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5 types of email you should send to recruit more members

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Membership associations operate in a crowded digital environment alongside large cooperates with aggressive marketing tactics and large advertising spends. For this reason, it can be tough for membership organisations to reach their target audiences – especially for membership recruitment.

With this, how can membership organisations stand out, build visibility, and engage their members in a landscape where the average email user sends and receives 122 messages a day?

One answer is to use email to build long-term relationships with your members. Rely on your value proposition to stand out from the crowd and build an emotional rapport with your membership. Communicate your membership association’s unique value proposition in a way that promotes interest and action. Also, be practical: sometimes members need gentle reminders.

Here are a few examples:

1) Personalised, tailored, human-sounding invitations

As more and more visitors spend time on your membership website, your association will build a repository of data. Using this information, you can create focused messages promoting the benefits of joining your membership organisation.

Some examples of data you can use include:

  • Content consumption patterns
  • Referral paths and traffic sources
  • Time spent on different parts of your membership website
  • Past engagement with your membership organisation

In addition to using this data, make sure that you send messages from a real person in your team and that they sound human – not corporate or jargony. Your target audiences want to feel like you value their time, attention, and engagement with your organisation. Remember that you are connecting with a human being at the end of the day.

2) Several options for joining your membership organisation

Having one membership model for all members is a thing of the past. Today, consumers are looking for more personalised complements to their lifestyles- and membership associations are no different.

In addition to featuring clear benefits for joining your membership association, you need to also offer several options for membership, to make joining easy for as many people as possible.

You will want to consider the following:

  • Payment timings
  • Payment amounts
  • Value offered
  • Perks available

If you are unsure how to structure these options, your current members are a good resource to leverage. You can start by segmenting your member database by demographic and psychographic traits that are relevant to your membership organisation (i.e. household income, cause affiliations, educational interests, and so on). Run a survey and conduct qualitative interviews: you will see patterns that are relevant to your messages.

Your audience will respond to different incentives, so make sure that your organisation’s are fully defined.

3) Content-driven newsletters

Time is precious; your audience may be interested in the industry your membership organisation represents, however, they may not be ready to get involved just yet. To help get members more involved you will need to engage them with useful content based on interest points in your industry. It may sound counterintuitive, but you don’t want to push memberships too hard here. Instead, you should focus on building rapport with your audience.

Here are some ideas for content that you can share:

  • News and regular updates about your membership organisation
  • Impact reports and stats surrounding the industry that you serve
  • Success stories about your current members

The most important thing is that you reach audiences with information that they will find interesting and valuable. Over time, you will be able to build a feedback loop between your readers’ content consumption patterns and messaging that they will find appealing. You can use personalisation to share news and updates that they really care about, rather than communicating everything that has happened over the past month or quarter.

4) Renewal notices

Members tend to lead busy lives, and as a result, membership can sometimes be forgotten about. To solve this you will want to make it as easy as possible to automate membership sign-ups and give your members a gentle reminder to take action. Using email makes this process much easier.

When memberships are about to expire, send follow-up reminder emails, and make renewing as seamless a process as possible. You can start by filtering your list based on the expiration date and following a reminder model of contacting members two months away from expiration, then one month, and then a week – and so on.

Always be attentive and sensitive to the fact that your members are busy people. Make sure that your ‘next steps’ are easy and clear. By automating the processes and reaching out to members in advance, you will ensure that no member falls off the radar.

5) Opt-out surveys

If your membership organisation is losing members, then you need to find out why. Email can help you to identify your members’ pain points and how you can improve your messaging moving forward.

Start by sending out a simple email survey to ask members why they have decided to leave. You can then use the data to send more personalised follow-up emails that ask your former members to come back, while also telling them about new improvements and features that will make them want to join again.

And finally…

Thanking your members is a small gesture that can go a long way. When someone new joins, thank them and drop a reminder of the benefits of the memberships upfront. If you can find subtle ways to make your audience feel appreciated, you will make your connections stronger as a result.

At Artonezero, we create membership websites and digital marketing strategies that build user-engagement, increase new member sign-ups and help membership organisations retain their membership. If you would like to discuss your membership website with an experienced recognised Memberwise Supplier, book a callback today and one of our in-house experts will be in touch to discuss your project requirements.

Author

James O'Connell

Date

22nd August 2018

Reading Time

4 minutes

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