How to Craft the Perfect Email for New Members

How to Craft the Perfect Email for New Members
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First impressions matter.

In that respect, welcoming a new member should be seen not just as a formality - it's your chance to set the tone and expectations going forward.

Given that email is often the first point of contact to onboard a new member, it’s vital that you put your best foot forward. Today we’ll be looking at all the elements you’ll need to make the perfect onboarding email for any new member to your organisation.

1. Personalisation

Right off the bat, let’s ensure the email is personalised. The easiest way to do this is to address the member by their name. You’re creating a recognition of their individuality and starting to build a relationship between them and your organisation. Using ‘Dear new member’ on the other hand makes your organisation seem impersonal and creates a sense that they are just another body of many for you.

So how do we make this more manageable for your team? If you’re processing a lot of new members at once then it can be a lot of extra work to write out individual emails. And you’re also risking human error creeping in on the rare occasion with the spelling of someone’s name. Well - digital systems have a great answer to this - tokens. 

You might also know them as merge tags, but in any great mailing system, they’ll automatically insert data from a related field on a database - name being the obvious one. But you can also do it for any other data: membership type, geographic region, amount paid, and more!

2. Tone

While we’re on making your member feel valued - before you even get to the content of your email, you’ll want to establish the right tone. While different organisations will have different tones, you want to ensure that you express genuine enthusiasm and delight over your new member.

You want your new members to feel excited about joining you, so tell them that you’re excited! Don’t shy away from more emotive words to make them feel valued and appreciated, and that ultimately they made the right choice in signing up for the membership.

3. Outline benefits clearly

While your new member is likely aware of some of the benefits you offer, it’s helpful to once again outline them all. You’re doing this for a couple of reasons. Firstly to make sure there isn’t something they’ve missed. It’s perfectly possible you offer something they’d benefit from that they don’t read enough about when they got the membership.

The second reason you want to shout out all your benefits is to make them feel good about signing up. You’re reminding them they’ve made a smart move and that they’ll be getting access to some fantastic new services.

If they got a free pass or just focused on certain parts of what you've got going on, there's a good chance you've got something else they'd dig but don't even know about.

Another reason to shout out your perks is to pat them on the back for choosing you. Remind them they made a smart move, and you're gearing up to hook them up with some top-notch services.

4. Links to resources

If you provide resources to your members then you’ll want to make sure they know where to find them. This might be within your membership portal or a dedicated part of your website. You certainly don’t need to provide an exhaustive list of resources in your initial email, but do make sure to include the most important links.

5. Encourage engagement

As part of your membership offering, you’ll likely also be trying to build up a community of your members. Whether this is through events, your social media channels, or even a dedicated community platform.

Make sure to point your new members towards these different platforms or opportunities as soon as possible. Once they engage with their fellow members, they will start to feel a sense of belonging, reinforcing value and commitment to your organisation.

6. Offer support and contact information

Given they’re new to your community, it’s likely that a new member may very well have questions. Proactively help them to figure out where to go with these questions. Perhaps you’ve set up an FAQ for new members - link it. If you have a specific phone line or email for members be sure to feature that prominently too. This is your chance to make sure your member queries are routed in a way that both works for you and also reassures your members on how to contact you when needed.

7. Don’t make your email too long!

As a final point - While it may be tempting to include absolutely everything you do in your first email - don’t. 

The longer your email, the less likely your new member will read it all. They may well skim it, or might stop reading after a certain point. That’s why it’s important any vital actions you wish them to take or at the start of the email or highlighted very clearly (preferably in buttons or other elements that clearly stand out from block text).

Another consideration is why put it all in one email? With some mailing systems, such as the one provided by CiviPlus you can automate email workflows so that for the first few weeks of their membership they receive a steady pre-made flow of introductory emails, each tailored to a specific topic. That way you can tailor your subject lines to better highlight topics at a glance!


Your first contact with a new member is a very important moment and the advice we’ve given here is just a starting point for what you could do with it. You could, for instance, go much bigger on personalisation with the help of a powerful mailing tool, really appealing to any interests you’ve recorded your new member has.

Overall, you’ll want to make sure you’re setting an enthusiastic tone and providing all the helpful information your new member will need. If you’re looking for help on how to automate your new member emails or even the whole new member process, CiviPlus is well equipped to help. You can get in touch with us here to find out more!

To see more about onboarding journeys check out our webinar on the topic!

Howdy y’all,

We are delighted to announce a new integration of CiviCRM with Open Social, a community engagement platform.

CiviCRM is the number one open source CRM for not-for profits, used by more than 11,000 organisations worldwide, and Open Social is a leading community engagement platform, used by over 1000 organisations in a range of different industries from Charities to member organisations and companies also.

It’s exciting news for organisations using CiviCRM, who will now be able to combine the power of CiviCRM with the collaboration and community building that the Open Social platform provides.
If you’ve not heard of community platforms before, a community platform is a tool that allows your organisation to create your own branded and tailored social network. Users of the platform (normally your members or supporters) can interact, join groups to share knowledge and exchange ideas, publish and promote events and collaborate within a safe online curated space. With a community platform you can expand your digital offer and strengthen your relationship with your supporters.

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Open Social is open source (much like CiviCRM) and as such has no user licences fees. This means it can be deployed affordably to scale to even the largest of communities. It’s also flexible with a huge range of different add-on modules that can be integrated to enhance the platform.

Our new two-way integration between Open Social and CiviCRM syncs data between the two platforms allowing information about the groups and committees that members have joined to be seamlessly synced to CiviCRM. You can even create Open Social groups and manage their membership directly from within CiviCRM, which would be useful for managing private groups in the case of committees or working groups.

By combining the data of a community platform with that in your CiviCRM your organisation can obtain deep insights into your members' interests and behaviours. You can see which groups are popular and engage with your members on topical issues, automating communications and tailoring their experience.

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A great example is a recent implementation for the UN’s PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment). Their user community includes over 2,900 organisations with over 40,000 individuals spread across 6 continents. Their Community Platform now supports discussions between 24,000 users with over 750 online collaboration spaces. The data is seamlessly synced to their CRM allowing for deep insight guiding their policy engagements.

As Open Social partners, we would be delighted to help you start your journey with Open Social and help you build your online community. We can help you through both the implementation and the CiviCRM integration (or other CRM integration such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM).

Please contact us through our website or by email at

Further information about Open Social can be found at their website:

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