Posted on Feb 10, 2023

When you have new members join your organization, you have a golden window to get them engaged, excited, and incorporated into your group. Emails are a great way to do this because it allows members to read the essential information, at their own time and pace. You can also create a drip campaign to send focused emails sharing relevant information one topic at a time. However, those first digital touches are extremely vital for new members as they get excited about the organization they just joined!

Let’s take a look at some do’s and don'ts of a new member onboarding email plus a sample email that organizations can use.

Best Practices of the Welcome Email:

  1. Catch Attention: Remember that your subject line is vital in any email you send. Boring subject lines on your welcome email will not do you any favors as they’ll be more likely to be ignored and lost in the sea of emails members receive. But remember to be clear what the email is about.
  2. Personalize. Email programs offer simple ways to personalize the email, so take advantage of that and don’t just rely on generic greetings. Any time you can use someone’s first name, do so!
  3. Timing is Everything: Thanks to automation and technology, you have the power to control when an email gets sent - whether automatically upon joining or after a delay (which has more of an organic feel). Either way, it's important to schedule your first touch point within a few hours of new members joining while the organization and the feeling of becoming part of something larger is still top of mind. That gives you the power to capitalize off of their excitement, in turn allowing you to create a series of engaging emails.
  4. Express Gratitude: A simple thank you can go a long way. Combine that with personalizing your email to go further to prove how your members are just not a number but a valued part of your organization.
  5. Share the Basics: Think strategically about the basic information any new member might need, such as how to finalize their profile, upcoming events, special features of your site, etc. Provide quick links to learn more so that members have the vital information and also know how to go deeper.
  6. Information Overload: Resist the temptation to give information overload. Not only do long emails increase file size and decrease deliverability, but long emails with 5+ sections of content are too much to consume. The reader will start to gloss over after the first few sections. Instead, consider breaking some of this information into multiple emails that drip out over a few days, rather than one HUGE email.
  7. Incorporate Photos: Got some fun photos from recent conferences or events? Drop in a single picture, or a collage of a few photos. Remember, smiles sell! Subconsciously a smile tells people they made a good decision in joining your organization. Alternatively, link to a photo album on your website!
  8. Avoid the Upsell: A welcome email should not focus on trying to upsell a new member for more options. Give them a chance to breathe and get acquainted with your organization. You can always offer upsells for other membership types, events, or resources later on.
  9. Have Fun! Consider how you can make your welcome email unique and fun. You might consider making a welcome video from your president. You could make an interactive GIF from a large group meeting where members hold up a sign that says “welcome.” The sky is the limit if you want to add some of your culture and some fun into the mix.
  10. Strategically Social: Think through what basic info you provide in the footer of your email. You can tuck social media links, contact information, and links to the website in the footer. Members understand that social media offers a unique experience with the organization and might give more up-to-date information compared to emails and the website. Make sure you put some of these basics in the footer to make sure they show up, but in a more inconspicuous manner.

Welcome Email Template

Hi [New Member’s First Name],

Welcome to [Organization Name]! We’re excited to have you as the newest member of our growing organization. Your participation is so important to us to drive our mission forward.

Now that you’re officially on board, log in to check out all the exciting events and resources we have in store for you! We invite you to take some time to:

Update your Profile [Link to the member area from where they access their profile]
View upcoming events [Link to website calendar]
Take a look at what’s new [Link to member news and announcements]

Also take a moment to hear this quick message from our Executive Director, [Name]:

[Insert Video embed link]

Over the next few weeks, you will receive a series of emails from us about everything there is to know about your membership and the resources available to you. As you’ll soon see, you have a lot to look forward to and we can’t wait to get started.

[Your Name] - (An email signed off by an individual rather than ending it with the organization name appears to be much more personal and heartfelt.)
[Your Title (e.g. Membership Chair)

Questions? Contact us at __________.

Key Takeaways

A timely and informative welcome email sets the tone for the relationship the organization builds with a new member. By providing new members with the information they are likely to need first, organizations can set new members up for success in the association. A friendly and informative welcome email can boost both new member engagement and retention.

Need to send customized, segmented, and automated emails to new and current members? MemberNova’s integrated email campaign solution allows organizations to engage audiences with smarter targeting and personalization. Learn more on our website.



Want more articles like this?

Check out our blog for tips, guides and insights to help your organization craft your member journey and stay on trend.