After IAUG’s biggest conference of the year, one of the many challenges we face is bulk uploading and assigning membership to specific attendees, then sending them a series of emails outlining the specifics of their membership: their benefits, their privileges, and their opportunities. When conference planning began this spring, we chose to take a different approach with automation.
Previously, we had been utilizing a mailing platform that caused a large portion of our email to end up in junk folders, so our first step was making a change to the platform we used. This resulted in a huge increase in readership of our mailings. Additionally, this change gave us the opportunity to take advantage of email marketing automation campaigns.
We had a few objectives with this adjustment to the new introduction series:
- Increase membership and retention rates
- Increase engagement
- Social media
- Access of benefits and resources
- Meeting and webinar attendance
- Increase awareness before momentum is lost after conference
- Enhance communication strategy (i.e. ditch the “one email to all” method)
These automation campaigns allowed us to change the game—big time. We started slowly, with automating our welcome series for new members from conference. This series also introduced our net new members to our organization before they ever stepped foot onsite.
As a result of this change, we saw some pretty significant differences in our experience with members, both prior to conference and onsite. For starters, our open and click rates went through the roof; an approximate open rate of 50% and click rate of 14% were some of the highest numbers we’ve seen with our audience. Additionally, less time was spent onsite introducing our organization and more time was spent discussing how these newly added members could become involved with chapters and events.
From there, we looked for ways to implement automated campaigns for anything we could think of—membership expiration, membership upgrades, retention campaigns, and client engagement. By automating this messaging, we’ve been able to nurture our membership; instead of getting a general message that puts a blanket over every member, we’ve been able to tailor messaging to members based on their specific needs.
With these series implemented, we’ve found some key takeaways for someone interested in taking a chance on marketing automation:
- Leveraging your data to build custom communication plans results in a better customer experience. Personalization is key.
- Use your events to your advantage when developing member nurture strategies. This creates a specific group of people that serves as a constant and provides a way to measure the efficacy of your campaign.
- There are many broad benefits of automation that extend beyond marketing:
- Creates a seamless member journey
- Reduces staff time
- Reduces errors
- Forces you to think strategically up front rather than as you go
Could your organization benefit from a customized automation campaign? Contact us today and let our team help you develop a nurture strategy that will drive your membership to the next level.