Take Your Engagement to the #Nextlevel

By | Daxko Engage, Engagement, Industry | No Comments

I’m going to cut to the chase: Next Level service requires data. Daxko is in the business of next level service – and you are too.

Consider this scenario: It’s peak join month. Your membership staff is putting in extra hours to deal with the influx of joins. They’re obtaining basic information about new members – including why they joined and what their membership goals are. This information will ultimately make or break their membership. Bucketing that information to provide strategic offerings and intentional engagement opportunities can be difficult without a procedure in place.

The What:

You might be thinking to yourself, “How do we bucket that data when it’s just a bunch of words?” That’s when we swoop in with the answer of the decade: hashtags.

Hashtags, or keywords, are extremely useful in sorting notes your team members have logged about members. Check out these real examples of hashtags in action:

  • Charles stopped me in the hall and complimented me on my Flow class yesterday. We talked about his fitness journey and why he stays motivated to be active. It was nice to get to know him a little better. #MemberMarvels #GroupFitness
  • We talked about a committee we are on together. He mentioned that he is here almost every day! #FierceFundraisers
  • I engaged Keiko on the 2nd She was getting ready to do a group fitness class. She does not use any equipment – she prefers group fitness overall. #Story

The How:

The first step in bucketing your data will be deciding on keywords you’d like to keep an eye on.

Check out this Hashtag Bank to see examples from your peers and develop your own “bank.”

We recommend focusing on who is pulling the reports, determine what data they’re most interested in and work backwards. Start small and build the list to make sure the process catches on without overloading staff. Departmental and goal-oriented hashtags are a great start!

From here, you’ll want to communicate your decisions. Tell staff in team meetings, post your Hashtag Bank in an employee area or next to desktops, and make sure to reward team members who are doing a great job. Giving them kudos shows the team that this is important – plus, everyone likes to be rewarded for a job well done.

Your Next Steps:

Once you’ve created and discussed your Hashtag Bank, extracting information is simple! Log into Daxko Operations and head to Custom Reports. Access your Daxko Engage reports and navigate to the Keyword Search Report. From here, you’ll simply put in your parameters. You can also set a schedule if it is something you’d like to pull monthly.

Pull trends around areas of interest that your organization can expand upon. If a large group of people share similar goals, consider developing a specialized program for that group of members to create a community and solution for your members. You can communicate with them by utilizing the custom Member ID group rule in Daxko Engage. From there, the world is your oyster!

 

Email Design Mega No-Nos

By | Engagement, Industry | No Comments

Did you know? Your design choices impact deliverability.

The truth is out – when it comes to email marketing, your inbox DOES judge a book by its cover.

Sending email initiatives through Daxko Engage allows your team to strengthen your community outside of the walls of your facility. However, if your design or content is off, your emails may not be as effective as they could be.

Your messaging should clearly show who the email is coming from and what action the reader is expected to take – all while making connections and establishing trusting relationships.

It is easy to make a mistake. Not only are your readers able to see those mistakes, Internet Service Providers are actively looking for any slip-ups to protect their readers. Stay alert when designing, and avoid these five frequently made mistakes that tend to send emails to junk folders.

  1. NOT ASKING PERMISSION

Before emailing anyone, you are responsible for getting their consent.  It may be considered “implied consent” when members give you their email addresses; however, it is still better to ask. In the case that they do not want to receive emails from you, they could mark your IP as spam, which affects your overall reputation and deliverability.

  1. LACKING PERSONALIZATION

Remembers to always ask yourself, “Would all recipients care about this content now?” Additionally, if you are using merge tags, make sure your source data is correct. For example, if you’re using the First Name field to document a preferred name, a member could potentially receive an email that says, “Hey Robert ‘Bob’!” – not an ideal experience.

It also helps to put a face to the content you’re sending out. Using a generic “noreply@domain.com” from address implies that the conversation is one-sided. Similarly, it tends to be better to use personalization in the From Name field. An email coming from the Daxko Family Center is relatively generic, but if it is coming from Daxko Family Aquatics or from a person’s name they recognize, the recipient will have a much better idea of what to expect within the email.

  1. OVERDOING IT WITH IMAGES

While the poster you created for an event may be perfect to hang on the bulletin board, there are three reasons you shouldn’t use that poster image in an email.

  1. Spam filters will see a single image with no text and presume the content you are sending to your subscribers is spam.
  2. When viewed on a mobile device, text may be difficult to read due to mobile responsiveness.
  3. If the recipient does receive your message, images may be turned off by default leading to the message being ignored or unsubscribed from.

Similarly, you wouldn’t want to have an email with a whole lot of images and little text. Keep it as simple as you can.

  1. USING SPAMMY LANGUAGE

There are three things to watch out for in the Subject Line and Body content of your email.

  • Certain words can trigger spam filters including: hurry, free, lifetime, risk-free, and many more. Hubspot has an all-inclusive list of words to avoid that we encourage you to check out.
  • USING ALL CAPS IS DANGEROUS.
  • Finally, it is best to avoid exclamation points!!!
  1. NON-COMPLIANCE WITH CAN-SPAM REGULATION

If you’re an email marketer, you’re likely familiar with CAN-SPAM or, most recently, GDPR – which only affects customers in the EU. But, what if you’re a program director who occasionally sends out emails? While I encourage you to review email regulations if you are sending out emails, a good rule of thumb is to include an unsubscribe link and mailing address on all email communications.

Take this opportunity to BE PROACTIVE with your email deliverability. This includes asking members to opt-in; being thoughtful about email formatting, volume, and content; and reducing bounces by cleaning up member data.

Check your communication tool’s analytics to ensure you do not have a high number of bounces or unsubscribes, and when in doubt, do not hesitate to reach out to your support team for guidance!

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

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry | One Comment

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.