The average worker receives around 80 emails a day. The sheer volume of communication ensures that emails to your members are likely to be overlooked. Follow these simple rules to get your emails noticed and acted upon.

Limit the Number of Emails You Send

With workers receiving dozens, if not hundreds of email a day, sending too many emails to members is a good way to turn members off. Before you begin writing an email, ask yourself: “Is this really necessary?”

Is the legislation your organization supports at a truly critical juncture? Or is it simply making its way through the natural committee process? While we often view everything that happens in our organization as an urgent moment, our members may not view things with the same sense of urgency. Try and look at the issue from the point of view of the members before clicking send.

Subject Lines are Key

A good subject line will grab a member’s attention and summarize the issue. Ideally, subject lines should also be no longer than 50 characters. Any longer and the subject line will be cut off in the email browser.

Avoid using the words “help” and “reminder.” These words have been shown to negatively impact open rates.

Localization helps boost open rates. Whenever possible, include the local name or city/town in the subject line.

Keep Messages Clear and Brief

Emails need to be clear and concise. Keep your sentences short and to the point. The body of the email should be direct and informative, and it should contain all pertinent information.

Personalize the Email

Emails to members should always come from an individual they know (e.g. Local President, Representative, Organizer, etc.). By using a person, rather than the organization, in the “From” line, you will increase the chances of the email being opened.

Mass email programs (e.g. Salsa, Blue State Digital, Constant Contact, etc.) allow you to include the member’s name in the subject line and the body of the email. Personalizing the message can have a positive effect on the reader.

Three Times the Action

Emails to members often include an action step. Usually, this is a link to an online petition or advocacy page where members may directly contact a target. The most effective use of calls to action in an email to is to locate them in three places: at the beginning, the middle and the end of the email.

Contact your Senator today and urge their support for this bill.
Your Senator needs to hear from you on this important bill.
Click here to email your Senator on this critical bill today.

Rewording these calls to action will improve the likelihood of a member clicking on the link.

Check it Twice

Before you hit “send,” take a moment to review your email for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes.

As you proofread, pay attention to the length of your email. People are more likely to read short, concise emails than long, rambling ones, so make sure that your emails are as short as possible, without excluding necessary information.

A/B Testing

Mass email programs (e.g. Salsa, Blue State Digital, Constant Contact, etc.) often allow you to do A/B testing. This will allow you to create two versions of the same email and split it amongst the members you are emailing. A/B Testing can be a great way to test different subject lines to find the most effective one. This can be useful for long-term campaigns, like legislation or other issues that will require you to contact members more than once.