A “one and done” method to communication just doesn’t cut it today.
A brief story will explain that over-communication is almost impossible.
Over summer I received a long text-only email from my daughter’s little league that challenged parents to become move involved.
A second email from little league a few weeks later announced a new fall softball season because several volunteers organized a new opportunity. I clicked through the email and registered my daughter.
Fast forward to one week before the new softball league’s start, and I hadn’t heard anything. I searched for past emails and couldn’t find anything, so I reached out to my network on Facebook and asked other moms. One mom directed me to the league’s Facebook page. Even though I follow the page, I did not see their update in my news feed. Another mom forwarded me an email that coaches received. What would I do without other moms?
One day later, I received an email from the softball league with the details from their Facebook page and also in the coaches’ email.
Don’t Rely on ONE Communication Channel
The main morale of my softball story is don’t rely on Facebook, nor other any one channel.
And my own personal lesson is to be more patient.
The Facebook news feed algorithm is constantly changing, and the reach of pages is declining, weighted more to personal updates, private groups, videos, and messaging. As a result, you can’t assume that your entire audience has seen your post or update.
In contrast, you have more control over your website and email as the owner of your domain, email list and content. You have a greater chance of reaching more of your audience when you integrate your communications strategy, which means sending emails, updating your website and posting on social media sites. Considering the average email open rate for clubs is around 15% (as measured by Constant Contact), multiple emails and touches may be required to have a message finally reach a customer.
Know your Customer
Parents are busy people, and September is an exceptionally crazy time of year with back to school. Knowing this alone, any group that communicates with parents should plan out several communication points at least two to three weeks in advance.
Sometimes due to planning timelines or organizing volunteers, it’s difficult to have all of the information needed in order to organize a well-written communication. When that occurs, consider a “coming soon” or countdown message that releases important information and reminders as details are finalized.
Tailor your communications to your customer based on their needs and preferences. Consider surveying customers to ask how they prefer to receive communications. Many customers will gladly share their opinions on timing, frequency, and communication method. I’ve often seen larger retail organizations have email subscription preferences at sign-up, where you can choose from monthly, weekly, or daily emails.
For small businesses or organizations, it’s unlikely that daily communications will be sent; weekly or even monthly updates are much more common.
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