Four Tips to Personalize Text Messaging Campaigns

Snusz_text messaging campaign November 8, 2023 By: Mike Snusz

Personalizing your text messages can help you connect with members and encourage involvement. Use these top strategies to create custom, compelling text campaigns.

Picture this: You’re a new member of your association. You receive your very first text message welcoming you to a network of like-minded peers, but you’re addressed as “Dear Member” instead of greeted with your first name. Already, you feel disconnected from your association’s community, but you brush it aside. Over time, you continue to receive generic messages and you start to feel less and less valued. 

Rather than sending your members generalized messages that feel distant and inauthentic, your association should tailor your text messages to each individual. After all, your members all have their own interests and motivations for joining your organization, and personalizing your messages can help you drive member engagement and inspire them to complete a variety of actions—like registering for your next event, donating to your fundraiser, or upgrading their membership tier. 

Whether you’re hoping to improve nondues revenue or encourage sign-ups for your annual conference, a personalized text messaging strategy can help. Let’s look at how to personalize your association’s text messaging campaign and strengthen connections with your members. 

Leverage the Right Text Messaging Platform

Manually sending out custom messages to your members might be impossible depending on your association’s size. Even if in a small-staff association, personalizing each message you send out will eat up way too much of your team’s time and energy. Instead, leverage a text messaging platform with a full suite of features to help you create meaningful and personalized messages with ease. 

Tatango recommends looking for a text messaging platform with the following key capabilities: 

  • Automate personalized greetings. A greeting like “Dear Bella” instead of “Dear Member” is more likely to catch your members’ eyes and inspire them to open and read your messages. The right platform will allow you to automatically populate preferred first names in your messages.  
  • Schedule custom messages. You should be able to send off text messages that align with members’ journeys based on certain actions they take. For instance, when members first subscribe to your campaign, your text messaging platform should enable you to automatically power off a welcome text. Work with your text messaging platform to draft custom messages based on triggers that are relevant to your goals. 
  • Generate donor data. If your association is leading fundraising campaigns, you’ll need a way to send personalized donation requests that make sense for the individual you’re texting. The right text messaging solution will automatically create data reports so you can look at metrics like average donation amount and create relevant donor segments. 

Do your research to find text messaging software that will not only let you personalize your messages but will also protect member information. Your text messaging solution will host members’ private details, including contact information and payment details if you’re leveraging text-to-donate. As a result, it’s critical that you use a platform with features like secure sending, automated logout, and two-factor authentication so only select staff can access your campaign at any given time. 

Create Member Segments

Member segments are subgroups of your contact list that have certain characteristics in common. For example, an alumni association from a higher-education institution might segment their members by age so they can remind them of upcoming graduation anniversaries. Segmenting your contacts can help you create more personal messages that are likely to resonate with members and simulate a one-on-one communication experience. For example, you could create segments based on factors like: 

  • demographics, such as age and location
  • interests
  • level of involvement 
  • donation frequency, recency, and amount 

Segmenting your messages can be especially valuable when running a fundraiser so you can create donation requests that members are likely to act on. For example, you wouldn’t want to send a request for $20 to members who have given major gifts in the past. Similarly, you wouldn’t request $75 from small donors. With the help of your text messaging platform, you can create personalized donation requests that make sense for the individual member and will increase the likelihood that they act. 

Send Custom Thank-You Messages After Events

After members attend an event, sending a personalized thank-you message can help them feel appreciated. Showing gratitude for their participation can help you build stronger relationships with members, keep engagement levels high, and encourage members to sign up for your upcoming activities. 

Include the following key details in your thank-yous: 

  • personal greeting
  • reference to the specific event they attended
  • summary of the big takeaways from the event

Recognize Milestones and Anniversaries

Throughout the year, your members are celebrating all kinds of important milestones, anniversaries, and special occasions. Bridge the gap between their professional lives and personal lives by sending text messages that recognize these important days. For example, you might send texts to your members that acknowledge birthdays, work anniversaries, or promotions.  

You can also send messages that recognize milestones relevant to your organization, such as the anniversary of their membership. This will help to reinforce their connection to your association, increasing the likelihood that they’ll continue to stay involved and renew their membership

On top of sending these celebratory text messages, eCardWidget’s guide to member appreciation recommends sending gifts like branded merchandise, spotlighting members on social media, and sending handwritten notes. A fully fledged recognition strategy that acknowledges important milestones in your members’ lives can help you strengthen your member base and build a sustainable future for your organization. 

Organizations, including associations, have seen tremendous engagement growth by personalizing their communications. To emulate this success, make sure you’re working with the right technology. Do your research to find a quality text messaging solution with robust personalization features so you can streamline your approach and form lifelong connections. 

Mike Snusz

Mike Snusz is director of nonprofit customer experience at Tatango, a text messaging platform for nonprofits and political campaigns.