It’s a Lot of Pressure to Write a Subject Line about Subject Lines

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry | No Comments

I’m one of those people who checks my email first thing in the morning and screenshots email design ideas. I know that probably isn’t normal, but there is nothing that makes me happier, as a person who cares about design, than getting an email the day before Valentine’s Day with the subject line “Roses are FF1919, violets are 1C86EE.”

Get it…? Hex codes…?

I want to share a few tips for creating a smashing subject line that will get attention, get clicks, and most importantly establish trust with your customers.

1. Be descriptive.

When a member clicks into an email, they should have a good idea of the email’s content based on the subject line. Your goal should be to convey as much information as possible while still attracting interest.

EXAMPLES:
• Confirmed: Registration for Super Summer Camp
• Zumbathons are more fun with you!
• Weather Closure Updates

2. What’s in it for me?

Your members want to see the benefits of membership and any additional value you can bring. A great way to show them what’s in it for them is to divulge exactly what benefit some action has to that individual (whether it is opening the email itself or attending a class).

EXAMPLES:
• 5 Reasons you should…
• Do you think you can (benefit)?
• Finally! YOU can now access our ____

3. Keep it short.

Subject lines must be short, or else they’ll be truncated! This can make for some awkward moments. A good rule of thumb is to keep subject lines 65 characters or less. I strongly recommend testing subject lines (and body previews) to see how they look in your inbox.

EXAMPLES:
• Charlie took control of his weight.
• 3 ways to be more active today
• Discover (subject) that will benefit your overall wellbeing.

4. Be WEIRD.

First and foremost, make sure you comply with your brand, image, and voice guidelines before going too far outside of the box. However, fun subject lines help members establish a relationship with your brand and provoke interest.

EXAMPLES:
• Zumba, the pool, and you. What do they have in common?
• Mondays are now AWESOME at the Daxko Family Center
• Happy 119th Birthday!

Just starting out in the world of email design? Here are a few free resources:
Really Good Emails – Their newsletter is email gold!
Hubspot Email Marketing Certification
Engagement Insider Newsletter – Sign up for the monthly newsletter all about Daxko Engage!
Canva – Don’t have fancy image design software? Try this tool!
Grammarly – I know it isn’t an “email resource,” but… have you ever sent out an email with an embarrassing typo? This will help you avoid that.

What Brought ‘Em Won’t Keep ‘Em

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry, Membership | No Comments

If you’re like other organizations, your membership strategy for the beginning of the year is focused on welcoming as many new joins as you can. But you blinked, and it’s March, so now it’s time for your team to think about how you’re going to build those relationships.

As with any new relationship, the early days are about novelty and excitement. The bad news? That won’t last forever. The good news? Intentional touchpoints keep people engaged throughout their journey. Here are three ways to keep ’em for the long haul:

1. TREAT NEW MEMBERS RIGHT
Take your new member onboarding experience seriously. The first 3 months are crucial. Define the path you want your new members to take. With Daxko Engage, you are able to create a multi-step initiative workflow with a mix of emails and tasks for your staff to lessen the load while still providing an excellent onboarding experience for your members. The New Member Engagement campaign the Engagement Solutions Team recommends has a dozen touchpoints in the first 120 days.

2. TARGET YOUR MARKETING
The “spray & pray” marketing approach is as messy as it sounds. Use Daxko Engage Group Rules to create meaningful member segments, and send a simple Initiative to that Group with a clear call to action. Fill your class and program rosters by targeting those who would potentially be interested with compelling information. For example, if you are looking to fill your 65+ Aqua Kickboxing class, be sure to target those ages 65 and older. Consider sending a separate, but similar, initiative to those who have participated in similar classes in the past.

3. DELIVER ON YOUR PROMISES
Real talk: relationships are built on trust. Are you meeting the expectations your members had when they joined? If a member joined for the community, make sure she feels like a part of one. If a member joined to become more fit, see if he’s meeting his fitness goals. Here’s some feedback from the Shames JCC on the Hudson about the “we miss you” Initiative they sent to members they hadn’t seen lately. Here’s what Lisa H. had to say:

We have had great success. This initiative will help us to engage our members who have not been here for 90 days or more. I have responded to all who have reached out, and I am working on re-engaging them here at the JCC by connecting them with staff members to learn more about our adult programs, our complimentary fitness orientations, personal training and our new group exercise schedule. I even encouraged them to stop by to say “hello” the next time they are in!

We like metaphors on the Engagement Solutions team, so we’ll leave you with this: In December and January, you plowed your soil and planted the seeds. Soon it’ll be spring, so you’ll need to water your garden, pluck the weeds, and tend to your budding flowers. That’s how you get your memberships to blossom.

Extending Your Brand with Artificial Intelligence

By | Customer Experience, Engage, Engagement, Industry, Membership | No Comments

Artificial intelligence is showing up everywhere—from Siri to Alexa to Google Home.  Let’s face it, AI makes our lives easier. Every morning Alexa wakes me up, gives me the weather, delivers my news brief and updates me on all the sports highlights. While my coffee is brewing, she lays out my daily work schedule. And I can speak to Alexa; I add meetings and my boxing workout, create shopping and errand lists. With a $39 investment, Alexa is my personal assistant that takes up no space and does not cost me a dime.

Now, don’t think this is an endorsement for Alexa. Instead, it’s a practical example at how artificial intelligence enhances my life and makes my day more efficient. I am not alone, 84% of respondents to a Pega study, “What Consumers Really Think About AI: A Global Study,” use AI daily for customized engagement. Google search, spam filters for email, Facebook news recommendations, and online shopping recommendations are ways we engage with AI daily. AI can scale to efficiencies in club management as well as help you personalize your member engagement.

So, imagine this…what if Daxko could add this efficiency in your clubs? Cue Olivia, the invisible sales agent. With up to 85% of your revenues coming from memberships, what if you used artificial intelligence to drive efficiency in the membership process? What if Olivia’s sole job was to nurture prospects into qualified leads ready to take action and then serve them up to your membership sales team? How precise would this be?  Olivia, who requires no W2, earns no wages, takes up no space, who is impervious to rejection and can work 24/7 with no breaks, can drive your prospects into leads in the pipeline. Ah, the value of artifical intelligence. The best part, Olivia will amplify your brand in how she engages your member.

Have we piqued your interest? Artificial Intelligence in the make-member process is the future—and while cliché, the future is now. The product strategy team at Daxko has teamed with artificial intelligence gurus for the past year to learn how Olivia can impact your prospect/lead management and membership engagement. We have been at work, gathering test examples of how AI can bring efficiencies to your membership process.

The future value of AI is in delivering exceptional experiences. Retention and member engagement are areas that Olivia can enhance your club. Today’s CMOs are looking at automating customer interactions to deliver personalized rapport. Olivia can be your brand ambassador for delivering success messages to members. “Sarita, congratulations on working out 6 consecutive weeks.”  Or, “Sarita, we miss you!  Time to come back!” Boutiques have created intimacy with their members by sending these 1:1 messages and celebrating member milestones. Well, clubs can get into the action as well. AI done right in member engagement can amplify your member experience.

Putting Olivia to work at personalizing your member experience will not happen overnight. Olivia may not work for money—but Olivia thrives on data. The more member data—the better the predictability of AI. This predictability is what enhances Olivia’s conversations with your members. So, yes, the benefits of Olivia will be driven by strategic vision. Simply put, you’ve got to do the work of building the experience so that Olivia can deliver the experience to your members.

Why AI? Why Daxko?  Daxko is known for exceptional experiences and we have won services awards.  One of Daxko’s many R&D investments is bringing artificial intelligence to the market to enhance the member experience. Daxko acquired CSI Software about 20 months ago. Our product strategy team has been at work on not just enhancements and overhauling the Daxko Spectrum club management platform user interface and our API partner integrations, but also understanding how we can enable you to be more efficient and engaging at making members. Using AI has many benefits to the membership process—but most understated is how we can use AI, or Olivia, to extend your brand. We are actively looking at how to deploy AI across all experiences and how to use the 20+ years of membership data we have collected to give Olivia “the brain” to empower real time contextual engagement with members.

How you do what you do matters to us, and artificial intelligence in the right setting will get us there.  Yes, we are your invisible partner and with Olivia, we are going to make some major things happen.  Artificial intelligence done right, is the next best thing to being there.

Sarita Myers is a Business Strategist and a Transformation Leader that likes to fix things with her head.  Finding strategic solutions to solve “big” market problems is her work nirvana.   Customer Obsessed, Sarita believes customer discovery and customer experience mapping are the keys to identifying market problems and developing solutions to fix market needs.

 A lover of challenge and change, Sarita is excited to be leading the product strategy team at Daxko (Spectrum CSI). Sarita’s long game is to deliver strategy, positioning and products to the market that will deliver exceptional experiences.

Why Engaging Your Members Matters

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing, Membership | No Comments

Think about your organization and all the “things” that comprise it. Where did your mind first take you? The facility? Program offerings? Staff? Your cause? All of those “things” point back to two greater purposes – members and community. We wouldn’t exist without them.

Your members provide consistent support, volunteerism, donations and a sense of community unlike any other. Your function is to develop those members from casually associating themselves with a facility to connecting with a community. Then, develop those members into individuals who are committed to your organization’s cause.

This purpose is clear for a non-profit community organization, but the ideology is certainly applicable to other organizations as well. One of your focal points is retention – something that proves difficult in a world crowded with shiny, trendy, new offerings that you must constantly compete with. Members might be attracted to unique offerings, but they will stay if they feel connected with other members, trainers, or staff. Developing your community to be a supportive network that provides accountability will ensure a higher retention rate and a far more satisfied member.

There are two measures for engagement:

  1. Retention – improving your relationships with your members and connecting them to opportunities that they are interested in will decrease the rate at which you see memberships turn over. In a case study performed by our team (the Daxko Engagement Solutions Team), we found that organizations saw a 3-5% increase in retention year over year if they did the following:
    • Establish a new member orientation and develop a new member engagement initiative
    • All staff log 3-5 in person conversations each day in a tracking software
    • Communicate staff successes and coach underperformers
  2. Social Impact – engaging your members is incredibly important to accomplishing the mission of your organization, whether that mission is to make an impact through social programs OR to foster a healthy community and make a profit while doing it.
    • While retention is primarily focused on numbers, social impact focuses more on the stories that you will create when your members have an exceptional experience.

All the “things” that make up your organization are important. But what’s more important are the people and the relationships those people build with others.

 

Emily V. is a proud dog mom, and Netflix connoisseur, and lives on Daxko’s Engagement Solutions Team.