Engaging your members will always be a back and forth struggle. It can be hard to get everyone on the same page with your association.
But there is one form of communication that associations can use to hone in on their members’ attention: Texting.
According to Pew Internet, texting is the most widely and frequently used app on a smartphone. In fact, 97% of Americans send at least one text message per day. That’s almost everyone in the entire United States!
So, why hasn’t your association honed in on that type of engagement power? If you’re hesitant about making the jump to reaching out via text message, let us convince you why you should start.
In this article, we’re going over highly valuable statistics and facts to convince your association to create a texting relationship with members. We’re then going to give you some tips on how your association can create the best environment for member engagement through text.
So, if you’re looking for a new, tech-savvy way to reach out to members, keep on reading.
Texting: Here’s why it works
We know what you’re thinking, how is texting a solution to your member engagement struggles? Sure, we all text, but what can it really do for your association?
While texting can seem like a trivial activity meant for teens, it actually can have quite the impact on your members. Let’s take a look at some statistics and what they could mean for your association.
Mobile Marketing Watch reports that text messages have a 98% open rate, while email only has a 20% open rate. With this in mind, there is a 78% difference in open rates between the two methods of communication, something that is almost unheard of.
On top of that, 55% of frequent texters prefer receiving a text over a phone call. This is valuable information for all associations that base their member outreach around scheduling phone calls.
And if your association is looking to attract a younger audience, texting is definitely the way to go.
According to Business Insider, a typical Millennial exchanges an average of 67 text messages per day. With that much engagement behind a text conversation, there is hope for associations looking to get ahold of the younger generation’s attention.
So, what does all of this mean for your association?
Well, with a 98% engagement rate, texting allows associations to contact and engage with those hard to reach members. If you’re struggling to get your engagement rates up through email, why not give texting a shot?
It also allows you to create a brand new form of member communication that could work well within your membership. If you’ve exhausted other forms of communication with no result, this could be the method that works the best in reaching and gaining your members’ interest back.
Now that we know the true power behind the text message, let’s talk about a few strategies you can use to start up a healthy communication process for more member engagement.
Much like emails, your association’s team can create campaigns for your text messages to send out to a list of your members.
Depending on what message you’re trying to relay to your members, you can develop a text message that helps create urgency and provides a call to action to members. Ad the best part is- the message is instant and gets sent directly to the text inboxes of your members.
For example, let’s say your association has a strong affinity for advocacy. You want a way to reach your members at a minute’s notice with any and every update on your advocacy efforts. With a text message campaign, you can reach a small group of your most-involved members to keep them in the loop with the changes and progress you’re making.
Or, let’s say you’re looking for a way to increase your volunteers.
With text messaging, you can create a campaign to get your members interested in volunteer opportunities for your association. You can send out a text to different groups of members offering them a chance to have a helping hand in your association’s events, conferences, and any other opportunity you need volunteers for.
Have an important event or conference coming up? Use texting to your advantage and send reminders to your event attendees.
In order for your events to be a huge success, you need to have event attendees. And if your members forget about your events, it might decrease the amount of attendees you receive. But if you can send out a text reminding them of the event days, weeks, or months in advance, you can combat those forgetful members.
With texting being an immediate channel, your attendees will receive a reminder right to their phone. And with an increased open rate on text messages over email, you have a much better chance of reaching them and getting them through the door of your event.
Create a reminder meeting for both a few weeks out from the event and for the day before the event. This can be something simple reminder, like “Tomorrow is event day! We hope you’re excited as we are!”. Or, you can include event details that members will find useful.
Use texting to deliver instant reminder messages to your members and leave worrying about your event attendance in the past.
Content and offers
To your members, downloadable content and offers are gold. So, why not introduce them to your members instantly through a text?
Chances are, many of your members join your association for the content. It’s a great professional resource that can educate, inform, and keep members up to date with industry trends.
And with associations looking for higher engagement rates, pushing your content directly to members is a great way to get that done.
Send a text message out once you release a new piece of downloadable content to let members know about the brand new information they can learn from. Have a new ebook you’ve written on industry related news? Promote it to your members and see your content engagement skyrocket.
Or, if you have discounts and promotions your members would be interested to learn about, you can send them a text update letting them know about the deals they can cash in on. This way, you can ensure your offers are being cashed in on.
If your association is looking for an easy way to reach out via text message, there are a variety of mass text-messaging services you can look into to save time. However, if you’re looking to keep text communication intimate, consider starting small by texting a select group of highly-engaged members.