Email marketing is certainly not a new trend, but it should be a staple form of communication for any nonprofit association. It is fast, easy, inexpensive, and effective for reaching a large number of people. It is the anchor to any marketing strategy, and there is a lot more to effective email marketing than simply pressing the ‘send’ button. There are several important factors to keep in mind to boost email outreach. If done correctly, email marketing is an essential piece to building more personal relationships and strengthening your mission. Here is a list of tips and tricks that will optimize your email communications.

Define the Purpose of the Email

Some organizations send emails just for the sake of sending them, but in today’s world where we are inundated with emails as it is, it is critical to making sure that your email has a purpose.  Think first: why am I sending this email? Is the goal to inform members about current happenings in the association? Are you engaging members by offering information about upcoming events or networking opportunities? Are you looking for volunteers to help with a new program? Whatever the reason, make sure there is a clearly defined purpose for your email.

Keep it Short and Simple

Imagine that you are the recipient and you are in the middle of your workday. How easy is it to glance at a lengthy email and say “I don’t have time to read this right now, I will come back to it later,” only to find that you never actually do? If you keep your emails streamlined and concise, your recipients will be much more likely to read them. Same goes for subject lines -with upwards of 40% of emails being opened on mobile devices first, limit the length of your subject line so it grabs your reader’s attention and does not get cut off.

Be Strategic When Asking for Something

Email is a means of communication so it is appropriate to ask your members to volunteer or pay dues in your emails, right? Not exactly. If the only time your members receive emails from you is when you are asking for something, it is likely to leave a poor impression. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely that you will get whatever it is you are asking for. Instead, plan ahead and put together a timeline of when to send your emails and what types of emails to send. It is much more effective to diversify your email communications so that you’re not always asking for something from your members.

Time it Right

Timing is everything when it comes to email marketing. Many studies have been conducted to find out when the best times are to send emails. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday tend to have the highest email volume, so if you want to stand out you might opt for the beginning or end of the week. Friday has the highest click rate and emails sent in late afternoon have the highest open rate. Keep these statistics in mind when deciding when to send your association’s emails.

Send Regularly

When it comes to communication, consistency is the key. That means it is important to schedule regular emails such as monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly newsletters. The more consistent the communication, the more likely you will maintain your members’ attention.

These best practices for email marketing can help to improve member engagement and raise more awareness for your organization.