Membership Pro Tip: Loosen Up Your Communications

Now that we’ve all seen each other’s living rooms, pets, partners, children, plants, and books (is that really War and Peace?), it might be good to try a more inviting, less formal approach to better engage members.

April may be the cruelest month, but cold, seemingly endless January sure gives it a run for its money. This could be a great time to warm up your member communications and write in a more welcoming, casual, and inclusive way. `

How Does It Work?

It is not always easy to loosen the shackles of formality and professionalism. “One trick is to think about a really good friend or family member and write exactly as you would to them,” said Amanda Kaiser, CEO of Kaiser Insights.

There are lots of ways to spice up writing and make it fun, like using adjectives to describe something in a completely different or offbeat way. Such as: “That was the most delectable networking event I’ve ever attended!” (You might want to run “delectable” through the thesaurus for a better word, but you get the idea).

Using parenthesis to express feelings and show members your own apprehensions is a good way to cut the tension and create a more conversational tone. Play with the language, especially in the rough draft, because you can always take it out later.

Another good way to get writing ideas is to open your personal email account and get a quick scan of trends by reading how some of the biggest brands and savviest marketers are communicating with you. “First, their messaging is short, and it’s focused on just one thing,” Kaiser said. And it’s often fun and has multimedia elements.

Why Is It Effective?

“Members don’t necessarily want to be a passive audience anymore,” Kaiser said. “They want to be a much more active participant.” Your less formal tone could help members contribute more, feel like they are a valued part of the association, and that you really want to hear what they have to say.

What’s the Benefit?

Your tone sets the stage—and the less official and wordy it is, the more comfortable members will feel engaging with the association.

Do you have a membership pro tip? Please share in the comments or send me an email.

(style-photography/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!