Countdown to Accreditation

By Whitney Thweatt, CAE, account manager

IMI recently checked off one more item of the list on our AMC Institute accreditation poster and is only a few steps away from completing the accreditation journey.

As an effort to demonstrate our company’s commitment to quality, service and excellence, as well as employee training and education, IMI is pursuing accreditation from the AMC Institute.

Why? By achieving accreditation status, we are ensuring that best practices are documented and woven into our processes consistently across all clients. Current clients will feel confident that we maintain the highest standards. Communication will be ongoing with clients to ensure all services are provided in an effective and efficient manner. By successfully completing the accreditation process, we can establish a basis for benchmarking and enhancing established documented internal controls and operating systems, as well as identifying greater efficiencies and quality control procedures.

The AMCI Standard of Good Practices for the Association Management Company Industry encompasses the following:

  • Client Contracts: Review Procedures and Requirements
  • Servicing the Clients and Service Delivery Procedure
  • Evaluation of Services
  • Financial Management and Internal Controls
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Employee Recruitment and Selection
  • Employee Training and Professional Development Procedures
  • Subcontracting and Purchasing Requirements
  • Record Keeping Requirements/Continuity of Operations
  • Internal Quality Control Requirements

Over the past several months, IMI staff has been hard at work reviewing internal processes, policies and procedures to see if they fall in line with the Standard, compiling all documentation of our internal systems and processes, and updating or creating any policies necessary.

We recently completed staff training on all company policies and Standard sections. The final step prior to scheduling a third-party audit is to conduct an internal audit to ensure we’ve adopted all practices that we have created.

While it has been a long and arduous process, it is one that will greatly benefit both IMI and all of our client partners.

The last item on the accreditation checklist poster? “Hold an accreditation party!” Stay tuned to hear how we’ll celebrate!

Want to know more about association management? Contact us at to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

IMI Volunteer Project Inspires Future Service

By Meredith Parker, Account Associate

Earlier this year, we asked IMI Staff to complete the statement: “I love IMI because…” Responses were featured in our 32nd birthday celebration social media campaign. The below response struck a chord with me:

“I love IMI because we provide the highest level of client service, respect professional relationships, act with integrity, are innovative and creative, value individuals, and work with enthusiasm and enjoyment.”

These points were taken directly from the IMI Core Values and reading the response was a great reminder of who we are as a company: we see every person as a human being before anything else. Because we serve nonprofit organizations, our staff works daily to support people who are making the world a better place. Usually this means management support, but earlier last month, it took on a different meaning.

On Wednesday, August 8, the Fun Committee organized a group of 12 IMI Staff to go to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina for a two-hour volunteer shift. The Food Bank serves 34 counties which are divided into six regions. We volunteered at the Raleigh Region Distribution Center, which covers the counties where our staff works and lives. According to a report released by the Food Bank in 2017, 15.1 percent, or 265,360 people, of the population in the counties served by the Raleigh Branch is food insecure. This translates to one or two people in a group of 10 struggling with food security.

Our task was to sort through one-ton pallets of onions and potatoes and determine whether the vegetables were safe to eat. Safe vegetables were bagged for distribution to hungry families across our state while unsafe vegetables were thrown away. Within the IMI Staff group of 12, we broke into smaller groups of four. My group dug into our pallet, which contained onions that were caked in dirt and, in some cases, spotted with green, fuzzy mold.

This task was completely outside of the skillsets we use in the office, and we were truly humbled by our experience. The food we were sorting had come straight from the farm and looked nothing like what we see at the grocery store. We were struck by the difficulty of making food safe, evidenced by the dirt speckling our clothes and hiding under our nails at the end of our shift. It was definitely a challenge, but it was rewarding to make sure people in our community were receiving the best food.

In addition, through this experience, we grew closer as a team. During the time spent together, we talked through how to discern that produce was safe; made runs to the dumpster to throw away unsafe food or to grab more net bags; and recounted stories around the giant pallets. Our group was fueled by our seamless, cheerful collaboration, especially because we were outside of our typical context.

After our two-hour shift, we felt fulfilled when we look at the “fruits” of our labor and realized that we had helped sort 5,400 pounds of fresh produce, which will provide 4,547 meals to our community.

Humbled, Fulfilled, and fueled by our Collaboration, we agreed that we would like for IMI to contribute to our community through regular volunteer service. Last week, we established an IMI Service Committee so our staff can continue to live out IMI’s Core Values in our community. Reflecting on the past few weeks, I am grateful for my colleagues, people who work daily to serve others and still desire to do more.

Want to team up with IMI to complete service in the Triangle? Comment below or email me at



Staff Spotlight: Allison

By Breanna Appling, account associate

In this feature, we interview one of our fabulous team members to show a little spotlight on the staff that makes IMI great. Today we’re highlighting Allison Winter.

Originally from Greenville, NC, Allison has been gracing IMI with her bubbly personality and outgoing presence since 2013. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English with minors in Creative Writing and Journalism from NC State University. This month, Allison takes us all back to school and a time where getting a pimple was the end of the world. Check it out!

IMI: What was one of your most embarrassing moments in school? (elementary/ middle/ high school/ college).

Allison: I was very quiet in school, and I mostly kept to myself, which has prevented me from having any great, embarrassing stories to share later in life. However, if I had to pick one, it was when my AP U.S. History teacher in high school called me out in front of the entire class and said I’d be lucky if I made a 2 (out of 5) on the AP test. He picked on me throughout the year and, looking back, I think it’s safe to say he was a big believer in the blonde stereotype. So, needless to say, I was ecstatic when I got a 4 on my test and was able to count his class towards college credit!

IMI: What was your favorite teen show, movie, or book?

Allison: The two channels I stuck to in high school were the Disney Channel (shocker) and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). One rainy afternoon, my mom and I stumbled upon the movie Rebecca on TCM. It’s one of Alfred Hitchcock’s first movies and is an incredible thriller. I loved it, and I’ve been hooked on Hitchcock movies ever since! As far as books go, I was a total Harry Potter fan, and even went to the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

IMI: If you could give one piece of advice to your 16-year-old self what would it be?

Allison: Don’t take yourself so seriously, and don’t care so much about what other people think.

IMI: What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

Allison: To keep with the school theme, I loved to dance back then, and I took ballet, tap, jazz, and modern. We performed the Nutcracker every year during the holiday season, and we always had a big production right before the start of summer vacation. My two favorite roles throughout the years were the Mirliton in The Nutcracker and Alice from Alice in Wonderland!

In more recent years, something that may be surprising is my husband, Cameron, and I are trying to live a “zero waste” lifestyle. I could talk about this for hours, but if you’re interested in learning more, then I’d highly recommend the book Zero Waste Home. It’s amazing!

IMI: What has been your favorite place to travel while working in AMC?

Allison: The Greenbrier, hands down! It’s a big, beautiful resort in West Virginia with a lot of history. Every inch of it was decorated by Dorothy Draper in her unique style, and it was such a treat to explore the property! Visiting The Greenbrier fulfilled a dream I had of staying there since middle school, and I still count myself so lucky to have gone there.


The first picture is Cameron and I in front of Notre Dame. Paris was our last stop on the month-long European adventure we took two summers ago!

The second picture is of the two of us at the first Georgia Bulldogs football game this past season. Yes, Cameron’s beard has grown exponentially since we moved to Georgia. Go Dawgs!

Want to know more about association management? Contact us at to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

IMI team member Jalene Bowersmith, CAE, receives INACSL President’s Award

By Meredith Parker, Account Associate

It is with great pride that we congratulate our colleague Jalene Bowersmith, CAE, for receiving the President’s Award from the International Nursing Association for Clinical Stimulation and Learning (INACSL) during their Annual Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Jalene has served as Executive Director for INACSL since October 2013.

The INACSL President’s Award was created to recognize an individual who has contributed significantly to advance the mission and vision of the organization. In her speech, INACSL’s President, Kristina Thomas Dreifuerst, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, noted that she chose Jalene for this award because “[Jalene] has been the wind in INACSL’s sails. As an organization primarily made up of volunteers that rotate in and out of roles, Jalene has been a constant in providing direction and support to keep the ship afloat. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the organization in a gentle and guiding manner. She is incredibly efficient, organized and always willing to go the extra mile. Jalene has helped the Board of Directors navigate through challenges in the organization, and guided us to keep moving forward.”

With Jalene’s guidance and management, INACSL has increased its assets by more than 568 percent, increased its net income by more than 5 percent, and been able to secure the organizations future by setting aside over $1 million in reserves and invests. In addition, INACSL has had three consecutive years with record high membership numbers and recently released the redesigned Finally, the INACSL Standards of Best Practice: SimulationSM have been translated from English to Mandarin, Japanese, and Korean. Translations in French, Spanish, and Portuguese are also currently in process.

Congratulations, Jalene! We are so thankful to work with you and learn from you.

Dr. Kristina Thomas Dreifuerst, INACSL President; Dr. Bette Mariani, President – Elect; Jalene Bowersmith, CAE, Executive Director; and Dr. Teresa Gore, Immediate Past President at the INACSL Conference, 2018.















Want to know more about association management? Contact us at to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

Quick Strategies to Inspire Creativity in the Workplace

By Meredith Parker, Account Associate

In pondering the nature of creativity, I think about moments when I happen upon the thread of an idea for a writing project. I follow the thread, weaving together ideas in my mind until I can envision the finished writing piece as an intricate tapestry. Though I most consistently experience the pull to create in writing, it is not the only area of my work where creativity could be beneficial.

Following this, one of my goals in 2018 has been to set aside more time for creative thinking in all areas of my work. After much reflection over the past few months, I have personally found that that stimulating creativity requires setting aside a space in my mind for new thoughts to take root and flourish. The best way for me to do this is by engaging in some mildly stimulating physical activity for a few minutes.

Most of my work as a nonprofit professional is mentally, rather than physically, challenging, so physical activity provides a respite for my brain. This rest provides space for my mind to wander while the rest of my body is occupied and brings renewed energy and focus when it’s time to turn back to intense mental activity. Sometimes I find creative inspiration in the physical activity itself or in the burst of energy following it. Some strategies I’ve used for engaging in work-appropriate physical activity are below:


Physical activity does not always entail breaking a sweat. One of my favorite ways to give my brain a rest is by coloring. Ever the perfectionist, I find that selecting crayon colors and working to stay in the lines of an intricate mandala design is immensely satisfying, though not too challenging. If I am stuck on how to attack a problem, I set my iPhone timer for a few minutes and open my coloring book. In the time it takes me to fill a section of a picture with color, my mind relaxes and, after a few minutes of solitude, creeps back to the problem at hand with a new perspective.

If you are interested in this method, you can print adult coloring pages here.

Desk Yoga

Another way to practice physical activity at work is by doing desk yoga. As the name implies, desk yoga is yoga that has been modified to be completed while sitting at a desk. Yoga practice is steeped in mindfulness, so when I do this, I am forced to focus on my body instead of work for a short period of time. A break doing desk yoga refreshes me mentally and spiritually with the added bonus of alleviating any stiffness from sitting at a desk all day.

Watch this video to give desk yoga a try. Subtitles are included so your coworkers don’t have to listen to your desk yogi.

Walking Meetings

A final way to inspire creativity at work is through a walking meeting. At its heart, a meeting is a conversation between coworkers. Though technology requires that some meetings take place indoors, many meetings can be moved outside; in fact, I prefer this strategy when I have a challenging problem and would like the input of one of my coworkers. I find that walking meetings promote a relaxed and collegial dynamic, which makes tackling problems less intimidating and more productive. In addition, I think that the simple act of switching from an office environment to the outdoors has the potential to inspire my brain to new heights, stimulating my senses by the smell of the air in my nose; the feel of the terrain on my feet; and the sights and sounds of trees, plants, animals, and other people.

In the mental Olympics of the contemporary workplace, it can feel like too much effort to take the time to cultivate creativity. Nonprofit professionals need only a few minutes a day to color, stretch, or walk outside to give themselves outlets for creative thought.

What are your strategies for inspiring creativity at work? Please feel free to comment below.

Want to know more about association management? Contact us at to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.


Bringing Imagination Back into the Workplace

By Linda Owens, CAE, owner, president

How often do you think about the role of creativity in your workplace? The book Creativity, Inc. written by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace, dives into the creative depths of Pixar Studios and examines the business practices that have led them down the current path of success. As Catmull provides a behind the scenes look at the company during his 30 years as president, his writing takes the form of an instruction manual for cultivating inspired employees. While reading this book, I couldn’t help but become inspired myself. Below, I take a look at a few quotes from Creativity, Inc. that resonated with me and how they translate into running an Association Management team.

  1. “Create a fertile environment”

Whether or not you identify as a creative mind, it is important to remember that everyone has the potential to be creative. This creativity can take shape in a variety of different forms. Thus, to cultivate an environment rich with innovation and development it is important to first lay the groundwork with an atmosphere that encourages individuals to think outside of the box and take risks when necessary. This is where innovation is born and how non-profits continue to stay relevant in the ever-changing business climate.

  1. “Any successful feedback system is built on empathy”

We all know that constructive criticism is a good thing. However, feedback should always be intertwined with the idea that as a manager, I too have walked in my employee’s shoes and I understand their frustration. In other words, “The Braintrust is fueled by the idea that every note we give is in the service of a common goal: supporting and helping each other.” At the end of the day, we are all in this together and are much stronger as a team than when we are working individually.

  1. “I make a point of being open about our meltdowns”

A paralyzing fear of failure is something that is far too common in the workplace. Yet, failure is the catalyst for the learning process and should be treated as such. Of course, we want to be proactive and avoid common pitfalls, but as a leader it is important for me to set an example and face my shortcomings head on and encourage my team to do the same. Such actions will disarm the stagnating fear of failure that if gone unchecked can ultimately render your team uninspired and your business no longer competitive. Thus, when problems are faced head on, solutions are discovered and better practices are established for the future.

  1. “There are two parts to any failure”

However, what happens when we hide our failure? Let’s review, the authors highlight that failure is comprised of one part making a mistake and one part reacting to this mistake. When we become introspective and push part one under the rug in order to avoid part two, we unintentionally hold ourselves back from reaching our full potential. For instance, “When a director stands up in a meeting and says, ‘I realize this scene isn’t working, I don’t yet know how to fix it, but I’m figuring it out. Keep going!’—a crew will follow him or her to the ends of the earth.” However, if the director continually ignores the situation the crew will begin to question the director’s ability to do their job and ultimately become uninspired. The same can be said for the office, when a manager is transparent and keeps their employees in the loop, the team stays motivated towards reaching a common goal.

  1. “Directors have the responsibility to be teachers”

I may not be a film director like the authors, but I recognize that as the president of an Association Management Company (AMC), I am also a teacher. This is an integral part of my job as I am constantly setting an example and preparing the next generation of AMC professionals. If I can generate future leaders that can continue to progress the company and inspire their employees then I have done my job.

Ultimately, Ed Catmull is over 70 years old and is still creating and imagining for Pixar. That’s probably the biggest sign that he loves his work, his employees are inspired by him and the creative space he has cultivated is continuing to grow and prosper. As a result, I am inspired to continually welcome creativity into my life and encourage my employees to do the same.

Want to know more about association management? Contact us at to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.


Staff Spotlight: Lee

By Breanna Appling, account associate

In this feature, we interview one of our fabulous team members  to show a little spotlight on the staff that makes IMI great. Today we’re highlighting Lee Claassen.

Originally from Coldwater, Mich., Lee Claassen has dedicated many years creating a career path for herself that is unstoppable. Lee has been a part of the IMI team since 2016 and has been involved with the association management industry for over three decades. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Grand Valley State University and went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Virginia. She not only boasts executive leadership experience in trade associations, professional societies and charitable organization, but is also knowledgeable in strategic marketing, fundraising and organizational development. We asked Lee a little bit about herself. Check out what she had to say!

IMI: Who is the one person you always find yourself asking for advice?

Lee: My best friend Cindie. She has lived all over the world and is familiar with many different cultures. I find her perspective on people invaluable, and she never hesitates to remind me that it’s not always about me.

IMI: What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

Lee: My father is 97, my siblings are 17 and 15 years older than me, I have a niece that’s only 12 years younger than me, and I have four great nieces and nephews.

IMI: Who/what is one thing that gives you inspiration?

Lee: Waking up every morning! Also, I love the opportunity to be creative and to work with my hands. The second bedroom in my apartment is a studio/craft room that is my happy place.

IMI: What’s one challenge you had to overcome being in the Association Management Industry?

Lee: Learning how to be patient (which can still be a challenge for me). Decisions are typically made by consensus and nothing moves very quickly in non-profit organizations.

IMI: What is one misconception about an AMC?

Lee: That everyone works with multiple clients, which we know isn’t always the case.


Want to know more about association management? Contact us at to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

Tips For Working Remotely










By Meredith Parker, account associate

With non-profit staff stretching around the world and employees desiring more flexibility, working remotely is on the rise.

The option for key team members to work at home when needed can significantly increase availability and avoid interruptions in service during times such as inclement weather. Worried about the flu? Encourage staff who are feeling ill to stay home rather than risk spreading their illness. Life happens, but working remotely even for a couple hours during the day while a sick child is napping can make a big difference in ensuring critical tasks are covered.

I have been occasionally working remotely for six months and I love having this option. Not only does it makes it easier to get to doctor’s appointments or professional development sessions with minimal downtime, but it is refreshing for me to get a change of space and work outside of the office.

In spite of these benefits, it is important to remember that this type of work requires the employment of focus and self-discipline. Below you can find strategies for creating work mode outside of the office:

1. Define your work routine and stick to it

Most people keep consistent hours at the office, arriving and leaving around the same time every day. Coworkers have a general idea of each other’s availability because they are used to this office rhythm. This means that when you are not working in the typical office environment, you need to communicate to your colleagues when you are available. One easy way to do this is keeping the hours you work remotely consistent with the hours you are typically in the office. You can also create a shared calendar for your team on Outlook or Gmail, if you do not already have one. On days that I work remotely, I keep my calendar blocked off with any professional or personal appointments so my coworkers know when I am free to respond to any questions. Also, tell your coworkers what type of communication works best for you when you are not in the office, whether that is email, text message, phone call, or Slack. This could vary based on the type of message being communicated and/or personal preferences. Clueing everyone in to your workflow will ensure that you are all able to complete your work responsibilities with minimal interruption.

2. Create a working space at home OR go to a different location

I started experimenting with different locations in my house for a work space. Through this, I have learned that the best environment for me is the living room, seated on the couch with the blinds open to let natural light beam in and low-key music playing in the background for white noise.

Another option is leaving the house. As an extrovert, I feel energized when I am surrounded by other people. I will work from the sofa for a while and then, if I start to feel lonely or restless, I will go to a local coffee shop with incredible almond lattes and excellent music to finish out my day. Choose a work space that works best for your personality and work style.

Of course, the options for finding a workspace in the public or private spheres are limitless: home offices, parks, coworking spaces, libraries, book stores, etc. The most important thing is to select a space with the intention of working productively there.

3. Schedule breaks with activities

At the office, I find that there are regular interruptions to my workflow: coworkers asking questions, bathroom breaks, hallway conversations and meetings. When I am working in an environment outside of the office, I am more intensely focused because I do not have to worry about these types of distractions at all. That being said, it can be mentally exhausting to work intensely for long periods of time, so it is important for me to schedule regular breaks for myself as needed. I typically will work for 1.5 or 2 hours and then take a break. This could mean that I switch to a different task to give my brain a rest, take a webinar or study something inspiring that relates to my work. Other options could be to take a walk outside, go to the gym, run a quick errand, make lunch, read, write or do a small chore. When I return to the task at hand, I feel refreshed and re-energized.

If you follow these steps, you will be able to harness brain power and productivity outside of the office and gain some extra time to complete personal tasks.

What are your strategies for working remotely? Feel free to comment below.

Want to know more about association management? Contact us at to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

Staff Spotlight: Caitlin

By Breanna Appling, account associate

In this feature, we interview one of our fabulous team members  to show a little spotlight on the staff that makes IMI great. Today we’re highlighting Caitlin Smith.

Caitlin has been part of the IMI team since February 2017 and brings a variety of experiences to IMI. Born and raised in Greensboro, N.C., Caitlin served four years in the U.S. Navy on a forward deployed aircraft carrier as a Hull Maintenance Technician Engineer and traveled the world. We asked Caitlin a little bit about herself. Check out what she had to say!

IMI: What are some things you like to do in your spare time?

CAITLIN:  Play with my dogs, spend time outdoors, and explore new places.

IMI: What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?

CAITLIN: I was a welder and a firefighter in the U.S. Navy.


IMI: Who/what is one thing that gives you inspiration?

CAITLIN: I am easily inspired. I pull inspiration from almost anything. Eating, traveling, reading, looking at art, shopping or simply walking down the streets of the city have all been summations of my inspiration. I would say my biggest inspiration, though, would be my goals and where I want to be in the future.

IMI: What’s one word you would use to describe the Association Management industry?

CAITLIN: Influential.

IMI: How has your background helped you face challenges within the industry?

CAITLIN: Having a military background has helped me in finding alternate solutions to problem solving.

Want to know more about association management? Contact us at to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.


Time to Stop Using These Subject Lines

By Rachel Owen, communications manager

In our staff teams at IMI, we often discuss how best to tweak our marketing email subject lines. For non-profits, we’re competing for visibility in email boxes filled with work correspondence, messages from friends and an onslaught of promotional emails from every online store you’ve ever purchased from.

It can be tempting to take a page out of the marketing book from all those promotional emails that we receive. Inspiration is great – but be cautious. We want subject lines to be catchy and draw the reader in, but as non-profits we typically need to use a more “approachable” marketing strategy.

How do you know where the line is between an approachable and heavy-handed subject line? Let’s look at a few email offenders I’ve received in my box recently. Yes, these are all examples from actual emails I received. (I unsubscribed from many emails while compiling this list.)

8 Subject Line Offenders

  1. Can we talk about …?

You’ve seen these everywhere: “Can we just talk about Oprah’s speech?” or “Can we talk about conflict?” It can be a great, personable opener, but “Can we talk?” suggests that there will be a dialogue. Beware using this phrase for one-way communication. It can sound disingenuous unless you are making an effort to participate in a dialogue. Keeping that idea in mind, it could be used in the context of an interactive web meeting, social media post (great for engagement!) or a blog where followers can share their thoughts in response.

Runner-up: The “REAL TALK” subject line hits all the same flat notes as “Can we talk?” for me.

  1. You just missed it…

Unless your non-profit is for time travelers, I’m not sure this subject line will resonate with your readers. No one likes to feel like they are behind schedule. Focus on messaging that takes a positive angle on urgency. Here are a few of my favorite of the “time” related subject lines that I’ve seen lately:

  • You’re THIS CLOSE to missing out
  • Only a short time left
  • The clock is ticking
  • Time is running out
  1. I’m Calling You Out…

This pointed subject line coupled with the opening of the email (“If you’re reading this email right now, then I know you haven’t taken advantage of …”) is, at best, a bit passive aggressive. Rather than scolding your readers for failing to take advantage of your offering, perhaps take a lighter approach. Something like, “Did you forget to register? There’s still time!” might be more effective.

  1. Deleting This Email Could Cost You That Promotion

There’s enough generalized anxiety in the world that we shouldn’t add to the stress with our subject lines. Offer the carrot, not the stick. For a great, positive angle on this subject line, I like Jon Acuff’s: “Ready to do great work this year?”

Runner-up: “Can you afford NOT to open this email?” Dear marketer: I’m sure I’ll survive, but thanks for worrying about me.

  1. The best way to make boring data sexy

This subject line was for an educational webinar about data in Excel. Unless it’s somehow related to your non-profit, I’d suggest avoiding marketing that centers around making something “sexy.” If you need ideas for interesting adjectives try a Google search or hold a quick brainstorming session with a colleague.

  1. OMG! The [event/service] is here!

Unless your target audience is young, or your brand voice includes slang, avoid trendy phrases in your messaging. It can be too easy for trendy phrases to be a misstep and no one wants to go viral for a mistake in their email or post.

  1. *Don’t Open This Email*

This type of subject line is often suggested for grabbing the “rebel” segment of your email list. Is your organization full of people who thrive on a challenge? Is your brand voice edgy and pressing for change? If not, this subject line seems counterproductive and can be out of character.


Use “Urgent” with caution. Your organization’s “urgent” status may not be what your readers feel is urgent. If you say something is “URGENT” and it’s just a discount expiring soon you will lose a lot of trust with your readers. Unless the need is truly urgent and important, it’s best to focus on other ways to describe the time sensitive nature.

These are just a few of the latest email subject lines that gave me pause. What are some headlines you’ve seen recently that didn’t work for you? How would you craft a better subject line? Please share in the comments below!

Want to know more about association management? Contact us at to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.