Email in Membee – Part 1: How Membee Handles Different Types of Member Email
Welcome to the first of our three part series describing Membee’s strategy for handling emails to your members. The purpose of the series is two fold. First, to provide background information about different types of messages and how they can be handled now in Membee. Second, to provide an overview of what we’re doing to make …
Welcome to the first of our three part series describing Membee’s strategy for handling emails to your members. The purpose of the series is two fold. First, to provide background information about different types of messages and how they can be handled now in Membee. Second, to provide an overview of what we’re doing to make each type of email message as easy as possible for you and your colleagues to manage.
The series is also intended to provide more details about our upcoming integrated email function that will be released in the Spring. That new feature will be described in more detail in the third part of this series, which will be posted on our blog later in February.
In our first post, we are providing an overview of the different types of messages that are important to building relationships with your members, and describing how Membee can be used to facilitate the sending of each type.
The following diagram provides an overview of four of the primary types of email messages that Membee users send to their members.
Let’s take a look at each type in more detail:
- Messages to Individual Recipients
Right now, it’s easy to send emails to individual people from within Membee by clicking on the email address and typing your message into your default email client.
With our upcoming email feature, we will make it easier and more flexible by allowing you to click on any email address and complete the entire sending process from within Membee’s interface without opening your email client. At your option, we’ll even save the email into a note in Membee automatically. This will allow you to build a full communication history for each person in Membee – without any extra steps! We will tell you more about how this will work in part 3 of this series.
- Messages to Lists Tracked by Membee
Using Membee’s built in capability to track member participation in events, committees and various types of groups, you can already send emails to groups of people by exporting lists and using them in your favorite email tool. You can also take advantage of Membee’s existing integration with MailChimp for occasions where you are sending a large number of messages that are promotional in nature (recommended for messages of over 200 recipients) or where you would like to track statistics on the opens and clicks for each email. MailChimp integration will be discussed in part 2 of this series.
Our upcoming email integration capabilities will make that process considerably faster (for groups of under 200 recipients) by giving you a one-click link to sending an email to the members of any of these types of lists on the screen where the list is displayed. You will be able to customize these emails for each recipient using merge fields from Membee data, and like the messages to individual recipients, a copy of each email sentcan be kept in a note in Membee in the record for the appropriate member. This will also be described in more detail in part 3 of this series.
- Messages to Lists Queried from Membee
Membee allows you to run complex queries to segment your membership into a vast array of different groups and segments. This is done from the Reports and Exports screen, using one of over 40 pre-formatted reports. Currently, you can send emails to these segments either by exporting lists to your favorite email tool, or by taking advantage of Membee’s existing integration with MailChimp. MailChimp is recommended for occasions where you are sending a large number of messages that are promotional in nature (over 200 recipients) or where you would like to track statistics on the opens and clicks for each email. MailChimp integration will be discussed in part 2 of this series.
In phase 2 of our upcoming email integration capability (to be released later in 2010), we will add the ability to use Membee to send emails to these queried lists right from within the Membee interface (for groups of under 200 recipients). We’ll also add the capability to save the text of each email in a note in each of the recipient’s person record in Membee, just like the two types of emails noted above. Once we’ve released phase 1 this Spring, we will provide more details about the timing of phase 2.
- Messages to all Members
When you want to send an email to all of your members, or a promotional email to a large group of your members, we recommend using our integration with MailChimp. After researching numerous options, we found that MailChimp offered a superior solution for broadcast email when compared to most other solutions. As a result, we built a function to make it easy to build and maintain a list of members in MailChimp, and segment that list based on queries ran in Membee. You will then have a history of emails sent, and who they were sent to, easily accessible from the MailChimp interface. You’ll also have access to detailed statistics on how many people viewed your message and clicked links back to your website.
MailChimp offers a host of features that will appeal to associations, Chambers of Commerce and other non-profits. You can view a list of features on theirwebsite. We will describe our integration with MailChimp in more detail in part 2 of this series that will be released later this month.
We look forward to hearing your feedback, comments and ideas. See you later this month for part 2!