Email Services for Communicating with Your Members


Email Services
Communicating with Your Members


Chapters have reached out to FBA National for information regarding the use of email services for communicating with their members. Below is some information from chapters that have had experience with various email services. If your chapter has any additional insight to provide or has questions, please contact Debbie Smith at dsmith@fedbar.org.

*It is vital to be conscientious about the types of messages being distributed and the frequency of email communication. Please be sure to follow all CAN-SPAM laws when communicating with your chapter via email.

MailChimp
Online email marketing that helps marketers send bulk emails to clients, customers, and other interested parties. MailChimp’s application is based on the three main tasks of email marketing: manage subscribers, send emails and track results.


Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Chapter

COST:
  • - Free and paid versions available
PROS:
  • - Chapter uses to send newsletters, email reminders and communications to members
  • - With paid subscription, MailChimp offers integration with other programs (Eventbrite, SurveyMonkey, etc.)
CONS:
  • - Free version does not allow for you to accept payment for events so the chapter uses Eventbrite (which is also free) for email invitations to collect event registrations and payments; however, it can be tedious to work with both MailChimp and Eventbrite at times since there is not one central place where all past email campaigns are found
Orlando Chapter

PROS:
  • - Free analytics tracking so you can tell what your % open rate is (the Orlando Chapter averaged around 32% of views for its email distribution list of 650)
CONS:
  • - Spam filter issues; MailChimp touts ways to avoid spam filters but difficult to figure out how to configure the chapter’s eNewsletter on that platform

*View information on how to get started with MailChimp.

Constant Contact
Email marketing software and online marketing campaigns


Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Chapter

COST:
  • - Free trial available for 60 days
  • - Paid subscription ranges between $50-65/month depending on how many events you host, etc.
PROS:
  • - With a paid subscription, Constant Contact accepts event registrations and collects payments using PayPal
  • - Lets you know who no longer wants to receive your email communications
CONS:
  • - Sometimes people have issues paying and/or people "opt off" the email list
South Florida Chapter

COST:
  • - Constant Contact can register members for events and accept payment. But you would need to upgrade to "Constant Contact-Email Plus." You would also need to create a WePay account (which is like PayPal); *WePay charges 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction. For example, if a member paid $50 for an event, WePay would charge $1.75 as its fee.
  • - Cost of "Constant Contact Email Plus" hinges on whether your listserv has more or less than 500 recipients. If you exceed 500 members, then the cost is $61 per month. However, if you prepay for an entire year, you would receive a 30% discount and the total cost would be approximately $546.
  • *Approx. cost break-downs provided by a Constant Contact representative
PROS:
  • - Once you have paid for an account, Constant Contact's design team will assist you with creating a "custom" template for your newsletter. That is when you could really fine-tune the template (i.e. add additional borders) or make other advanced edits.
Tampa Bay Chapter

COST:
  • - $40/month for up to 2500 email addresses; next level above that is only $5 more
  • - Open rates around 15%, which is low
PROS:
  • - Cost-effective
  • - Able to send multiple emails without extra charges
  • - Able to separate lists and update/remove contacts easily (manage a few at a time, or export to Excel for big purges)
  • - Emails are easy to set up and schedule
  • - Reports are easy to receive and understand
  • - Constant Contact offers tips to improve open rates, which are sometimes helpful
CONS:
  • - Ended service because a number of instances of addressees not receiving the email messages but that may be due to secure firewalls that most firms have established. (The Chapter never got to try an opt-in campaign so can’t speak to any improvement.)

*View information on how to get started with Constant Contact.

SendGrid
Email delivery system that sends transactional and marketing email for hundreds of thousands of customers


Orlando Chapter

COST:
  • - Free
PROS:
  • - Able to upload your membership list (in excel .csv format only) and create a template to work from with information about your event or announcement, attachments, etc.
  • - Use Send Grid to send out chapter emails and it’s worked great so far; a lot of times, the chapter has the same kind of email to send out (for example, Judge/Clerk vacancy opening) so the chapter is able to check mark the original template, click duplicate and go in and change the necessary information to apply to the current announcement that they’re sending out
  • - There’s a “send test email” option so that you can view it before it’s sent out to all members; it can also be set up to send out the email on a certain day/time
  • - Can see the percentage of your members that received an email, who opened it/who didn’t, which helps identify members who might not be receiving your blasts
  • - Haven’t heard many, if any, members saying that they aren’t receiving the email blasts
CONS:
  • - A little complicated at the beginning learning how to finagle everything, but it’s worked out well and gets more user-friendly the more you use it

*View information on how to get started with SendGrid.

Gmail
Email service that provides details of storage, options and links to related services


Orlando Chapter
- Use for direct email blasts

COST:
  • - Free
CONS:
  • - Spam filter issues because the chapter only mails people by using the BCC line (which prevents anyone from doing a Reply All)
Tampa Bay Chapter
- Reverted back to the “old-fashioned” system of emailing directly to the chapter’s recipients using a standard email

PROS:
  • - Eliminated delivery issues that the Chapter experienced with Constant Contact
  • - Reaching more subscribers
  • - Best email delivery system so far
CONS:
  • - Need to break emails into 3 tranches of around 330 emails each (1,000 total recipients)

*View information on how to set up a chapter email account through Gmail.

select
select
select
select

Connect With Us...