Emails are a fantastic way to share information and engage with your members. In fact, they are probably the primary way you communicate key info. However, your audience’s inboxes are already stuffed with dozens of emails a day. Your messages are packed with exciting news and important announcements, but getting people to open them can be a challenge.
Here's How to Give Your emails the Attention they deserve
(1) Understand and Segment Your Audience
Your members are unique individuals with different needs and interests. A one-size-fits-all email approach simply doesn’t work. Take the time to break down or segment your mailing list into smaller groups of like-minded members. Create an email list just for your early childhood families, prospective members, religious school families and more. Membership management databases (like a CRM) make this task even easier.
(2) Use Engaging Subject Lines
An email’s success depends on the quality of its title. The subject line is what is going to draw them in. Short and direct statements or enticing questions are the way to go. Instead of a standard “Weekly News and Events at Temple Shalom” try something more exciting like “What will you do this week at Temple Shalom?”
(3) Stay on Brand
Consider your emails to be an extension of your online brand. Unify the design of your emails with the look and feel of your website. Incorporate your synagogue logo and use similar fonts and colors to those on your website. Photos and other images are then used to supplement the design.
(4) Keep Content Short and Sweet
Resist the urge to cram every last bit of information about an upcoming event into one email. When promoting events, include basic information like the date, time, and place and contact info. Entice readers to learn more with an image. Then provide a link to your website or Facebook page where your community can learn more, get involved, and register.
The purpose of publicizing an event in an email is to notify your community that the event is happening. Think of the email as an announcement and the website as the repository for more information.
(5) Keep an Eye on Email Length
This is perhaps the most challenging tip. With so many upcoming events and news topics, it’s easy for the length of your emails to rapidly exceed your reader’s attention. If your audience has to scroll down the screen a lot to read your entire email, chances are only the top and bottom parts of your email will be read. Much of your middle content runs the risk of being ignored.
(6) Create "Email Rules"
List segmentation and keeping event info to a minimum can help reduce email length, but devising a set of email rules is key for lasting success. Work with your team to set some ground rules. Decide which events meet the criteria of being included in your weekly newsletter. Do you feature events happening in the next two weeks, month, or two months? What kind of events are appropriate for your emails? Once your content rules are established, it will be a lot easier to keep the length of your emails in check.
(7) Test & Measure Results
Your email may look good on your desktop computer, but how does it appear on your iPhone? What about an Android? Don’t make yourself crazy, but it’s a good idea to test your email on a bunch of different devices before sending. Interested in learning more about how to optimize your emails for mobile readers.
And, while you are at it, make sure all of your links work and take readers to the correct place.
Your email has been successfully sent out. Now what? It’s time to study the results, of course. If you are using an email service provider like Constant Contact or MailChimp, you have the ability to review and analyze the results. A good CRM (like jManage) will also have the ability to track this data. Evaluate what’s working and where you can improve. Check out the open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate. Reflect on your results and then use it to improve.
And, as you analyze your results, take the time to keep your email lists up to date. Remove the names of former members or those who have recently passed away. If a current congregant's email is bouncing, try contacting him or her by phone to get a current email address.