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Posted on October 9, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Nearly all membership managers know there’s a limit to what membership management software can do for the association.  For instance, it can boost your email subscription base but it shouldn’t be trusted to increase engagement among your subscribers.  This is a factor that has been known to determine the failure or success of a marketing campaign.  But, increasing engagement is a more complicated task than most people realize, one that requires ingenuity, flexibility, and consistency.
 
Focus

While helpful tips that are designed to increase the engagement of your subscribers are all over the internet, many of them fail to emphasize the significance of enhancing the quality of your subscriber email list.  The best promotional campaigns are unlikely to provide a desirable return on investment when they are geared towards an audience that has little to no interest in your offerings.  As a result, most organizations are encouraged to reduce their subscriber base by identifying and eliminating inactive subscribers.
 
Engagement

After identifying and eliminating subscribers who are no longer active, start crafting a re-engagement strategy that consists of automated campaigns.  Make sure these appeal to members that are active but still not fully engaged in your organization.  Even though these campaigns are automated, they should be personalized enough that they appeal to the specific tastes and preferences of individual subscribers.
 
Voice

When it comes to personalizing content, it takes more than simply referring to subscribers by their first names and mentioning the products or services that interest them.  It requires a unique voice that represents a distinct personality and you need to find your own to successfully convey your message to uninterested subscribers.
Instead of telling subscribers your expectations, make every effort possible to show them what you have accomplished with the support they have given.  Membership management software can grow your email subscriber list but it’s crucial to prioritize active subscribers and to generate personalized content that improves engagement among members!
Posted on September 11, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Most people join associations to make connections with their peers and potential mentors, and an organization can only experience exceptional growth by crafting engagement opportunities that make these connections possible.  Engagement is a key component as it builds loyalty by creating a sense of attachment that draws consumers back to clubs.

However, it doesn’t occur by default like some have members want to believe.  Effective engagement must be deliberately engineered and deployed in accordance with a carefully designed strategy.
 
The Consequences of Poor Engagement

Poor engagement is the downfall of many organizations, a weakness that destroys the value of an association and is highly capable of reducing the rate at which you recruit and retain members.  Whereas greater levels of engagement can enhance membership growth, retention, and satisfaction; the reverse will curtail an organization’s ability to remain relevant despite the advancement of membership websites.
 
The Easiest Way To Boost Membership Value

Since many people join associations in order to make more connections, the easiest way to boost membership value is to give your members the resources they need to pursue the connections that attracted them to your organization in the first place.  Membership websites make this possible by providing an online space through which members are able to connect.

The right approach is to deploy tools that can track these engagements, amassing data surrounding the activities of users and using it to create a targeted communication system.  The system will deliver a personalized experience tailored towards providing relevant content to the right people at the best time.
In other words, every attempt to augment membership value by magnifying engagement should start with a clear strategy that has outlined the methods.  Organizations usually use those methods to devise relevant and personalized communication that encourages their members to keep coming back.  A strategy that finds ways to connect more often not only resolves challenges facing the organization but it also improves member acquisition and retention.
Posted on August 31, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Many debates regarding the importance of club websites tend to become intense as people aren’t sure whether communities are a luxury or a necessity.  Several companies treat them as an indulgence that doesn’t necessarily do a whole lot.  Although, quite a few associations have argued that club websites are a critical tool since they enhance the customer experience and improve performance when deployed properly.
 
Customer Retention

Customer retention is at the forefront of most marketing campaigns.  While promotional experts understand the mechanics required to attract interest from the public, they have yet to master the tools needed to retain that interest.  The market is saturated with so much competition that it has become all but impossible to control the public’s attention.

This is why clubs and communities are so important.  They engage customers, causing them to like posts and publish comments.  In doing so, customers are compelled to maintain a consistent presence on the platform which helps the organization boost their customer retention rates.
 
Experience

There are a variety of methods that may be used to enhance a customer’s experience.  Communities play a unique role in this regard as they don’t stop by simply providing a platform for distinct voices to share ideas.  They are places that can provide answers to every question and give guidance on the products and services offered by the company.  In most cases, communities have become a great resource for gaining knowledge.
 
Branding

A community is also a powerful branding tool that organizations have started to integrate into their marketing and SEO tactics.  A strategically designed community can turn a company’s platform into an authoritative source of information, crafting a reputation that will raise brand awareness while boosting leads.
Even though communities have been in use for a long time, they have just started to attract the attention they deserve.  Each year, more companies make it a priority to have their own as they have finally grown to appreciate the wide-ranging benefits a community brings to the table.
Posted on August 17, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Many associations have struggled this year since events have been cancelled due to the lockdown measures.  While some associations have simply given up, others are working nonstop to gain interest from new and current members.  They also hope to elevate earnings by crafting innovative webinars designed to replace face-to-face interactions to which members have grown accustomed.  Though many people question whether or not webinars are the answer.  How can associations use them to recover from the devastation that has been brought on by the recent pandemic?
 
Education

With the help of membership management software, associations from all over are turning their clubs into educational centers.  By creating webinars that are rich in content, these association have recorded a significant increase in activity among members.

Other associations can achieve similar results once they realize that people join with the expectation of gaining experience to apply to their careers.  A great way to advance most careers is to grow by adding some educational achievements.
 
Sponsorships

Associations can also encourage their partners to sponsor some of their webinars.  Not only does this help an association’s partners generate engaging content for members to consume but it also enhances the revenue.  Ultimately, the key is to produce educational or valuable content rather than promotional content.
 
Communication

Before you start attracting new members, you should show appreciation to current members for their loyalty.  Webinars enable an association to do just that, especially if they are used to host periodic meetings that provide an avenue for understanding members on a personal level.  Identify the areas where membership management software has fallen short and use what you have learned to enhance their experience.  Often, the positive news an association generates throughout the process will attract new members.
 
Networking

Even though the quarantine measures of this year have made traditional networking all but impossible, there are still ways to recreate the benefits of face-to-face events by using webinars.  Some associations hold Q&A sessions for this very reason.
While physical interactions are far more effective than online engagement, the right webinars create a meaningful platform for members to network.  If you charge a small fee for these virtual events, your association’s non-dues revenue will increase!
Posted on July 26, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Many organizations have noticed a spike in the volume of emails they manage and this trend gained traction a few months ago.  In March, most places were forced to halt operations in response to the stay-at-home orders that the government issued.  Companies could no longer rely on membership websites to promote engagement which is why they turned to email communication.  Yet, in some cases, their efforts haven’t exactly delivered what they had in mind.
 
Target Audience

A significant portion of the emails that organizations sent out during the quarantine didn’t make it or disappeared to the spam folder since they were sent to the wrong place.  These are individuals that haven’t received emails from the companies in question for months or years.  This gap in communication has encouraged certain security mechanisms to interpret the email as spam.

In response, individuals have either unsubscribed from membership websites or blocked certain senders altogether.  The solution here isn’t to abandon email communication but organizations must learn to moderate the volume of emails they send.
 
Frequency

While some organizations have merely raised the volume of emails being sent, others have increased the frequency by turning monthly or weekly newsletters into daily publications.  This is an indication of desperation that has also resulted in complaints from a few recipients who have redirected these emails to the trash folder.  Any organization that wants to increase the frequency of its emails should make this transition gradually until the recipients grow accustomed to the new schedule.
 
Email Scams

Organizations are starting to realize that it isn’t helpful to mention COVID in their emails.  The reason why is that coronavirus scams have become so common that certain security mechanisms have started flagging emails that mention COVID.  As a result, organizations are placed in a difficult position as a failure to address the pandemic tends to attract accusations of insensitivity.

There are no obvious solutions to this particular issue since most people have been advised to be very cautious of opening emails that mention COVID.  Ultimately, there are recipients who are choosing to ignore emails that feature virus content so organizations need to keep that in mind when drafting emails.
Posted on June 29, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
In the past, organizations dismissed club websites as a trend that did not deserve additional consideration or resources.  But that changed once they realized that communities had become an essential tool for success, and one that could enhance customer interaction and engagement.  Today, it’s nearly impossible to deny their importance.  Yet, many organizations are still struggling to profit from their club websites since they aren’t sure how to build their communities.
 
Structure

Most challenges start here as several organizations have no idea how to fit a community into their structure.  Some firms place them under the membership department while others have grouped them with marketing.  Aside from that, there are also those that treat communities as a product.

Administrators have been known to argue about this issue since they aren’t able to definitively identify which approach works best.  The position a community occupies within an organization will depend on the goals of the organization.  The same structure can’t be applied to every organization as some companies thrive by pairing their community with the membership strategy while others are better suited to gear it towards marketing.  It’s best to remain flexible where communities are concerned.
 
Experience

In order to keep members of the community engaged, you should try providing a personalized experience.  However, many organizations don’t know how to craft and deploy personalization strategies.  When building a personalized experience for your community, the first step is to collect only the data you need.  Members are sensitive where their data is concerned so ensure them you only request information you absolutely need to provide them with a better experience.
 
Youth

Even though a variety of communities need young audiences to thrive, organizations have no idea how to attract them.  Often, the youth just want to experience growth in their personal and professional lives.  Any community that wants to win their loyalty should encourage their engagement by offering them the connections they need to grow and advance.  Young audiences almost always respond to opportunities that enhance their prospects.
Posted on June 8, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Most interactions between customers and companies usually happen online.  The customer experience is so important if you want to be considered one of the best in your industry.  A disjointed and complicated online platform that frustrates consumers will eventually ruin a firm’s reputation.  One way to streamline the experience your customers encounter online is to direct them towards your community.  When it is backed by the right membership management software, the community can transform the customer experience by playing a number of roles.
 
Comprehensive Support

First off, realize that your community is capable of supporting any customer through every stage of their journey.  Once a visitor finally makes their first purchase, they could follow the community and be educated on everything you offer.  As their loyalty grows and they learn more about your association, they might use their new knowledge to guide others which is made possible by the community.
 
Connection

Online communities are appealing to many people since they connect customers with others that have the same interests.  Members typically want to talk with an actual person and this is why automated phone systems haven’t gained much traction.

Most customers reach out to companies because they want to talk with someone who relates to them and the community makes it possible.  It allows older clients to resolve the queries that new customers might have and the customer base can submit ideas for products and services.
 
Ideal Service

With membership management software, you can turn your association into the kind of place that gives customers all the support, engagement, and feedback they could ever want.  The best communities always boost the customer experience by having answers to a variety of questions.

This creates a sense of fellowship that makes newcomers feel welcome while also providing them with the resources they need to enjoy their time on your platform.  Many websites have tools that can perform some of these functions.  But, a community does all of them which is why it should take center stage for customers to have a great experience!
Posted on May 22, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Many membership websites that remain successful attribute it to their young professionals.  But how can you attract these kind of professionals to your association?  Often, the first challenge is to understand what these young professionals want and what matters most to them at the various stages of their careers.  If you know what drives them, you can take steps to create platforms and opportunities that appeal to them.
 
Target Audience

Before you start deploying strategies that will attract young professionals, you must first identify your target audience.  Most professionals join associations during the earliest stage of their careers, specifically within the first few years of being employed.  These are the people that many organizations tend to target.

However, it is just as important to reach out to students and recent graduates.  It helps when you expand your target audience so think about all the young professionals that you might be able to draw to your association in the future.  Of course, young adults with a few years of work experience are attractive because they are usually more dedicated towards improving the association.
 
Experience

Aside from widening your network, you need to ensure your association has the means to add value to the life of a young professional.  Members are more likely to dedicate their work to an organization if they know it will benefit them in the long run.  Very few membership websites offer the opportunity to gain the kind of experience that appeals to young professionals.

Some memberships don’t understand the needs of their target audience and it shows because they fail to offer an experience that appeals to the taste of young minds.  This is the case, despite the fact that the desires of young professionals aren’t that difficult to recognize.

They want job opportunities and tools that can assist them in their efforts to grow professionally.  In an effort to draw young professionals, keep in mind that these type of members need a reason to believe an association will improve their lives before they join.
Posted on May 11, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Club websites are thriving more than ever since most people are encouraged to isolate themselves with the current pandemic.  As a result, this has created a desire for more engagement in many communities due to an increase in online traffic.  The number of online discussions has grown exponentially.

Associations are realizing that they can use the community to provide an opportunity for connecting and educating individual members.  This is forcing club websites in many industries to reconsider their approach to members.
 
An Open Door Policy

If your association has yet to embrace this change, you should know that several communities are opening their doors to a wider audience.  Associations that were once quite strict about what was required for a membership are now welcoming outsiders.

The reason for such a shift in regulations is to embrace potential members who need support but don’t have an online community to lean on.  Associations that have taken this step have noticed an increase in the total number of registrations and logins.
 
Variety Of Conversations

Along with allowing potential members to participate in forum discussions, many associations have also allowed members to deviate from the usual subject matter of their communities.  Whereas attempts to introduce topics outside the range of the forum would have attracted penalties in the past, associations have decided to allow members to discuss matters that directly affect them during this time of crisis.  The goal is to support people in any area that burdens them right now rather than discuss topics that don’t help serve their needs.
 
Virtual Events

Associations that normally hold regular conferences and meetings have refused to reschedule their events.  Instead, they use technology to their advantage and hold virtual webinars and workshops.  Through this, members maintain a sense of normalcy as they engage with one another.
Contrary to what some people believe, clubs and associations don’t have to deteriorate during a time of crisis.  If anything, they should grow since they provide members with support to help them overcome a time of great uncertainty.
Posted on April 17, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Even though it may not be talked about, the success of an online community is important and it gets analyzed often.  While all communities are different in some way, they still use key performance indicators that work for them but might prove to be inadequate for others.  Fortunately, if you know the key performance indicators for your association, you can use them to measure the success of your community.

An association and its community share a purpose and values.  Therefore, the parameters that are used to measure the success of an association should also be applied to the community.
 
Association Goals

If you agree that an association and its community share a purpose, any attempt to measure your community’s success should start with a review of the association goals.  They provide a foundation from which the community goals will emerge and membership management software is the key.  Make sure the goals you set are specific, measurable, and attainable.
 
Community Growth

Once you decide on your community goals and set your key performance indicators, resist the urge to obsess over community growth.  Many people think that growth is the most important measure of success, but immediate growth of the community is far less important than sustained growth.  Rather than basing your measure of success on growth, place an emphasis on the types of customers your membership management software has registered and how interactions are between them.
 
Value

Try to understand how your members measures success.  There’s no point in setting performance indicators that indicate a high level of success if most members are unhappy with the community.  This is why you should understand the meaning behind their behavior before setting KPI’s.

What do they like and dislike about the community?  How do they define value?  Always compare your measures for success with the opinions and perspectives of your members.  Their insights could go a long way towards transforming the way you perceive success!
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