Decrease Your Audience’s Email Fatigue by Segmenting Your Audiences and Your Emails

Updated: Sep. 24, 2019  |  Categories: Member Communications  

Decrease Your Audience’s Email Fatigue by Segmenting Your Audiences and Your Emails

Do you send all of your chapter communications to your entire email list? You may think that you’re being helpful, that every touchpoint with members and prospects is another way to keep them engaged, but is that really the case? Does everyone really need the parking instructions for your upcoming meeting?

How many emails go out from your chapter in a month? There’s a good chance you’re sending as many as 10 to 12 mass emails every month; according to Associations Now the number of emails sent by organizations each month keeps going up. In 2016, associations sent 12.5 percent more emails than they did in 2015. Does that sound like your chapter?

Do you communicate everything to everyone? Think about what you're hearing, or not hearing from your audience in response to your emails. Are they ok with all they’re receiving from you? Or are yours part of the communications that go directly into their email recycling without ever being opened?

In reality, your email campaign could be part of the email fatigue problem: 74% of Americans are overwhelmed by the amount of email they get. And they don’t bother to open a lot of what they get.

So, in addition to sending emails with great subject lines that beg to be opened, what else can you do to help your emails get read by those who really need them?

You can take the time to:
1. Better understand your audiences.
2. Tailor your email marketing strategy, segmenting your emails to meet the preferences of those audiences.

Understand your audience
This first step is critical. Unless you know who you’re trying to reach, you can’t know what they need to hear. As we’ve discussed before, member personas can help a lot with this, by giving you pictures of your membership, as well prospects you’re trying to attract and even those members who’ve left your chapter.

Tailor and segment your email marketing strategy
Once you know your audiences, the next thing to do is to strategically separate your email marketing into campaigns for each of those audiences. Which groups want to learn about your young professionals happy hour? Just your young professionals? Or maybe your new members who are also young professionals, and your board members who need to be there. Same with your new member Meet and Greet, your continuing education sessions and your end of year event – who really needs the information?

Your segmentation can get pretty detailed. But in doing so, you’re ultimately sending each group fewer emails. This can help increase engagement (and the general happiness) with those groups and get some forgiveness and wiggle room when you do send announcements to your entire email list.

Extend this segmentation to your website
Now that you have a better idea of your multiple audiences, take the segmentation further by doing the same with some of the content on your website, reserving some online content for access by specific groups.

Not only will this make those audiences feel like you’re directing higher-value content just to them, but when other audiences see content they can’t access, they may want to know what they need to do to see it. All of this can help increase your credibility and thought Ieadership as well as your member engagement.

Yes, email is a low-cost, fairly easy marketing option. But most chapters send far too many and don’t think about sending them just to those who need them. Tailoring your email campaigns can significantly reduce the number of emails your members and prospects receive. And, a few easy changes can make your chapter one of those whose emails get opened, not trashed.

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