How Much Email is Too Much Email for Members?

Successful new member onboarding programs include an email series comprised of messages written specifically with new members in mind. The most effective email plan is extensive, 6 to 15 emails, sent out over seven months or more.

When I explain this in presentations, a participant usually asks, “our members are saying we send too many emails, isn’t this way too much?”

My answer is, “probably not.”

New members want emails from the association. They crave emails from the association. During the first few weeks of membership, they are willing to read a bunch of emails, within reason.

The minute after a new member joins they are unconsciously looking for confirmation that joining was the right decision. How do we confirm they made the right decision to join? We immediately respond with a message whose goal is providing them with a bit of value. This message is not a list of benefits because these messages do not get read. Instead, the message should be just a few sentences leading them to a value-packed, but easy to access, and quick-to-consume valuable piece of content. This first engagement should take only 1-2 minutes. Most of the emails in the series should follow this frictionless template; short, fast, and valuable.

Within the first three weeks of membership, members start on their path of engagement (or not). Whether they become super-engaged, engaged, barely engaged, or not at all engaged is primarily dictated by their experience in the first three weeks. The first three-week window is usually the association’s best opportunity to influence members. Take this opportunity to send new members emails packed with value that they can access without having to pay more.

During the first three weeks, members also learn whether they should read or ignore our emails. When emails are timely and value-packed members, look forward to them. But, when messages are dull, demanding, long, and pleading marketing messages, they start habitually ignoring emails.

It may be true that your association is sending members too many email messages, but, it is unlikely that new members are getting too many email messages from your association.

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