Marketing automation is a great way to expand your reach and connect with more prospective members. It saves time and helps you deliver more content. But, in the wrong hands, marketing automation can quickly go downhill. To establish an effective automated marketing strategy in your own association, review our 4 do’s and don’t’s below.

Do – Configure Member Personas and Ideal Member Types

It’s important to first set personas and determine your ideal member type. If you don’t know, member personas are “fictional representations of your audience [that] bring both clarity and inspiration“. Member personas also help determine goals and figure out the type of content you want to share.

Don’t – Blindly Email Those Who You “Think” Would Be a Good Fit

Skipping persona development may shorten the process but it won’t yield the best results. Without personas, you’re assuming things about prospective members, not understanding.

Do – Segment Your Email List

It’s likely you don’t have just one ideal member type – you probably have 3 or 4. Similarly, not all prospects want to receive the same content. They may come from different industries, professional backgrounds, or age brackets. To appeal to each type, create segmented email lists in your database.

Don’t – Bulk Email

Unless you’re sending an email to everyone about association-wide announcements, sending a bulk email “will fall flat and come off as generic and a waste of time.”  Spend the extra hour to create separate lists for each vertical in your group.

Do – Frequently (and Thoughtfully) Check-In

When configuring your automation settings, make sure to check the frequency of messaging. Members and prospects expect to receive an email from you at least once or twice a month. Don’t leave them hanging on updates, ways to get involved or important announcements.

Tip: Before you confirm automation, think through your messaging – is it thoughtful and helpful? If not, you probably shouldn’t send it.

Don’t – Oversend

Marketing automation makes sending email super easy. But be judicious in your use. If you over-communicate, your audience will either unsubscribe from your email or stop paying attention to what you have to say. 

Be respectful of your members and prospects. Think about your own inbox – if you wouldn’t appreciate that # of emails, they probably won’t either.

Do – Use Tools for Specific Workflows

Workflows are a great automation tool because they essentially do all the work for you. Depending upon the system you’re using, you can also use workflows assign tasks, add individuals to specific lists and more. Here’s an example of a workflow we set up for our summer sale.

Don’t – Forget to Remove Individuals Who Opt-Out

Workflows will carry members or prospects through the sequence without you lifting a finger. That being said, make sure they have the option to opt-out. Or, if they tell you they’re “not interested”, remove them yourself.

Marketing automation can be incredibly helpful and increase your numbers if done correctly. Just be sure to check our do’s and don’ts as you create your own strategy.

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