4 Tips To Supercharge Your Associations Email Marketing

In Insights by MVP

Email marketing is a tricky business. Do it right and you could have friends for life. But do it wrong and you could push away even your most loyal members.


To help you avoid the latter, we’ve put together a list of four email marketing tips that every association professional should know. Check it out!

Create a compelling subject line

You know that old expression, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression?” Well, that couldn’t be more true of association email marketing. When it comes to email marketing, you only get a few seconds to grab someone’s attention – and that all starts with your email’s subject line.

So how do you write a subject line that’s compelling enough for people to actually click open? Well, think of it like a headline on a newspaper. It should be relevant, interesting, and accurate without being too over the top. “The best email you’ll read today!” sounds like spam. Instead, try something like, “Job openings, the latest events, and more from ABCD!” We promise this will help improve your overall open rate.

Provide a call-to- action

You can’t expect your members to do something if you never ask. That’s why calls-to-action are so important. What exactly are calls-to- action? Well, CTAs are words or phrases that try to provoke an immediate response, such as “click here” or “call today.”

Now calls-to-action have a few best practices in and of themselves. First and foremost, your CTAs should stand out. Otherwise, what’s the point of even having them? To make your CTAs stand out, try making them bigger, using a different color, or outlining them with extra white space. It’s also best to keep your CTAs short. Don’t give your members too many action options, such as “call our office today or visit our website to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.” Keep it simple with a basic “subscribe here” link or button.

Make it mobile friendly

Regardless of the type of email you’re sending, it must be mobile-friendly. According to the 2015 State of Marketing survey, 72 percent of U.S. adults send or receive personal emails via smartphone at least weekly. So if your email isn’t mobilized, it’s likely to wind up in the trash.

To make your emails mobile-friendly, try using a mobile optimized template. And remember, always send yourself a test first!

Stay in compliance

If there’s only one piece of advice you take away from this post, let it be this: If you live in the United States, your emails must be CAN-SPAM compliant. The CAN-SPAM Act is a federal law that sets the rules for commercial email and spells out tough penalties for violations – and trust us, those are some serious violations you don’t want to commit.

A few of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements are as follows:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines
  • Tell recipients where you are located
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future emails from you
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly

While it’s up to you to make sure your content is compliant, many email providers will actually take care of some of the CAN-SPAM preferences for you, such as the opt-out requirement.

For more information about CAN-SPAM requirements, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website.

So there you have it. The four email marketing tips every association professional should know. Is your organization regularly practicing these?

Megan Van Petten
CEO & President
Van Petten Group, Inc.