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Email marketing is a great way to drive people to your association’s career center. Here are helpful tips to improve your email marketing.

Email marketing is an essential approach for driving member acquisition, engagement, and renewal. It’s also a great way to get job opportunities in front of job seekers and grow your association’s career center.

But are your email communications getting the response you need? Is your audience even opening your emails?

email marketing statistics

When thinking about your email communications to your members, one thing to keep in mind is their inbox. Much like your inbox, theirs may be overflowing with so much content that they don’t know which emails are worth their time.

Email fatigue is real, not just for you but for your members, too. And if your members aren’t opening your emails, your messages aren’t getting to them, regardless of how great your content is.

So, let’s look at some email marketing tips to help you get your association’s message through.

As most marketers know, email marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing for organizations on a mass scale. Why, you may ask?

Download our guide to find out.

9 tips to improve your association’s email marketing and boost member engagement

Here are nine effective ways to improve your association’s email marketing:

1. Consolidate and deliver value.

Your association has so many different services, conferences, learning, and member engagement opportunities that you want to let members know about. That doesn’t mean you should blast their inboxes with a new communication each time. Consolidate your messages as much as possible in a monthly newsletter or try to segment lists to ensure members are getting the content that’s most relevant to them.

2. Write great email subject lines.

Subject lines are your opportunity to grab your members’ attention. What works in a subject line varies depending on your audience. Questions might work best for your members. Or maybe data points. Try some A/B testing to see what technique gets the most opens and responses.

Most likely the email is being opened on a mobile device. Given that most smartphones display only around six to eight words of a subject line, keeping it “short and sweet” is crucial.

A personalized subject line can differentiate your emails from the rest. So, instead of saying “Membership Renewal,” try: “[First Name], time for your membership renewal!”

Do your best to tell your members exactly what the email contains, and create interest without giving it all away. Consider something like: “Important info: 2025 Conference,” which is direct and timely with a hint of tease. It doesn’t discuss “Registration Now Open” which can get saved for later and then forgotten if it’s not an action the user was ready to take at that time.

3. Segment your audience.

Few emails will be relevant to every single member. That’s why it’s important to segment your email distribution lists and tailor content to that segment’s needs and interests.

Use your association’s programs and services to develop target groups. For example, when offering webinars, require users to enter their contact information on the registration form. Then, you’ll know these users’ contact information, plus that they are a) interested in your organization, and b) interested in the material you are presenting. Then, you can send them highly relevant email messages in the future.

Use your association management software (AMS) to segment email lists by things like interests, past engagement, and/or demographic characteristics such as career stage and location.

email personalization

4. Be brief.

Too much information can be a turnoff. Include only as much information as you need to get your point across. Use descriptive headlines, bullet points, and images as much as possible in place of longer text.

5. Use pre-headers.

Pre-headers are text on the line after the subject line of an email notification on your mobile device or even some desktops. You can use this space to get readers off their seat with a compelling message that makes them want to read more.

6. Design for mobile.

Make sure your emails are mobile-responsive so that mobile users don’t need to zoom in and out to piece together your message – a sure way to lose readers. Also, use white space, larger fonts, and high-contrast colors to make your emails easier to read on mobile devices.

7. Personalize.



Connecting with your members through high-quality personalized content is important. Readers respond more to a personal email that’s directed specifically to them. For example, in addition to putting first names in the subject line to grab attention, use other information you have about your users to make messages more tailored to the recipient. And don’t forget to set a default value for those users you may not have that specific data piece for. That way, your emails won’t have any blanks.

8. Automate (when you can).

Use auto-responders when you can. This is hands-free email marketing for your already-busy team. For example, generate automatic emails when someone completes a task such as registering, purchasing, or attending a webinar.

9. Be action-oriented.

Write a compelling call-to-action (CTA) for each message to entice users to click through. Put the CTA at the top and the bottom of your email message so readers can’t miss it. Use colorful buttons and bold text. Be short and concise, using strong verbs.

How to use email marketing to engage members with your association’s online career center

While you’re thinking about how to improve your association’s email marketing, consider this: Do your members know the benefits available to them with your online career center? If you aren’t sure, then it might be time to put email marketing to work more in this area.

AAFP career center

Remember, your career center is a valuable membership benefit. So, give it the same attention you give other programs and events.

Email marketing is a great way to provide your members with meaningful and impactful information about your career center. It can drive them to the resources they need to find their next great job or their next great new hire.

Here are three effective ways to use email marketing to get members more engaged with your online career center:

1. Get the word out.

Once you have launched your career center, let your members know about this new benefit and career growth resource. It’s a great idea to have the first email about your online career center come from your association’s executive director or president.

In addition, when it’s time for your membership dues renewal season, make sure you are outlining the career center as a membership benefit. Career resources and resume coaching are assets that can help provide your members with the tools they need for their career journey. To connect with your members, highlight career success moves with testimonials from current members and what resources they utilized to help them reach that next step. Write up an article or capture their full story on video, which you can include in email marketing and your association’s newsletter. 

industry resource

2. Send monthly marketing emails.

Connect with the job seekers on your career center by providing them monthly updates. This may help your job seekers understand the state of your industry as well as new opportunities that are available on your career center. Encourage your members to sign up for job alerts so they can be one of the first to discover and apply for new opportunities.

Help the job seekers succeed with career advancement opportunities as this will help keep up the traffic and show your career center is credible. Think of your career center as a brand extension and make sure your email campaigns keep with the brand and tone of your association 

3. Promote offers for employers and special events for your job seekers.

Have you thought about ways to help market your career center to employers so they will post their jobs and career opportunities? Find ways to market to these employers by educating them on how a niche job board can help provide them with top quality talent.   

For the job seekers, make sure they are aware of upcoming job fairs through your career center such as virtual or in-person events. This is a great opportunity for a face-to-face connection with the employers posting on your career center.

Members will open your emails if they find value in the content you are sending and if you allow them to choose the channel in which you communicate with them. Give members what they want, in the way they want to receive it, and watch your email open rates increase.

Take advantage of YM Careers' extensive, industry-relevant marketing support for association customers.

Request a personalized demo.

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