8 Email Marketing Tips for Business Associations

8 Email Marketing Tips for Business Associations


Email marketing plays a large role in driving member acquisition, retention, engagement and membership renewal. Furthermore, it’s the most effective, inexpensive and simplest form of marketing. You can reach a large group of members, build personal relationships and strengthen your business association’s mission. Plus, email marketing has a $38 return on investment for each dollar you spend.

However, several important factors and email marketing tactics are needed to boost your email outreach. Follow the tips below to ensure you optimize your email marketing strategy and gain real results.

1. Define Your Purpose and Create a Clear Call to Action

Some business associations send emails frequently — sometimes two to three times a day. So, you want to be sure your email stands out from the clutter, but how? Consider asking yourself why you’re sending an email.

Perhaps your goal is to update members about the current ongoings of the association. Maybe you’re looking for volunteers to assist you in a new program. Or it could be because you’re simply trying to engage your members with information about upcoming events. 

Whichever the reason may be, ensure you define your purpose and include a clear call to action. That way, members understand what the email is about and what action you want them to take as a result.

2. Timing Is Everything

Timing your emails is crucial. The aim is to get your members to open the email to confirm they’re engaging. To make sure you’re sending emails on time, you must automate them. For instance, you can automate your email communication after a member registers for an event. Or you could create a welcome campaign once the member pays to join your organization.

Another way to find out when you should send your emails regularly is to gather data from your analytics. Get into the habit of checking your open and click-through rates. The more insight you gain, the more you’ll know how to optimize your email campaigns.

3. Keep It Concise

Imagine yourself as the recipient receiving an email in the middle of the workday. In most situations, you wouldn’t have time to read an entire email. Then, you’ll think you might come back to it later but never do. This is the scenario for most people. 

To keep your reader engaged, you must keep your business association’s emails streamlined. After all, many people skim over everything while they’re reading text. Your audience will be more likely to read and understand an email at a glance when including:

  • Larger font
  • Bullet points
  • Sections of content
  • Subject lines and headers

According to research, you can increase the click-through rate by 15% when using a mobile-responsive email design. So, ensure you limit the length of your subject lines to grab your reader’s attention immediately.

4. Send Regularly

With email communication, consistency is key. You want to avoid sending out an email for one week, then switching to every day or once a month. As a result, your audience can become confused about when to expect your email. Plus, they might unsubscribe if you’re sending too frequently or not enough. 

Determine what frequency you’d like to send regular communication and stay consistent. The more consistency you maintain, the more likely you will keep your members’ attention. 

5. Segment Your List

It’s crucial to segment your list to send personalized emails and increase your open rates. As you separate your members into groups, you want to divide your list based on their engagement, demographics and behavior. For instance, you could divide your list up by:

  • New members.
  • Members that highly engage with your email.
  • Members who don’t engage at all.

That way, you’re sending the most relevant information to your audience. Plus, they’ll be more likely to open your emails and take action. 

6. Keep It Personal

Personalized emails have higher open rates. In fact, you can expect a 50% increase in open rates when you personalize the subject lines. Receiving customized content is important to your members. Ensure you’re providing a personalized experience by addressing your members by name. 

Furthermore, you can utilize an association management software tool to collect and analyze data about your members. When you learn their behaviors, career stages and interests, this will provide you insight and help you send personalized content they’re seeking. 

Providing a preference center can also help. This feature is an online portal where members can easily control the types of communications they receive and how often. Plus, it gives you another way to gain more insight and improve your communications with your members.

7. Test It Out

One way to certify your confidence is to proofread and preview before hitting send. Test your email by sending them to two different people. That way, they can verify the email is formatted correctly, and the copy checks out. Furthermore, you’ll want to confirm that your links are working properly and they send you to the right place.

One tip is to make sure your email looks the way you intend it to be on different platforms and devices. Review your emails through Gmail, Outlook, Mac, PC and Mobile. 

8. Measure and Track Your Results

Email campaign reporting and tracking lead you to improve your email performance and engagement. When you track and measure, you’ll know what is working and what isn’t. As a result, it gets easier to adjust your strategy and achieve better email campaigns.

Review your metrics like delivery rates, unsubscribes, open rates and click-through rates. That way, you better understand how well you’re reaching your audience and if your content is relevant. Essentially, you want to make it compelling enough to grab your audience’s attention and get them to take action.

How Business Associations Can Take Action

These are the best practices for email marketing. Following these tips and gaining more experience will ensure you improve your member engagement and raise awareness of your business association. Remember to keep testing, measuring and optimizing so you can achieve better results each time.

Eleanor is the editor-in-chief of Designerly. She’s also a freelance web designer with a focus on customer experience. She lives in Philly with her husband and dog, Bear.