Tailor your email messaging for smaller communities to achieve better results.
There used to be just three channels of TV programming. Now there are hundreds of cable channels, not to mention Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube to cater to every specific viewing taste. Your email messaging can be similarly segmented to address the many, varied interests of your attendees.
Segmentation means dividing your audience into like-minded groups, and then tailoring your content to speak to each individual community.
There are many simple segmentations you can implement quickly and easily, such as:
Attendee vs. non-attendee: For your next meeting, distinguish your messaging between known attendees and non-attendees. For attendees, provide in-the-moment coverage of must-attend onsite events. For non-attendees, report on meeting highlights and provide links to your session recordings or videos for full viewing.
Engaged vs. unengaged: A similar segmentation strategy messages differently to members who open and read all of your emails versus those who do not open or engage. Those who are engaged could receive up-to-the-minute association messaging, while the non-engaged would receive messaging similar to that you would send to new members.
Areas of interest: You might segment by titles or areas of focus in a career. For example, medical specialty doctors have a different focus than nurses and nurse practitioners.
Early career vs. veteran: New graduates are looking for the communities they fit into within your association. They also want to learn how to advance their careers. You could focus content on finding mentors, continuing education, and job searches. Veterans might be more interested in how to be a mentor and how to play a larger role in leadership.
Even simple segmentation has benefits for both your association and your members.
The association benefits from a higher engagement rate, and you can refine your messaging for future segments. Members benefit from receiving targeted information that meets their needs and interests.
Here are some tips for communicating more effectively to your communities.
- Review your metrics. Use the results to guide your next efforts. For example, if your open rates have increased but your click rates have declined, your subject lines are working for that segment, but your content is not.
- Change the subject lines for each segment and employ language that will “speak” to each.
- Stick with it. You need several messages in a campaign to acquire meaningful guidance on what is working and what is not.
An ineffective mass campaign will create email fatigue with your audience if it is perceived to have little to no value. Associations are increasingly cautious not to overdo emails. Conquer email fatigue by targeting and engaging your audience.
Scott Rarden is Ascend Media’s director of eMedia.