By Manon Audibert, Marketing Manager, Higher Logic
Marketing in the digital age is all about expectations versus reality. Associations expect their online marketing tactics to resonate with new and existing members, increase revenue and deliver value to stakeholders, much as one might expect to create a cake. plush worthy of a designer.
But in reality, without the time and resources to meet those expectations, even well-meaning marketers can see their efforts crumble, giving way to less than satisfying results.
The good news is that marketing automation helps bridge the gap between expectations and reality, allowing teams of all sizes to get significantly closer to their goals than they otherwise could.
“In a perfect world, you’d really like to think through all of your email campaigns, including what you’re going to promote and the flow of ideas,” said Beth Arritt, Fellowship Evangelist at Higher Logic. “You want them to be cohesive, to tell a story, but you’re writing against a deadline. Automation allows you to send the right messages at the right time. »
Think of it as a marketing superpower that lets you trade time-consuming, error-prone tasks for more innovative, results-driven efforts.
Not sure if automation is right for you? Look for signs that your current efforts aren’t enough. Red flags include inability to bring the member’s experience to life feel staff, low member and sponsor engagement, and overworked or understaffed marketing teams. The following marketing automation trends and best practices will help you solve these problems.
The latest trends
Arritt told us that many are hesitant to embrace marketing automation because they fear it will contribute to communication overload. In fact, practice increases personalization and reduces unnecessary communication. It’s not just about providing end users with what they want, but also filtering out what they don’t want.
Consider this in the context of conference registration. “With automation, you can remove people who have already signed up from your campaign so you don’t hammer them with irrelevant information,” Arritt said. “Nothing says I don’t know you at all like repeatedly asking members to sign up for something they signed up for two months ago.”
If your association is taking advantage of some marketing automation but still not providing the most personalized member experience possible, the answer is not to move away from automation but to add more, especially given the rapid nature of technological advances.
“Technology is changing rapidly. And while the associations aren’t used to that speed, the members are,” she said. “They don’t want frustrations. They don’t want slow loading pages and they don’t want complicated mobile experiences. »
Meeting these expectations is all the more crucial as for-profit groups creep into association territory. “Associations talk about providing an Amazon-like member experience,” Arritt said. “We need to go further with an Amazon-plus experience – we should know our members better than Amazon does.”
An automated approach to digital marketing is also allowing charities to mitigate the damage from the Great Resignation. Associations can’t do without marketing features in the face of staff turnover, but ongoing, automated campaigns help sustain efforts while associations seek new recruits.
When it comes to getting the most out of automation, Arritt’s first tip is to build authenticity by sending emails from an individual rather than an organization.
“Don’t ask members to reply to a general email address like ‘[email protected]’,” she said. “Instead, add a personal touch by having responses directed at one person. That person could be seven different people over seven years, but the fact is that the members know they are engaging with a human being.
Arritt said automation helps deliver the same personalized, bespoke customer service as a brick-and-mortar retailer.
“My colleague came up with this analogy that I love: let’s say you work at the Gap and you see someone looking at a sweater. You’re trained to ask if you can start a fitting room, help with sizing and check inventory,” Arritt said. “You can essentially automate the same personal experience with web tracking and engagement scoring, delivering the right message to the right person when you know they’re interested.”
Another tip: automate smaller programs that don’t typically get as much attention as an annual conference or trade show.
“There are always programs where you think, ‘I should really promote this,’ but you’re too busy to focus on a low-priority task,” Arritt said. “Automate almost all of this. Check them out once, then check them out two to three times a year, and you’re set. »
Finally, work with a vendor that offers automation training and collaboration opportunities. For example, in his role at Higher Logic, Arritt works as a direct partner.
“Associations don’t want salespeople; associations want partners,” she said. “On-demand training, strategy sessions, and an active user community set digital marketing partners apart.”
Ultimately, just as the right chef combined with the right ingredients makes for an amazing cake, the combination of engagement tools like community and marketing automation and expert guidance becomes a powerful force in aligning marketing expectations. of your association with the real experiences your members deserve.
Higher Logic Thrive is a member experience solution that offers a powerful yet simple approach to community, marketing, and member engagement. For more information on how Higher Logic’s years of experience, research and feedback can solve your problems, visit grow.higherlogic.com.
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