I signed up for a new piece of software last week and, as so often does, that triggered a “drip sequence” of onboarding emails… one email (drip), then another email the next day (drip), then another the next day (drip).
You’ve experienced that sort of thing, haven’t you?
I am a huge fan of drip sequences. They definitely have their place in nurturing a new relationship. However, the problem with this sequence is that they chose to focus the drips on things that didn’t match where I was in my experience. Each email was teaching a piece of the onboarding process and I was waaaaaay ahead of the drips.
It was like I had already finished the entire season of a Netflix show and they were sending me daily emails about what I’d find in episode 2, then episode 3, etc. Not at all useful.
In membership organizations, I tend to see two approaches happen at opposite sides of the spectrum. On the one side, there are organizations that stuff their Welcome email with *all-the-things* that a new member could ever want to know or do, which can lead to complete overwhelm. Or on the other hand, they do as this software company did, dripping out instructional details so slowly that the emails have zero impact whatsoever.
The key to a successful drip sequence is to match where the recipient is in their experience. While instructional details might seem to work great in this context because there’s a step 1, step 2, step 3, it’s rarely possible to get the pacing right… unless you have a system that automatically knows when someone has finished step 1 and immediately shoots off the instructions for step 2, then automatically knows when step 2 is done so that the instructions for step 3 can be sent.
We set up this sort of system for a current client who had put her membership program in JourneyCARE, my new member care software. She knows exactly where her members are in the process because there’s an action that they perform at each step. The system sees that action happen and -boom- the next step triggers. It creates a just-in-time kind of communication strategy that works beautifully.
Even if you don’t have a magical software that knows exactly where people are in their journey with you and can do the right thing at the right time, you can still use drip sequences effectively. Just don’t make them instructional. Instead focus on trust building, story telling, and acclimating members to your organizational culture – things that will “feel” like they connect to right where the person is at that time.
If we go back to the watching a show on Netflix example, instead of emails that tell me what to expect in episode 2, then 3, then 4 when I’ve already finished the show, imagine how different the emails would feel if they instead focused on the making of the series, interviews with the actors, and the impact that the show has had on other viewers. If I were ahead of pace, I’d be thinking, “oh yes! I remember that! That’s so true!” and if I were behind the pace, those emails would be warming me up to things that are yet to come.
The difference may seem subtle, but the effect isn’t. Timing makes a HUGE difference in how members experience your communication.
Do These 4 Words Describe Your Member Care?
Just a quick heads up that I’ll be doing another training for Wild Apricot’s audience next Tuesday at 2 pm Eastern (1 pm Central). Anyone is welcome to attend and the content of the training isn’t specific to the Wild Apricot software.
This is brand new content that I am sharing for the first time, so I hope to see you there!
Member Experience Design Trends for 2021 (and Beyond)
2020 was a year of unprecedented challenge for most membership organizations. Whether you feel like your organization did a great job responding and pivoting – or you found yourself overwhelmed by the uncertainty of it all, there’s a good chance that you’re starting to look around now and ask, “where do we go from here?”
In this free webinar, Joy Duling from The Joy of Membership will be with us to share trends that emerged over the past year and are likely here to stay.
- 7 trends that you should be paying attention to as a membership professional
- How each of these trends can impact your ability to attract, engage, and retain members
- Specific ways to easily weave these trends into your operations