Coworking Influencer

Email marketing for coworking spaces

In previous conversations, Jake Bolling of CoworkingSEO.com has reviewed best practices and strategies for optimizing your coworking space web site and for marketing your coworking space using digital ads. Now, he wraps up his hat trick with email marketing.

“I want to focus on using email to nurture relationships,” Bolling said, “not just to sell. That’s an important distinction.” 

But first, a question. When was the last time you checked email? As long-in-the-tooth as email marketing might feel, it’s still one of the most effective marketing channels for any business, in particular for coworking spaces. 

“99% of email users check their inbox every single day, according to data from Optin Monster,” noted Bollling. “Some of them check it as many as 20 times a day and half of those people check it first thing in the morning. The majority of marketers are increasing their email engagement on a year to year basis. That's because the majority of people say that emails influence their purchase decisions.”

Who should coworking spaces send email to?

“The legal answer is that you can email everybody who opts in to receive your communications,” Bolling said. “And that’s anyone who has interacted with you or your business, whether they had a tour, a day pass, attended an event, visited a member, been a past member, are local neighborhood business owners, etc.”

That opt-in list is your big bucket of contacts — your entire database. But the real art of email marketing comes from defining audiences or segments with that database.

What kind of emails should coworking spaces send?

Newsletters sent on a regular basis that wrap up the week or month in your space, both what’s happened and what’s coming up.

Event reminders for specific networking opportunities, speaker presentations, or happy hours.

Limited time promotions such as Black Friday offers, new year’s discounts, referral opportunities, etc.

Quick notifications such as unexpected construction on local roads or WiFi disruptions during the workday.

Auto responders which are triggered by behaviors, such as booking a meeting room, scheduling a tour of the space, or renewing a membership. (Coworking spaces can even send texts as automated responses to missed phone calls — more on that later.)

Sequences or workflows are a set of emails that go out in a specific order, and are highly effective for onboarding new members or nurturing prospects. Coworks has an onboarding sequence here that you can customize and then CoworkingSEO.com has a proprietary sequence their clients get to use.

Should coworking spaces send SMS texts?

Without a doubt, SMS texting in B2C is on the rise, and use cases are taking shape for how to be most effective over text as opposed to email. 

“95% of people read a text and respond within the first three minutes it's received,” Bolling cited. “According to SMS Comparison last year, 45% of clients responded to messages from brands that they follow.” 

But Bolling doesn’t see texts as a surrogate for email. Instead, it’s more about timeliness and brevity.

“Texts are more intrusive. So it is really important that you provide real value on a text message. I feel like the more intrusive you're going to be, the more value you need to deliver. You can do event reminders, urgent notices, missed payment notifications, and reservation reminders. I try to make everything seem personal, even when it's actually automated.” 

As mentioned above, tying text responses to missed calls is a powerful way to be responsive when a community manager only has so much time. Bolling and his team have automations as part of their services. And the Coworks platform includes push notifications to members through the app, but texting prospects is a very different kind of communication.

Pay attention to who isn’t paying attention

Not everyone is going to love getting your emails, but they might not take the time to unsubscribe. That’s why it’s important to look at inactive contacts.

“If someone's not opening your emails after a few months, or even a year, take them off your list. It's probably doing you more harm than good.”

Having a big list isn’t helpful if only a small percentage of those contacts are actually engaged. You’re looking for high open rates and click through rates, not just size of a list. And one way to keep people engaged is to limit the number of emails you send each week. Bolling cited a Hubspot report that recommends no more than five emails in five business days.

Use the right tools for email marketing of your coworking space

There are, of course, many email platforms to choose from, HubSpot and Mailchimp two of the most common. Segmenting, workflows, and testing are some of the most important features to look for. CoworkingSEO also offers a platform with email builder and logical sequences especially designed for coworking spaces.

However, you decide to leverage email marketing, do so with relationships in mind, sending the right message to the right person at the right time… and send an email you’d love to open!


Photo by Croissant on Unsplash

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