Membership Hack: Downsizing Newsletters

The American Academy of PAs downsized to a single e-newsletter to deliver news and information to members without flooding their inboxes. That change is helping to boost open rates, click-throughs, and membership.

How to hack it? Sometimes less is more, or at least that’s what the American Academy of PAs concluded about what the association delivers to members’ inboxes. About two years ago, an analysis showed that AAPA was flooding its members with email, sometimes sending as many as 10 messages on a single day.

“Open rates were low across the board, and unsubscribes were growing at a rapid pace,” says Lisa Burns, AAPA’s marketing director. “This was hurting our ability to market effectively.”

Rather than push out all content to all members, AAPA now delivers relevant news and information from marketing campaigns in a single weekly e-newsletter, called PA Central.

Why does it work? The newsletter is more closely aligned with physician assistants’ on-the-go lives. More than 70 percent of AAPA’s audience checks email from a mobile device. PA Central is designed to meet those demands: The newsletter is responsively designed and contains only six pieces of content.

What’s the bonus? Open rates and click-throughs are now well above industry benchmarks, and Burns says the downsized approach is helping to grow membership too. “Because we are reaching more people and giving them permission to pull what they want out of their membership, we think the overall membership experience is stronger,” she says.

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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