Below, Membership Expert Frank Kenny shares his thoughts on marketing automation for associations:
When you ask associations if they are using marketing automation to gain back time or get more done, the answer is still usually no, not really.
The reasons for this vary, but three of the more common excuses are we don’t have the:
- time to implement marketing automation
- skills to be successful
- money in our budget to acquire and maintain it
Lack of Time.
Yes, setting up your marketing automation system does take a little bit of time upfront, but once it is up and running, you get back that time and more.
Lack of Skills.
There are many tools on the market now that make setting up the system drop-dead easy, even for those without technical skills.
Lack of Funds.
Lack of money is no longer a valid reason for not implementing basic marketing automation systems because the price has come down significantly. Check the software you’re already using. Much of the software out there now contains marketing automation features, making entry free for you.
Now that you no longer have any excuses, here are a couple of marketing automation baby steps to begin at your organization.
Step One: Set up Two Email Autoresponder Series
These don’t take much time to set up. They also don’t take any special technical skills. And, you probably already have this feature as part of your current email software investment, so no added cost.
Set an autoresponder series for onboarding new members. Write out three emails to:
- welcome the new member and congratulate them on making a smart investment by joining your organization.
- introduce them to the staff and board. Share who does what for them.
- explain the next steps on getting the most value from their membership.
Here is a great article from Associations Now with some additional specific tips on welcome emails.
Set another autoresponder series for new leads as part of an indoctrination series.
If a person subscribes to your email list but doesn’t join your organization, set the system to automatically send out a series of three emails that explain what solutions your organization offers for members.
In these emails:
- introduce your team. You are looking to create know, like, and trust.
- explain how often they will hear from you and then show them you keep your promises by doing what you say you are going to do.
- tell them what they can expect from your ongoing, lead nurturing, emails. Give them a reason to open your emails.
Check out this article that goes in-depth about setting up your indoctrination series:
Step Two: Set up a Facebook Messenger Bot
Don’t be scared of Facebook Messenger technology. It is quick, easy, and cheap to set these up.
First, go to ManyChat.com and sign up for the free basic package. Then watch their free video training series that explains how to set up your Bot.
Once you set up your ManyChat account, I recommend you produce a lead magnet, share it on Facebook, and use ManyChat’s Facebook Comments Tool to add bot subscribers who you can communicate with and market to.
If you take these two baby steps toward using marketing automation you will accomplish several things.
- Your organization will be keeping up with the times. If the world changes and your organization fails to change with it, the end is near.
- You will regain valuable time while also delivering better customer service. These tools don’t take vacations or need days off. They are consistent. They make you look more advanced, professional, and dependable.
- Your marketing will improve. You will be moving prospects automatically through the prospect/member journey even while you are working on other projects.
Many people have looked back and wished their organization had acted to keep up with the times. Don’t be one of them. Marketing automation isn’t something to do in the future. It is here now and taking these baby steps will allow you to move your organization forward. Soon your organization will be walking and then running.