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Association Communications Outreach: "One and Done" Won't Cut It!

Mon, April 18, 2022 6:30 AM | Mark Bowers

The Importance of Messaging to Connect with Volunteers, Members, and Folks Who Ought to be Members!

TLDR: In April, May, and June 2022, PDCHR is presenting a series of FREE roundtables and workshops focusing on membership association communications and outreach. You can register at, and/or catch the recordings at

Messaging is a critical part of communication in the our workspace—typically, our constituents gather infrequently, communicate asynchronously, and have a variety of demands on their time. Multi-channel, micro-targeted messaging can help get folks’ attention better than the traditional “Hey, I sent an email” position.

Consider using messaging apps in your organization’s day-to-day operations. For starters, it is a more personal way of communicating with volunteers, members and other collaborators. It is also easier to organize conversations into threads (tagging!) which makes it easier to find specific messages when you and your constituents need them. Additionally, it is easy to share photos and files so that everyone in the conversation can see them. This makes it easier for people to follow along with the conversation more easily. Lastly, having a central messaging app will increase productivity by cutting down on email and phone / text / other app clutter.

Communications Outreach Emails Handle Online Challenges

Communications outreach emails are a crucial part of any marketing strategy. Typically, membership associations market to members with breaking news, education resources, advocacy actions, and/or socialization opportunities. Once you have your membership is aware that you’re using email as a regular, primary source of contact, the interested ones will probably devote the time to read your email. Or the one you send later to non-openers.

Challenge moment: Marketing to non-members to raise awareness and elicit a “I’d like to learn more” response.

There’s no denying that email is one of the most powerful channels for reaching out to engage members and interest prospects. But it also has its limitations in terms of automation and scalability. That's where automated outreach emails come into picture.

The best sales prospecting tool helps you scale your communications outreach efforts by automating your email outreach campaigns and making them scalable at the same time!

Without the right outreach (ok, call it prospecting) tool, you could be wasting valuable time on email outreach campaigns that just won’t convert. The best sales prospecting tool will help you automate your email outreach campaigns, assess their effectiveness, and make them scalable at the same time.

Ideally, your outreach tool would also provide the opportunity to get your message out there on other channels (“I only look at Slack”, “Text me or don’t bother me”, “A phone call would’ve been nice”). (Ok, seriously, who answers the phone from a non-contact anymore?)

How to Write Effective Outreach Openers

Sending isn’t enough. Subject lines…or the first sentence of your text…make all the difference in whether or not the recipient reads another word. You need to make sure that your message gets opened! Here are some tips on how to write a good opener:

  1. Subject line and/or first few words: Grab their attention! If you’re not hinting at “what’s in it for them”, you’ll probably be ignored
  2. Move the bottom line to the top. Give them the opportunity to get interested and maybe event make a quick decision without wading through a lot of material
  3. Ok, so you want to share all that material. Fine. Put it after the “bottom line” (See #2 above!)
  4. If you’re making an ask—let them know why it’s important to you and your organization. E.g. “Your answer will help us make sure you get what you’re looking for out of the session”

What do you think?

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