Women Speakers Association (WSA) started with a vision to offer women more professional visibility, exposure, and opportunities to share their voices.
“We don’t want to reserve the stage for those who know how to market themselves or have the financial resources to market themselves,” explains president and founding partner, Gail Watson. “There’s a lot of gifted voices out there, and when more women are able to share their perspectives, everyone benefits.”
But to make their vision a reality, the association needed to start thinking about their own visibility.
That’s when they decided to reach out to the online marketing experts at eXtra Contact for help.
“We knew we needed a tool to get our brand out there and build relationships right away,” says Gail. “So we started working with eXtra Contact, who introduced us to email marketing.”
eXtra Contact is a Master Certified Constant Contact Solution Provider. In the five years they’ve been working with Women Speakers Association, they’ve helped the organization grow into a global community of women speakers, with reach in over 120 countries.
Building a prominent brand started with finding an effective way to grow membership size.
Women Speakers Association reaches their audience through live presentations, online events, and social media.
“With our multiple funnels, we make sure everything goes to one place: our email sign-up,” says Gail. “To be part of our community, you have to activate a free associate membership with your name and email address.”
Here’s a look at the sign-up form that’s listed on the WSA’s homepage:
This form allows new members to easily understand the benefit of joining and get involved right away.
“We started with just 25 members, but through promoting in-person and online we’re now over 8,500 contacts,” Gail says.
After signing up, members know they’ll be the first to know about upcoming events and resources.
“Our newsletter has many different functions, but it’s really just an information hub for our community,” explains Gail. “Everyone likes to stay updated and I love being able to direct them all to the same place.”
Women Speakers Association regularly promotes their online events, including their weekly Twitter chats. Each week, the association features a guest speaker to answer questions on a particular topic, such as how to get more speaking engagements or tips for running a successful event.
Here’s an email used to promote a recent discussion on automation:
These interactive platforms give members the chance to connect, collaborate, and support one another — building an active community of engaged members.
“The first time you join a #SpeakerChat it might seem like everyone knows each other,” says Gail. “We have so many people come each and every week. Over the summer we actually tried to cut down to every other week. That was a big mistake because a lot of our community wrote and told us they really missed it!”
With the help of their Solution Provider, Women Speakers Association can trust their emails are always making a good impression on their members.
“We recently moved from a long-form newsletter with multiple columns to a more mobile-friendly design, and that’s made a big difference,” says Gail. “Now our focus is a bright picture, attention-grabbing headline, and one or two descriptive items at the bottom. We’ve also started incorporating video, which has gotten a lot of great responses.”
Cleaning up their email design has ensured the association can reach their members effectively, no matter what device members are opening emails on. Gail has regular check-ins with eXtra Contact to review their results and find areas where improvements can be made.
Since starting their newsletter 5 years ago, Women Speakers Association has grown a marketing channel that can generate revenue through advertising space.
“At this point, we have such an active community that I can sell advertising space in my newsletters,” says Gail. “Now that it’s grown to this size, I’m more thankful than ever to have someone else managing it.”
Gail attributes her success to being able to communicate with her audience regularly and keep them engaged with quality content and events. Her advice to other businesses is to make email marketing a priority early and stick with it.
“I think when a business is not seeing results from email it comes down to not being able to send consistently,” says Gail. “Having a partner do that for you is where you get the growth in business. And that’s the difference between success and failure.”
Gail understands that — even for businesses that recognize the importance of email marketing — sometimes finding the time is easier said than done.
That’s why she’s quick to recommend Constant Contact’s Solution Provider program.
“Constant Contact is a do-it-yourself system, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it yourself,” she says. “Even if you have good intentions, the power of email marketing is to have it done consistently. That’s why if you don’t have the time, find a partner. It’s a good investment in the early days of your business because it pays off fast.”
Want to find a Solution Provider for your business? Visit the Constant Contact Marketplace to find a partner that’s right for you!