When managing an association, communication is one of, if not the most important components of ensuring engagement with your members. Since email has become arguably the most important form of communication today, guaranteeing your emails are opened and read by your members is imperative for sound communication within your association. Seeing as one in six emails end up in a person’s junk folder, ensuring your emails are opened regularly is necessary to foster communication in your association. Therefore, below are 3 tips to ensure your association emails are opened. 


Personalization is a proven way to increase your open and click-key rates. It has even been suggested emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without. Therefore, the importance of some form of personalization is apparent. While many companies and associations are adopting smart segmentation, the act of segmenting and targeting your association members on a variety of metrics are simpler and more cost-effective tactics you can employ to achieve personalization in the emails you send. A personalized email consists of three components: relevancy, time, and a familiar sender. 

One of the key factors in a person deciding to open an email or not is whether it grabs the recipient’s attention. In order to grab your recipient’s attention, offer relevant content. While many emails will already offer personalization in the form of the recipient’s name, sending an email with relevant information to the recipient is a way to further personalize your email. Relevant information in an email is about offering information people want to read. To do this, use information available to you about your members to tailor emails accordingly. In doing so, you build a reputation for offering relevant emails with quality and value, increasing the chances your recipient opens your email.  

Another way to add personalization to your email is to ensure they are delivered in a timely manner. While a timely message is essentially one at the right or opportune time, it also means knowing the right time to send a message to a member. This means keeping in mind your audience and the time zone you are sending to. Many studies suggest that the optimal time to send an email is 10 am. 

Lastly, ensure your email is always sent from a person, particularly one they are familiar with, rather than a ‘no-reply’ email address.  Receiving an email from someone you are familiar with adds personability to your email and increases the chances of your email being opened.  

Deliver Quality and Value 

It has been said the content quality of your emails makes a difference in response rates. Namely, if you improve the quality of your emails, you can expect to see incremental increases in open rates. Consequently, to provide quality emails to your members, concentrate on the following components: focus on the recipient and get members involved. 

Focusing on the recipient can be done by segmenting members into groups like contacts based on known interests of the members or how they are. Doing so will ensure you send targeted content to your members, further increasing your percentage of opened emails.  

Another way to create quality and value in your emails is by getting members involved. If you aren’t sure how to provide quality and value to your member emails, asking your members is a great option. Sending a survey or starting an online discussion is a great way to include your members in the process and can lead to valuable information about your members likes and definition of quality emails. Using this information to help segment and tailor your email lists increases your chances of having them opened as the members will equate quality and value to your emails, increasing your chances of having them opened. 

Review your Metrics 

The last tip to ensure your emails are opened is to review your metrics. An email open rate is an important metric to gauge your member engagement with emails. Although they are not 100% accurate, they provide a good measure of how your audience reacts over time. Using programs such as Campaign Monitor, you can view your reports, insights and compare engagement reports after employing new techniques. This is a great route to take when employing techniques to boost member engagement with emails. 


Read more on How Email Marketing Benefits an Association?