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Association Management

Member Newsletter Best Practices, Tips and Ideas To Keep Members Reading

MemberClicks Avatar MemberClicks March 29, 2022
Table of Contents
11 min read

While email has been around for decades, it’s still one of the most effective communication channels, even compared to new technologies (we’re looking at you, social media). As of 2019, email marketing boasted a 4,200% return on investment—or $42 in returns for every $1 spent. It also offered a 15.22% conversion rate in 2021. So, whether you’re sending a sales email, sharing company news or promoting content, email remains a valuable way to spend your marketing dollars.

Especially now, your member newsletters specifically can be an effective way to keep your members updated and engaged with your organization. According to a recent survey, more than three-fourths (78%) of marketers have noticed a spike in email engagement in the last year.

Other direct benefits of a member newsletter can include:

  • Highlighting member accomplishments
  • Promoting upcoming events
  • Reiterating current benefits of membership
  • Suggesting new ways for members to get involved

To help you get started with your own member newsletter, we’ve put together examples, tactics and tips including:

  • 30 Member Newsletter Content Ideas
  • 10 Membership Newsletter Best Practices
  • How to Choose Your Member Newsletter Name

30 Member Newsletter Content Ideas to Keep Members Interested

So what should your member newsletter include?

If you’re not sure what content will resonate with your members, never fear! We’ve compiled a list of more than a dozen membership newsletter examples and ideas to help you get started.

1. Promote your upcoming events and recap past ones

Let your current and prospective members know about events on your organization’s calendar. That could be an upcoming conference, educational offerings like webinars, or networking events.

Take this example from Miro, which created an email promoting their Distribute 2021 conference.

Miro newsletter example featuring their upcoming conference, including event description, date and time, signup button, and a countdown.

2. Spotlight a member who is particularly engaged or achieved a major goal

Get your members engaged by highlighting the achievements of one of your followers. Write a brief profile, including how long they’ve been a member and detail their accomplishment.

Thinx creates a monthly spotlight to introduce their newsletter subscribers to a new member of their community.

Thinx newsletter's member monthly spotlight showing an interview with a member, including her name and photo.

3. Industry Leader Spotlights

Highlight your association’s leaders or leaders of partner organizations to help build connections between members and the higher-ups in your org. Include some of their hobbies, maybe their favorite book or other personal tidbits to let your members get to know them. You can make a series about it, and highlight someone different each month!

4. Preview a recent blog post

Let your members know about content you’ve recently created on your blog. Your latest post might let members know about new membership perks, upcoming events, or help your members solve a specific problem they regularly encounter.

Take this newsletter edition from Zendesk. This help desk service highlighted an article from their blog archive that highlights how one of their customers—a nonprofit—leveraged their tools to help members of their community.

Zendesk newsletter showing an editor's pick of a blog about a nonprofit that reports police violence, including a read more button.

5. Feature another blog post from an influential industry blog or source

You don’t have to lean entirely on your own blog content in your member newsletter—you can also curate articles and blogs from influencers in your space or industry publications. Simply aggregate links to articles that are relevant for your members, or provide additional context and analysis on those posts. Just don’t forget to get permission, if necessary, and credit the original source!

In this example, Ecommerce newsletter 2PM includes links from industry publications like Global Trade and Input to illustrate industry trends.

2pm newsletter summarizing aggregated links from other industry publications.

6. Include widgets to your social media pages

Your member newsletter is the perfect place to let your subscribers know all the places they can find you online. Include widgets, usually at the bottom of the email, that point readers to your branded social channels, whether it be your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other platform.

For example, Emma includes links at the bottom of their emails to all their social channels.

Emma newsletter footer showing icons that link to all of their social media, including Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and Pinterest.

7. Share your top social posts (with links!)

Posted something on Twitter that got a lot of likes? Did an Instagram post get a lot of engagement? Include screenshots and links to your social posts within your newsletter to encourage members to follow along! Plus, it’s a nice way to share what you’re doing well within your organization’s marketing!

8. Shine a spotlight on new hires

If you’ve recently hired new employees, introduce them to your members! Write a brief profile for your member newsletter with a little info about them and their role in your organization. Be sure to include a headshot of your new staff member.

An example of this is from Gravity Payments who conduct mini interviews of their newest employees.

Gravity Payments newsletter featuring a short interview with their new employee, including questions about her role, tenure, and favourite client.

9. Highlight one of your newer or under-utilized member benefits

You work hard to provide your members with perks that resonate with them. Inevitably, some benefits will be more popular than others, which means members can quickly forget about all the perks available to them. Remind your members about new or under-used perks to continue to drive home the value of their membership.

For example, Google Photos sent this email to remind Google One members about some of the editing features they could use to adjust their photos.

Google Photos email about how to get more out of the app, including a Learn More button and a photo of a parent and their child cooking together on the screen of an Android phone.

10. Recap the year that was

At the end of the year, use the space in your member newsletter to look back on noteworthy accomplishments, events, and trends for your organization from the last 12 months.

Take this example from Grammarly, where they sent members a roundup of the changes and trends in the writing world in 2020.

Grammarly enewsletter sent at the end of a year, summarizing statistics and writing trends tracked through member use.

11. Promote volunteer opportunities

Let members know about upcoming opportunities to participate in charity work or other volunteering initiatives through your organization.

Patagonia sent this email to customers to solicit their skills for climate change initiatives.

Patagonia enewsletter advertising volunteer opportunities, with a "get involved" button to support environmental causes.

12. Promote your latest long-form or educational content

If you’ve recently worked hard to write a helpful ebook or compiled some industry learnings into a video series, send it off to your members! Let them know this educational content is available to them (and boost your downloads/views at the same time).

WCP Brands used their newsletter to promote their ebook about going from 0-500K followers.

WCP Brands newsletter promoting their new book, including a promotional image of the book cover and a download link for a free e-book.

13. Promote other relevant long-form content

If a partner organization or company in your space publishes relevant content like a compelling ebook or industry report, consider sharing it with your newsletter subscribers. This information could be helpful for your members, particularly when it comes to learning about industry trends or addressing specific pain points.

Just don’t forget to ask permission, if necessary, and give the organization credit for their hard work on the long-form content!

14. Preview any upcoming webinars or workshops

Planning to interview an influencer in your space in an upcoming webinar? Or maybe you’re hosting a workshop to help members learn a new skill? Promote such events in your member newsletter.

For example, Double Blind Mag promoted its webinar course on how to better grow mushrooms to its followers.

Double Blind Mag newsletter promoting a webinar course on how to grow mushrooms, including course details, pricing, and a preorder button.

15. Ask for member feedback

Reach out to your members to ask for their opinions on a regular basis. We recommend conducting a member needs assessment every year and asking for post-event feedback to ensure you’re giving members what they need to make their membership worthwhile.

In this example, Unsplash asked for help from its members to help make the photo service even better.

Unsplash newsletter with a link to a feedback survey for the member to provide input on the service's priorities.

16. Introduce new board members

When you bring new people into your organization’s board, take a moment to introduce them to members. Write a brief profile (less than 100 words is fine—succinct is better for emails!) that summarizes their experience and accomplishments. And don’t forget to include a headshot!

17. Celebrate big wins – AND the little ones!

Big accomplishments are worth celebrating. So, share the celebration with your members. If you achieve a major goal, like exceeding your fundraising goal or contributing to legislation that passed recently, tell them about it in your newsletter.

For example, Startup Neighborly let their followers know when they raised their seed funding round.

Neighborly newsletter celebrating a seed funding round, informing members of this success.

You can also celebrate little wins like new members, event planning goals, etc to keep your members celebrating with you!

18. Share discounts and coupons

Have sponsorships or organizations that are willing to give your members discounts? Share those in your newsletters! Not only does it benefit your members, but you can use these sponsorship opportunities as a way to earn non-dues revenue, too.

19. Share your organization’s evolution

Your organization has likely come a long way since it was established—and that’s a story worth telling. New members may not know your organization’s history or how it’s grown over the years.

In this email, Charity Water created a beautiful timeline that explains the history of their work in Rwanda since 2010.

Charity Water newsletter that details the seven-year history of their work in Rwanda, including an image of a Rwandan child running their head under a stream of water.

20. Share member testimonials

Have a new review that raves about how amazing your organization is? Did your team get great feedback from a member? Nothing pumps up members (and potential members!) by other people praising their association. Share member testimonials as often as you can to keep current members interested and to peak interest in potential members.

21. Book and podcast recommendations

While newsletters are great for sharing about internal things within your organization, they’re also a great way to share learning opportunities with your members. Highlight cool books or awesome podcasts that address your members interests, needs and challenges.

22. Highlight job opportunities

This idea is especially easy if you host an association job board on your website. Help your members find their dream job by promoting opportunities that fit within your members skill sets and interests.

23. Seasonal greetings

First day of spring? Officially summer? Hallowe’en just around the corner? Don’t be afraid to celebrate seasonal changes and yearly milestones with the content or look of your newsletter.

24. Promote industry tips and best practices

Your members look to you to keep them up to date on the relevant changes, trends and hot topics within your industry. Highlight any news highlights or changes to your industry to keep your organization positioned as a leader in your space. The more authority you have on a topic, the more trust you build within your members’ minds.

25. Include quotes and inspirational motivation

Everyone loves a though provoking quote. Include a quote about the newsletters’ theme or related to your industry to get your members thinking with each newsletter. Make it interactive by encouraging members to send in their favourites and select a “winner” each month to feature!

26. Promote any fundraising opportunities

For any fundraising campaigns for your organization (or a partner organization), make sure you promote it in your member newsletter. Let your members know about your fundraising efforts, your goals, and how they can get involved.

Charity Water also sent its members a roundup of fundraising campaigns created and run by kids under the age of 11.

Charity: water newsletter featuring campaigns by children who fundraised for the charity, including links to contribute donations from the reader.

27. Sneak peaks behind the scenes of your organization

Give members a look at your association’s workspace, employees, tasks, events, programs and daily life with photos, videos or small written blurbs. This will help to build the connection

28. Videos and gifs make it visual

Make your newsletter eye catching with videos and gifs to capture your readers. Videos are great to share updates from your associations’ leaders, or to highlight events in a way that is more engaging that simply sharing pictures.

29. Answer FAQs

Getting a lot of questions about your association or organization? Consider answering those questions in your newsletter to simplify communications between your organization and its members. You can have a “FAQ Corner” and answer a different question each week, helping to create a sense of continuity between your newsletters.

30. Highlight membership drives or referral programs

If you’re actively looking to grow your membership base, dedicate space regularly in your member newsletter to let them know about these growth initiatives. Let them know about your membership goal, upcoming recruitment events, and referral incentives they can receive if they send you any newbies.

For example, TicTail let members know they offer a referral program and that customers can get a 10% discount for referring friends.

TicTail newsletter informing members of a 10% referral discount, with a button to make that referral and an icon highlighting the 10% off.

10 Membership Newsletter Best Practices

While your member newsletter will be as unique as your member base, there are a few key best practices to keep in mind to set you up for success.

1. Use email segmentation.

You may not want all your members to receive all your emails. So, segment your audience to send relevant emails to different audiences.

2. Send emails at a regular frequency.

Don’t send out so many that you annoy members, or so few that they’re surprised every time they hear from you. Start with one email a month and create an email calendar to plan your newsletters.

3. Be consistent with your branding.

Make sure your emails reflect your association’s brand guidelines. That means adding your organization’s logo and brand colors throughout your newsletter.

4. Keep your subject line short and sweet.

Most email clients will cut off subject lines that are longer than 45+ characters. That means members can’t read the entire subject line in their inbox. So write brief and punchy subject lines.

5. Optimize your emails for mobile devices.

Many members will likely check your emails on the go from their smartphones. So make sure your emails are mobile-friendly.

6. Break up your text.

Giant blocks of text can overwhelm readers, so break up your content with multimedia. Add visuals like photos, charts, GIFs, or links to videos.

7. Direct recipients to important website pages.

Email content should be brief. Include the most important details and then send readers to the right site to learn more.

8. Ask current members to spread the word.

Prompt readers to share your newsletter with prospective members at the end of each email.

9. Use A/B testing.

Experiment to see what resonates with readers. You can change elements like your email design, the order of your content, call-to-action buttons, etc.

10. Use call-to-action buttons.

Make it clear what action you want members to take in every email like “Sign up” or “Download” and make it easy to find.

How to Choose Your Member Newsletter Name

Last, but certainly not least, you’ll need to title your new newsletter. Here are a couple quick tips to guide you through choosing your newsletter name:

Incorporate your association’s purpose and mission

Keep your mission top of mind when brainstorming newsletter names. That way, members know exactly what you hope to accomplish (and what they can expect) from the name. For example, Shopify’s retail newsletter is titled Retail Radar. It rounds up trends, new tools/features, and educational content to keep retail merchants informed.

Keep it short and catchy

No need to write a complete sentence for your newsletter name! Two to three words is long enough. That way, it’s brief and memorable.

Ask your members for ideas

Not feeling inspired? Survey your members for their ideas! Ask them to submit potential names and then run on a poll on your social channels to get their opinion on which name they prefer.

Moving Forward With Your Own Member Newsletter

Now that you’re armed with multiple inspirational examples, a bevvy of best practices, and a walkthrough on how to select a newsletter name, you have the tools you need to get started. Set up a quick email campaign to welcome new members or encourage current members to attend upcoming events. Or you can leverage your newsletter as one channel of your overall association marketing strategy.

With all this info and the right membership management and email tool, you can take the first steps to build your own membership newsletter for your organization.

Free Member Retention Guide

Ready to retain members and keep them coming back forever and ever? This guide will teach you everything you need to know about member retention. We cover all the basics, like the first steps to member retention and how to map out your member journey. From there, we dive a bit deeper into retention tips.