One of the fastest and easiest ways to get a message out to HOA members is through email. While it’s true that not everyone is vigilant about checking and managing their email, many people are, and it is still an effective method of communication when used strategically. Messages are delivered instantly; there are no letters to print, postage to be paid, or time to wait for pickup, processing, and delivery by the post office.
But just because the HOA is sending emails doesn’t necessarily mean that homeowners are reading them. Here are a few tips to improve email communication and chances that members will open messages.
1. Maintain an updated distribution list.
Make sure that as homeowners move in and out of the neighborhood, the HOA’s email list is updated. Consider giving members the option to update their contact information online through the HOA’s website to make managing information a bit easier. Also, remind them to mark the HOA’s email address as an approved sender so messages are less likely to get filtered into spam or junk mail folders.
2. Keep messages short and to the point.
Attention spans are short and everyone is busy, so get to the point quickly and clearly. Cut the fluff and say what you need to say in a concise, easily understood manner while still being professional. You can always summarize key points and provide a link where homeowners can get more information.
3. Use clear subject lines.
Avoid trying to be too cute or creative with your subject lines. It’s better to directly address what the email is about so it catches members’ attention and they are more likely to open it. For instance, “Pool Closed [dates] for Repairs” or “Change to Gate Access Code Process.”
4. Limit the number of messages sent.
Be respectful of members’ time—and inbox management. With people receiving dozens of emails every day, the last thing you want to do is get lost in the shuffle or overlooked as spam. Reserve these communications for issues that are time sensitive or of high importance. It’s okay to send other messages on occasion, but be mindful that you’re not sending multiple emails every week.
5. Check inboxes regularly.
If the HOA has an email address for members to send communications to, make sure that it is checked on a consistent basis and messages are addressed in a timely manner. The board may want to designate a point person for communications who can then update everyone else on what is happening or filter messages to the appropriate person as necessary. Put a management process in place for electronic communications to improve transparency as well as organization.
Email is just one of several methods of connecting with homeowners and sharing pertinent information. Figure out a system that works best for your association and what information you want to send via email versus hard copy. Kuester provides valuable assistance to HOAs with managing communication with members and addressing basic questions and concerns. Contact your property manager today to learn more!