Membership Space Blog: Insights for Effective Management

Posted on September 24, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
The effort that goes into club websites may feel like it’s wasted at times and if you feel this way, you’re not alone.  Many associations struggle in their efforts to craft an effective membership recruitment strategy.  Certain strategies take hours to debate and days to execute.  Yet, the results they deliver in terms of growth are often so miniscule that some people are tempted to give up.

Of course, while all associations go through such slumps, many of them eventually reverse their fortunes at some point by perfecting their membership acquisition strategies.  Two tactics, in particular, produce the best results which are email campaigns and recommendations.

The easiest way to grow the number of members in an association is to encourage current members to recommend it to other people.  Most people don’t believe the boasts that associations make about their own offerings but they trust the reviews of others.

It’s also good to encourage members to reach out and make sure you offer them rewards for bringing new people on board.  If that doesn’t work, add online communities to your club websites so potential members are able to participate in discussions.  Obviously, you should limit their access and assign special privileges to members as it will peak the interest of non-members.
Email Campaigns

This tactic is even easier to implement because it doesn’t rely on the participation of your members.  It isn’t enough to send out a general email, you need to find what a potential member likes and gather some data.  Once you know what they like, craft email campaigns that target their specific interests.
New members are more likely to be attracted to your membership if they believe you have something to offer that benefits them.  Don’t rely on just one tactic to produce results.  Instead, combine them with your existing strategy and use them individually or together based on the interests of your target audience.
Posted on September 13, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Online communities thrive on participation from their members and they can be difficult to figure out.  You have probably noticed there are times throughout the year where participation is unusually low and it’s not uncommon for online communities to have participation problems.

Most people think they can find the answer in strategies that other organizations have crafted to solve their own online participation issues.  However, that doesn’t always work because every organization is unique.  As a result, the problems they face usually require an equally unique plan of action.
Identifying The Problem

Before you can solve your participation problems, you must first identify what is causing the problem.  Start by using membership management software to collect data on behavior and transactions.  You should also include demographic data in your study.  Once you know where your members are from and see a pattern in their decisions, you can start using that information to identify participation problems.

Obviously, some participation problems are general and they don’t have a specific source or inciting factor.  You simply have a situation where a majority of members have yet to complete a significant number of activities in the community.  Other participation issues are individual as members fail to fill out their profiles or take part in surveys.
Finding A Solution

Membership management software will help you identify participation problems but that’s just the first step.  Once you have that data, you can identify the causes of why participation is low and craft various engagement strategies.  For instance, notice which areas have the highest engagement then find out what draws people to those places and replicate it in other sectors that are less active.

If you really want members to complete their profiles, send out frequent reminders or give some kind of incentive for members that do.  When your content isn’t attracting the interest you envisioned, create better content.  Get creative with your solutions as there are no easy answers.  In addition to that, solutions that have delivered great results for other organizations may not work for you so remember that when dealing with participation problems.
Posted on September 4, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Many users will only join membership websites when they see a clear benefit in doing so.  Often, they wonder if becoming a member will provide something useful as there are several websites that fail to deliver engaging content.  Each year, more people seem to be looking to membership websites as a viable resource.  Are you changing your approach regularly to ensure any potential member is likely to stay engaged?
Major Reasons For Joining

One reason for joining could be due to gaining some insight about a specific topic.  The second reason people join a website is based on what they perceive will happen after joining or it will be a positive change in their life.  The last reason is usually related to being a part of a community as it offers an opportunity to interact with others that are on the same journey as them.  Though, many people join for a combination of these reasons.
Understanding A Potential User

There are some website owners who think that others will automatically want to join their website as they assume people have the same interests as them.  Website owners should take a long look at who visits their website.  Then, ask themselves if what they offer is truly something of value that they would recommend to their friends and family.
Changing Behavior

The final part of this transformation is to be clearer in explaining what the benefits are to a potential member who is visiting the website.  This could be done by sharing reviews from existing members that explain the benefits they received.  Also, try to list all the ways in which members gain and make sure this matches why people come to the website.

Finally, lower the barriers associated with accessing membership websites so it’s easier to join.  Furthermore, only ask information that is absolutely necessary when someone is registering.  By making these changes and asking for less in return, you reduce most of the resistance from potential members which increases engagement!
Posted on August 15, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Increasing the number of members for membership websites is a vital objective.  This can be achieved by executing targeted campaigns to reach disengaged members and by inviting non-members to join your association.  Be sure to consider both options so you increase your chances of retaining members well into the future.  One association applied some practical automation strategies to increase their member base and the following reveals how these ways will be beneficial to your association.
Retain Disengaged Members

With the proper automation tools, this association kept track of their members, especially when monitoring the payment of membership dues as that’s a key indicator of how interested members are in the association.  They sent out a message to members who failed to pay their dues that said, “We don’t want to lose you”.  That simple message resulted in a 32% conversion rate.
Inviting Non-Members

They also segmented their non-members into two groups; those that were new and other ones that had a previous history with the association.  For new members, the campaign was a simple ‘we want you’ message and it included a few reasons why the recipient would enjoy being a part of the association.

Those with a previous history were mainly visitors that had once logged into the association’s website but never signed up for a membership.  For these, the campaign was meant to persuade the recipients to admit that they were enjoying the community and signing up for the membership would only add to that enjoyment.  It also contained a list of perks that the recipients would get to enjoy as part of becoming members.

These rules haven’t only been helpful to one association; membership websites all over the world are applying them and seeing great results.  If you want to utilize them to boost your association, the first step is to collect accurate data on your website.  Then, segment your audience and send the appropriate message to each group.
Posted on August 5, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Nearly every business values the importance of customer satisfaction.  Businesses that fail to implement adequate measures towards making their customers happy often lose customers or maintain a low retention rate.  But, how do you give customers a better experience?  While some associations offer text messaging support, there’s a wide array of platforms such as club websites and online chats that can help you improve the customer experience.
Simplify Customer Service

The first step is likely the most obvious as you should study the habits of your customers and know their preferences.  Do they prefer communicating with your brand on social media, live chats on the website, or through text messaging?  You may not be able to invest in all the platforms but it helps to be on the ones that are most commonly used.

Club websites not only attract new members but they offer support around the clock without needing someone to monitor it.  With club websites, customers are able to help each other and they can look up issues that are similar to theirs, thereby reducing the workload of customer support.
Personalize Your Marketing

Do you ever wonder what your association should do differently when it comes to marketing?  Some associations offer a potential customer what they’re most likely to buy and that’s one of the reasons for their success.  In order to offer your customers the right products, you need to understand first what they’re looking for.  Once you know what a majority of customers are interested in, create a personalized campaign that offers them relevant products.
Invest In Technology

When it comes to new businesses, chances are that they don’t have adequate finances to invest in every form of technology.  Therefore, research the tools that would be best for your business and invest in those.
Nonetheless, it’s vital to have an online community and association software.  If you implement the ideas discussed above, you’ll give customers a better experience and improve your chances of having more members in the future.
Posted on July 29, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
With so many associations today, gaining new members and retaining them is becoming increasingly competitive.  Just like companies in the business world, several associations offer benefits that are similar to other associations.  If you’re going to outperform other associations and become a source of true value for your members, you have to offer unique benefits that make you stand out.  Here are a few suggestions you could implement to persuade more people to join your association.
Job Opportunities For Members Only

Nearly everyone is searching for a great job or a better one that allows them the time to do what they enjoy.  If you can partner with experts or employers in your niche and create a job board, your association will become more appealing.  When you keep the postings open to the public and make the applications available only to members, you’ll be driving potential prospects to join your association.
Online Courses & Certifications

Another way to persuade people to choose your association is to create online courses that are relevant to your industry and award certifications.  Improve what a member experiences by having the proper learning materials in different formats, including video and pdf.  In addition to that, use membership management software to manage your resources and present it to members based on their interests.
Mentoring & Industry Specific Gifts

While some members are looking to gain insight from more experienced people in their industry, others are looking to pass on their knowledge.  Membership management software can be very helpful for sorting members appropriately and helping them connect efficiently.

When you’re an expert in an industry, you obviously know a great deal about your members and their needs.  Use your knowledge to offer them benefits that are specific to their needs.  Members likely are more likely to stay and tell others about your offers when they see a return on their investment!
Posted on July 8, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Whether they’re posted to membership websites as articles or distributed in printed form, publications offer associations an effective means to enhance the knowledge of its members and builds rapport with them.  Additionally, this is a way to generate non-dues revenue.  These are some of the reasons why a good publication strategy is important.  If your publications aren’t doing well, then it might be time to try these tips.
Involve Your Members

Have your publications continuously failed to garner the results you’ve been looking for?  Have you discovered that most of your members are not reading them?  If so, this would be a great time to ask for their feedback to know where the problem lies.  Perhaps the publications are not enticing enough or there are too many ads.  Nonetheless, you will likely receive valuable information that helps you improve.
Create Content Aligned With Your Association

In general, membership websites and associations are communities of people with particular interests.  For example, if you’re interested in tech tools, placing an advertisement about recipes in your publication would be inappropriate.  Consider creating a content strategy for your publications that is aligned with your association’s mission so you foster trust and receive positive feedback.
Use Software To Know Members’ Interest

Effective publications aren’t based on guesswork with regard to a members’ interest.  Rather, they’re generated from a proper understanding of what a target audience wants.  There are numerous tech tools used to track what choices a member makes on membership websites.  This data can be extremely helpful for your content plan so use the necessary tools to find out what your members need and create content that satisfies these needs.

Boosting the success of your membership publication is a process that relies on your content strategy.  By offering your members the resources they are interested in, you gain their attention and they will likely respond positively which helps you grow.  When you use the right tools, you learn your members’ interests more efficiently and improve overall engagement.
Posted on June 27, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Online communities make it possible for an organization to easily attend to the needs of your customers and eventually keep them loyal to your brand.  Although, it might be difficult to achieve the results you have in mind if you’re not listening to members attentively.  The following explains why it’s important to listen to members and how club websites can effectively collect feedback from those that follow your community.
Show That You Value Them

If there’s one issue that can diminish a members’ trust in a brand, it is to see that the brand doesn’t care about their opinion.  For that reason, you should ask for their feedback throughout the year as it shows members that you value them.  When you ask members what changes they’d like to see, they feel like they are a part of your company and it can potentially transform them into long-term supporters.
Accurately Measure Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is an integral part of why one organization is more successful than the other.  Though the simplest method for understanding a customers’ opinion is to ask for feedback, you may also use analytical software to assess customer satisfaction.  Some club websites use star ratings and reviews to find out what members think about different products.
Listen Closely At All Times

The biggest mistake that companies make when analyzing customer feedback is they choose when they want to listen.  Perhaps you give more attention to positive feedback and neglect any negative feedback.  Make sure you address all feedback whether it’s positive or negative.  Set aside time for going through the comments on your online community and give appropriate answers in a timely manner.

Listening to your online community is crucial as it helps you fully understand the needs of your members.  But, listening without taking any action isn’t going to benefit anyone.  So, focus on addressing the issues your members raise as they directly affect your success.
Posted on June 17, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
The latest research shows that the average email open rate across all industries is less than 20%.  Most of the emails that people receive usually end up in the spam folder and never get read.  How can you get around this problem and increase the chance that your recipients read your emails?  Here are tested techniques that your association can implement right away.
Let Them Opt In

When a new member joins your association, that doesn’t mean they automatically want to receive every email you send out.  Give them the option to turn off the auto opt-in feature on your membership management software so members choose whether or not they receive any emails.
Avoid The No-Reply Emails

The fastest way for emails to go straight to the spam folder is when a no-reply address gets used.  Such addresses make recipients feel like they have no say in the matter and it typically annoys them since they can’t respond.  In contrast, sending a personalized email that allows a recipient to reply makes most of them feel important which encourages them to read and take action.
Use A Creative Subject Line

Research shows that for nearly 35% of email recipients, it is the subject line that determines whether or not the email gets opened.  In many instances, a short subject line of no more than 60 characters is what works best.  It should also tell the recipient who the email is from and what it is about.
Apply A Touch Of Humor

These days, email marketers know that nobody likes to struggle with complex industry jargon so they keep everything simple.  Unless your association is very industry-specific, you should apply a casual and simple tone.

Though, humor used in a clever way might help you create a personal touch with your audience.  Start with personalizing your emails as that causes most members to read more emails.  After that, use membership management software to study the needs of each member and send relevant emails that are full of meaningful content!
Posted on June 3, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
When it comes to membership websites, moving from one platform to another can be inevitable at times.  Maybe you created a new platform that will give members a much better experience or there was a security threat and you want to transfer members to a safer place.  Whatever the reason, making the transition can be a challenging time.  Discussed below are a few tactics to make the process easier for members and your staff.
Explain Why

A decline in engagement is one of the drawbacks that online communities face when they move from one platform to another.  But, this decline can be traced to the confusion among members when administrators fail to explain the reasons for making the transition.

Explain the reasons behind the shift, as well as the goals you have in mind for the future.  Also, you need to involve members as much as possible if you want them to fully cooperate.  Appoint a few top members as leaders for the shift and let the communication process begin well in advance of the shift.
Create A Strategy For Adding Members

If your community is based in a social media network, the best option is to allow your members to join the new platform through an opt-in method.  This way, you can transfer only those who are loyal to your association.  On the other hand, you could just add them automatically if you’re moving from one online community to another.
Hold Off On The Shutdown

It’s good to have a deadline as it creates a sense of urgency and encourages members to join the new platform.  However, have someone track the old community frequently to ensure everyone knows about the transition.
Shifting the online community of membership websites is a tedious task, but it can be done efficiently.  An excellent strategy is to plan ahead of time and keep members informed about the changes by explaining the reasons for the move and how it benefits them in the end.
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Since 2001, we have been helping association leaders more efficiently manage their day-to-day responsibilities and increase member satisfaction. Our membership management software automates common tasks and gives associations the tools, reporting and support they need.