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#MemberMonday: Six Tips for Engaging Lapsed Members by Email

By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services and Conferences

Email is one of the top ways that organizations like your Sertoma club communicates with its former members. Since many clubs aren’t fortunate to have professional marketing experts in their midst, I wanted to share six simple best practices that can make email marketing to lapsed members a little easier for anyone.

First, make sure that you are using second-person (“you”) language. It should be all about what they would get out of it, not what your club gets out of it. Make it feel personal because it is personal. A club is made up of people who spend time face-to-face with each other. Your language should feel like your club.

Demonstrate value. Help them understand what they get out of being a member. You should especially share new benefits, events and programs that have come up since they were last involved.

Play to your club’s strengths. What makes you special in your community? What does your club do better than anyone else? Don’t neglect the emotional appeal. FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is real and can be a great way to excite people about rejoining your club. It can also tug on the nostalgic heartstrings if done well. As Personify, a nonprofit technology and community solutions provider, says, “Ultimately, people way to join and stay involved when you provide services they need and enable emotional connections to others in the organization.”

Make sure that the list you are working from is correct. You don’t want to reach out to current members by accident, so review your data before sending out any messages.

Finally, think about what catches your attention. Subject lines and headlines within an email matter and are sometimes all a member will ever read. Keep language fun and conversational, and don’t be afraid to share pictures in your emails to further appeal to emotion and FOMO.

You can learn more about communicating with former club members in our club development session, Reengaging Lapsed Members.