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When things are evolving fast, here’s how to make sure your email communications still hit the mark.

Email plays a vital role in your organization’s marketing strategy to recruit and retain members. Here are some things you should and shouldn’t do.

Michelle Schweitz, YourMembership Marketing Manager Michelle Schweitz, Marketing Manager, Community Brands

Your association likely has a lot to share with your members. From industry updates and member benefits to career resources, your organization can provide tremendous value.

You might feel the need to move fast. But as you approach membership marketing, it’s important to slow down enough to be thoughtful about your email communications.

Here are some easy things you should and shouldn’t be doing with your email marketing on a regular basis:

The DOs:

  • DO communicate promptly with your members during a crisis or other situation that greatly impacts your association’s industry. Offer tips and highlight relevant resources to help support your members during the time of need. Be sure to review content with your team to confirm that the topic and tone of your email communications are appropriate for the situation.
  • DO vary the content in each email newsletter you send. Your members won’t come back for more if you share the same information over and over again. If you need to promote something like an upcoming virtual event more than once, alter the text and focus of the content each time. For example, focus one time on the keynote, another time on a particular session, and another time on an early-bird discount.
  • DO make your emails mobile friendly. You have minimal space to communicate on mobile devices. Make it easy for members and prospects to engage with your content on a small screen by using mobile-friendly best practices, such as using a single column layout and avoiding tiny fonts. Include your call-to-action in multiple places so your members and prospects can take action as soon as you “sell” them on clicking through. Make it easy for fingers to click on the desired link by not crowding your links close together in your email copy.

TIP: YourMembership® association management software (AMS) includes an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor tool so you can quickly build email communications that will work and look great on mobile devices.

  • DO include a clear call to action in each email. This may include a button that says “Register now” or “Download now,” or even bolded text that links to where you want the member to take the action.
  • DO test your subject lines. Start with a small portion, such as 25 percent, of your target list. Break the small list in two, and then send each list different subject lines. Check the results in your email reporting tool within 24 hours, and then send whichever email performed better to the remaining 75 percent of your list.
  • DO measure your email performance. Know what’s working by using email reporting to view and analyze delivery, bounce, open, and click-through rates.

TIP: With YourMembership AMS, you can easily track open and click-through rates as well as gain additional insights through your preference center.

  • DO reach the right people. Get the right information to the right audience using targeted lists.

TIP: Email campaign management functionality in YourMembership AMS allows you to quickly and easily create email lists and target email content based on a variety of member information, including membership level, event registration types, and more.

The DON’Ts:

  • DON’T send an email without testing it first. Send a test of your email to at least two people. Ask them to review your emails through multiple email clients (including Outlook and Gmail) on PC and Mac devices to make sure the email looks the way it was intended it to look.
  • DON’T send an email to a prospect or member asking them to take an action they’ve already taken. Over-emailing someone or not acknowledging they took an action is a sure way to turn off a member or prospect. Suppress your list of respondents from any additional emails to non-respondents.
  • DON’T spam your prospects or members. Make sure you comply with anti-spam regulations. For example, use automated unsubscribe requests to ensure you do not email anyone who has opted out of receiving future emails from your association.

Learn more
Your organization might be strapped for time or staff. But, that’s no reason to make a mistake due to hasty actions. Your email marketing will be more effective if you take a step back to consider your approach.

Discover more tips and best practices for your association’s email marketing:
Download The Small Association’s Guide to Membership Marketing