship with people just like in real life relationships. So in addition to things like appeals – also make sure you are delivering content that is of value to them as well.Also make sure that you are delivering relevant, personalized content to your readers. Now when I say personalization I don’t just mean first name – true personalization is delivering content that is tailored to their interests and most relevant to them. So segment and target your messages wherever possible – things like major, reunion year, professors etc. This is when you are going to see the greatest results – one higher ed client – Wartburg college targeted email to alumni based on major and sees open rates of 50 -60% which is truly extrodinary.
  • Remember the more touchpoints a person is a part of from your school the more engaged they are likely to be.Use your email to promote other ways to connect online – you can use email to communicate the value they will get out of being a member of the social sites – and also you can influence what they go to the social sites for and how they use the social sites.Use your enewsletters as way to highlight things like the online member only community – you can highlight important discussions that are taking place, or new alums, or athletics as a way to reinforce the value of the communities.Also 90% activity within first 72 hours – keep the conversation going
  • This is a big one – because if someone shares your message with their network, they are sharing that with their entire network – this can make you visible to people you might not have reached otherwise. Also, come right out and ask people to share your email. Now having a successful sharing program isn’t just about having sharing links on your email and that’s it – you need to have valuable content that people want to share in order for them to take action.Informz has a social sharing feature – Track who is sharing what and on what sites – valuable info on what sites you should be on.
  • Surveys are great because it allows you to gain feedback from your audience directly. Also if it is clear you are making changes based upon feedback that they have provided that can demonstrate your commitment to them. Also links to things like surveys in your email – make your email interactive and also can increase engagement.
  • This is a big one – you want to be aware of who on your list isn’t engaged in your emails. This is important for 2 reasons. One obviously the more engaged people are with your emails the better results you are going to see.But also, now engagement in your emails is going to have an impact on your delivery. ISP’s – so that’s going to be personal email addresses – which is going to be a lot of people on your lists. So Isp’s are going to start to look at things like open and click thru rates in determining whether your email get delivered or not. So what you will want to do is identify who those inactive recipients are and then segment them out and target them with special messaging. Try using messaging like don’t miss out on our news up dates – click here to stay in the know. Then you can have it link to a form where you could give them the option to update their communication preferences. Then if someone doesn’t actively opt to stay involved you should remove them from the list – so you don’t impact your delivery rates and be more successful.
  • Test, test test! When I say testing is important I mean test 2 ways.First in terms of your effectiveness you want to routinely try testing different things to see what works best for your audience. Try testing out different types of subject lines and the different length of subject lines. Also try testing things like messaging and link placement – this is going to make you aware of the strategies that work best for your audience.CLICK Also, you want to make sure that you are testing the rendering of your email to make sure that it renders the way in which you intend. All email programs render HTML code differently, as well as now so many people are viewing things over mobile devices so you need to make sure that your email comes across correctly. We have a great tool in informz called the Virtual Inbox where you can test the rendering of your email against the most popular email programs AND mobile devices.Another big one is images – be aware that many email programs have images disabled by default – so if you’re using lots of images or one big image – and someone can’t see your images they could just immediately delete your email (Another thing that can impact your delivery!)
  • Now Analyzing – this goes hand in hand with your testing. In email marketing – and with your marketing programs – you want to try things out – analyze your results – implement what works – and then repeat! It is a cycle.You should also be watching things like your open and click thru rates on an ongoing basis. Not only does this help to determine your success – but also it will help you identify things like which items are most of interest to people – and also how your viral marketing is – so who is forwarding your emails and sharing with their networks – and where most people are sharing. This can help clue you into what sites are most popular with your audience.
  • Case studies are available on the examples discussed today visit our resource center to download.
  • Email Marketing Strategy for Associations

    1. 1. Email Marketing Strategy for Associations<br />Presenter: Lori ElyInformz<br />
    2. 2. Title<br /><ul><li>Bullet 1
    3. 3. Bullet 2
    4. 4. Bullet 3</li></li></ul><li>Email Marketing<br />There’s Email and There’s Email Marketing…<br />
    5. 5. Member Retention<br />Conduct online surveys<br />Communicate member benefits and value<br />Efficiently send member renewal notices<br />
    6. 6. Event & Conference Marketing<br />
    7. 7. Non-Dues Revenue<br />Non Dues Revenue<br />
    8. 8. Save Time and Money<br />AWHONN cut $60,000 & 80 hours staff time<br />“By using email, we were able to successfully meet our budgeting goals and streamline our member communication.”<br />Alan Chewning, Membership Marketing Specialist<br />
    9. 9. Your eMarketing Strategy<br />
    10. 10. Your eMarketing Strategy<br />Goal #1: Integrate your marketing communications strategy.<br />Goal #2: Target the right person with the right message, at the right time.<br />
    11. 11. Integrating your Marketing Strategy<br />Goal #1 Integrate your Marketing StrategyUse all of the channels available to you to create awareness and extend the reach of your messages. Use each channel to enhance and compliment each other.<br />
    12. 12. 11<br />How does email fit in the mix?<br />Email is a channel driver.- Website- Social media pages- Online community- Events- Direct mail pieces- Landing pages<br />Email<br />
    13. 13. For example, look how well email and social media play together…<br />12<br />
    14. 14. For example, look how well email and social media play together…<br />13<br />
    15. 15. Integrating your Marketing Strategy<br />Don’t let your marketing channels operate in vacuums.<br />Allow members to be a part of multiple touch points.<br />Use email as a channel driver.<br />Use email to promote other channels and enhance your messaging.<br />
    16. 16. Targeting your Emails<br />Goal #2: Master the art of targeting the right person with the right message, at the right time.<br />Relevancy = Results<br />EMAILBLASTING<br />15<br />
    17. 17. Target the right person with the right message,at the right time.<br />Step 1: Targeting the right person... - Behavioral Targeting/Action-Based Targeting - Member Interest Areas - Profile & Demographic Information - Leverage your Database!<br />16<br />
    18. 18. Target the right person with the right message,at the right time.<br />Step 2: Sending the right message…<br />17<br />
    19. 19. Target the right person with the right message, at the right time.<br />Step 3: Sending at the right time…<br /> - Campaign automation - Triggered emails - Learn the time that’s best for your audience. <br />18<br />
    20. 20. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />The Top 10 Tips for Email Marketing Success<br />
    21. 21. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #1: Create a Communications Calendar.<br />
    22. 22. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #2: Have a Strong Subscription Form.<br />
    23. 23. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #3: Carry your Association’s Branding into your Email Design, From Address & Subject Line.<br />
    24. 24. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #4: When Creating your Content Remember, its All About the Reader!<br />
    25. 25. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #5: Promote your Other Marketing Channels.<br />
    26. 26. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #6: Make it Easy for People to Spread the Word about your Association.<br />
    27. 27. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #7: Use Surveys to Gain Feedback.<br />
    28. 28. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #8: Be Aware of your Inactives Members and Don’t Neglect Them.<br />
    29. 29. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #9: Test, Test, Test!<br />
    30. 30. Top 10 Tips for Success<br />Tip #10: Analyze your Results.<br />
    31. 31. Thank You for Joining Us!<br />Questions?<br /><br />Case Studies:<br />Follow us online:<br /><br /><br />