The UMass Minuteman Marching Band has an annual member drive that commences during the summer. The drive is directed by a student member of the band and in the past has included a mass email to undergraduates. 

New email communications standards require that emails go to more targeted audiences. By doing this and implementing a mechanism for capturing the data of interested students in their own system, they have been able to comply with current standards and CAN-SPAM regulations. 

The marching band performing during the 2018 Rose Parade in California.

The Plan

The student membership director drafted a two-email campaign, including a call to action to interested students that drove them to fill out an interest form in Google Forms.

The first email went to all the students who had indicated potential interest in the Marching Band, and the second form went to those who had engaged with the first email but not signed up.

Once interested students submitted a form, the membership director communicated with them via Google Groups, no longer using Marketing Cloud to engage them.   

After the success of the first two emails, the membership director asked for one final email to those who had shown interest but not signed up.

A few students perform vocals during a marching band performance at homecoming.


The open rate of all three emails was extremely strong, with the last email being the weakest of the three. The click-through rate (CTR) of the first two was solid as well, but the final email message only resulted in a CTR of 1.6%. Although students were engaging even with this final email, the original two emails had reached almost all of the students who were going to sign up. 

Sending Date #Sent Open Rate CTR
First email 6/21/22 125 86.9% 20.5%
Second email 6/29/22 57 96.5% 21.1%
Third email 7/18/22 61 82.0% 1.6%


The Membership Director was ecstatic with the results of the membership drive and said that using Marketing Cloud for this purpose “has been a game changer for my position in terms of recruitment.” 

Of the 125 students initially contacted, 76 submitted the membership form.   


The marching band standing in formation on a field, shot from the ground up with the sun bright overhead.


By targeting emails to students who had expressed interest—rather than to all first-years — the Marching Band was able to have a successful membership drive campaign while complying with CAN-SPAM laws and UMass’ email policy.