Integrating Automation and E-Newsletter Designs
Email is known across the board as one of the best ways to reach people. It has some of the highest click rates compared to other communication methods. It is also one of the more personal ways to connect to members (aside from face to face contact).
Building out email campaigns, creating lists, designing e-newsletters, and writing the copy for all of the emails can be a long process. How can associations stay consistent with email communication without spending a ton of time to create an email newsletter?
There are quite a few tools out there that can help associations send engaging emails to members and potential customers in less time. It all has to do with the power of automation! Every service is different, but here are some specific e-newsletter automated tools that can help.
This tool goes by a few names, but it means the same thing. Personalization tokens allow associations a way to add a personal touch without manually changing the email for every single recipient. What it does is pull information from the member’s account in your database such as name, profession, company, location, etc. Any information included in the member’s account can be translated into a personalization token.
Here is an example of an email with personalization tokens.
Hello [first name],
I hope this email finds you well! The association would like to invite you to an upcoming networking event near [location]. This event was specifically designed for [member position] in the [industry] industry.
Please feel free to invite a plus one from [company]! There will be a lot of opportunities to connect with other members of the association and learn new skills to bring back home to [location].
All my best,
In the email, the association would add these [spots] to include a personalization token. The email platform would then drag and drop this piece of content from your member database and include these specific details. Hubspot is an example of an automation platform with personalization tokens.
Custom Pre-Made Templates
Some email platforms will offer pre-made email newsletter templates to customize. This saves time trying to build out plain text e-newsletter templates and gives users the ability to change colors and fonts to match the association’s branding guide.
Pre-made templates typically offer a variety of text blocks, image spaces, columns, and call to actions. They offer a space for the association’s logo, a banner image, an introduction, event blocks, etc. This gives associations a place to start and create a visually stunning e-newsletter in much less time.
The best part about a pre-made template is that it allows people with little design experience to create beautiful emails for members. Using templates, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to send a great e-newsletter! InLoop offers several pre-made templates for users of their e-newsletter service.
Lists are a great way to reach specific members about association news that relates directly to the member. With these types of emails, an example of segmented lists could be separating members who live in California and sending them an e-newsletter highlighting California specific events and industry insights.
As a result, by using segmented lists, it is easy to clone several versions of the same e-newsletter and manipulate each version to be more relevant to each list. Likewise, some email platforms allow associations to create and save lists to be used to segment e-newsletter audiences. Subsequently, segmented lists can be drawn from the current CRM platform you use to send out segmented emails.
Automated Content Generators
This is one of the best time-saving tools an email service can offer to associations. Automated content generators pull 3rd party and internal information to populate email templates so associations don’t have to.
Examples of information that can be pulled into e-newsletters include:
- Blog content
- Member benefits
- Event details
When creating an e-newsletter, associations should consider the standard information they want to present every month to members. For example, an e-newsletter would typically include intriguing subject lines, event information, industry insights, new blog posts, links to social media platforms, news updates, and member benefits. Using an automated content generator, associations can send this information without a second thought.
At InLoop, the E-Newsletter Content and Delivery Service offer automated content generation to associations. Using state of the art analytics, InLoop provides engaging content to associations that increase open rates across all email correspondence.
Custom Call to Action
Have you ever seen those clickable buttons that say “Learn More”? That’s a “call to action button”, also known as a CTA. CTA’s are a clear way to communicate actions to members.
A few examples of association CTA’s would be:
- RSVP (for an event)
- Learn More (to a blog, webinar, article, etc)
- Join Us (join a group)
- Like us on Social Media (link to a social account)
- Renew your Membership
A CTA is short and to the point. It stands out with bright colors and typically has a good amount of white space around it. It is the focal point of the email. Most importantly, it’s what the association wants members to do after reading the email.
Many email platforms will offer the ability to create custom call to actions with the association’s color and font. On the other hand, you can also track clicks on the CTA to see how many people have an interest in whatever the CTA offers. Use this to inform future decisions on CTA’s for e-newsletters.
Most email services will offer the option to add a CTA, but make sure before you sign up. That is to say, there are also some ways to make a CTA yourself outside of the email platform, but it requires the use of design software.
CRM is “Customer Relationship Management” software. An example of a CRM platform is Salesforce. It’s where associations collect member information, segment members into categories, and monitor member engagement. Meanwhile, it can also be used to save the contact information of potential leads and track their progress as they come closer to membership.
Some email platforms will integrate with your CRM, which helps with the automation process. Check with the platform to see if their service integrates well with whatever CRM your association is currently using. In some cases, the email platform may have its own CRM. If the pros outweigh the cons of that service’s CRM, see about having the email platform transfer your contacts for you into the new platform. Above all, you’ll want your generators to have the same sense of urgency that you do.
E-Newsletter Automation is the Perfect Tool
To sum up, using all of these email marketing tools can help associations create and send visually stunning and engaging emails. They increase personalization with little time, share member specific information, and make it easy for members to take advantage of member benefits. By designing personal emails for members, associations can increase email engagement and delight members. In conclusion, consider these tools when choosing an automated email service!