Using Email Newsletters to Draw Attention to Your Association
In the past, associations would send physical newsletters to members with news and updates. It would include ads, industry insights, case studies, event calendars, articles, and more. Today, e-newsletters are totally different. The average time a person takes to read an e-newsletter is 11 seconds, according to Salesforce.
This is considerably better than the average attention span, which is about 8 seconds. So, what does it mean?
Members want to see your emails in their inbox. Now it’s just a matter of sending the right e-newsletters that will delight your members. Use these best practices to craft the email newsletters that your readers want to see from their association.
Make Email Newsletters Concise
E-newsletter length is a balancing act. Give the recipient enough information to cover all of the essential news but not too much that the reader has to scroll for a long time. Make a list of the things you need to tell members on a monthly basis and keep it at that.
Here’s a sample list:
- Small paragraph intro message to members
- Association news (elections, renewals, meetings, etc)
- Upcoming events and networking opportunities
- New content available to members
Limit e-newsletters to important information. Sometimes, adding “fluff” to writing is a necessary tool for blog content and social media. On the other hand, for an e-newsletter, it is recommended you keep the writing down to the essentials.
Stay Consistent with Design
As a result, this helps your readers recognize you. Members get dozens of email updates from companies and organizations every day. Use a branding guide to keep the design consistent so members don’t skip right over your e-newsletters. That is to say, create an e-newsletter template and stick with it. This saves time for associations and for members.
Keep Content Skimmable
Make it easy for members to skim your e-newsletters.
A few ways to do this include:
- Break up the writing with images (as long as they don’t take up too much space)
- Turn writing into bullet points or lists if possible
- Segment content and categorize with headers
- Make writing as easy to read as possible
Lastly, try to maintain the same order of content for e-newsletters. This way, members know if they’re looking for upcoming events where to skip to. Make it easy for members to read the information they want to see without having to read what they are not interested in reading.
Use The “Call-to-Action” Correctly
Try to avoid using CTA’s (aka call to action) unless there is a direct and actionable reason to click. For example, adding a link that says “link here” doesn’t tell the reader to do anything. Instead, use CTA phrases like “read more” or “get more info”. If your email service has built-in CTA buttons, take advantage of it. Using a button stands out much more than a blue link in body text.
Make E-Newsletters Easier Using Automation
There are a ton of tools out there you can use to automate e-newsletters. Many platforms exist that can schedule to send automatically, collect the open and click rates data for you, and even generate content for your newsletters.
Use the tools available to you to optimize the time spent on making e-newsletters and report your results from email campaigns.
Test your E-Newsletters Before Sending
Even if you think the email is perfect. Send a test to yourself and three coworkers! This will show you how it looks to the reader. Check links, read the copy, and make sure everything looks right design wise.
There’s nothing worse than spending a ton of time making an email and seeing a couple of typos and a link that won’t work. Once it’s out there, you can’t get it back. Make sure it’s right and send a test to yourself!
Creating Content that Association Members Love
All in all, emails are a great way to reach out to members. Share important association updates and show members you care about their professional success. Taking the time to make an e-newsletter proves initiative and promotes upcoming member events and resources. Lastly, it’s what your association members want to see. So give it to them!
Above all, using automation tools like InLoop, you can automate the process and send beautifully designed emails. For more information on e-newsletter content curation, contact us.