From subject line to messaging, your emails to members can have a big impact or fall short. This is especially true when it comes to eliciting action from your members, say asking members to complete a survey or to cast a vote in a board election or merger election.
Jenn Barton, marketing director at Votenet Solutions, Washington, D.C., offers tips on getting members to click and take action, specifically when it comes to voting. Votenet powers CUES eVote, CUES’ election management and online voting service.
Getting to the Point
“Your members and voters will decide to open your email based on the subject line—it can make or break your campaign. Why would you spend time crafting a compelling email message that will never be read because you chose a boring or irrelevant subject?” Barton asks.
Like a headline in a newspaper, your subject line grabs your member’s attention. But just like a headline, it’s often left to the end of the writing process and is sometimes rushed. While you may take careful time crafting the body of your message, it will have zero impact if it’s never read.
Barton suggests trying the four “U” approach as a checklist for subject lines:
Useful—How will members benefit from opening your email?
Ultra-specific—What does your email promise? What will members learn or find out?
Unique—Is that promise compelling and remarkable?
Urgent—Will members feel the need to read your email now?
As with all member services these days, credit unions must also consider mobile when crafting member emails. “Today about half of all emails are read on mobile phones, so you have to consider the device your members are using to read your messages. Some mobile phones limit subject lines to 40-50 characters so plan accordingly,” Barton says.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
From what they’ll have for breakfast to which lane they’ll choose for driving on the way home from work, members are in decision mode all day. Members can grow tired of choosing and that makes it even more important to make messaging and calls to action easy on members.
“Scientists who have studied decision fatigue have recommended everything from altering the time of day we make choices to recharging with foods that contain glucose before making important decisions,” Barton says.
She points to the ease of one-click ordering from retail innovator Amazon as a prime example of increasing the likelihood of taking action. When you know what you want, your credit card information is there, your mailing address is set up and you just have to click once, who wouldn’t order?
“Just as Amazon’s 1-Click buying process revolutionized e-commerce, eBallot’s one-click voting tool (which powers eVote) has made voting completely frictionless and easy for voting administrators and voters,” Barton explains.
Votenet has made one-click voting possible by sending each member a link embedded with personalized login information. Members don’t have to take an extra step to log in; they click the link and they’re sent directly to the ballot to vote.
Laura Lynch is CUES' products & services manager.