YMCA Email Marketing

By Sharleen Chandra

Newsletter Analysis

         Near the bottom of the YMCA website, there is an email newsletter signup area, which can keep people up to date on monthly Y facilities, events, and activities. I signed up with my email, to receive the latest newsletter. However, I did not even get a welcome email for the newsletter let alone a monthly newsletter. After a week went by, I went back onto the YMCA website and completed a search for any archived newsletter as well as any new ones; I did not find a single one. When I began working there in 2017, I was automatically enrolled in the newsletters, they used to send newsletters every month to staff and families. The last newsletter that I received was September of 2019, before I quit the company in November of the same year. Since then, the company has not sent any form of communication through email. The YMCA should look into continuing its previous efforts of email communication, which included events, activities, facility information, and program-based information.

Email Draft

To: ymcamember@ymcasf.org

Subject: YMCASF July Fun, Family, and Facility

Welcome YMCA Families!

During the trying times of the pandemic, we hope that you’ve been staying safe and healthy! To follow reopening guidelines, we have many programs available for you to participate in. You can find program information on our homepage at ymcasf.org or you can check your local Y homepage for specific information. Many programs offer schedules for virtual engagement to continue strengthening our communities by healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility.

Healthy Living

Check out the currently available resources for health and wellness at https://www.ymcasf.org/health-and-wellness

Virtual and Outdoor Wellness classes and schedules are available for viewing of members and non-members. There is also a guided workout plan for the week posted on https://www.ymcasf.org/workouts-week

If you’re in a pinch and need recipes that include what you already have at home, our Every Friday Chef Yaku shares meals that you can cook at home with your family.

We hope these resources provide you with all you need to stay healthy during these trying times.

Youth Development

We aim to support all members of the community and it is with this duty that we offer virtual family programs for all ages and stages at https://www.ymcasf.org/virtual-youth-and-family

With our summer enrichment programs, scholars academy, and youth & family on-demand videos, we hope you find all the tools necessary to keep your child on-track to succeed!

If you want to challenge your kids or the whole family, our 12 bursts program will help to keep the fun going at home. You and your family will never get bored with https://12bursts.org/todays-progress#/

For families in need, we also have emergency childcare facilities for essential workers in need of childcare called Pop-Up YKids https://www.ymcasf.org/pop-ykids-0

Social Responsibility

For those in need, we offer family and work development resources at https://www.ymcasf.org/social-services

Family resources include safety-net programs for jobs, housing, and mental support. We have two resource centers at Bayview Hunter’s Point and Urban Services.

We also have food pantries available for families struggling with food insecurity. Here is a list for food pantries available in the Bay Area https://www.ymcasf.org/food-pantries

Here For Good

We, at the Y, continue our efforts to strengthen the community, we hope that we can deliver your families with the resources they need to power through this pandemic.

Stay healthy, stay happy!

From all of us at the Y, Thank You!

Obtaining Contact Lists

         The YMCA has resources to create an email list on the homepage of the main website and the local Y websites as well. It is important to gain the contacts organically, rather than paid. According to Nathan Hangen, “First, remember you’re a guest in the inboxes of your subscribers. Your emails are always just one click away from losing their interest forever. Be polite, respectful, and deliver value” (Hangen, 2020). With that in mind, an organization must get permission from recipients to ensure its credibility to the receiver. An organization should also “set goals for email marketing such as, increase customer engagement, raise loyalty, maximize ROI, and maintain relationships with your clients” (SendPulse, 2020). It can be helpful to include a call to action or incentive. For example, encourage people to sign up for monthly newsletters to stay up to date on current events, services, and pandemic related details. Subscription forms can be available on the site, social media, and in-person (if possible).

Measure Results

         To ensure your email marketing campaign is successful, there are several key performance indicators (KPIs):

  • Number of emails delivered
  • Number of bounced emails
  • Number of unique emails opened
  • Unsubscribes
  • Pass-on rates
  • Clickthrough rates and conversion

(Stokes, 2011)

This list of KPIs can help email marketers track the success percentage of recipients who engaged with the email. With this information, the organization can segment the email list to target different groups (Hangen, 2020). Segmentation will help email marketers to optimize the marketing tactics by specifying the content in each email segment.

Email Experience

       I have not had much experience with email marketing from other companies, most of the emails I receive get filtered through my email service provider (ESP), Gmail. On my ESP’s platform, emails get separated by important, promotion, social, updates, and forums. Due to this categorization, I only view the important, primary emails that come through. Most of the other emails send daily or weekly emails about products, services, sales, etc., which is an overload of content that I do not have time to sort through. For this reason, I believe that subscription services should be designed with the receiver in mind because not everyone has time to sit and comb through the promotions. I believe that emails should be sent sparingly, maybe once a week, with pertinent information about the company’s product, service or promotion.

Reporting Source

       In order to take a closer look into newsletters and email marketing, I took a look into reporting sources and how they output newsletters. I came upon American Press Institute, which provides an innovative way to keep its readers current on sustainable news. I dove into the most current newsletter, released today. API sections of the newsletter by what might interest certain readers over others. It includes political, social, technological, and economical topics as it is related to today and even incorporating the pandemic at the top of the page to gain interest. The majority of this newsletter included pandemic events, offshore issues, political debate topics, and shareable content with various places to sign up for the newsletter in between sections. American Press Institute vaguely relates to the YMCA in its efforts to provide the community with information regarding the current state of the world. However, being a sustainable news platform, API’s articles do not relate to the YMCA since it does not aim to strengthen the community. API is focused on informing the community rather than strengthening it.


American Press Institute. (2020, July 16). Need to Know: July 16, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2020, from https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/need-to-know/need-to-know-july-16-2020/

Bruning-Miles, J., Collins, C., & Jones, D. (n.d.). YMCA of San Francisco. Retrieved July 09, 2020, from https://www.ymcasf.org/

Hangen, N. (2020, January 24). A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Email Marketing. Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://neilpatel.com/blog/beginners-guide-email-marketing/

SendPulse. (2020, May 04). What is Email Marketing Strategy? – Guide. Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://sendpulse.com/support/glossary/email-marketing-strategy

Stokes, R., & The Minds of Quirk. (2013). EMarketing: The essential guide to marketing in a digital world (5th ed.). Cape Town: Quirk eMarketing.

Published by Sharleen Chandra

Hi, I’m Sharleen. Previously a teacher and social media marketing manager, I became a full-time student in the Marketing and Communications Master's Program at Franklin University. I spend most of my time with my family and my loving puppy. With SC Slice of Life, you will enter into a new world of endless possibilities! You will get lost in the adventures at every turn!

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