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7 Things Members Look For in Your Association’s Emails

‍You have the ability to create an intriguing email that will capture your members’ attention. Keep these things in mind, and your association should see an increase in email engagement in no time.

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A successful email campaign is one that results in clicks, opens and other engagement from the audience. And you don’t want your association’s emails to sit in recipients’ inboxes unread.

When sending email campaigns to members of an association, community group, or any other organization, you’ll encounter a different set of challenges and advantages than a traditional business. Sending out emails to your members and potential members may seem easy because you already know that your recipients are involved and invested in your association’s overall mission. Knowing that your members care about your work and goals helps you plan what to include in emails you send to them.

However, members may also get too accustomed to receiving emails from you. It isn’t a bad thing for members to know that your association cares enough to reach out, but they can begin to fall into email fatigue and start to tune out your messages. So, to make sure that each email you send is valuable to members and be sure that it will boost member engagement, here are 7 things your emails should have within them.


Experienced email marketers won’t be surprised to hear that personalization is key for member engagement.

It’s true, adding personal touches to your association’s emails can increase the appeal for members to open and interact with your message. In fact, addressing a recipient by their name greatly increases their chance of opening the email. And a name in the subject line isn’t the only way to add personalization to a members-only email campaign - especially when you have an entire membership CRM of information to pull from. Consider using information like city of residency, profession, and other details to make your emails stand out among the rest. Showing your members that you value their place in your organization, you can make specific references to their time as a member in your emails such as events attended, membership level, upcoming birthday, membership renewal deadline, purchased merchandise, and more. The more member information you have in your membership database, the easier these emails will be to create and engage.


One of the major reasons audiences fall into the email fatigue trap is from too many emails. No matter how engaging your association’s emails are, if they come in too frequent or hit members at the wrong time, you’ll notice your open, click, and response rates decline. However, it’s important to note that combatting volume-induced email marketing fatigue doesn’t mean to stop sending emails, it’s just important to pay attention to timing. You got a choice of suitable times to pick from like during a membership drive, leading up to an event, conference, or important campaign, around their birthday or holidays, when individual memberships are up for renewal, and when your association is being recognized with an award. There are a variety of important times your association can send out emails, so be sure to experiment and choose the best times and dates that work for your members.

Similarly, choose times throughout the day to schedule your association’s email blasts. If you can create a steady email schedule, your members may expect to see emails from you during these times and they’ll be more receptive to opening and engaging with them.

Relevant News

It’s important to keep your association in the front of your members’ minds, which means a steady flow of emails. But those emails have to contain something relevant, not just a “remember us?”

Send relevant news articles about topics your members are interested in. You know that your members are already interested in your association and your cause, so modify the news you share with those preferences in mind. Sending relevant, interesting news articles engages your members and also reminds them that your association exists, these emails establish that your association as a dependable source of information. If your members know you stay on top of the news and updates that are involved with your association, they’ll be more likely to take all of your messages seriously. This aspect could pay off when you ask for members to renew or make a donation.


Want to keep your email messages exciting and fresh? Offer something members can’t refuse: An incentive. Offering special incentives for your members in your emails can be exciting for them. They’ll be sure to anticipate your emails if they know it could lead to discounts on online purchases, early registration to popular events, customized recommendations, and free limited branded gifts.

Consider creating unique discount codes to different parts of your membership base or at different times of the day can give you insights into the recipients that take advantage of them and the best time to send emails. The correct membership software makes it possible for you to automatically apply the appropriate benefits to members when they log on to their online profile.


Visually appealing emails always encourages more engagement than when emails are filled with only text. If you load up your emails with high-resolution images, interactive elements and videos that could also distract your members from the point you’re trying to make. You should also make sure your emails are mobile friendly, and easy to read.

To ensure the right amount of balance, there are a few elements of a great email design that apply specifically to email campaigns. Branding reinforces where the email is coming from by using the logo, name, and colors of your association. Email design also envelopes personalization, which is what we covered earlier on, and calls to action which makes sure your members know what action you want them to take.

Links to Social Media

Social media is one the most engaging communication channels- that is if your association knows how to use it well. And with email marketing, you have the opportunity to integrate your social media accounts with your email campaigns.

You can link to your profiles in your email’s header and footer. Include a “follow” button in your email’s header, footer, or body. Embed a particular post from one of your social media’s in your email body. Or, try sharing a social media poll for your members to interact and respond to. Promote a hashtag for your followers to use and ask members to share a post on their own pages. There are plenty of ways to get email engagement up on social media. The best social media integration strategies are the ones that make it easy for participants, so make the process as simple as you can.

Opportunities for Feedback

Asking for feedback is an easy and effective way to engage your member while accepting some of the seeming effort. Conduct your surveys and polls so that they will be useful for both you and your members. Times like after an event, at the end of the year, before a campaign, and around membership renewal deadlines are great for getting feedback through helpful surveys. Feedback surveys show your members that you care about their opinions and it demonstrates to your members that you want to get better for them. When they see you putting forth effort, they’re more likely to give you effort and thought in return.

You have the ability to create an intriguing email that will capture your members’ attention. Keep these things in mind, and your association should see an increase in email engagement in no time.