On a daily basis I probably receive at least five webinar promotional emails from varying vendors in the association or marketing industry. Subject lines like, “Last Chance to Register” or, “The Greatest Webinar of All Time” pop up in my email notification window, begging me to open them, read more, and register.

And, as you’ve probably guessed, sometimes I do, but with the influx of promotions I get, most of the time that email simply gets lost in the cluttersphere of my already jam-packed email inbox. So how do you as association professionals avoid this all-too-familiar scenario and rise above the cyber clutter? Sure, catchy subject lines are part of the answer, but what it ultimately comes down to is your brand, and the consistency at which your brand demonstrates value.

So where do you start? Well, let’s talk brand first. As I mentioned, I get more than my fair share of promotional emails daily. When I think back to the ones I actually read and performed the action the email was promoting, nine times out of 10, it was because I recognized the brand behind the promotion, and recalled learning something the last time I engaged with that particular brand.

The good news is, it’s never too late to jump on the brand bandwagon. Here’s how:

  1. Start by collaborating with all of your internal stakeholders to determine what your organization’s values are. I know, a lot of you may be rolling your eyes right now. Values can seem fluffy if you don’t truly understand the meaning behind them. But on the contrary, creating your values, and releasing them to everyone in your business gives employees an understanding of what your organization is all about, not to mention a common purpose.
  2. Don’t forget to stop and ask your members, via survey or one-to-one interviews, how they perceive your brand, and what value they get from your organization. Ask them to describe your business in three words. And ask yourselves if those keywords are how you want to be described. If not, determine what the right keywords are, and build those goals into your overarching business strategy.
  3. From there, your values and brand goals should drive your mission statement and therefore, your culture.
  4. And, as you may have guessed, having a crystal clear vision when it comes to your values, mission, and culture will impact everything you do. How your employees talk about your business, how your brand is portrayed, and ultimately trickle down into your content strategy.

And ta-daa, after all of this work, that commitment to your brand, and hopefully being the best-of-breed when it comes to delivering online learning, continuing education, or professional development, will come across loudly and clearly in your email subject lines, and someone like me may just open and act on them the next time around.

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