Membership organisations and online marketingDecember 18, 2011 10:37 am Email Communications
As Chamber of Commerce members we recently received an email shot from a member company, sent out to the whole membership base, with everyone’s details in the ‘To’ field (instead of bcc’d or set up in a list).
The company made amends by sending an apology and a follow up. That follow up didn’t say a lot but had an attachment (PDF) introducing the company.
Intrigued at how it could be possible to make two obvious mistakes, I looked at the company website (I won’t embarrass them here by naming who they are) and it was a one pager that did nothing to sell their merits.
I went to LinkedIn to find the person who had sent the email. They have 6 connections and haven’t even set up their profile.
I searched Google for phrases related to their business sector – no sign of them in any shape or form, even within the free opportunities.
As members of the Chamber, companies are entitled to do sendouts to the membership base and although the Chamber (this could apply to any membership organisation) do provide a little bit of guidance, surely they should have something more stringent in place? Surely the person who wants access to the membership list should have a check list that they’re supposed to tick off, that includes:
- How to send the email so that all recipients aren’t identified so blatantly.
- Creation of an email that contains the introductory information (rather than an attachment, which most people won’t look at).
- Having a website that’s worth promoting (just the basics like client case studies, testimonials, etc.).
- Having a LinkedIn profile that is at least to an adequate level and so doesn’t make them look like an amateur.
It would take a membership organisation a relatively small amount of time to create such a check list, giving links to other reference points where people can find out more (e.g. a link to a LinkedIn profile setup guide). The company wanting to do the email out would confirm that they’re in agreement with what’s on the check list and that they have taken actions accordingly. Only then do they get access to the membership list.
Taking that recent example, the outcomes are:
- The Chamber of Commerce look poor for not having stronger systems in place.
- The company who sent the email look poor for being so unaware of how to market themselves properly.
Maybe this is just the experience from the local Chamber and other Chambers of Commerce (or membership organisations in general) do it in a different way, so it’d be interesting to get any feedback on any shining examples of excellence?