membership retention

Flickr - mtsofanThat’s the subject line of this morning’s email from our local JCC, asking for my input on its member survey.

My immediate response was to delete it, because it’s all about the JCC’s needs and not about what members like me need. At least that’s what the subject line conveys!

Has your organization ever alienated its audiences doing something like this, something totally narcissistic?

Here’s what’s really annoying: The JCC folks do get it right in the first sentence of the email itself — There is only 1 week left to take our online JCC feedback survey. Please take a few minutes to complete it. Your opinion is extremely important as it helps us focus our improvement efforts on the areas that matter most to our community. We hope to hear from all of you!

But that’s the only sentence in the entire wordy email that speaks to serving the wants and needs of us JCC members. And most folks won’t even get there because the subject line is so JCC-focused.

Let me say it again — it isn’t about you and your organization. The engagement you crave comes only when you identify, understand and speak directly to the wants of your target audiences in language they’ll connect with.

If anything, I recommend you over-emphasize your audience focus. Because you’ll miss out entirely if it’s all about you.

My suggestion for a far more effective subject line is this: Pls take 5 minutes to tell us what you need. Same request, just turned around to address member needs, which makes a huge difference.

What are your strategies for getting to know your audiences and showing them that their wants and interests are important to you? Please join the discussion.

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Nancy Schwartz on October 18, 2010 in Branding and Messages | 5 comments
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