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February 2, 2024

2023 Email Benchmarks for Associations: A Guide to Enhancing Your Membership Marketing Outcomes

Why Are Email Benchmark Reports Useful for Associations?

Despite periodic questions about whether email is “dead” (spoiler alert: it’s not), email marketing continues to be an indispensable tool for associations to reach and connect with their members. But how can you gauge the success of your email campaigns? That’s where email benchmarks are critical. By understanding average email performance in your industry, you can glean significant insights into the effectiveness of your campaigns to help you make informed decisions to enhance your marketing and member engagement.

Luckily, Higher Logic creates an association-specific email benchmark report each year to help you see how your email marketing metrics compare to your peers!

The 2023 Association Email Benchmark Report is Here!

Higher Logic’s 2023 Association Email Benchmark Report summarizes email marketing metrics from approximately 1,500 organizations and nearly 2 billion emails sent in 2022 and 2023, specifically by associations located in the United States, Australia, and Canada.

This year’s report explores trends and performance metrics we saw in 2022 and 2023, including:

  • Average open, click, and unsubscribe rates
  • Which day of the week has the highest open and click rates
  • The impact of using automated campaigns, dynamic content, and segmented send lists on your email performance

It will also help you prepare for 2024, with information on:

  • Gmail’s and Yahoo’s new email requirements
  • Data privacy regulations passing across the U.S.
  • Marketing AI enhancements coming to Higher Logic Thrive

Are you ready to turn data into action? Download the 2023 Association Email Benchmark Report!

A Sneak Peak at 2023 Association Email Metrics

Here’s a teaser of some of the association-specific insights you’ll learn about when you download the report:

  • Higher Logic continues to lead the industry with an average deliverability rate in 2023 of 98.6% – much higher than the overall average deliverability rate of 85.7%.
  • Average open, click, and unsubscribe rates all increased from 2022 to 2023.

Have you been wondering if personalization and automation are all they’re cracked up to be? This year we checked the data and confirmed that they are!

  • Messages sent out of Higher Logic Thrive Marketing as part of an automated marketing campaign had higher open and click rates than individual email sends. So not only does automating your marketing campaigns help you save valuable staff time, but it also requires you to create more cohesive campaigns that perform better with members.
  • Messages sent with dynamic content, using Higher Logic Thrive Marketing’s “story-level targeting (dynamic segmentation) to personalize message content, had higher open and click rates.

Download the report for more metrics, and for suggestions on what metrics to review, tips for how to improve open and click rates, and ideas for A/B testing.

The Significance of Email Benchmarks

One of the main benefits of email benchmarks is that they provide a standard against which you can measure your own performance. By comparing your email marketing metrics to our association-specific email benchmarks, you can gain insights into how your membership marketing efforts are faring and where there is potential for improvement. Having access to benchmarks specific to your industry, like what we share in the 2023 Association Email Benchmark Report, enables you to set realistic goals that align with average email performance for associations.

Crucial Email Marketing Metrics

Reviewing metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates, you can gauge how well your emails are resonating with your members and make informed decisions to optimize your campaigns.

  • Open rates: Open rates represent the percentage of recipients who open your emails. To enhance open rates, concentrate on creating captivating subject lines that grab attention and provide value. Personalization, segmentation, and timing your emails correctly can also significantly impact open rates.
  • Click rates and click-through rates: Click rates measure the percentage of recipients who click on a link within your email. To boost click rates, ensure your emails have clear and appealing calls to action. Use eye-catching buttons, relevant content, and mobile-responsive designs to encourage engagement and drive clicks.
  • Unsubscribe rates: Unsubscribe rates measure the percentage of subscribers who opt out of receiving future emails from your brand. To minimize subscriber churn, deliver relevant and valuable content, segment your audience, and provide clear options for managing email preferences.

By monitoring and optimizing these key email marketing metrics, you can enhance your campaign performance, build stronger relationships with your audience, and achieve your marketing objectives.

Tips for Improving Your Association Email Campaigns

When it comes to email campaigns, several best practices can help you achieve optimal results. A few key areas you can concentrate on include:

  • Segmenting your audience for targeted and personalized campaigns: Sending generic emails to your entire contact list is no longer effective. By segmenting your audience based on demographics, behaviors, or interests, you can create highly targeted and personalized campaigns that resonate with each recipient.
  • Optimizing email deliverability to reach your subscribers’ inboxes: To ensure your emails reach your subscribers’ inboxes, focus on maintaining a good sender reputation. Use a reputable email service provider, authenticate your emails with SPF and DKIM, and regularly clean your email list.
  • Testing and analyzing your email campaigns to refine your strategy: A/B testing is a valuable tool for optimizing your email campaigns. Test different elements such as subject lines, call-to-action buttons, or email content to understand what resonates best with your audience. Additionally, analyze key metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to refine your strategy moving forward.

Remember to continuously monitor and adapt your approach based on the insights and data you gather. If you’re looking for a comprehensive email marketing solution, purpose-built for associations, Higher Logic Thrive offers a range of tools and features to help you optimize your campaigns and boost engagement.

The Future of Email for Associations

Looking ahead, email marketing benchmarks will continue to be useful for assessing the impact of new strategies. As technology advances, so too will the expectations of email recipients. Predictions for the future include an increased focus on mobile optimization, AI-powered email personalization, and enhanced data analytics capabilities. To stay competitive, associations will need to be open to trying new things and pair that innovation with a close eye on their email metrics.

At Higher Logic, we know association professionals juggle a lot of responsibilities. Our email marketing solutions are designed to be user-friendly, with built-in content (like our advanced starter kits) based on best practices to help you save time while creating great member communication. We are here to help you optimize your email performance, automate campaigns, and sustainably personalize your messages to deliver exceptional results. Our platform also makes it easy to track and analyze your email metrics, gain valuable insights, and make data-driven decisions to enhance your overall email marketing strategy.

Schedule a Demo to Learn More!

Kelly Whelan

Kelly Whelan is the Content Marketing Manager for Higher Logic. In this role, she develops content to support association professionals and advise them on member engagement and communication strategy. She also hosts Higher Logic’s podcast, The Member Engagement Show. She has ~10 years of experience working in marketing for associations and nonprofits.