5 Takeaways From the 2016 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report

With #AUC2016 only two weeks away, we are thrilled to share with you all a series of guest blog posts courtesy of some of those who are sponsoring this year’s Aptify Users Conference in Miami! A big thank you to all of our sponsors!

This is a guest blog post by Alexandria Mastrianni of Informz. Thank you for sponsoring, and we look forward to seeing you in Miami!

With the end-of-the-year push right around the corner, marketers everywhere are taking a look at what tactics and strategies proved to be the most successful for their programs this year, and discovered some opportunities to improve upon for next year. Your digital communications—including your email marketing program and automated campaigns—are likely a big part of this analysis. Curious to see how your results compare to your peers’? Check out our 2016 Association Email Marketing Benchmark Report and get a quick download of the data in the infographic below.

Here’s what you can learn from the only report of its kind for associations.


1. Associations are sending more email.  

Thought you heard a rumor about email being dead? Yeah, it was definitely just a rumor. Since Informz first began sharing annual email metrics, volume has consistently risen, and this year’s report found that email volume was 11.87% higher in 2015 than in 2014.

2. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re sending too much email. email_overload_2.jpg

What organization isn’t concerned with the number of emails they’re sending these days? You would be hard-pressed to find marketers who aren’t asking themselves, “Are we sending too much email?” Most associations are sending 1-5 emails to a member in a month’s timeframe, but subscribers that are sent 21-25 emails per month have the highest open rates. This just goes to show that as long as you’re sending relevant and timely communications—most members are unlikely to feel like they’re hearing from you too much.

3. Stumped on a subject line? Less is more.

There are so many creative things you can test when it comes to what works for subject lines, but when you’re looking at the benchmark data, one thing is for sure—short subject lines work. Every character counts, and subject lines of 9 characters or less had significantly higher open rates. Be direct!

4. (List) size matters.

We all want a big list. We all want to maximize the reach of our message. However, the larger your list becomes, the more important segmentation becomes. This year’s report shows that engagement is directly related to mailing list size, with smaller lists seeing higher levels of action. Emails sent to 51-100 people (the smallest group reported on) had the highest average click rate at 23.29%.

5. Responsive design is an absolute must. responsive-design.jpg

With 41.17% of opens happening on a mobile device, a mobile-first mindset is no longer a nice-to-have—it’s critical. Responsive design will ensure that your emails are rendering in the best possible format for your reader, no matter which type of device they’re viewing on. If your mobile audience is on par with the rest of the association world, it’s time to buy-in to responsive design if you’ve been holding back.

For more stats, download the full, complimentary report here.


As a flagship partner of Aptify’s, the Informz integration is the first email marketing and marketing automation integration developed cooperatively by both the Informz and Aptify teams. Forward-thinking associations are using Informz for Aptify integration to create relevant, perfectly timed content to reach out to members quickly and easily, all from one integrated interface. Learn more about the seamless integration here or visit our table at the Aptify User sConference this fall.

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