How to Improve Email Engagement at Your Association

By Amanda Kaiser posted 08-01-2019 08:07


Yesterday morning I sent out a test email to 20 members. By the end of the day, 16 had opened it 2 clicked and 1 had signed up for a conversation with me. 80% were curious enough to open the message but very few were motivated to investigate further.


Probably there was some language in my message that could have been ever so slightly off-putting; a little nit that threw up a wall between me, the message creator, and the members. Or there could have been some language that was confusing. Or the message could have been too long pushing members to disregard immediately upon opening. “I’ll look at it later”, they think, and then they become to busy to return to my email.

Armed with the knowledge that the message could be improved, I reviewed every sentence. I trimmed and simplified wherever I could. Then I added more encouraging words and more words of gratitude. I even added the slightest nudge of social pressure. Finally, I went back and deleted as much copy as I could without losing the meaning.

I sent the new and updated email out as a test to another small group of members and within the first 10 minutes, 15% had opened it with one signing up. Time will tell if the message needs further tweaks but these early results indicate improvement.

Do you have important messages for members that are not getting the traction you want? Craft alternate versions of the copy and test with small groups of members to see if you can improve the results.

Amanda Kaiser is a member engagement specialist for the association community. Amanda writes a popular weekly blog at