Reaching your association members through email

Want a better open rate for your newsletters to reach your members?

Unless you are hitting close to 100%, I am sure there is already room for improvement (and if you are even remotely close to 100% with even a moderate sized mailing list, colour me impressed!).

Email can be used in many ways by trade associations through, encouraging people to join, promoting industry news and activity and as an administration tool, ensuring members renew and visit the site regularly.

Let me run through a few quick (although far from definitive) tips that could have a positive impact on the number of people who open your mail and allow you to meet your objectives.

  1. subject lines

People are likely to see the subject line before the body of an email, and are also likely to read this before they ready anything else.

Adestra have highlighted some key words and phrases that work, and some that don’t in this handy infographic. Bear in mind that members have actively signed up to your association and there is no problem with being direct and to the point in your subject line.

Companies such as Litmus have subject line checkers where you can check how the email will be seen by various platforms.

  1. segmentation

Have you separated your mailing list by demographics (age, gender, location) and/or habits (frequency of purchase, item preference etc)?

Send your mailers out to specific groups at the right time and people are more likely to respond positively. Members may be part of area groups or specific work groups. By segmenting and tailoring email content (see point 3!) to personal needs, interest in the association and email rates are likely to increase.

Start blasting different content to everyone, and people will begin ignoring the stuff they really care about.

  1. content

I am a big fan of the phrase ‘content is king’.

Start sending people irrelevant content and people will start to believe all future content is unworthy of their attention.

Think before you send – is the news, discount, event you are sending relevant to the person you are sending it to (which also highlights the importance of segmenting!). If not, it may be best to a) not send it or b) wait until you can add it as a call to action in another email.

  1. time

Choosing the right time to send out email newsletters can have an effect on your open rate. On average, 23% of opened emails are opened within the first 60 minutes.

Late morning/afternoon in the middle of the week is generally the best bet for any emails going out but this is also dependent on the industry you work in. Weekends as a rule of thumb however should be avoided if it is a business newsletter as the Monday-morning pre-coffee worker is a beast that should never be provoked!

  1. review and analyse

If you are trying to improve your open-rates, you probably do this to some extent anyway, so give yourself a pat on the back!

Take a look at what went well and try to recreate it. Take a look at what didn’t go so well and see if there are ways to avoid it happening again.

Each industry (and company) is different and may benefit from different approaches.

If possible, test your emails and go with what works.

Hopefully this offers a few simple steps to move your email newsletters forward and get slightly better results. As mentioned, this is not a definitive list, but these are definitely items you should consider and tweak to see better returns on your digital marketing efforts.

Administration Services Ltd have been able to offer assistance in designing and managing your digital marketing requirements within trade and professional associations for over 25 years. Get in touch with us if you would like a chat.