Blog

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!
Posted on March 30, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Some associations make mistakes with marketing automation and how they setup their membership websites.  Often, this is part of the learning process and mistakes happen along the way, especially in a field as unpredictable and experimental as marketing.  If you identify all the places where you went wrong, you can take steps to push your marketing automation strategy back on the right track.  The following mistakes are just a few of the most common ones that membership websites make.
 
Failing To Plan

Many people don’t realize that the best marketing campaigns are built on strong strategies.  They expect to succeed by simply gambling their way through the process, driven in many cases by passion and enthusiasm that is considered to be healthy.  It is imperative that you take the time to create and dial in your strategy.
 
Extending Too Much

Sometimes, those in charge of the membership think it is necessary to start with an extensive campaign.  This means they want to take on in-depth projects that explore a variety of paths because they feel like they’re under pressure to prove themselves.

Rather than losing yourself in the overwhelming workflows and hectic meetings, start with smaller projects.  Send out emails one at a time and make sure there’s an automated follow-up in place.  After that, expand your scope gradually and organically.
 
Obsessing Over Volume

In many aspects of memberships, quality is often more important than quantity and that holds true for marketing automation.  Some people think it’s best to always be doing as much as possible.  Instead of sending out one newsletter, they insist on following it up with a multitude of emails that cover one or two topics each.

Most of the time, this ends up being a mistake.  A better approach is to send a concise message that informs members about topics that interest them.  Try to evaluate your strategy each year as it usually reduces mistakes and helps everything fall into place.
Posted on March 12, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Many marketing experts think people are predictable over time and they also believe a large percentage of them can be easily understood why they make certain decisions.  That might sound far-fetched to most people, especially to those that think people are simply too indecisive for anyone to predict.  However, if memberships want their club websites to go viral, they might want to change their approach.
 
Increase Social Capital

If you want your community to go viral, you need to give people a reason to talk about it.  Often, people will spread the word about any community that makes them feel important.  You see this with some organizations that are so exclusive they discourage their members from talking about them.

Yet, such organizations tend to grow because people are quick to brag about the benefits they enjoy as members.  Club websites should consider using the same marketing tactics as people won’t hesitate to share content that brings value to their life or makes them feel special.
 
Create Triggers

A lot of people only talk about associations to their friends when they are thinking of them.  This is why triggers are important because they keep your association at the forefront of member’s mind.  One example of a trigger is a catchy slogan that reminds an individual of an aspect about your association.  Try to use a trigger that immediately brings your community to the minds of your target audience.
 
Tell Stories

Most people don’t have the patience for lengthy press releases or detailed newsletters.  If you want to relay an important message regarding the community, tell a story.  Entertain readers with a funny conversation that happened in the community or an incident which took place at a recent event that captured the audience’s attention.  You don’t have to reach a global audience to go viral, just set realistic goals and focus on achieving recognition within your targeted audience.
Posted on February 27, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Most associations realize that getting people’s attention is no longer enough, they must also find ways to engage with them.  Otherwise, search engines might penalize their website but it isn’t just the search engines that associations have to worry about.  A significant portion of members tend to leave associations because they feel like there isn’t enough engagement.

You shouldn’t rely solely on your membership management software to solve this problem.  You need to change the way you approach your members.  In order for your association to excel with engaging members, you must offer a personalized experience and deliver it at the right time.
 
Communication

The first step is to identify what is the right content to deliver and choosing the right place.  Often, the answer is to just talk to your members.  Ask them what their interests are and what changes they would like to see.  However, you can’t rely on this method since many members choose not to participate.

Even if they do, they may not tell you what you need to know.  But, this is a good first step in establishing some communication.  Always utilize your membership management software to help you collect and process the answers you receive.
 
Observation

If there are members that refuse to tell you what you need to know, observe their activities.  Take note of the people they talk to, the discussions they participate in, and the topic of the threads they start.  Their online behavior and habits are a good indication of what they want so use that information to personalize their experiences.
 
Segmentation

Obviously, it isn’t possible for all associations to give every individual a personalized experience as they lack the time or resources.  In some cases, it might be best to group members into segments based on their interests and then craft a personalized experience that targets those segments.  Many associations have embraced this concept as they know this is what customers prefer and they want to ensure most of them remain engaged well into the future!
Posted on February 3, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Membership websites take a lot of work for most organizations and that not only applies to setting them up but also towards maintaining them.  Fortunately, the results they deliver make it worth the effort as they allow you to increase customer satisfaction and profit margins.

However, it can be a challenging task to migrate an online community in a timely manner.  Such undertakings can test the patience of those doing the migration as it takes a lot of determination to stay the course.  If you need help staying calm during this difficult period, consider these helpful tips.
 
Planning

Some membership websites have a hard time surviving such transitions without planning.  It’s best to set some key performance indicators that you can use to measure your success before and after the migration.  You should also engage others to identify the features and functions they need to perform their duties once the migration is complete.
 
Organization

Anyone that has ever had to move understands the importance of labeling all the items.  The same is true when it comes to migrating an online community.  Start by making a list of all the content that will make the transition to the new platform.  This is an important step that keeps you from losing any vital components.
 
Only Retain Necessary Content

In some organizations, clutter is likely to accumulate over time depending on a few factors.  Once you determine where the online community will be migrating to, do your best to identify what is absolutely required in order to get everything up and running efficiently.  Retain that content and get rid of the rest.  The more content you have to move, the more work that needs to be done which could introduce additional delays.

Even if you take your time to meticulously outline and execute your plan, many things can still go wrong.  During those times, try to remember that migrations are necessary and any challenges you face today will eventually lead to greater success down the line.
Posted on January 27, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Events are far more effective at getting results for organizations than most people realize.  They provide an avenue for members and visitors to interact in an energetic but productive environment.  Individuals are also given the opportunity to make connections with others that could share valuable advice.  But, how can these events be used to improve online engagement?  At the very least, they should spark additional conversations even after the event has ended.
 
Access To Relevant Information

Some organizations start by turning their club websites into accurate and in-depth hubs of information that people can use to get updates about the event.  Show them how they can register and participate in the conversation surrounding the event.  This helps initiate online engagement about the event even before it takes place.  You could also use this opportunity to identify areas of the event in which your members show the most interest.
 
Mobile Event App

Have you considered offering your members a mobile app for the event?  While club websites enable conversations before and after the event, a mobile app will help members stay connected during an event.  As a result, this keeps all your guests up-to-date and allows you to collect valuable feedback regarding their experience.
 
Questions & Answers

One of the easiest ways to compel guests and participants to volunteer feedback is to have them ask questions during your event.  But it isn’t enough to receive and answer these questions.  A few organizations post the questions to their club websites and this serves as a reminder for them to discuss it afterwards.

Some questions compel members to post their own questions and that can be used to customize their experience in the future.  With all of these approaches, the objective is to give your members a reason to interact with one another.  Ultimately, events provide a platform for conversations to be more frequent and that usually improves overall engagement.
Posted on January 15, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
One topic that gets brought up in associations is how to attract and keep new members.  Many of them can’t rely solely on the latest membership management software since people are quite demanding these days.  Some potential members want value on their own terms and they expect you to make their life as convenient as possible.  If an association is already struggling to maintain steady growth, it may be time for them to deploy more advanced tech tools.
 
Online Value

The easiest way to attract and retain members is to show that you care about their personal and professional growth.  You can do this by providing online learning tools that members can use to continue their education.  This is a great way to add value to your members.
 
Mentorship

Membership management software can really provide value when it comes to mentoring new members.  Use it to connect experienced members with ambitious people that need guidance.  Often, there will be mentors that have set goals and want to focus their professional skills on helping others.  When this happens, mentee are granted access to firsthand knowledge regarding personal and career objectives they wish to achieve.
 
Data Collection

Sometimes, the easiest way to attract and retain more members is to make their experience as pleasant and fulfilling as possible.  You can do this by using automated tools to acquire vital feedback from members.  Then use that information to create activities and campaigns that are designed to engage old members while attracting new ones.
 
Mobile Apps

Several associations require an online app for community members to stay in touch with one another at all times, even if they travel abroad.  The right app will enable members to participate in discussions, stay in the know about news, and enjoy the benefits of membership from any location.  In this day and age, most associations that want to grow in the future must innovate and adapt which involves using any technology to keep members engaged!
Posted on January 9, 2020 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Designers of membership websites have likely spent the last few months planning for 2020.  It’s never too early to start thinking about the future, especially for organizations whose operations are heavily intertwined with technology.  However, is there a way to ensure that your plans for 2020 are effective?  In most cases, guarantees can’t be made but there are factors that all membership websites are encouraged to keep in mind when laying out a blueprint for this year.
 
Artificial Intelligence

Many people use some form of artificial intelligence, they just don’t realize it.  Most organizations have automated email communications and other forms of communication.  But a lot of organizations fail to utilize artificial intelligence as efficiently as they should.  Often, they rely solely on data collection to plan for the future.
While surveys are useful, they are also flawed because some people may not answer them honestly.  In order to plan for the future, you must understand the behavior of your target market.  When you combine data collections with artificial intelligence, it will help you understand the behavior of your target market.  Data analytics is essential for organizations that want to accurately predict future outcomes.
 
Collaboration

Sustainable growth rarely happens without collaboration.  Today, everyone understands the importance of acquiring a variety of systems for individual problems.  Organizations must learn to create a collaborative environment between these systems if they want to advance.

Better yet, make sure that you acquire tech tools that are inherently designed to work together.  The ideas above suggest that you have to deploy a brand new suite of technological tools and data collection mechanisms.  But, that isn’t necessarily true.  In many cases, the key to success is to use the technology you already have, especially with any digital transformation.

Some administrators are unaware that the solutions to their problems can be found using the technology they already obtained.  This is why they are encouraged to take an inventory of their tools to ensure they are maximizing the full potential of all the hardware and software in their possession.
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