It’s All In The Branding
Every organization has its own distinctive branding which is essential to creating a strong brand image across its chapters. It’s important that your chapter adheres to the brand guidelines set by national. Make sure you take into account the following assets in any marketing collateral you produce:
The mission statement.
This is the big one. Make sure everything your chapter does is in line with the organization’s mission statement as a whole. This is what aligns the organization and all the members.
Name and logo.
Organizations usually have strict rules concerning what can and can’t be done with the logo. Make sure you follow these.
Using the correct colors will ensure your marketing has a polished, professional look that’s immediately recognizable as belonging to your organization.
Never underestimate the importance of a good font. A stylish, high-end font immediately gives your collateral the polished look you’ll be looking for. Use Comic Sans and we guarantee you’ll never hear the end of it! Approved font choices will likely have been set out in your brand guidelines.
Brand aligned imagery.
Stick to pre-approved image styles set out in your brand guidelines.
If you’re unsure about any of the above, make sure you get in contact with national to discuss – you won’t want to waste money on marketing collateral only to find out that you can’t use it!
Email Marketing: It’s The Way To Get The Word Out
An e-newsletter is a simple, effective form of communication that’ll enable you to reach the maximum amount of people, incredibly quickly. But, there’s a knack to sending an effective e-mail that gets results.
Make use of software that makes your life easier. Take a look at Constant Contact, Magnet Mail, Mailchimp, Get Response, Sparkpost, ActiveCampaign or Outlook. These sites offer templates that you can tailor to your own requirements, making building your email a breeze.
When creating your email make sure that you keep the goal of the newsletter in mind. Consider the question “what’s in it for me?” when thinking about how your recipients might respond. Make sure your campaign is specific and the results are measurable.
And finally, think about that all-important call to action! Make sure it’s obvious and easy for the recipient to respond. Make sure it’s closely aligned with the marketing goal of your email campaign.
Are Your Email Templates Already Provided?
Some organizations will have created email templates for you to use. These might include frequent newsletters such as a monthly update, new member welcome, renewal reminders, member benefit reminders, event information and education opportunities. Check with your point of contact at national before you go ahead and create your own templates.
How To Create The Perfect E-Newsletter
These four simple steps will ensure that your e-newsletter gets results.
- Call To Action (CTA): Your email needs a clear and persuasive call-to-action, and this needs to stand out. Make it easy for the recipient to respond to your call to action. Examples of typical CTAs include signing up for an event, filling out a survey, or nominating someone for an award. Try not to include more than one CTA per email.
- A Stand Out Subject Line: Never underestimate the importance of a good subject line. Many people decide whether or not to open an email based on this alone. First impressions really do count in the world of email marketing.
- Eye-Catching Design: A nicely formatted, eye-catching design is crucial. Use bullet points where necessary, incorporate images and break text into bite-sized chunks. If the email looks boring, or it’s challenging to read, you won’t get results.
- Think Deliverability: Encourage recipients to add your organization to their subscription list. Adding your organization can help ensure that your email arrives in their inbox. Make sure your email database is current and includes everyone you need to be speaking to.
Email Inbox Rates: The Dos and Don’ts
If you have your email marketing set-up, but you need to improve your inbox rates, check out the following dos and don’ts, provided by Real Magnet, a Marketing Automation platform.
- Use attachments in your email or link to “executable” les like .exe, .zip, or .swf. You’ll just end up hitting your recipients’ spam filters.
- Use spam words or phrases unnecessarily, similar to “act now”, “click here”, “limited time” or “guaranteed”.
- Use all capital letters or exclamation symbols.
- Use aggressive colors, such as red or green, with text.
- Display full URLs in the body of your message. Instead, use a call-to-action and hyperlink the link to those words.
- Use a large, single image in your message.
- Use your organization’s domain in your “from” address to authenticate your email message.
- Include your physical mailing address and phone number in the footer of every email message.
- Provide an unsubscribe link within every message. This could help reduce spam complaints from recipients.
- Use opt-in/permission-based marketing techniques to avoid sending to unknown or invalid addresses.
- Ensure that the email template design reflects your branding guidelines and/or website.
- Verify that all images in your message have an alternative text description if the image isn’t rendered.
Creating Your Chapter Website
In this day and age, a good website is a must. Your website needs to be the face of your chapter, while still representing the interests of national and adhering to those all-important brand guidelines we talked about earlier.
If you’re setting up a website for your chapter, make sure you check whether or not national provides site templates and hosting for this purpose. It’ll make your life a whole lot easier if they do!
If you’re building your a website from scratch, there are plenty of low-cost tools which simplify what can seem a daunting task. Check out Wix, Envato, WordPress, Weebly and Squarespace for a few options.
If national provides templates and hosting, you’ll need to find out:
- Who to contact at national to start the process? What unique content are you responsible for?
- Are there any guidelines/minimum requirements for frequency of website updates?
- Is there access to national for support if you run into challenges? Who is the point of contact?
If you’re setting up your own website, make sure you ask:
- Is there a preferred provider list you should use to start your search?
- Is there a website branding guide you should follow?
- Are there minimum requirements in terms of content that should be visible on the site?
- Is there a member community or portal you’ll have to integrate into the website?
- Is there any access to technical support at national if you get stuck? Who is the point of contact?