THESE DAYS, all the talk seems to be around social media platforms and how significant time is being spent there. But did you know the average person checks their email inbox 15 times per day and is four times more likely to click on an email than a social media post? Given this information, it’s no wonder that on average, 60% of marketers prefer emails over social media.
One of the features that can make email marketing a powerful tool for clubs is its capability to create automatic processes that send members targeted and relevant communications using member information. This widely available feature is known as automation and when used correctly is a great way to keep your members engaged with your club and fellow members.
Imagine you are a membership director creating your club’s onboarding process to welcome new members. Would you like a process where every time a new member joins your club, you need to email your general manager and other key professionals to ask them to reach out to the new member? Or would you prefer one that automatically sends emails from the key individuals at your club, and to which the members can directly reply?
Almost certainly, the latter will save everybody a significant amount of time.
Thanks to automation, this can be accomplished fairly seamlessly. All that needs to be done is to create the templates of the emails for new members to receive and then choose the order in which you want the emails sent. Simply set them to begin once someone becomes a new member, and you’re done. You could also build email automations that send birthday emails or reminders when a member has an upcoming or due membership payment.
Keeping Members Engaged
What is most important to remember with communications is that they should be as member specific as possible. For example, if you were sending out an email about an upcoming women’s golf tournament, you wouldn’t want to send it to a male member. Instead, you’d set the email to only go to women who have golf as their membership type or have played a round of golf at your club before. This would be effective segmentation.
Failing to use segmentation and aimlessly sending every email to every member will lead them to be less enthusiastic about your communications. Eventually, they may stop engaging with them entirely. What’s even worse is that by doing so, they will miss communications that are actually relevant to them. This is known as email fatigue and can seriously hinder your email marketing efforts.
Integrated vs Non-Integrated Email Marketing Systems When an email marketing system is connected directly to your customer relationship management (CRM) system you give yourself access to more relevant, real-time data. Having this data creates more options for custom automations.
An example of an automation that requires an integrated email marketing platform is our example earlier of statement due notifications. Thanks to the integration between platforms, your CRM can provide your email marketing system information on which members have due statements in order to send these communications. You can even create special notifications for those with overdue balances.
Integrated email marketing systems also don’t require manual data uploads which means they are less time- consuming and less prone to errors. For these reasons, they are highly preferable to a non-integrated system.
What to Do Now?
If your club is not taking advantage of automations or not using email marketing entirely, start with something small. Create an automation that sends members a message for their birthday including a small discount at the pro shop. Assuming that goes well, you can move on to some of the more complex automations or segmented emails we discussed such as onboarding messages or a segmented message for a 55 and older golf tournament. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and members will appreciate receiving more relevant communications.
Brendan Butrimas is a marketing associate at Jonas Club Software. He can be reached at b[email protected]