Membership Associations, Wake Up! Your Members Need More Than Just a Confirmation Email

mailchimp new builder

Struggling to understand who your customer actually is?...and what motivates them?
Use this FREE Customer Avatar Worksheet to develop your marketing activities with a specific person in mind and ensure you know what to say and where to say it - Download it now!

May 16, 2024

 There’s a new club in town and it’s hot.

You’ve heard amazing things about it and excitedly sign up as a VIP member.

…Give it a few minutes then check your inbox to see what exclusive news and benefits they have especially for members like you.


Days pass.


You begin to question if your membership was even processed.

You start to feel overlooked and unimportant.

You wonder if maybe the club wasn’t all it cracked up to be.

Soon you forget about it.

Not good.

But it happens.

And it’s more common than you think.

As a membership organisation, failing to send even a welcome email can leave new members feeling unseen and unappreciated.

Don’t let your members feel neglected; make them feel valued from the start.

The best way to do this? Email marketing.

Email marketing is a great way to engage, retain, and grow your membership base. It allows you to communicate directly with your members, providing them with valuable content, updates, and exclusive offers whilst building a sense of community among members.

So why are so many membership organisations neglecting email marketing?

To put it into context, we decided to sign up to 30 different membership organisations.

Guess how many sent a welcome email?

Just one.

Shocking, right?

What made it worse was that only 11 of those organisations had visible sign-up forms on their websites.

What is happening?

If you want to retain your members, you NEED to keep them engaged. The most effective way to do this is by sending regular email marketing campaigns.

Keep reading as we show you the six best email campaigns you can use as a membership organisation.

1.Email Welcome series

When a new member joins up you can make them feel welcomed and appreciated by sending a personalised welcome email.

Your new member welcome email is your chance to introduce your organsisation and set the stage for what’s next.

Use a series of emails to outline the benefits of your organisation as well as telling members what they can expect from you and how they can get involved.
Remember to include links to any member resources as well as important contact details.

What to include:

  • Introduction to the Organisation: Share your mission, vision, and values.
  • Member Benefits: Detail the specific benefits members will enjoy.
  • Getting Involved: Provide information on how to participate in events, committees, and forums.
  • Resources and Contacts: Include links to the member portal, FAQs, and support contact information.

 2. Membership Renewal Reminder

It’s a good idea to start sending renewal reminders via email a few months before membership is set to expire. As well as reminder your members of any upcoming renewal dates, use this as an opportunity to reinforce benefits of membership.

Show how easy it is to renew and outline the steps members cantake to do this by providing a clear call-to-action and a link to renew online.

Make sure the email has the necessary contact details for any renewal queries.

What to include:

  • Reminder of upcoming renewal date
  • Benefits of renewing
  • Easy steps to renew
  • Any incentives for early renewal (discounts, bonuses)
  • Contact information for questions.

3: Referral email

Considering one of the most efficient ways to boost membership is via referrals, it makes sense to get your members involved in spreading the word via a referral programme.

Offer an incentive for those who send you successful referrals such as a discount, gift or loyalty points and make sure to communicate the value of the incentive and how to redeem it.

What to include:

  • Referral Benefits: Explain how members benefit from referring others.
  • Incentives: Offer tangible rewards for successful referrals.
  • How to Refer: Provide easy steps for members to refer friends or colleagues
  • Redeeming Rewards: Explain how members can claim their incentives.

4. Monthly Newsletter

Keep your members informed, engaged, and connected to your organisation by sending a monthly newsletter. This newsletter should contain a mix of organisational updates, upcoming events, member spotlights, and useful resources.

What to include:

  • Message from the CEO
  • Upcoming events and important dates
  • Recent news and updates
  • Member spotlights or testimonials
  • Useful resources and articles
  • Calls to action (volunteer, join a committee, etc.)

5. Feedback Email

Your members matter and the best way to show this is via a feedback email. You can include a survey or poll in your emails to get feedback on specific topics or ask for general feedback on how you can improve.

While asking for feedback is a great engagement strategy on its own, you can provide incentive for your members to respond in the form of discount codes, free gifts, or even a chance to win a bigger prize.

What to include:

  • Discounts on online purchases
  • Free, limited-run, branded gifts
  • Early registration to popular events
  • Invitations to special events
  • Customised recommendations

6. Re engagement email

Over time, some members may become less active or stop engaging with your association altogether.

To bring them back, send a re-engagement email campaign. The aim hereis to provide as much value as possible to try and re-engage these subscribers.

If members fail to respond those Inactive subscribers should be removed from your list. You can delete their details. People who open your emails can be added back onto your main email list.

What to include:

  • Reminder of Benefits: Highlight what they’ve been missing.
  • Incentives to Re-engage: Offer special offers or exclusive content.
  • Call to Action: Encourage them to participate in an upcoming event or renew their membership.
  • List Management: Explain that inactive subscribers may be removed but can rejoin anytime.

Extra Tips


Allow for Email Opt-In + preferences
Make sure you clearly inform potential members why you are collecting their email addresses and how their information will be used. This builds trust and increases the likelihood of them opting in.

Go a step further by creating a preference page so members can select the types of emails they wish to receive (e.g., newsletters, event invitations, updates on specific interest groups). And how often.

Make sure your Sign up forms are visible on your website

Place your sign ups forms strategically on your website such as the homepage, blog, footer, and don’t forget dedicated landing pages.

Use compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) that highlight the benefits of joining your mailing list, such as access to exclusive content, member-only events, or special discounts.
Keep the sign-up process simple and quick.

Keep it personal

You can personalise emails based on member data, such as their name, membership level, interests, or past interactions.

Try segmenting your email list based on things like demographics, how engaged they are, or what they’re interested in. This way, you can send messages that really matter to each group.

Also, customise your emails based on what members do, like attending events, downloading content, or browsing your website. For instance, if someone attends an event, follow up with related content they might enjoy.

Automate your emails

Automation ensures that your members receive timely and consistent communication, enhancing their experience and engagement with the association. Automations can be set up for different stages of the member journey. These can include welcome sequences, renewal reminders, event confirmations, and more.

Remember: A welcome email is different from an registration successful email.

Yes we said it, because funnily enough when we got in touch with our list of membership organisations a LOT didn’t know the difference.

Just to get it out there one more time…

Welcome Email: This should be the first email new members receive, setting the tone for their experience. Include a warm welcome, an overview of membership benefits, and important information on how to get started.
Registration Successful Email: This email is more transactional, confirming the completion of a registration process (e.g., event sign-up, membership renewal). It should include specifics about what they registered for, next steps, and any additional instructions or resources they might need.

Final Thoughts

 So there you have it, Email marketing isn’t just another checkbox on your to-do list; it’s the lifeline of your membership organisation.

From welcoming new members with open arms to rekindling relationships with those who’ve drifted away, every email you send is a chance to make your members feel valued and connected.

And don’t overlook the importance of segmentation, personalisation, and automation; these tools can work wonders in keeping your members engaged and feeling special.

So, if you’re ready to take your membership association to the next level, don’t underestimate the impact of a well-crafted email campaign. Your members will thank you for it – and who knows, you might just see those renewal rates soar.

Liz Seymour

Liz Seymour

Queen Chimp Of Marketing

Cheesy as it sounds, Liz is the biz when it comes to  Mailchimp & Email Marketing.

She's worked in Marketing for around 20 years when she went to uni and studied Multimedia Technology…That's where her love affair with all things Marketing began. 

Since then she has worked for household names such as Wickes, The Rank Group, Nuffield Health, Snappy Snaps and Marriot. Not to mention a great variety of businesses and agencies.

Here at Chimp Answers she deals with all things Marketing focusing on the Content and Copywriting side of things such as Blog posts, Emails and landing pages. Liz is Certified in Direct-Response Copywriting, Google Digital Marketing Fundamentals,Hubspot Inbound Marketing,Hubspot Social Media and Mailchimp Foundations.

Challenge Us!

If you want someone to help you with your Mailchimp account, whether it's setting it up, reviving it or just keeping it ticking over, don't be shy.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Our Troop

Like this article? Subscribe now to receive free tips and resources on Mailchimp and marketing.

Your email will be managed in accordance with our privacy policy which you can view here. Unsubscribe at any time.

The Mailchimp Fundamentals

There are some things that are 'Fundamental' to doing Mailchimp the right way.

We call them 'The Fundies

Join the World's Biggest Mailchimp Community

The Mailchimp Answers Facebook group is the world's biggest Mailchimp community

Everyone has Questions

Understand the 10 most asked questions about Mailchimp... and get the answers to each of them.

A short video course with screen captures of the 10 most popular questions about Mailchimp.