Email marketing tips to bring back your lapsed members

Lapsed memberships don’t have to be the last word.

These email marketing tips will help you re-engage members and give them the nudge they need to return. 


By Christine Bergeron, Marketing Coordinator, Community Brands



Just because some of your members lapse doesn’t mean that’s the end of their membership story with your association.  

Maybe they forgot to renew. Or maybe they’re iffy about spending money on another year of membership. They might simply need some friendly reminders and encouragement to come back. 

Email marketing is a great way to make that connection with lapsed members. It can reignite the spark that once made them join and get them excited again about being part of your organization’s future.  

Here are some effective tips for email marketing to bring back those lapsed members: 

Pull a targeted list. 
Make sure your list of lapsed members is accurate and current. The last thing you want is to send a lapsed member email to a current member or fail to reach out to a lapsed member who just might come back.  
Use your association management software (AMS) to pull a list of lapsed members and target them for specific messages. For example, email campaign management functionality in YourMembership association management softwareallows you to quickly and easily create email lists based on member information, including membership status, membership level, and more.

Use snappy subject lines and headlines. 
Grab your lapsed members’ attention and hold it so you can get your message across. Don’t be afraid to use fun, conversational language and show some personality. For example, instead of saying, “Did you forget to renew your membership?” consider a headline such as, “Don’t skip another beat in your access to the tools you need to succeed”.

Make it personal.
The Community Brands Digital Evolution Study shows that members are interested in receiving personalized content from their associations. Seventy-nine percent say it is very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content. 

Use your association management software to collect and analyze data about your members’ career stages, interests, and behaviors to provide them with the personalized communications they’re seeking – even after their membership lapses. For example, based on what you know about them, mention a few things they didn’t take advantage of in the past that might be of interest.

Share what they’ve missed. 
For members who have been lapsed for more than a few weeks or months, they’ve probably missed out on quite a few benefitsMention some of the big things they’ve missed and let them know your organization has missed them for those activities and opportunitiesConsider including pictures from events to tap into their “fear of missing out”. 
And because your lapsed members have been away for some time, be sure to also let them know about any new benefits and resources you might have added since they left.

Respect their wishes. 
At some point, some lapsed members might ask you to stop contacting them. Be sure to respect their preferences and remove them from your contact list if they indicate an opt-out.

Make it easier on yourself. 
Once you’ve written a series of lapsed member emails, there’s no need to send them manually each month. You can use YourMembership association management software to set up and automatically send re-engagement emails so you can spend less time on manual email sends and more time on activities that engage and retain your current members.

Learn more. 
A lapsed membership doesn’t have to be the last word. With the right tools and techniques, you can bring back those members that get away. Discover more member re-engagement techniques in the guide, The Small Association’s Lapsed Member Handbook: Why Members Leave, How to Win Them Back, and How to Keep Others from Walking Out the Door.  

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