There is a distinct difference in the "tone" of communications between associations who are successfully engaging their members and those who are performing poorly.
Those doing poorly have a very transactional communications style. It is geared only to convey information in a bland and unengaging manner. Eg: Welcome to the association. Your membership number is #. Your password is #.
Those engaging well have a very warm, friendly and engaging communication style. Eg: Welcome to the association. We are looking forward to meeting you face to face and helping you to make the most of your membership. Speaking of which, there is an event coming up in your area next week. Would you like to come along so I can introduce you around to some of the other members?
When writing communications to members I picture a specific member in my head and then pretend I am writing the communication specifically to them.
I Also keep in mind is the outcome I am trying to achieve. Eg: If the purpose is to get the new member activating a portion of their membership, then my entire communication is geared to achieve that action.
What kind of experience have you have with member communications?