Jumping Into Automation: What If Our Parachute Doesn't Open?

Episode Thumbnail
This is a podcast episode titled, Jumping Into Automation: What If Our Parachute Doesn't Open?. The summary for this episode is: <p>Your first automated campaign can be terrifying. Getting management and executives to buy in, knowing where to start, and emailing just the right amount can be difficult. That's why today's episode of The Member Engagement Show is a session from Higher Logics 2021 Super Forum Conference. Beth Arritt and Vivian Swertinski are hosts of this session and are here to give you insights and tips to help you run your automated campaign smoothly. Listen now!</p>
Approaches to getting buy-in from higher ups
02:37 MIN
Processing efficiency - Automate what you can!
01:25 MIN
Promote your success
01:40 MIN
Learn from each step, adjust, and grow
02:16 MIN

Beth Arritt: Welcome to the Member Engagement Show with Higher Logic, the podcast for association professionals looking to boost retention, gain new members and deepen member involvement. Each episode I'll bring on some experts. We'll talk shop about engagement, and you'll walk away with strategies proven to transform your organization. I'm Beth Arritt, an association evangelist with over 25 years experience in marketing and member engagement and I'm so happy you're here. So let's start the show. This week, I'm excited to share a session from our 2021 Super Forum Conference that one of my favorite people, Vivian Swertinksi and I did on automated campaigns. Viv actually helped me create my first renewal campaign quite a few years ago, and I feel really lucky to get to work with her and take advantage of her experience with so many customers. In this session, we'll talk about how it can be scary jumping into automation. So we dig into how to get buy- in, how to get started and how to make sure that you're not over emailing as you go. As always, we love to hear from you so let us know what you think about this episode over on HUG or on the LinkedIn post for the episode and let us know what you'd like to hear in future podcasts. And now let's dive in. Getting ready to do your first automated campaign can be a little scary. It's like getting on a plane to go skydiving. You might have trouble getting permission to jump. You might have weather that delays your flight. You generally have a bunch of safety instructions to remember. And then you have to sign off yourself that you're responsible for anything that goes wrong. So that can all be a little terrifying. And I will say that Viv and I both very much like just conversational sessions, so feel free to chat, comment, put questions, and have responses, whatever, type in on the chat as if you were here. We love that. Don't stand on ceremony. We don't mean to sit here and just talk at you. So when you sign off that you're responsible for it, especially when it's new, it does feel like this. So we are here because you're not alone, and we want to make you feel more like this, where you're just floating and everything's going wonderfully and you're having such a great time and ultimately get you to the point where your parachute opens. So definitely want this to be a conversation. Just talk right back to us. Viv, you want to talk a little bit about getting buy- in?

Vivian Swertinksi: Yeah, absolutely. I've been working the strategic services area for many years. In fact, that's how Beth and I met. She was a customer, I was doing services and we connected. And I hear from so many folks that say I get it. I get how this could make my job easier, how we could be putting automated flows in to be driving the outcomes that we talk about doing, but we just don't have time to do. And then there's the plans that you have if you're going off and doing strategic planning. And you're like," Hey, for this year's conference, we want to do X, Y, Z." And then in the busyness of it all, it doesn't actually happen. So I definitely hear from folks that I'm working with one on one that say," Oh my goodness, how do I convince... And we get this a lot. How do I convince my executive director? Or how do I convince my manager? How do I convince the board? How do I convince people to let me do this?" And you have to take a step back and just say," Well, what is the opposition? Where is the no coming from?" And oftentimes it's the fear of the unknown. Or saying," Well, this isn't working great, but at least it's working." We don't know what that means. We don't know what that is. So in terms of getting buy- in, what I have found people can get the door opened is by what is a group that you can take a move with that there's only an upside. And surprisingly, some of the best strategic services outcomes that we've had have been with actually lapsed members. You know what, all right, they're lapsed. Go at them. We've invested so much time into getting this group. And so some of the best comeback stories and have been the door open for automation has actually been with going after lapsed members, you can also do disengaged members. So you're basically going," I'm going to pick the low hanging fruit. I'm going to pick a group that no one's going to get all up in arms about, because we only have one direction to go." I know for AARC, American Association for Respiratory Care, their executive director was like," Vivian, I have a board meeting coming up and I do not want to give this bad report." They had thousands of lapsed members and they had never done on marketing automation at all and we really went through this strategy. Long story short, I won't give you all the details here, but the bottom line is that we were very strategic about how we went after these lapsed members. And they had 800 members rejoin in 45 days. So that was$64, 000 back into the organization. So do you have a group that you can go start doing something that isn't going to get anyone too riled up? Because as I said, there's no downside in doing it. That is one approach. Beth, you've probably seen some other approaches as well.

Beth Arritt: Yeah. So one of the first one that we did at AAAE about four and a half years ago was for the annual conference. And what we did is we'd been getting some pushback, and so I decided to do something that would just support what we were already doing. It wasn't taking anything away. I wasn't saying," Okay. Well, we're not going to send the annual conference emails that we're used to sending. We're not going to do that. Let's just do something to support it." So what we did was we had this concept called the five steps to attend, and it was for the annual conference. It was networking, exhibit hall, Monday night event, or the evening events, the educational opportunities. And then the fifth one was just how to get there; flights, hotel, all this other stuff, and had a justification letter in case you needed to get permission to come so that you could just fill in the blanks and then just hand it in to get permission, to make it as easy as possible. So we basically took those five steps and we turned them into an email campaign. And those were all the reasons that we knew people liked to come, but they weren't the things that we covered in the emails. So the one off emails that we did for annual were all about the content; here's the keynote speakers, here's early bird registration and the state, that kind of thing. What we did in underlying supporting campaign was it was a web tracking campaign. And we did it for anybody who had visited our original thing was three or more pages on annual conference website, or they had visited the registration page, because we took that as our abandoned cart. And we ended up getting 96 airport people came through that campaign and it was$73, 000 of revenue. The important thing to mention too though is that our goals were to increase airport people and to bring back people who had not attended in three or more years. And it was very successful in both. Literally the 96 was 15% of the airport people who came. And I think it was all those 96 were people who had not attended in three more years too. So it was just something that ran under the surface and it was done with the web tracking. It was reacting to something that they did, which is one of the great things about campaigns is that you can use them to react to things people do after you send an email, which is nice. I love that about that.

Vivian Swertinksi: So Beth, what I love about what you're saying is that again, where if you look back and say, well, what's the resistance, it's like this is the event promotion that just chugs along. There's too much at risk to mess with that and it's a lot to ask for somebody. This is what we do. There's a lot of money at stake. I can't have you go off and do something. But what you did, which I love, is you layered on an incremental piece that wasn't there before, that they weren't going to be doing as a one- off. And it touched on just a subset of the people. You weren't giving more emails to everyone, you were just giving it to the ones that were most likely to attend because of their behavior. So I love that you just did something incrementally which opens the door.

Beth Arritt: Yeah. It wasn't even just that they clicked too. We didn't take everybody who clicked. We made it a little bit further than that. And there's a lot of different ways you could do it too. You can do it in terms of, have they had two or more sessions as opposed to visiting pages like that. So there's a lot of different reaction you can take. And reaction can come from web tracking, it can come from engagement if they do so certain things. If you've got community and marketing automation and they're connected, it can come from community actions. So there's a lot of things that you can do that are reactive, that support the overall things that you're doing and just show, hey, look, what we're doing is great, but we can increase this by 15% if we support it underneath afterwards. And so a lot of times that will get you the buy- in. And if you're lucky enough to be able to ask for forgiveness instead of permission at some point... I got lucky because it did exactly what I was hoping it would do, but we don't want you to lose your job so just be careful if you do that.

Vivian Swertinksi: And I guess I'll put this out there for decision makers that are on the phone or the part of the session today, or those at whatever level. Know that you're going to be able to know exactly who went through the campaign and what the conversions were. Absolutely, you can quantify this. So oftentimes it's like well, I don't really know what we're getting. You have absolute proof that somebody went through a campaign and you can see if they were in your conversion group. So you're able to put dollars right back to that campaign effort. And sometimes that's the missing piece. If you're just doing a lot of one off emails, it might be a little harder to tie all that together. But I just wanted to put that out there, the ROI is evident.

Beth Arritt: Yeah. And one of the things that we did too, with all of our campaigns pretty much was we had mute campaigns built inside them, where with each email they had ability to mute that. So basically take themselves out of that campaign without unsubscribing or removing. So they could self remove, which not a lot of people did. But to give you an example from the membership campaign that's been running at AAA since September 2017, it offers mutes. It's very quick to take people out each time if they've met a certain category or something like that. But in four years, it's only a handful of unsubscribes. I mean, it's crazy how low the unsubscribes are. I would say across the board, I have actually found that unsubscribes are much, much, much lower and open and click rates are much, much higher on campaigns, particularly web tracking ones, because you're following up on something they have showed interest in. I mean, Viv to use your store front analogy that I love so much. If you see somebody looking at something and they walk away and they come back two or three times, you're going to walk up and ask, can I help you? Can I answer any questions about that product? Anything like that, because they clearly are interested. So this is that same kind of thing. Something else brought them into the store. It might have been your email, they might have been walking by and saw it, your website, but once you've seen them show interest, why not walk up and ask. Offer them a way out, but follow up and ask several times

Vivian Swertinksi: Yeah. And the other piece that I'll share here is processing efficiency. Though we're all being asked to do more with less, you may have had staff reductions, you may be working with a smaller group than you had in the past yet still you have all these things that need to get done. Getting back to the main thing, we've got welcome messages that must go out. I will automate that. We've got renewals that need to go out. I can automate that. So if you can take some of those life cycle campaign that you know are just going to go... they're repeatable, they happen all the time. They're important. They need to happen, automate those things. Move those things first. So if you can get a breath of fresh air, if you can be like," Okay, great. I got this piece automated. I don't have to have reminders to send this out on all these different dates and keep this whole thing moving along," that instantly is like, okay, now move on to your next thing. Because ultimately you want to make sure that you and your staff writer are spending time on the things that matter the most and sending out repetitive messages while important, there's probably other things you can do. So the process efficiency alone is great reason to start looking to see what you can do to give yourself some time back.

Beth Arritt: And I will say that getting that buy- in includes buy- in from yourself. Because I don't know how many times I've heard somebody say," I know I need to be using marketing automation. I don't have time to sit down and figure it out right now." And believe me, I get it. Oh, do I get it. I've been that marketing team of one or even two or three or four that still are just so stretched you don't have time. But get that buy- in from yourself. Understand that it's going to be worth that setup ahead of time and that it gets easier each time you do it and faster each time you do it. To use me Christelle Steele from British Columbia, Non- Profit Housing Association. Sorry. I talked to them on March 31st and opened up campaigned and showed it to them and said this... Because they were concerned they weren't getting as much as they could out of informs in this case. And I opened up campaigns, I'm like," Hey, here, you've got campaigns." They're like," Oh okay." So Christelle Dovan had first... She took two full day trainings that just happened to be coming up that week just to... No, I think she just took one full day training on campaigns specifically because she already knew the templates a little bit. But then she dove in, she used one of the advanced starter kits that we have. 19 days after they basically opened campaigns for the first time, they launched a seven email month long marketing campaign for their annual conference, which went all the way from reg open to last chance. And they had a lot of goals. They hadn't had a registration fee at all the year before, because it's the first time they'd done it virtually. And this year they were still doing it virtually, but they were charging. So they added a registration fee and they wanted to increase attendance and they increased their attendance by 50%. Plus when she had all this stuff done up front, it was just running in the backend, she was able to go out and get more sponsors and do other things to bring in more money overall. So yeah, Lynn, exactly. It's so easy to slip into that, I'm too busy to do that right now mindset. Too busy. I'm too busy. I do that every year with doing my taxes and it's not pretty. But it's so easy to slip into that mindset. So I really want to know, you guys have been really quiet, not used to this. I really want to know what are your sticking points? Is it you? Is it getting buy- in from your organization? Is it you're just not sure where to start. Please start telling us in the chat. Please, I beg you. Because otherwise we could just sit here and start guessing. I mean, my guessing game crosstalk.

Vivian Swertinksi: Oh yes, we will.

Beth Arritt: But we would really love to all above you... Oh Valerie antiquated technology. Interesting. I'd love to hear more about that if you want to tell us a little bit more. If not, that's okay. And I don't know where to start. And not to put Justine on the spot but let me ask you, are you doing any onboarding? And if so, what are you doing when you get new members? Because that's often a really good place to start because it's usually pretty easy to do, writing the messaging in the right order for any campaign. I will say that's one of the cool things about the starter kits is that a lot of them actually have messaging you can drop in and edit with. Just edit right there. That's cool. We've written some stuff for you to start with. Karen says we had staff turnover and support halted due to the pandemic. We were a bit overwhelmed with all the work to do to get our members engaged again. That right there, that getting engagement, that's a big one where automation can really help because you can figure out what you think shows engagement and what might trigger it, and you can nurture them and encourage that. One of the things we did at AAA is we actually took basically every level that we thought was a level where somebody could be in the organization and we ranked them from AAE, which is the Airport Accredited Executives. You exist, you're on our database and you haven't done anything else. And the next step after that was you opened an email. And then the next step after that was, you actually clicked on an email. You went to a website. And then it just starts going on up and up and up. And our goal had been to say, okay, we know where everyone is, what stage everyone's in, how do we come up with automations? First of all, which ones are the most important automations? And then how do we start coming up with automations to get each person to that next step and then branch them off so they get into the next one? Well, the first thing we actually did was a renewal campaign because we were having a serious retention problem and that's where Vivian and I met. She came in with strategic services and actually did our renewal campaign and did a phenomenal job of commerce. So AAA has a certification called certified number and it's one piece of getting your AAE. So a lot of people would get their CN and then they might just do the CN. They never go to AAE. So what we would do is four weeks after somebody got their CN, we would start them in a nurturing campaign to apply for the AAE and start their AAE process because that was the easiest way to move the next to the top person level of participation to the top level of participation. And then we started working our way backwards and figuring out where we wanted to start. That's one way to look at it. I mean, it takes a little bit of time to get your engagement together like that. There's definitely some work involved. Also actually one of those areas where informs was super helpful because I used the lead scoring actually on the membership database. And I used that to figure out using IQAS because I had iMIS, I took the whole database and then I started putting in parameters and just drilled down and was able to pull who was in which IQA. Huge help. Oh, Mara, you just lunched your first campaign new member onboarding. See, that's it. You do one and you're sold. You're high on that success, man. You're just like," Woo, this is awesome. What can we do next?"

Vivian Swertinksi: I know. And that's a perfect segue into the next piece here.

Beth Arritt: Promote your success.

Vivian Swertinksi: Yeah.

Beth Arritt: So Kathleen, you said senior team buy- in is one of your issues. Sorry, let me go back and answer Justine real quick because I'd asked her a question. You said you do have onboarding. Justine, I'm going to continue this conversation with you in a moment, but I want you to tell me, you have onboarding. Is it all manual right now? And what do you do? Just one email, what do you do? So going back to Kathleen's senior team buy- in. You just need that one thing. If you can't get senior team buy- in, but you've got a little bit of leeway to do whatever you want in terms of marketing or at least do something, my greatest recommendation is try. Have a really good piece of content. Do some very targeted Google advertising or social media advertising and send people to a landing page with that content to get that content. Force them to fill out some information and then send them the content itself to them in an email they have to click through. Once you've done that, you have made them a known user and you can also, when they submit, put them into a campaign to nurture them. So my recommendation is nothing else. If you're having trouble getting senior team buy- in but you have the ability to do one off marketing campaigns like that, find a good piece of content, create an ad and a landing, drop them into a campaign, take out the members and see how many of those people that you can nurture into being a member. Because when you do that, I can almost guarantee you that you will have some success to promote. And once you have one that works really well, market that heck out of it inside your organization. Make everybody in that organization see what the ROI was and the success of it. That your parachute opened and you had a great landing and the view down was just beautiful because you were seeing those dollars roll in, all those new members roll in; whatever your goal is. Definitely make sure you have a goal going in and you know what you're trying to measure, but once you do it, promote it. I'm going to go back to Justine again. You do one email twice a year. I'm assuming you do the email manually. You could have a campaign. If your database is integrated with your email system, then you can actually just let it flow in. But if not, you can upload your new members every morning. You can do it every Tuesday, once a week or something like that. And let them run through four or five emails that come from different people in your organization and that onboard them over time. Most people send one big, long email, but you're hitting them the worst within a week of when they've joined. Because say I joined the day after you send that email and then six months later I get an onboarding email. I've already checked out most likely. A good percentage that were all like," Well, great. I'm hearing this from you now six months after I gave you my money?" I don't know about anybody else but especially in the Amazon age, five minutes after I give somebody my money, where's my stuff?

Vivian Swertinksi: Yeah. And with an automated flow you're able to... and typically why we put everything in one is because I don't have time to put it into digestible bite size snackable pieces and deliver it over and over again, because that's still a lot of work. But if I create those and I have an automated flow that can deliver those, that's a much better member experience for somebody. And I liken it to when you have a new employee, we're all pretty purposeful about who they meet, what you expose them to when on day one. Day two, this is who they're going to meet and we're going to talk to them about... And day three. So you're like unfolding information to get a new employee onboarded. And it's that same type of framework that works so well with an automated campaign. What do they need to know on day one? What do they need to know on day three? What do they need to know on day seven and so forth? And you can certainly space them out however you want. But it's that idea so you can actually take that big long message and just say first day one, how do I get access? We just do a money exchange here. Where's the keys to my car? Here's how you get in, here's your password. So that's critical on day one. What do they need to know next? So you can do a hierarchy of here's the topics, here's the onboarding experience and that's a great framework to step into to get that first one moving.

Beth Arritt: And I did notice that both KT Hughes and Karen were saying a team of one, low engagement from leadership voices. No idea where to get started. And Karen, it's super frustrating. So here's the question for both of you. When you say your membership is not engaged or your leadership is not engaged, do you mean in that they won't give you an answer or they won't work with you? Do you have the ability to just go do it? Because I'm curious.

Vivian Swertinksi: That's Beth. She went rogue.

Beth Arritt: I totally went rogue. I was like," No, you brought me in to build a marketing department. I'm going to build you a marketing department, whether you like it or not." No, I'm just kidding. My boss Jackie was lovely. She was so supportive of everything I did and that's why I knew that if I did it and showed her the success without taking away from what else we did, that she would be on board. And she was. I went and promoted the success. I still had a little trouble getting buy- in. I was pulling people, almost physically into my office to say," Look what we did." And I knew who the innovative people were in the organization. In terms of people running meetings and stuff like that, I knew who would let me experiment if they saw success. And so I pulled those people in and they saw success and then they told two friends and they told two friends and pretty much the next thing you know my office was Grand Central Station. And at one point we had 29 campaigns running at once. Our unsubscribes went down, our clicks and opens went up. Because so much of it was responsive and we had to do less emails because we were doing so much responsive stuff that we didn't have to work as hard on the ad hocs every day, which let us do other stuff. I'm going to go back to Karen's answer real quick. They should be communicating directly with our membership on community and I can't get them to adopt it. I just had a thought and I've never tried this and it only just occurred to me, but you could do a community nurturing campaign. Because community has the RSS feed that you can use. So you could send your leaders an email every day, if you want to or every two or three days saying," Hey, here's the latest 10 posts. Got something to say? Please go engage." I have never thought about that until two just now, and I'm really glad that was recorded because I want to go back and I'm getting the goosebumps now. I'm getting the goosebumps. Sorry. Viv knows it and some of you know this too. Anytime I get an idea that I get really excited about, I get goosebumps. I'm such crosstalk.

Vivian Swertinksi: Yeah. But you're onto something, Beth. If they are the recipients of an automated flow, then they can experience it firsthand what that is like. And you can say what? That was the flow. I didn't even do that. You got three messages this crosstalk.

Beth Arritt: Yeah. Sorry, I just want to clarify. Are you talking about your volunteer leadership and your member leadership, not your internal organization leadership? I'm assuming that's what you're talking about because I had that problem, a lot of people have that problem and I can't believe I never thought of this idea until just now. So the volunteer leaders, it is really hard to get at them to engage on community. So what you do is you bring the community to them. Not to keep giving plugs, but I'm doing a session tomorrow at noon I think it is on how to reel people in and bring the back community. A lot of it is RSS feed, and exactly what we just talked about. I'm going to go tonight and put it into my present because there's a lot in there about using the RSS feed and community to bring people back to it in a lot of different ways. But there are a lot of ways that you could do that. And that would be my number one recommendation is that you just have an email set out. However, frequently you think that they will deal with it without getting mad, maybe you start every Tuesday. And then it seems to be responsive, you go to Tuesdays and Thursdays, depending on how busy your community gets. Just saying to them," Hey, just a reminder as a volunteer leader, one of the things that we really appreciate is that you take your time to contribute to the community. Here are the most recent posts." And I know it informs. You can do anywhere from one to 25. I'm not sure if real magnet is the same. I can't remember right now. I think it is. But you can choose up to the most recent post all the way to the top 25. You can have the body of the post a little bit. They don't have to remember to go to the community, they don't have to remember to go check and see if there's something to comment on. They literally just have to click on the link. It takes them directly to the post. The only thing they have to do is be able to log in. And you can just decree, we really appreciate your time on the community. To make this easier for you, we're putting the posts right here in front of you. If you see something below that you think you can help with or comment on or add to the conversation, please just click through, log in and add. That's it. Five minutes. So Carla, I am going to show a little bit of how to do that tomorrow just because it's so super easy. So easy, at least in terms of doing it in forms of real magnet to add that RSS feed. So David Givelle did it. I think he showed it... David Givelle's session, he and Greg Kekin did last night. And I think they're going to redo it again tomorrow. Because they did it for Australia last night. He does go into detail on both informs and real magnet on how to actually go find that RSS feed and add it in as well. So I would check that out too. It's a great session anyway, because it's a lot of talk about community and informs of a real magnet, using them together; a lot of what we're just talking about right now. I mean, nurturing people doesn't just have to be to get them to give you money and it doesn't have to be in terms of engagement because you're in fear of losing them. Every organization I've ever talked to pretty much, there might be one or two exceptions here or there, has said that they wish their volunteer leaders were more involved. The other thing that I will say about the onboarding one though, going back to that for a second with Justine and getting people to do stuff is absolutely whatever you do, make sure that your onboarding campaigns come from an individual. At AAA, every single one of them came from a member of the membership team except for one. The one that didn't come from the membership team came from the VP of meetings for individual members. And for corporate members, it came from the VP of corporate engagement, talking about educational opportunities and, or sponsor or exhibit opportunities depending on. And the fact that it came from a person and then if you hit apply, it went to that person, it wasn't an alias or anything like that, it literally went to that person was just huge because they were able to engage right away. The other thing we did was the last email that we had on our campaign for onboarding was at the end of the first month. We did one a week for a whole month. And that last email was from our executive vice president of membership, my boss, Jackie. And it was," Hey I hope you've enjoyed your first month. I hope you got a lot out of it. Please don't hesitate to reply if there's anything I can do to help out. And if you wouldn't mind, we'd just like to know how your first month went. Can you take this quick survey?" And we always had a few people take it here and there and just gave us some insight into how that went, but it really made them feel valued because the executive vice president of membership took a moment out to email them, say," Hey, I noticed it you've been with this for a month. Would love to know your thoughts. Want to know how we can continue to help." And some of the things that we had in the plans that we just got too busy and never had a chance to do where we were going to do another drop those people into a campaign that checked in again with them at three months. And then we were going to drop them in a campaign at six months that started nurturing from six to nine months until they got to renewal. And of course that was going to have to change each time after renewal, we were going to have to drop them into a different campaign that was going to follow up and engage them throughout the year. That's the other thing too. If you start with either onboarding or renewal, you'll definitely be able to extrapolate from there where you need to go next. The data from your campaigns will definitely help you figure out because when you're promoting that success, just like with the buy- in, you're also promoting it to yourself. You're saying," Hey, I did this. This worked out great. I had more time to go do this and this, and I got these results." How you're tracking it, it's a huge boost to you and it really helps. Sorry, I am going really slow. But that does lead really well into this, because going back to that skydiving thing, any sky diver will tell you that they get a little bit better each time they jump. They learn from each jump and then they adjust and that's what you need to do with campaigns. You need to learn from each one and grow and make your campaigns more sophisticated. Yeah, Viv?

Vivian Swertinksi: Absolutely. You can definitely see different things that you can do. I know for the Brewers Association, they had wanted to try to interrupt a pattern of disengagement. So they did a really simple campaign. And this goes along with it's within your reach to do some very simple things that can really make an impact when for their organization, if someone did an open an email for 30 days in a run. On day 31, they had an automated flow set up where just a single message went out. And they actually used the automated flow to check to see if it was the weekend. They wanted to land on the weekend and get out of the busy work week. So if it was a Saturday or Sunday, it would send this email. If it wasn't a Saturday or Sunday, the campaign would hold that audience until it was a Saturday or Sunday. And then the one message. They had phenomenal results. It was a phenomenal message. Let's face it. It was a really awesome email, but it really helped just interrupt that pattern of not opening. What I want to say here is they had one message and it worked really well. But the iteration to that is, oh my goodness, you could then follow up because in that message you asked people, are you still interested in this? And people raised their hand and clicked on that. Yes I am. Are you still interested in this? Yes I am. So they act actually had follow up opportunities right within that flow, which isn't something they maybe would've seen or thought to do on day one or the first iteration, which is fine. But the thing is, you'll be able to look back and you go," Now that I'm standing on step one, I can see my steps two and three." And sometimes you can't see the steps two and three areas to take it a step further until you're actually on that first step.

Beth Arritt: Yeah. And once you get to step two and three, then you will see more and more and more because you're always learning from what you did before. I know we're running short on time and Courtney's going to come out with the hook in a few minutes. Though I just want to make the point that there are ways to avoid over emailing. Because once you start rolling, people are going to wait, wait, wait. Now we're worried people are getting too much email. And like I said, at one point we had 29 campaigns running AAAE at one time, most of them were web tracking. And so we developed a system where it basically just checked. Whenever you went into a campaign, it added you to a profile group that profile group was in a compound. If it tried to send you into another campaign that was in those, we don't want people to go into these if they're in something else, it just held you. And every 10 days it checked again for over a month. We never lost anybody. So there are definitely ways. Once you've had success with this and people will start going," Wait, now we're worried you're sending too many emails," come back to this and say," Oh, I know how to fix that." If that sounds confusing because I just ran through it really quickly. At that point you can reach out to me and be like," Wait, how did you do that?" Happy to tell you. Because I did want to get to this whole pre- flight checklist that Viv is now going to talk through a little bit. We can alternate. How's that?

Vivian Swertinksi: Okay. Definitely start with a plan. The things you're asking yourself anyway, just tap them down. What is my end goal? What am I trying to do? Get people to click through, get people onboarded, renew, whatever. Map it out. And then I want the first message. And then I want to wait X number of days. Fill in the X. I want to wait five days then I want to send them another message. Send them down one path, send them down another. So just document what the member experience is supposed to be like. It doesn't matter if it's one message, three message... Well, two messages; start with two. Two plus messages, map it out so you won't miss anything. That's your blueprint for when you're actually going to go in and set up the campaign.

Beth Arritt: And I have a worksheet that I used to use at AAAE that when I upload this presentation into the Super- Form community, I will be sure to upload that worksheet as well so you've got access to it. Definitely use compound target groups as your entry and your checks. Even if you think you're just going to be checking one group, just make it a compound anyway, because invariably you will want to start removing a group of people that you didn't realize. And it makes it much easier to just drop them into that compound, and then they go into the removal for everything. Trust me, it's just easier. Keep everything contained in your campaign. Make notes

Vivian Swertinksi: So that people know what is going on.

Beth Arritt: That's right.

Vivian Swertinksi: When you inherit a campaign and you go in, you're like," Whoa, what's happening in here? What was the purpose?" Anytime you can have some documentation that coordinates with that campaign, it lets the rest of your team members know what you were intending to do.

Beth Arritt: Yeah. And then when you want to replicate it, you know what you did and why. And then know the rules, make sure you understand exactly how that campaign's going to react, especially with wait steps. Wait steps are their whole own little kind of crazy so make sure that you know what those wait steps are going to do. And if you do that, you will have a nice little landing. It will be very soft on the beach in a pretty place, and you will be so happy.


Your first automated campaign can be terrifying. Getting management and executives to buy in, knowing where to start, and emailing just the right amount can be difficult. That's why today's episode of The Member Engagement Show is a session from Higher Logics 2021 Super Forum Conference. Beth Arritt and Vivian Swertinski are hosts of this session and are here to give you insights and tips to help you run your automated campaign smoothly. Listen now!