6 Types of Emails Your Association Should be Sending

By Carla Kalogeridis

I recently came across a blog from EDMdesigner, a company that develops mobile-friendly email templates. It’s got some interesting ideas for associations (simply reminders for some of you), so I thought I would share them here.

How many of us just send out a certain number of marketing emails to members and prospects because we have a marketing plan that says we’re supposed to? Our emails might include offers, reminders, or new product info — but we wonder, is this working or am I just wasting my time?

Here are the six types of marketing emails that EDMdesigner says we should be sending. They all have different purposes, including from building your brand to promoting your content:

Newsletters. You can include almost anything in a newsletter, from association news to announcements to feature articles or blogs. Be sure to send your newsletters on a regular schedule so people begin to recognize your brand, says EDMdesigner. According toEmailmonday, newsletters are the fifth most-liked mail received on mobile devices (coming in behind things like promos, vouchers, special offers, real-time delivery tracking, and new products).

Dedicated emails. Use a dedicated email to focus on one thing — a special offer or product that you want to bring to your membership’s attention or perhaps a piece of news about a special event, like the announcement of a prestigious keynote speaker or exclusive interview in the next issue of your magazine.

Digest emails. Think simple newsletters. EDMdesigner says digests mostly contain lists, so they are really the email version of listicles. They can come off as a bit impersonal, but they are easy to consume and easy to create.

Welcome emails. When someone joins your association, subscribes to one of your publications, submits an advertising contract, registers for an event — these are perfect occasions for the welcome email. It helps the recipient know their action is valid and successfully completed. Bonus points, says EDMdesigner, for adding a personal touch to automated welcome emails by including some information the user gave you such as their name, company, position, interests, etc.

Lead nurturing. Lead nurturing emails are a little more complicated, but at least you’re likely to get something in return for your efforts. Lead nurturing emails target specific audiences that you want to turn into leads — and hopefully, members and/or customers. In these emails, EDMdesigner explains that you should be educating or introducing the prospect to a particular product or service. It’s important to include why it’s good for them and what advantages they might get from using it. “Present your product as just the thing they need — they just didn’t know about that until then,” suggests EDMdesigner.

Two additional keys are segmenting — knowing who you are writing for — and then using that information to personalize the email so that the content resonates with their specific needs or pain points.

Anniversary emails. Anniversary emails can be automated, but they should also be personalized. Send them to recognize specific occasions unique to that member: anniversary of their joining the association, their actual birthday, holidays, etc. If you get really creative with the type of anniversaries you commemorate for the member, you will strengthen trust in your association’s brand.

Don’t forget to make special offers for the occasion, which are valid only for that member on that specific day. Not sure anniversary emails are worth the trouble? EDMdesigner points out that anniversary campaigns experience open rates three times higher than other emails.

Carla Kalogeridis is editorial director of Association Media & Publishing.