Email is an inexpensive and effective way to communicate with members of your community. Most organizations use email marketing to spread the word about events, classes, programs and news. Does your organization have an effective strategy in place? Check out these eight necessary steps your organization should take to ensure your email marketing is on track for success.
Collect Email Addresses
One of the most important parts of an effective email campaign is having your current or potential members’ email addresses. Gather email addresses at every opportunity and check for accuracy. Request email information at front desks, events, courses, contest, with service forms, surveys and pop-ups for newsletter subscription on your organization’s website. Also, be sure to update them frequently in your program management system of choice or CRM.
Don’t forget to segment your emails appropriately so you are not sending unnecessary information to current and potential members.
Send Email Campaigns Regularly
Frequent email communication keeps current and potential members engaged, drives traffic to your website and increases online participation. A good rule of thumb is to send one a week to start and adjust depending on your audience and your message. Do not inundate your email subscribers with daily emails. You do not want to overload their inbox, which in turn will guarantee an influx of unsubscribes. It could also lead to your audience becoming “email blind” to your messages and ignoring them, which will lower your open rates as a result.
Is registration for a course or event low or ending soon? Send a reminder to applicable individuals that registration for the activity will be closing soon. Make sure to segment your lists based on age or activity participation so you are sending the appropriate content.
Have a pool workout class for seniors? Send an email announcement/reminder to your segmented list for the members of your community who are seniors. Changing your after school care hours? Let the families in your community or those specifically signed up know.
Offer an eNewsletter
An electronic newsletter is an effective way to strengthen relationships with your audience at no cost. Include news items, upcoming events, popular program details, policy changes and interesting articles. You could even include a community member spotlight that highlights individuals in your community, which will help drive engagement and open rates.
Link Emails to Pertinent Websites
Placing links in your emails makes it easier for readers to click on things they want to read more about, like a highlighted article or program they want to register for. Link to your website in the email copy to drive more page views and ensure your audience is being directed to the correct place.
Provide a Clear Call to Action
Every email your organization sends needs to have one or more calls to action. Make sure it is prominent and linked to the right webpage so readers can act instantly. Whether it is renewing registration, signing up for a class or program or reading a blog post, you need to have a clear CTA. Utilize buttons in your email design to make sure it stand out and drives traffic and engagement.
Create an Engaging and Appealing Design
One of the best ways to ensure a low bounce rate from your emails is to have a design that is eye-catching and appealing from top to bottom. Most email applications like MailChimp and PostCards offer enticing and attractive templates so you don’t have to design the email from scratch. If you have a good piece of recreation or camp management software, it likely offers a dynamic email tool with customizable templates you can use.
Encourage Referral Marketing
Referral marketing can drastically expand your reach and aid in adding more memberships or class/program sign ups. Encourage recipients to forward your email to friends and family or share links from the email to their social media channels.
When sending out promotional emails, there are regulatory requirements to observe. American marketers, for example, must follow the main provisions of the CAN-SPAM Act:
- Bans false or misleading header information. Ensure your "From" name and email address are accurate and identifiable.
- Prohibits deceptive subject lines. Make sure your subject lines are relevant.
- Requires your email to give recipients a method of opting out of future mailings. For example, you can include the following message in each email campaign: "If you no longer wish to receive email notices from us, please respond to this email with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject line.”
- Requires that commercial email be identified as an advertisement.
- Requires the inclusion of the sender's valid physical postal address.
Make sure to check each box before sending your next email! Another effective way to get the word out about your programs is to optimize your website for search engines.
Keep in mind the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which was enacted in 2018, when sending emails, especially to California residents. The CCPA ensures privacy rights for California consumers including:
- The right to know about the personal information a business collects about them and how it is used and shared
- The right to delete personal information collected from them (with some exceptions)
- The right to opt-out of the sale of their personal information
- The right to non-discrimination for exercising their CCPA rights
For further information, please read the CCPA FAQ page here.
ACTIVENet, ACTIVEWorks Endurance and ACTIVEWorks Camp & Class Manager each have built-in email templates and scheduling so your organization can easily get the word out to your current and potential members. Make ACTIVE your organization’s all-in-one solution today!