Sunday, March 10, 2013

Is your association membership marketing unwanted-spam or permission-driven?

Email continues to represent an effective marketing tool for many associations.
While you see your association marketing efforts one way, how do you analyze what your prospects are thinking and feeling?

Open rate, response rate and join rate are important metrics.
What’s harder, however, is “measuring” the attitudes of your recipients.

Within the last week, I’ve received three different email marketing “appeals.”

  • One feels like spam
  • The second not so much 
  • The third an invitation to play!


This sample I consider spam:
  • “I haven’t heard back from you following my email last week”
  • “For just $2,000 a month ... ” 
I found this example offensive. Once I captured it for this blog post, the sender went to my spam folder and will be blocked.


While still disruptive marketing, this second example doesn’t feel quite as “spammy:”
  • “I’m doing research on your company”
  • “Could you please let me know who would be the best person to contact”


And the third is an invitation to play:
  • “Remember when you were a little kid and you played eye spy for entertainment? Take a short break from work today and play with us!”
  • “You have 24 hours to complete this mission if you chose to accept it. If not, this message will destruct in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ...”
The gaming example shows the power of imagination in email marketing. While they are saying “respond ASAP,” the game aspect of the appeal doesn’t make you angry at the request. (See the blog below.)

While drafting this post, Jeff Hurt shared this tweet:
“I’m not your BFF. Do not ask for something ASAP. [Epic Fail of digital marketing] by @cjtracy #eventprofs #pcma" 
Are members blocking your emails because your approach offends them. Have you used your imagination to build some fun into the marketing? Or, is it the same old pitch you’ve been using?

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