How to Reignite Your Member Engagement Strategy by Going Digital
What is engagement, at its core? The more connected we are to something, the more we love it. We develop memories surrounding the people, the experiences and the things we learn. We’re most attached to the groups or organizations in which we’re most involved.
This engagement produces things like higher retention, increased member satisfaction and a larger membership.
And, the inverse is true. You might be experiencing the effects of a lack of engagement at your association now, without realizing the source of the problem. What are those effects? Maybe you’re struggling with:
- Retaining and recruiting more members
- Staying relevant in a digital world
- Communicating a compelling value proposition
All of these challenges are tied to a lack of engagement. These days, it’s important to make sure you can adapt your engagement strategy to a virtual world. Moving forward, associations will need to have a hybrid approach to events, member communication and engagement. How can you reach your members virtually with the right content at the right time?
Reach Your Association Members Virtually With the Benefits They Need
Making connections is probably one of the top reasons members join your association. You can maximize their membership value by providing them with the connections and resources they care about the most, year-round.
What is the best way to do this? Create a digital space where they can engage, and then use intentional, targeted communication to build a personalized experience for each one of them, reaching them with relevant content at the right time and place.
If this sounds impossible, it would be hard to achieve this level of personalization with individual outreach alone – that’s not scalable or cost effective.
An engagement platform helps you provide those valuable relationships 24/7, 365 days a year. With tools like online community and marketing automation, you recreate the best parts of your association online.
With an online member community, the great ideas and valuable connections members build with each other at your annual conference can happen all the time.
Then, with email marketing automation, gather the data you need to know about your members and create a personal experience for each of them, providing unique value for each individual.
This way, you can scale your engagement efforts for increased success.
These engagement tools not only benefit your members, but you will reap results across your organization – from member retention to events and staff efficiency.
Here are two examples:
1. Using community data to create relevant programming
Community data points offer insights on how your organization can better help current members. The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) worked with Association Analytics to analyze their community data, which helped them identify overarching membership trends and popular topics, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enabling them to tailor programming:
“When we started aggregating data, GDPR was strongly searched and frequently discussed in the community. So, we created a group and started pushing more GDPR content and resources based on the data we had collected. This was well before the regulation went into effect – we knew we had to be proactive. We put together a GDPR program much faster because we saw it growing early.”
– Reggie Henry, Chief Information and Engagement Officer, ASAE
2. Using email campaigns to deliver personalized, streamlined campaigns
The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP) struggled with members procrastinating renewal to the last days of their grace period. They were losing revenue and spending time chasing down renewals. The association decided to set up an automated email campaign series for renewals, segmented by member activity, and sent tailored messages based on when and where they were in their membership journey. Through their new approach, they reduced staff effort chasing renewals and curbed procrastination, while reaching each member with a personalized, thoughtful experience.
“If you’re going to ask someone to do something that’s different than their current behaviour, you have to provide motivation. We started with reminding people what the value of ASCP is and trying to get them engaged to get more out of their membership. We wanted to make this an automated process that took less staff time, but also didn’t suffer in terms of personalization and talking to our members in a natural way. Higher Logic’s Communications platform made it easy.”
– Christine Polite, Senior Director of Communications, ASCP
Strengthen Your Association’s Value Proposition with Engagement
Personalized, relevant and timely communication is the name of the game if you want to build the connections that keep members coming back. Engagement tools can help you show how valuable your association membership truly is. If you have any of these organizational problems, get started by planning your engagement strategy around digital engagement this year. These tools not only benefit your members, but you will reap results across your organization – from member retention to events and staff efficiency. Learn about how your association can use engagement tools to solve four of the biggest organizational challenges facing associations today:
- Member acquisition
- Member retention
- Member win-back
- Non-dues revenue