Today on the podcast, we chat with our friends Mike and Callie from Membership Geeks about the emails you send once people have joined your membership. Mike and Callie know everything about memberships, and they're sharing their best practice around email marketing for paying members.
This conversation is all about the importance of communicating with the people who are already inside your membership. And you definitely don't want to miss it!
Ready to discover the secret to serving your members through emails?
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS: (0:13) Want to get more sales from your email marketing? Grab our Click Tricks. (3:46) Fancy a 14-day FREE trial with Keap? (4:45) Did Mike really once perform magic in Vegas? (6:54) Why email marketing is crucial for your paying members. (9:15) Introducing the Weekly Digest email. (10:42) Why the Weekly Digest is an awesome idea. (13:46) Building relationships with your members. (15:26) The benefits of segmenting your members. (17:42) The key ingredients to the Weekly Digest. (24:13) Subject line of the week with Mike and Callie.
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Why email marketing is crucial for your paying members
Contrary to what a lot of people think, selling your membership isn't the finish line – it’s the starting pistol! That's right – it's not enough to get people inside your membership. Once they're there, you need to keep them subscribed – month after month and year after year. You need to market beyond the sale and give your members a reason to stay and use what they’re paying for. And the emails you send are critical in doing that.
The challenge here is that typically you have a lot to tell them about. You have logistical emails (like reminders for live calls), payment receipt emails, emails to let people know about new content, etc. As the membership site owner, you're going to take up a lot of your members’ inboxes. And all the prompts and reminders to come and get engaged with your membership can get drowned out. So the simplest solution is to send what Mike and Callie call a Weekly Members Digest email.
The Weekly Digest email
This email is in addition to your welcome or onboarding sequence – it’s all about marketing after the sale. It’s what’s going to remind your members that you exist. Because often, when people first join a membership, they're excited and have a good look around. But then life gets in the way, weeks go by, and they haven't had a chance to log in again.
So the Weekly Digest helps you remind members that you exist. It brings them back to the site and gets them to log in and feel excited again. It also enables you, as the membership owner, to keep members up to date with any content you’ve just added and signpost future value by letting them know what’s going to happen in the following week, for example.
Plus, it's a chance to highlight your community and share your members' wins and progress, which in turn allows you to inspire and motivate more members. It's just one email, but it allows you to do a range of really cool things!
Why the Weekly Digest is an awesome idea
It's important you send this email every week on the same day and at the same time – for Mike and Callie, it’s on a Saturday. That creates a routine for your members – a ritual and a habit. They go into their day expecting it, and if they spend no other time on your membership over the week, this is the trigger for them to go and log in.
In essence, the Weekly Digest allows your members to realise the value of your membership, even if they don’t access it too often. It enables them to keep up to date even if they’re not currently in a position to consume your content.
With most memberships, there’s a lot of content being shared. So the Weekly Digest allows you to curate what you think they need to see in any given week. It also allows you to hand-pick the conversations that are happening in the community because otherwise, they might get lost.
And if you’re segmenting your members based on their interests, you can also use conditional content to direct them to certain conversations based on what you know they're interested in and what their needs are.
The Weekly Digest helps your members get to the most important content for them as quickly as possible. It's a service you're providing them – you're offering the convenience of a shortcut in their inbox with the key information they need.
Building relationships with your members
Mike and Callie shared that there have been times when they were travelling and their Weekly Digest got delayed, and they had members asking if they were okay! So the minute you, as the membership site owner, miss that routine, that causes a pattern interrupt for people.
The Weekly Digest ritual is a way to stay connected with members. It's why Mike and Callie have a paragraph at the start of their email that lets people into their world. They share what they’re doing and what they’ve been working on.
Plus, they invite members to share what they’re working on, and they get a lot of replies to this email. So the Weekly Digest is a way to maintain the connection and relationship with your members, so they don’t feel like a number and faceless people in the community. It means people are getting value outside of their membership too.
The benefits of segmenting your members
Mike and Callie tag people based on where they are in their journey. This means their members go through a roadmap. If someone's at a beginner level, Mike and Callie aren’t going to distract them by telling them about their Growth Mastermind, for example. But this means that the Weekly Digest isn’t the only email their members will receive during the week – there are others that signpost people to content that's specifically relevant to them.
Using a tag-driven CRM allows Mike and Callie to not only target the emails their members will receive on any given day but also to tailor the content of some of the sections in the Weekly Digest. Having a more granular approach to the emails that members receive means that not everything needs to be piled into the Weekly Digest.
And we love the fact that Mike and Callie send this email on a Saturday. Because that allows them to straddle the two weeks – you can tell members what happened last week and also what’s happening next week. It's brilliant!
The key ingredients to the Weekly Digest
Mike and Callie tell us there are a few key sections in the Weekly Digest that should be applicable to every membership.
1. An introduction to your world
The first section of the Weekly Digest is an introduction where you let people know what’s going on in your world. This is important because it helps people build a relationship with you. It's also the perfect place to signpost anything that’s in the works – in other words, the future value of the membership.
2. The What's New section
The second section focuses on what’s new. It highlights what people might have missed in the last week. But if you don't have anything new, this could be something specific, like a useful resource from the archives.
Or it could be topical content. For example, if the summer holidays are approaching, you could highlight a piece of existing content about how to handle your membership if you’re thinking of taking a break. It’s now new, but it’s relevant to your members right now. Or you could pull some curated content from your community that you think your members might find interesting or want to get involved in.
3. The Wins section
Mike and Callie tell us this is one of the most important sections of your Weekly Digest. It's where you highlight members’ progress and wins. This obviously means you should have a way to collect these in your membership so you can shout out those members in your Weekly Digest. Doing this gives people a warm, fuzzy feeling because you’re recognising them and highlighting them to other members.
Psychologically, it also shows other members that when people get stuck in, they have success from using the content from your membership. Seeing other people do well encourages those who are struggling or haven't used the resources yet to keep going. It shows that the system works.
And it provides context as well. Because often in the online business space people think that in order to do well you have to be doing 7 or 8 figures. But actually, it’s about celebrating the small wins as well as the big ones. When people get over a roadblock and experience success after being stuck for months, for example, that’s worth celebrating. So this section contextualises the notion of success for your members. And it gives permission (and a little nudge) to those members, who perhaps aren't quite as actively engaged, to share.
As for you, the membership site owner, it gives you the chance to talk about how great your members are and how well your membership is doing for them, rather than talking about yourself all the time. The wins section highlights the community element of your membership, and communities thrive on engagement. All communities have ‘passive members' who might read other people's posts but don't share their own. And when they’re continuously signposted to existing discussions or wins from others, it encourages them to come out of the woodwork and get involved too.
Subject line of the week with Mike and Callie
This week’s subject line is one that gave Mike and Callie their first hater, who took the time to reply to them and explain over many paragraphs why they hate Mike and Callie. And the subject line was no other than, “Do you remember your first time?”
It was about the first time you joined a membership and had a great experience. But this person took great offense and called Mike and Callie ‘idiotic boomers’ who didn’t know a thing about marketing. Funny, huh?
Useful Episode Resources
About Mike and Callie
If you want to connect with Mike and Callie, you can find them on their website, where they have a lot of free content and resources, including their podcast. And if you want to check out their membership, it's called Membership Academy, and (guess what?) it's about all things memberships!
FREE list of the top 10 books to improve your email marketing
If you want to write better emails, come up with better content, and move your readers to click and buy, here's how. We put together this list of our Top 10 most highly recommended books that will improve all areas of your email marketing (including some underground treasures that we happened upon, which have been game-changing for us). Grab your FREE list here.
Join our FREE Facebook group
If you want to chat about how you can maximise the value of your email list and make more money from every subscriber, we can help! We know your business is different, so come and hang out in our FREE Facebook group, the Email Marketing Show Community for Course Creators and Coaches. We share a lot of training and resources, and you can talk about what you're up to.
Try ResponseSuite for $1
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Join The League Membership
Not sick of us yet? Every day we hang out in our amazing community of Email Marketing Heroes. We share all of our training and campaigns and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you're looking to learn how to use psychology-driven marketing to level up your email campaigns, come and check out The League Membership. It's the number one place to hang out and grow your email marketing. Best news yet? You can apply everything we talk about in this show.
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