As association professionals with heaps of valuable information to share digitally with our members, we’ve all found ourselves asking “what’s missing? Why am I sending emails and not getting the response I need?” Whether event or education registration, membership renewals and everything in between, we all wish engagement was higher.
The short answer is that most communications today are done via what we call broadcasts. We have a lot of information about us—announcements, articles, events, courses—that we want to share with our members. Without a better method of mass communication, we send it all in a broadcast. Maybe it is via a newsletter that lists everything that is going on this week, or maybe it is via targeted emails to people who we think might be interested in hearing about a specific topic.
Ultimately, this style of conversation is one-way. You are telling people about your organization, but the only thing they can tell you about themselves is whether they are clicking on the links.
Sure, an individual recipient could reply to the email, but you aren't asking them to reply. And imagine if all of them actually did. You would be overwhelmed at the prospect of having a one-on-one conversation with 1,000 people, with no systems or automation to help facilitate it.
There is a place for broadcasts, of course; they are useful for keeping people informed. But if you are only sending broadcasts, you are not engaging your members as effectively as you could be. The missing element is the different between one-way and two-way communications.
You can read this excerpt as well as other Association Marketing practices that focus on two-way, individualized digital communications in the Conversational Engagement eBook. Download it here.