With the announcement of our new email composer, which makes creating email campaigns easy and fun to use, we collected a handful of tips from our community managers. They work closely with our clients to ensure that insights are being optimized and that community members are satisfied and cared for. We want both our clients and community members to interact in a space that is uncomplicated, welcoming, and familiar. Below is a list of best practices that are tried and tested to be highly effective for email recruitment.
We have found that building rapport with your community members begins by setting timely expectations. We recommend sending out an email on the same day every week. Even if you don’t have new activities or anything new to say, just sending out a simple update or thank you goes a long way—but consistency is key. You are creating a Pavlovian response from your members when you set a consistent schedule of communication.
Be Punny! Get your creative juices flowing and don’t be afraid to be playful and fun with your members. We encourage, when recruiting, to use fun and elusive subject headlines that will cause members to want to open the email. We have an average open rate of 50% and a 45% click-through rate, higher than industry average. We credit this success to the existing rapport we have with members.
Use headlines that create immediacy, such as “final chance to…” “exclusive offer…” and make sure to play up exclusivity when appropriate. One of our go-to subject headings is “Special offer just for community members.” Another great way to create immediacy is to hint or allude to an answer to a question: “Find out now…” or “Ways to increase…” It’s important to note that this only works when you make the body of the email relevant to the heading so transparency is paramount. The last thing you want is to create distrust with your members. Make sure that when you are using these traditional “click-bait” tactics, you are providing them with information that is valuable and relevant.
Buttons and Hyperlinks:
Our perspective is that you should make use of both hyperlinks and buttons in every email. Using various links and buttons only helps to increase the likelihood that members will take the appropriate action. Your job is to provide proper instruction. The caveat is, as always, to make sure that you are clear about what you want members to do. Buttons and links that say, “sign up now” or “take this survey” while not necessarily the most glamorous call to actions tend to produce the best results. There isn’t technically a limit to how many buttons and links you can use but be aware that they should all be leading to the same activity. If you are linking multiple activities, the best rule of thumb would be to not use buttons but stick to strictly links.
Try and use images in all your emails. Pictures are the biggest cue for what activity you are asking members to participate in. Members associate images with the activity so make sure that you are using the appropriate picture that corresponds with the activity. People tend to remember pictures over words so images are a great instructional tactic.
Our most salient advice for best email practices is to maintain the integrity of your brand’s design. This establishes trust between community members to engage in a space that is owned by you and your brand. We have the biggest success when the clients we work with prescribe a style for tone, language, and design for all email campaigns. We consider ourselves master chameleons; we can easily mold ourselves to be a direct extension of your brand, and that is ultimately our goal.