As email continues to be the most cost-effective medium to reach members and prospects, associations are tasked with developing engaging, informative content to both hook and retain recipients. Most campaigns require multiple messages before the recipient reaches the “goal” – whether that be joining, signing up for a webinar, registering for a conference or recruiting a colleague or peer.
Marketing automation eliminates the manual follow up by allowing you to schedule a series of emails to send automatically based on time or user behavior. It also allows you to add valuable personalization to your email messages. Email service providers (ESPs) like Real Magnet, Pardot, Eloqua and HubSpot are just a few of the marketing automation platforms that can help you save time and make your email communication more effective.
Jordan Sehestedt, Marketing Consultant on McKinley’s Solutions Team, recently created a summer recruitment campaign for one of our clients using Real Magnet. She knew that utilizing marketing automation would be vital to the campaign’s success.
“We’re able to go way beyond just pre-scheduling an email campaign, and instead use the platform to gain critical insights about our audience,” Jordan says. “With this campaign, we could accurately measure and track, in real-time, what resonated best with the audience, make immediate adjustments, and plan to use the data to shape future content and campaigns.”
The Solutions Team sees marketing automation as a vital tool to lead to quantifiable results across all departments, as well as an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the content that resonates with the target audience. With the ability to tailor messages to specific recipients or groups of recipients, think what you could do for member recruitment, retention and overall engagement!
Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Automation
- Set up onboarding workflows to ensure new members feel welcomed into your association’s community. Set up an initial automated “thank you” message when members first join, schedule a second message to send a few days later, providing more information on membership and tips to take advantage of member benefits. Schedule a third email with a survey to provide feedback a few weeks later. Early engagement is key to member retention.
- Include one call-to-action (CTA) per email. The strength, prominence and simplicity of this CTA is vital in generating leads. Stick to one, clear action to avoid confusing or overwhelming recipients. With automation software, the CTAs in your email can also help segment your audience allowing you to send the most relevant emails to specific contacts.
- On that note, segment, segment, segment! According to MailChimp, segmented campaigns see 14.45 percent higher open rates and 63.71 percent higher click rates than non-segmented campaigns. Unsubscribe rates and reports of abuse are significantly lower with segmented lists. Segmented emails perform better. Depending on the platform and availability of information about your contacts, you can segment by different criteria such as age or geographical location of your recipients. You can also create lists grouping contacts by behavior and triggering clicks on specific links to segment contacts for you. The most important thing is that you try to segment your lists as much as possible to bring the most relevant information to each contact, boosting each email’s potential for success.
Contact Tracy Talbot, VP of Solutions, to get your association set up with effective marketing automation.