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How to Use Email Marketing to Boost Non-Dues Revenue

As most marketers know, email marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing for organizations on a large scale. Email is often used as an integrated part of other processes. There are very few ways to easily get a message across a large universe of users. Email is great at delivering segmented content, driving conversions, and providing attractive ROIs.  

email marketing statistics

Over the years, email marketing has become more of a science and it’s very easy to miss out on optimizing your resources and reaching your marketing potential. Email marketing campaigns that your organization sends to members and prospects can significantly influence your non-dues revenue stream. 

So, let’s take a look at how your association can effectively use email marketing to boost non-dues revenue. 

Email promotion campaigns 

An email promotion campaign creates awareness and drives engagement for events, products, or services your association wants members or prospects to know about. Whether it’s a career event, webinar, or a certification course offered through your Learning Management System (LMS), email marketing is a great way to get the word out.  

If you need more information and ideas on how different events, products, or services can generate non-dues revenue for your association, download one of our expert guides: 

Here are some effective approaches for email marketing that cuts through the clutter:  

Think mobile 

Offering a great mobile experience is simply a must-do these days; it’s all about reaching people in the way they want to be reached on the device they prefer. Some tips for creating mobile-friendly content: 

  • Keep content short and to-the-point so that those reading content, researching, or shopping don’t have to scroll through lots of text.  
  • Consider navigational issues. For example, buttons and links should include clear and concise instructions that mobile users can quickly grasp.  
  • Ensure your content (including images) scales and displays correctly on mobile devices.  
  • Break content into bite-sized chunks, paragraphs bullet points, numbered lists and subheadings to enhance viewability on mobile devices. 
  • Use appropriate font sizes, optimize line spacing, and use high contrasting colors so it’s easy to read. 
  • Test emails on multiple devices to ensure your emails look and work the way they should. 

mobile email marketing

Be interactive 

The main purpose of interactivity is to entertain the reader – promoting engagement and preventing them from turning away from your email before reading it all. Here are some of the latest interactive email elements to include:  

  • Animated buttons and calls-to-action  
  • Rollover effects to showcase product offerings  
  • Interactive image and product carousels controlled by the user  
  • Accordion features designed to make long-format emails more compact  
  • Surveys, polls, and user-generated interactive content 

Get personal 

The Community Brands Digital Evolution Study underscores the importance of personalization. In the study, 65 percent of members say they are interested in personalization, with 79 percent saying it’s very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content. Be sure to include messages and information specific to things like your members’ interests, career stages, and interactions with your organization. 

email personalization

Use A/B testing 

A great way to know if your email messages are working is to test them. Create two different versions of an email, then send one to a subset of your list, and the other to a different subset of your list. Check after a couple of days to see which email performed better, and then send that email to the full list. Be sure to vary only one or two things in the email (such as the subject line or the image) so you can understand what element made the difference. 


Marketing in today’s world isn’t easy. People are bombarded with marketing messages from every direction and from all mediums. As an association, you’re up against a huge amount of competition for your members’ and prospects’ attention. The foundation for effective marketing in today’s world is relevant content, mainly digital.  

Your association likely already produces whitepapers, studies, surveys, guides, and other information-rich material – all valuable member benefits. But for marketing purposes, it’s important to remember that we all have short attention spans. News and information comes at us fast. So, the key to reaching your audience is to create attention-grabbing content – and research shows that email marketing is one of the best tools to use. 

Want even more email marketing tips?

Download our latest guide to learn 10 best practices to help you when creating your email marketing campaigns.

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