Alex Mastrianni, Marketing Manager, Informz mastrianni@informz.com

 

You’re plugging away at your latest email campaign, when suddenly, your membership director calls and needs you to send an urgent email. A few hours later, an advocacy team member swings by to tell you everyone in the database needs a legislative update immediately. When you talk with your membership director about priorities and audience segments, you get some variation of “just send it to everyone.”

If you’re an association marketer, this scenario probably feels all too familiar.

How often do you ask yourself if you’re sending too many emails to members? Are you concerned about having messaging that really resonates with your audience?

We live in an Amazon world: people have become accustomed to getting what they want, when, where and how they want it. Now, the same goes for marketing messages. It’s time to create a customized email experience for your audience and marketing automation makes it possible.

Marketing automation is all about – you guessed it – automation. It will save you time by automating repetitive tasks while also creating more effective marketing campaigns, leading to an increase in revenue. Marketing automation technology makes it easy for you to manage the segmenting, personalization, and timing of your messages to create a customized email experience for your audience.

But like most technology, the tool alone is not the answer. You need a strategy behind your technology. When you combine the two, you can achieve jaw-dropping results.

Take Texas Medical Association (TMA), for example. The adoption of TMA’s online educational resources leveled off, and its marketing team was looking for an opportunity to reinvigorate this revenue stream. They revamped their approach to marketing their online courses by moving from one-off emails to an automated campaign structure that capitalized on member behavior. TMA designed a new email template allowing the association to feature educational courses and provide members plenty of opportunities to click through. When readers engaged with the email but didn’t necessarily convert, personalized follow up emails were sent, providing more relevant information based on what they were viewing. This strategy boosted engagement and led to a phenomenal 313% increase in course sales.

If your organization is new to automation and not sure where to begin, automated welcome campaigns are a great place to start. Most associations have some sort of onboarding or welcome messaging that they send to new members or when visitors donate or buy a product. Welcome campaigns are the perfect tool to gradually nurture new relationships without overwhelming members with one large message from the get-go.

Before the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA) began automating its membership marketing strategy, it sent one lengthy email to new members. Using marketing automation, FAIA rolled out four new automated campaigns and has seen a 201% increase in email.

FAIA’s “Welcome to the Family” campaign is engaging members from the start. FAIA has increased the number of opens and clicks significantly. When FAIA sent one long email, open rates were averaging 21.2%; click rates were at 44%. Now, with this staggered approach, each with a separate message, open rates have soared to 63.8% and click rates are holding steady around 45%. The number of new members accessing content has increased by 201%.

Think about what these results could do for your organization. If you are exploring marketing automation, don’t make the mistake of investing in the technology without a plan to implement it successfully.