How to Easily Increase Engagement with Member Round-up Emails
Engagement and retention are fundamental to the success of your membership site.
Engaged members are happy members, and happy members tend to stick around for longer and keep paying you month after month.
As a membership site owner it's easy to tie yourself in knots trying to come up with the best ways to get your members to engage with your site, your content, and your community.
From fancy progress tracking to complex loyalty schemes; laborious member outreach programs through to advanced gamification systems.
However it can be easy to forget that often some of the less glamorous methods of engagement are the most effective.
Like… y'know… simply communicating with your members!
While that may seem obvious, it always surprises me just how many membership site owners neglect their communication strategy.
So today I’m going to take a look at one of my favourite tactics for member communication, engagement and retention – the humble “member roundup”.
What is a member roundup?
A member roundup is pretty much exactly what it sounds like – a roundup of the latest membership news that is sent to your members regularly in order to keep them up to date with everything.
It's not fancy, it doesn't require any special equipment or bells and whistles, but it is effective!
Why create a member roundup?
Well, the short answer is that regularly communicating with your members will help to aid both member engagement, and as a result, retention too.
- Highlight new content that members might otherwise miss
- Create increased connection between you and your members
- Encourage members to engage in your community
- Reinforce the value of being a member of your site
- Simply remind members that your site exists!
That’s pretty valuable in my opinion!
The overall aim of your roundup will be to get members back to your membership site and/or community. The more they visit your site, the more content they are likely to consume or the more engaged in your community they will be, and the more likely they are to get the most from your membership and achieve the results they are looking for.
You owe it to your members to encourage that!
What format should you use?
The most obvious format for your roundup is email.
Provided you have a separate email list of your members (and you should!), it will be relatively straightforward for you to create and send a regular members only email.
You could also utilise a video format however, especially if it fits with the content or style of your membership.
If you choose to use video then it requires a little more effort than an email, but once you have a process in place it can still be relatively simple.
You’ll also probably still want to use email to link members to your video, rather than relying on them organically logging into your site and seeing it.
Another option if you’re using an on-site messaging system like Intercom is to create a weekly message that pops up when someone logs in, letting them know what’s new. You could also create a forum post in your community.
But whilst forum posts and on-site messaging can work well for highlighting new content, they only work for members that are ALREADY logging into your site regularly.
So you’ll miss out on some of the benefits of a roundup, such as nudging members who haven’t logged in for a while.
So, I'd recommend email above these methods.
You can of course also use a combination of formats if you prefer, and you may find it takes a little trial and error before you find the perfect roundup style for you and your members.
For the Membership Academy for example we actually started with a monthly video format, but ended up switching to a weekly email instead.
How often should you send a roundup?
To a certain extent this depends on how much you have going on in your membership, but at a minimum you should be looking at sending a roundup to members at least monthly.
For best results though, we’ve found weekly tends to hit the sweet spot, especially if you’re including links to your community content.
If your membership doesn’t really include a community and you’re not releasing content regularly then you could also take a more ad hoc approach and send emails as and when you have something to say, but this will lessen the effectiveness.
Ideally you want to get into a routine that your members can rely on.
So sending your email on the same day every week, or on the last day of the month for example works great.
What to include
You can make your roundup as brief or as comprehensive as you would like, and what you choose to include may also depend on the format that you’ve chosen to use.
Here are some of our favourite options:
- New or updated content
- Latest discussions in your community
- Member wins or a member spotlight
- Details of any upcoming member events
- Any member offers or perks available
- Updates on what you’re doing
Ideally you will use the same format for every roundup. This not only makes it easy for you to create the roundup, but it also makes it familiar and easy for members to consume.
Creating the roundup
As mentioned above, it will help you a lot if you have a template to follow for each roundup.
For our Academy roundup then we have a simple format of a text section introducing any new content or perks and upcoming events, and then we have a section which provides links to 10 or so recent community discussions from the last week. Simple but effective!
Creating your roundup doesn’t need to be a laborious process and can actually be quite quick and easy once you have your own routine, although obviously videos will require more time due to recording and editing.
One of the best things to do is to keep track of any relevant links that you want to include in the roundup throughout the week or month.
You can have a document in Google Docs, Word, Evernote or even a project management system like Asana where you simply make a note of anything you want to include in the roundup as you come across it – especially links to community discussions, which it can be easy to lose track of.
Making this list throughout the week (or month) will make it much quicker and easier for you to actually write your roundup email or create your video.
Once created, all you need to do is send it to your members!
As a result of doing member roundups you should start to notice more members logging into your site, consuming your content or commenting in your community.
And you may notice members engaging with you personally more as well (I love it when members reply back to the roundup emails!).
If you already have a membership site and are looking at adding a regular roundup into the mix, then it’s worth specifically mentioning in the first you send that this is your plan, so that members know what to expect from now on.
It’s also a good idea to include a mention of it in your onboarding sequence too, so that new members know to expect a regular email (and will alert you if it doesn't arrive).
We’ve found roundups to be an invaluable addition to pretty much any membership site – particularly given how simple and easy they are to create.
So if you’re not using this tactic already, think about how you can utilise a roundup within your own membership and go for it!
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