Of all the emails that come into your inbox every day how many do you actually read? How much of your junk mail do you actually read? There’s a constant feed of social media posts flooding your accounts. How many do you think you catch? Probably just a fraction. A quick scan of all those unread messages tells you they don’t apply to you.
Same with your members they think much of what you send to them does not apply to them. But this stuff does apply to them, you say! That means your messages are not hitting the mark. Here’s why your members may not be responding to your marketing communications:
Use their words
When I’m working with clients I’m often surprised by the difference between what the client calls things and what their members call things. From professional titles to the work professionals do there is often a mis-match between the words used by the organization’s staff and the words that members commonly use. I find this across the board in associations, small business and non-profits. Not using your member’s words sets you apart making trust that much harder.
Answer their questions
Write copy trying to stand in your member’s shoes. Anticipate the questions they are asking in their minds as they read your copy and then answer those questions. Think a lot about those overarching questions like: will this be a waste of my time? Will I regret buying, joining or attending? Especially with writing for the web pretend you are having a conversation with your reader. Write a bit, anticipate the questions they’ll be asking and answer those questions. Some experts say that 80% of the buying decision is made online so give members what they want and need and answer their questions.
Write from their point of view
Look through your copy. Are there more we’s than you’s? Are you writing about what you think or what your members think? Are you writing about what you think they should care about or what they think you should care about? Take a look a some home pages, many organizations write about what makes them great not about what makes their customers great. Members have a hard time making the link from why your organization is so great to how you can help them.
The more you can understand and empathize with your members the stronger all your marketing communications will be.