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Managing Opt Outs

I’ve written several times before about managing email opt-outs (Here’s a short list). One issue that I continue to encounter with my clients is that the management of opt-outs tends to be too broad. That is, the opt-out is all or nothing; say yes and I’ll send everything, say no and you’ll receive nothing.

We need to get better and segmenting our marketing and, by extension, segmenting our opt-outs. A good starting place for associations is to segment opt-outs by functional areas. For example, have separate opt-outs for events promotion, product promotions, sponsorship promotions, and so on. If you promote membership by email, have one for that, too. (But don’t have an opt-out for renewal notices!)

For your members, you should explain to them that by virtue of being a member, there are some email messages they cannot opt-out of, like official association business (e.g., emails announcing by laws changes, elections, etc.).

Oh, and be sure your opt-out message is clear. I receive emails almost daily from organizations that I want to continue to hear from, but just not about that particular topic. And I’m often left wondering “If I click this unsubscribe link am I opting out of everything or just this type of email?”

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Testimonials

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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