How to make your small association’s emails more fun for members

Is your association’s email marketing a snore?

Here are five easy ideas to wake up your association’s emails – even if you have a small staff.

Michelle Schweitz, YourMembership Marketing Manager


By Michelle Schweitz, Marketing Manager, Community Brands


Marketing is essential for attracting and keeping members. And email is a great way to connect with prospective members and keep current members engaged.

But, let’s be honest, even if you follow best practices for email marketing, emails can become formulaic and, well, boring.

So, how can you turn ho-hum emails into member communications that sing? Especially when you have a small staff working on membership marketing?

Here are five simple ideas:

1. Give your team a face.
Showing the faces of the team at your association can help make your members feel more connected to your organization. For example, include your executive director’s headshot in your monthly email newsletter. Or if you’re directing members to an upcoming member event, show a headshot and contact information for your event manager.

Putting a face with a name makes your association seem more personal and more real.

2. Make your headlines come alive.
Once members open your email, what do you want them to see? A dry re-statement of your email subject line? Or a pithy headline that grabs their attention and makes them want to read more? (I’m guessing the latter!)

Use the headline area of your email to make members take notice. Don’t be afraid to use fun, conversational language and show some personality. For example, in a membership renewal notice, instead of saying, “It’s time to renew your membership,” consider a headline such as, “Don’t skip a beat in your access to the news and resources you need to succeed”.

3. Keep your mission front and center.
Members join your organization for a reason. And that reason is typically about your mission and what you stand for.

In your email templates, consider adding a regular section that reminds members of your association’s purpose. For example, the section might include:

XYZ association
Providing the [industry] industry with:
Timely news | Career-building resources | Networking opportunities

4. Get animated.
Using images in your emails can help break up text and make your email more interesting. But if you want to take it even further, animations are a great way to give your emails more pizzazz. They’re more interesting than a stagnant image. And, readers simply can’t take their eyes off them.

Want to give it a try? Here are simple steps for making an animated gif in Photoshop.

5. Spice up your email footers.
All of your association’s emails need standard information at the bottom, such as unsubscribe links and copyright information. But that section doesn’t have to be a snooze. Use this area to add some colorful wording and a bit of personality.

For example, instead of saying, “You’re receiving this email because you are a member of XYZ association,” try something like, “As a member of XYZ association, you’re getting this can’t miss information to keep you in-the-know about the [XYZ] industry.

Learn more
Get more helpful ideas on how to use email marketing and other marketing channels to connect with your members and prospects: Download The Small Association’s Guide to Membership Marketing.

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