How Meetup Uses Email to Mobilize Users

Todd Grennan By Todd Grennan Mar 24, 2017

For companies, taking a political stand comes with risks. While sometimes expressing a political view in your brand’s public statements or marketing can lead customers to deepen their involvement with your company and attract new, like-minded customers, it also raises the risk of major backlash. (After all, it’s the rare issue where 100% of your customers are going to agree with whatever stand you’ve chosen to take.) But when your brand does decide to take a stand, it’s important to convey your message as clearly and effectively as possible.

Following the Trump administration’s decision to issue an executive order designed to block individuals from seven majority Muslim countries from entering the U.S., social networking and event organization platform Meetup decided that it had to take a stand. And when the time came to make that stand, Meetup did it with email.

The message (and what makes it special)

An email from Meetup about their #Resist Meetups

Meetup’s #Resist announcement email

1. It has a memorable, unexpected subject line

In general, a great subject line is a short subject line—but only if the sender is able to convey something meaningful. That’s exactly what Meetup has done here, intriguing the recipient with two words, 12 characters, and one hashtag: Why #Resist? And because the bulk of the email that Meetup sends are targeted transactional messages related to each user’s chosen Meetup groups, getting a direct message from the company itself stands out and commands attention

2. There’s an eye-catching animated GIF (that reinforces the message of the email)

By topping the message with an engaging, memorable—and visually on-brand—animated GIF, Meetup immediately grabs the attention of people who opened the email, making it more likely that they read on. (Not to mention—adding an image to a message results in a 57% uplift in conversions.) But the GIF wasn’t just used to dazzle the eye; the rotating, multi-colored banners highlight the reasons behind Meetup’s decision to take action and reinforce the overall message of the email.

3. The email’s copy is tight, thoughtful—and tells a compelling story

To be blunt: this can’t have been an easy email to write. For a traditionally apolitical company like Meetup, taking a stand in response to the Trump administration’s actions required them to explain to their diverse audience of users why they’ve taken this step and to make a case for email recipients to step up and take action, too, by joining Meetup’s new regional #Resist chapters. That’s a major balancing act—one that Meetup pulls off with aplomb.

The email copy opens with a history of the brand, acknowledging their traditional role as a politically-neutral platform for people of all backgrounds and ideological views. It then walks readers through the factors motivating their decision to take action in clear, thoughtful language, making a compelling case for their audience to join them in responding to the current political climate. All that in four short, engaging paragraphs.

4. The call to action flow makes it easy to take action

Building off the email’s strong copy, the message’s call to action is simple and clear. Find a #Resist Meetup nearby. There’s no question what you’re getting when you click.

Meetup Landing Page

And if you DO click, you’re brought right to a matching webpage that showcases the nationwide breadth of the #Resist groups while also highlighting the chapters closest to you. Two clicks and you’re #Resist-ing.

Anything else?

Not every brand will find itself taking a political stand the way Meetup did. But the tools and tactics that Meetup used to capture their users’ attention and nudge them to get involved can also be valuable if you’re looking to use email to motivate your customers to visit your website, open your app, or make a purchase.

Interested in putting together a great email marketing strategy of your own? Check out our look at mastering mobile email and consider using multichannel messaging to bolster the impact of your email outreach.

Todd Grennan

Todd Grennan

Todd Grennan is a New York-based writer and editor. When he's not writing about mobile marketing, customer retention and emerging technologies for Braze, you can find him trying to read his way through every Wikipedia article related to World War II.

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