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.

Member Engagement Solutions for the New Year

By | Engagement, Industry | No Comments

The New Year is here! We’re getting our bottles of champagne and 2018 hats ready, but do you feel set up for success in 2018? If you don’t feel ready to ring in the New Year, our Engagement Automation solution makes your job of engaging and retaining members, including new January Joins, so much easier. Daxko Engage lets you visualize your data, tell your story, and take action, setting you up for more success in January and throughout 2018.

Here’s how we do that:

Visualize Your Data
Daxko Engage provide visibility into important metrics like email analytics, but Engage also offers predictive analytics to develop your fundraising and marketing strategy. The Retention and Donor Indicators give your staff metrics to build campaign strategy based on your own data. Build smarter campaigns, tailored to the right audience using our Indicators as your guide.

Want to know exactly who’s at risk to terminate before you get that breakup call? The Retention Indicator tells you who to target so you can re-engage them rather than have to try to win back a terminated membership. The Donor Indicator shows your development staff the members that are most likely to donate if asked, giving them a huge advantage as they build campaign communication.

Tell Your Story
Not only do you gain Daxko’s marketing, communication, and data expertise, our Daxko Engage experts manage a multi-channel communication system on your behalf. We’ll focus on building and delivering the right messages to engage new members, win back terminated members, and recognize members on their special days. You’ll have more time to focus on telling your story through seasonal and highly targeted initiatives. Once you can visualize the areas you need to focus, your time is freed up can be a more effective storyteller, able to develop and deliver content to drive the metrics you need to meet your marketing and fundraising goals.

Take Action
Daxko Engage is the tool that lets you execute your entire marketing and fundraising strategy from start to finish. Use our robust email platform to shape your content and deliver it to your members. You don’t need any coding skills with our easy-to-use email builder and you can easily segment your audience into targeted groups to make sure the right audience gets the right message. Your members will love getting highly personalized communication and your staff will love how easy Daxko Engage makes shaping and delivering their marketing and fundraising campaigns.