Email marketing to a tiered membership business

Email Marketing/ case study

Utilising a direct communications strategy to share messages efficiently to the relevant eyes only.

Two-tier membership businesses could mean communicating with both B2B and B2C members, it may also mean creating segmented messaging for different levels of membership. Marketing to these layered businesses can be complex, as you need to create ‘always on’ cohesive comms as well as campaigns for multiple audiences.

For businesses of this nature, using segmented lists and designs massively helps to effectively communicate with relevant audiences.

Here at TFG, we had this with TrustMark, a recent client of ours. They needed a reliable way to communicate to their Scheme Providers, all membership businesses in their own right. We also needed to communicate with Registered Businesses directly as TrustMark.

Here’s how we did it while consistently performing 20% higher than the email averages for the construction industry.

Create a regular send

This may seem obvious but setting a date for a monthly newsletter containing all the latest news and promotions meant that we immediately had a way to communicate messages while supporting the members and stakeholders with consistent comms.

Why consistency is key.

  • Setting in a date to send out a monthly newsletter means all contributors have a deadline to work towards.
  • Having a regular send is also good for your sending reputation. Inbox providers like to see that you’re not spiking your sends as this is seen as highly spammy.

Creating a routine is something that we implemented with TrustMark and within three months of this change, we noticed a 4% increase in deliverability from 94% to 98%. So getting ‘regular’ is one of the easiest, yet often overlooked, ways to improve deliverability with minimal change.

Set yourself up to work at speed

When working with membership clients, there are sometimes reactive messages that need to be pushed out at considerable speed. Utilising templates that have common elements and are robust, tested and ready to go will help to speed up deployment time.

Be bulletproof

Implement all custom code elements that you may need into your templates. TrustMark needed a button that was full width and displayed across all inboxes for clear call to actions. To assist with this, we created a ‘bulletproof’ button. This is essentially a button that will look basically the same across all inboxes and doesn’t collapse in Outlook. You can see the code and display below.


Test your send timing

This may seem obvious but when working with multiple audiences, but sending emails on the same day at the same time from the get-go will not give you any real comparison data to ascertain your most productive sending times. An easy way to gain full insight in sending times is to quite simply deploy emails at a variety of times and days.

For example, with TrustMark, we had a significant number of tradespeople receiving emails. We researched and discovered a large proportion of tradespeople were working on-site between 8 am – 4 pm with limited access to good WiFi/computers. With this knowledge, we tested sending between 4 pm and 6 pm, aiming to target trades when they were off-site.

The result? Our best click times were between 4:32 pm and 5:02 pm. Our highest click rates reached 11.05% to 9.44%, where the industry average sat at 2.3%. While we could achieve high open rates throughout the day (we assume largely via mobile devices), we needed people to be sitting down with access to their files and in the right headspace. Of course, many Registered Business contacts have designated administrator & back office teams so this send bracket meant that messages were still received during regular business hours.


Targeting your audiences

When communicating very similar messaging to tiered business, it’s important to create a distinction between the layers. Whether these are subliminal messages, colours or personalisation creating differentiation between each tier is key to a successful comms strategy.

For TrustMark, we adopted the below:

  • To make a distinction between consumers and tradespeople, we utilised a secondary colour palette in our messaging
  • For Scheme Providers and Registered Businesses, we made small changes in the tone of voice and messaging and played around with personalisation.

Annual results

✔️ 98% deliverability over 31 thousand emails with a 43% average open rate.

✔️ Re-engagement campaign to 4,000 businesses resulted in a 13% open rate.

✔️ Achieved a 66% open rate overall on our highest performing email.


“Polly and her team were diligent in getting to know our company and in gaining a clear understanding of our company’s needs. They applied their creativeness, energy and professionalism to help us achieve our marketing goals. TFG takes time to get to know their clients and continues this throughout the growth of the brand. We couldn’t be happier working with the team at TFG and would highly recommend them as partners.”

Simon Ayres

CEO, TrustMark



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