How to more effectively reach out to members: 4 Club email marketing campaign software must-haves
By Srishti Singh
Email is still one of the most efficient and effective ways to reach your existing club members as well as your prospective members. In fact, one study found that email had an ROI of 4,400% (that's a $44 return for every $1 you spend).
Today, the top solutions allow you to easily create elegant and engaging newsletters and email communications. But the best go a step further, giving you the power to understand your users' behavior and preferences and then target them with timely, high-value offers and information. The best systems even allow you to automate these communications. If you're looking to add (or upgrade) this capability for your club, here's what you should look for.
Look for advanced segmentation capabilities to target your communications
It's good to send out newsletters and club updates to your entire list. But studies have shown that when you target your emails to your different member segments, you can really boost engagement.
That can sound like a lot of work, but the better email marketing campaign software makes it a snap to slice and dice your members by age, gender, and membership type. Or by interests, preferences, spending habits, and much more. And it's not just your members. The best systems help you segment your prospects as well, breaking them into different segments based on how engaged they are. And then helping you deliver a message to each segment that is ideal for wherever they are in the journey to becoming a member.
The best systems also integrate seamlessly with your club's database so that your email segmentation updates automatically when things change. For example, when someone changes membership type or a new member joins.
Identify a system that makes it easy to design compelling newsletters and email
The better email marketing tools recognize that nobody should have to put up with a system that lacks an intuitive user experience.
To identify a best-in-class system, look for features like:
A drag-and-drop email builder
A robust library of design templates to choose from whether you're designing a newsletter or creating an email for an occasion like a New Year's celebration or to highlight dining specials and club events
The ability to build your own templates
A full-featured content editor so you can adjust the email to your exact needs
A graphics library so you can store images and illustrations that you can access as you create your emails
The ability to create and preview fully responsive layouts so you know your emails look good whether viewed on a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone
Find Club email marketing campaign software that allows you to automate personalized emails
A great email system will help create a deeper connection with your members without creating excessive work for you. For example, it will allow you to send automated emails to help onboard new members. Or, it could be set up to send emails to remind members of a tee time or a dining reservation.
While there are many quality, stand-alone email systems, finding one that integrates seamlessly with your club membership software will allow you to incorporate automations that create an exceptional club experience.
Examine the analytics capabilities
A quality email system will give you the ability to to track things like opens, bounces, clicks, and unsubscribes. This allows you to see how users receive and interact with your emails. But the best-in-class systems give you a much richer view of your members. These connect with the other parts of your club systems, allowing you to mine member information.
For example, you could identify members who consistently open your food & beverage-related emails but who seem to struggle to meet the F&B minimum. You may decide to segment this group and send them emails a couple of times a month that highlight dining specials or dinner events.
This is just one example of the marketing intelligence that the best systems can help you generate, and then use to make your email outreach exponentially more powerful.
The features that separate the best from the rest
The best systems deliver on the four must-haves we discussed. But the exceptional system will go beyond email by offering a couple of features that take the member experience to the next level.
Research has revealed the younger generations' preference for mobile messaging. The truly exceptional offering combines this functionality with the email system to create a more robust member communication tool. This functionality includes:.
Texting (SMS) - these are text messages sent to the members mobile phone number.
Push Notifications - these are messages (much like texts) that come through the club's mobile app and appear on the member's phone when they have alerts turned on for the club app.
With these tools, you can send members timely club updates. And since the tools tie into your club management software, you create automations to send messages like reservation confirmations, payment reminders, and more. Best of all, it gives you yet another way to connect with members. And it helps your members feel like they can choose how they receive communications from you. All of which helps elevate your member experience.
Giving your club every advantage that a communication system can deliver
Email is one of the oldest digital marketing tactics available to clubs. That can make it easy to question, or even overlook. Especially with the distraction of the never-ending parade of new digital marketing technologies and platforms. But email continues to prove its value, outlasting other digital platforms and consistently delivering the ROI. It should be one of your essential tactics.
Of course, not all email platforms are created equal. That's why it's essential to go through this evaluation. Doing so will ensure you're giving your club every advantage that a best-in-class system can deliver.