Writing Effective Association Email

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While social media continues to be a hot topic for marketers, email is still one of the most effective and widely used ways to reach members and engage with your audience. This presentation covers how to break through the clutter to make sure your messages get read and acted on.

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Writing Effective Association Email

  1. 1. EFFECTIVE ASSOCIATION EMAILS Hilary  Marsh,  Content  Company     Associa5on  Forum,  July  17  2013     HOW TO WRITE FOR MAXIMUM RESULTS ASSOCIATION FORUM COMM/MARKETING SIG – JULY 2013  
  2. 2. THE COMPETITION
  3. 3. 2007:   50  million   2008:   87   million   2009:   100   million   NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS 2007:   •  50  million  emails   •  8  e-­‐newsleDers     2009:   •  100  million  emails   •  40  e-­‐newsleDers  
  4. 4. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS 29% 20% 19% 20% 7% 7% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 2008 2009 2010 YTD Company-Wide E-mailOpen and Click Rates 2008 - 2010 Average Open Rate Average Total Click Rate
  5. 5. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS We  took  ac5on:   •  Two-­‐day  content  summit   •  50  communicators  from  23  departments   •  First  day,  presenta5on  of  the  facts,  “recita5on”  by  each  group  of  their  e-­‐ newsleDers,  key  web  pages,  brochures  &  other  communica5ons   •  Second  day,  brainstormed  solu5ons     Outcome:   •  Combined  almost  all  e-­‐newsleDers  into  a  single,  customizable  weekly  all-­‐ member  opt-­‐out     •  Created  an  online  form  for  content  requests   •  Worked  with  Exec  Comms  to  create  a  weekly  intro  “from”  the  president    
  6. 6. http://ebm.enews.realtor.org/c/tag/aBR1GSaB8hVyFB8zptfAAAAAAIn/doc.html?t_params=I_A_MORE=0&I_BUYER1=1
  7. 7. BENCHMARKS
  8. 8. AVERAGE EMAIL METRICS FOR ASSOCIATIONS   •  98.15%  delivery  rate   •  32.36%  open  rate   •  21.08%  click  rate   •  .051%  unsubscribe  rate       53%  of  emails  opened  were  classified  as  read  (recipients     spent  10  seconds  or  longer  engaged  with  the  email)       -­‐-­‐Informz  2013  Associa5on  Email  Marke5ng  Benchmark  Report  
  9. 9. SENDER & SUBJECT LINES
  10. 10. SHORTER IS BETTER   Highest  open  rates  were  emails  with   subject  lines  having  fewer  than  10   characters:  51%.          (Informz)  
  11. 11. CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORDS   Avoid  using  “help,”  “percent  off”  and   “reminder”  because  they  tend  to   trigger  spam  filters.      (Mailchimp)  
  12. 12. CHOOSE THE RIGHT WORDS   Yes:   Alert   Bulle5n   New   Video   Daily   Weekly   Breaking     (Adestra  Subject  Line  Analysis  Report,  GetResponse)   No:   NewsleDer   Monthly   Forecast   Report   Top  Stories   Free   No-­‐Cost  
  13. 13. GET CREATIVE   •  Use  capital  leDers  strategically   •  Share  a  “secret”   •  Be  informal   •  Use  numbers   •  Use  rhymes  or  allitera5on   (GetResponse  blog)    
  14. 14. TIPS FOR E-NEWSLETTER SUBJECT LINES   •  Use  the  lead  story  headline,  or  the  most  interes5ng   item.   •  Consider  using  several  short  headlines,  separated  by   the  “|”  character.   •  Don’t  use  the  same  generic  subject  line  for  every  issue.   •  Be  en5cing,  but  not  decep5ve.   •  Think  magazine  cover  lines.  
  15. 15. IT’S ABOUT THE CONTENT, NOT THE THING
  16. 16. FOCUS ON THE BENEFITS Extract  the  juicy  bits  rather  than  talking  about  the  “container.”   For  example:   •  To  get  more  clicks  to  a  report,  highlight  a  key  sta5s5c.   •  To  promote  a  mee5ng,  highlight  a  par5cular  session,  speaker   or  aDendee  tes5monial.   •  To  gain  more  sales  for  a  new  book,  consider  publishing  a  free   chapter.  
  17. 17. GOOD BLURBS   •  Build  on  the  item  headline.   •  Give  just  enough  informa5on  to  make  the  reader  want  more.   •  Think  “cliff-­‐hanger.”   •  If  you  are  “cura5ng”  content  –  that  is,  sharing  an  ar5cle  from   another  source  –  link  to  a  summary  and  analysis  on  your  site,   then  take  the  reader  to  the  original  source.   •  Write  for  the  preview  pane:  Focus  the  main  point  of  interest   on  the  copy  that  will  appear  in  the  preview  pane  of  your   email.  Most  people  decide  if  an  email  is  interes5ng  by   previewing  it  without  opening  it.  
  18. 18. WHERE ARE THEY GOING?
  19. 19. YOUR EMAILS DON’T LIVE IN A VACUUM •  “Train”  your  members  that  the  informa5on  in   your  emails  is  worth  clicking  on.   •  Good  email  headlines  need  to  link  to  valuable,   well-­‐wriDen  content.   •  Choose  the  most  member-­‐centric  content  from   your  website,  podcasts,  blog,  and  social  media   channels  for  your  emails.    
  20. 20. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE MEMBER NAR  e-­‐newsleDer  analysis  –  most  popular  items:   •  They  are  not  press  releases,  do  not  address  something   about  the  associa5on  or  its  workings.   •  They  speak  to  na5onal  concerns  that  are  of  interest  to  a   wide  range  of  people  (e.g.,  the  real  estate  bubble,   eminent  domain).   •  They  promise  to  teach  a  member  something  (e.g.,  how  to   run  an  open  house,  how  new  laws  affect  landlords).   10  *mes  more  popular  than  the  least-­‐popular  items    
  21. 21. OTHER OPPORTUNITIES   •  Ohio  Landscape  Associa5on  put  its  magazine  online  and   drove  poten5al  members  there  –  maximized  content,  saved  $   on  postage.   •  OLA  also  segmented  its  list  to  send  local  event  informa5on  to   the  appropriate  people.   •  Retail  Confec5oners  Interna5onal  shares  an  industry  event   calendar.   •  Email  lets  RCI  connect  email  opens  to  event  registra5on.   (Constant  Contact)  
  22. 22. ADD VISUALS
  23. 23. WHEN YOU DELIVER INFORMATION VERBALLY, PEOPLE ONLY REMEMBER 10% OF IT. IF YOU ADD A PICTURE, RETENTION IS 65%     -­‐-­‐Carmine  Gallo,  Stanford  Business  School   hDp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drtxj2ih0ai  
  24. 24. hDp://admin.listpilot.net/mpower/showhtml.do?ac=varealtor&id=85q2cb1_7ce3cc1d  
  25. 25. WHAT ARE YOU MEASURING?
  26. 26. THINK BEYOND OPENS AND CLICKS Quan5ta5ve   •  Downloads   •  Registra5ons   •  Program  par5cipa5on   •  Renewals   Qualita5ve   •  Sa5sfac5on   •  Realiza5on  of  value  
  27. 27. TESTING, TESTING
  28. 28. FIND OUT WHAT WORKS FOR YOU AND DO MORE OF IT •  A/B  tes5ng     •  Headlines   •  Time  of  day   •  Frequency   •  Number  of  items   •  Surveys  
  29. 29. Hilary  Marsh,  Content  Company     BE A CONTENT DJ CAP  Digital  Team  Retreat,  June  14  2013  
  30. 30. “MIX” YOUR CONTENT WELL •  Members  want  a  few  topics  (they  won’t  get  bored)   •  Repurpose  content  by  thinking  “bite,  snack,  meal”   •  Account  for  different  levels  of  knowledge   •  Organize  your  e-­‐newsleDer  into  sec5ons/categories  (tech   5ps,  local  news,  money  savers,  take  poli5cal  ac5on,  etc.)   Hilary  Marsh,  Content  Company     hDp://www.slideshare.net/hilarymarsh/become-­‐a-­‐content-­‐dj-­‐how-­‐to-­‐create-­‐a-­‐winning-­‐mix-­‐for-­‐your-­‐content-­‐marke5ng   hDp://ewriteonline.com/ar5cles/2011/11/bite-­‐snack-­‐and-­‐meal-­‐how-­‐to-­‐feed-­‐content-­‐hungry-­‐site-­‐visitors/   CAP  Digital  Team  Retreat,  June  14  2013  
  31. 31. REDEFINE SUCCESS FROM “PUT IT UP” TO USAGE MEASURE SATISFACTION, AS WELL AS VISITS Hilary  Marsh,  Content  Company     CAP  Digital  Team  Retreat,  June  14  2013  
  32. 32. THANK YOU. hilary@hilarymarsh.com www.hilarymarsh.com @hilarymarsh  

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