Membership Space Blog: Insights for Effective Management

Posted on May 21, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
A study conducted by a research firm showed that organizations that invest in the customer experience were able to grow their revenue by nearly 80%.  Although many organizations are still struggling to improve the customer experience, the process is as easy as refining personalization and giving customers a platform to voice their thoughts freely.  An online community is that type of platform and here are some of the benefits.
Attract A High-Quality Audience

Maybe you already have a social media account and you’re hoping that customers will use them to connect with your organization.  In most cases, that is likely misleading since many people tend to think of social media as a place to hang out.  On the other hand, club websites are viewed as platforms for special interests and those that follow you are thought of as a high-quality audience that is willing to invest in the community.
An Optimized Customer Experience

Club websites offer customers a perfect opportunity to connect with your firm and each other.  Even if they don’t get a timely response from a representative each time they post a question, they’ll get helpful responses from other members.  Your online community also gives members a way to express their opinions, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction and better retention.
Reduced Support Costs

Unlike chat tools, email, and other conventional channels of support, club websites don’t need constant attention from a staff member.  Customers are in a self-sufficient place where they can help each other.  They can also browse for past solutions to problem that are similar to their own.  As a result, the reduced need for support means a decrease in expenses.

An online community is a great way to bring those that support you closer together.  When you invest in one, you give members a means of creating meaningful bonds with others and to help themselves freely.  It may not give returns immediately but it can be one of the best investments you ever make in the long run.
Posted on May 9, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
If bringing in new members is the top priority of your organization, it might be time to revisit your strategies.  A well known management consulting firm showed that a customer retention boost of 5% yields a profit increase of 25% and much higher in some cases.

Another company that helps organizations increase conversion rates claims it costs five times more to get a new customer than to keep a current one.  Here are more reasons why you should give attention to your existing customers when it comes to marketing.
Boosting Retention

Marketing improves retention by reminding existing customers that your company still exists and it is ready to offer them the best services.  The most effective way to do this is to understand each customer’s needs and market to them in a way that is tailored to their current interests.

If you have a large membership, it might feel like a daunting task to understand each of your members.  With good membership management software, you’ll be able to study your customers’ buying habits and know their interests so you’re in a better position to customize your marketing.
Increasing Revenue

Current customers are already familiar with your products or services and they know the level of quality you provide.  As long as you maintain that level, it will be easy to convince a current customer to buy more or to try other products.  Since those customers have a better understanding, selling to them is not only easier but it’s also less costly as it involves little effort.

In addition to the benefits described above, there’s another valuable benefit of marketing to existing customers.  These people will usually do free marketing for you by informing others about the great quality of your products.  So, consider marketing to your current customer base more and use membership management software to study what interest them the most!
Posted on April 30, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
When posting content on membership websites, images are extremely important as they draw an audience’s attention.  They also give readers a better understanding of what the topic is about so they are more likely to become engaged.  Unfortunately, choosing images for a post isn’t as easy as it seems.  Before you choose a picture, go over the following questions as it will help you avoid any confusion and increase your chances of using the best picture.
Will The Picture Capture A Reader’s Attention?

Whether you’re browsing membership websites or going through your social media news, have you ever noticed what makes you stop and view a post or website?  It’s likely an interesting picture that got your attention and caused you to stop.  You could apply the same tactic to get your audience interested in your content.

Whenever possible, avoid using stock images and get a photographer to supply you with unique pictures that haven’t been seen anywhere else.  If you have to use one of the stock images, stay away from pictures that are overused as they likely won’t capture the reader’s attention.
Is The Picture Relevant To The Content?

When a reader looks at your content, they should be able to make a connection with it.  A classic example would that of a woman sitting in front of a computer sipping tea for content involving email marketing.  However, that is too obvious and ordinary.  Instead, choose a picture that would be more relevant for your membership and make sure the setting is unique.
Is It In Alignment With My Brand?

If your website focuses on professional content, it’s better to stick with professional style pictures.  While funny pictures are entertaining, what your audience wants and expects from you is all that matters.
According to one research tool, posts that have a picture for every 100 words are shared twice as much on social media than those with no images.  Ultimately, the determining factors are attention, relevance to content, and whether or not the picture is aligned with your brand.
Posted on April 18, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
For associations and club websites, member dues are usually the main source of revenue.  But often, that source alone is not sufficient to achieve financial stability.  That’s where non-dues revenues come into play.  These are funds generated through other means, such as events, webinars, and advertiser fees.  Below is an effective and practical strategy you can implement immediately to generate non-dues through advertising.
Create A Powerful Platform

Club websites, social media, and emails are some of the best tools that your association may use to present a sponsors’ content to members.  Ensure you have all three and that they’re working efficiently.  To obtain high traffic, make sure your online platforms have a well-thought out, responsive design and deliver relevant content to increase engagement.
Use Marketing Automation Tools For Engagement

In order to get members to hit a call-to-action button, the ad content has to engage them in some way, and the content should be relevant.  It can be a long and exhausting process to study the needs and interests of each member when done manually.  Fortunately, there are numerous marketing automation tools that can track the interests of members on your website so you know which content they find the most relevant.
Promote Your Advertising Channel

Once your advertising channel is ready, it’s time to send an advertising kit to sponsors.  Show them your stats and include the size of your membership, the demographics, the engagement rates, and any other information you think will be effective towards getting them to advertise with you.

Various associations are raking in huge amounts of money each year through advertising.  Even if you don’t make much revenue immediately, long gone are the days of solely depending on member dues to run.  Follow the strategy described above to come up with an ideal advertising platform.  Start out slow; don’t bombard your members with ads and you’ll eventually see results sooner or later.
Posted on April 5, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Most online communities usually consist of members that are positive who love to give back and help others.  Love not only brings people together but it also helps everyone work collectively to accomplish big goals.  For an online community trying to forge a long-term relationship with members or customers, love can be a game changing element.  If you’re looking to inspire your community and bring members closer, here’s how to do it.
Active Listening

In order to communicate effectively with members, you need to listen to them attentively.  When you do that, it helps you understand what matters to them on an individual level and that will motivate you to respond to their needs accurately.

However, community members generally won’t tell you directly what they’re interested in so it’s up to you to find out.  You can do that by installing membership management software on the online community to monitor the items that are often searched and which discussions they participate in.
Appreciation & Acknowledgment

Have you ever been in an exchange where you’re not appreciated no matter how much you try to please the other person?  It can be quite frustrating and that’s exactly how members feel when you don’t appreciate them.  Therefore, when a member has supported your association in some way, no matter how little, make sure you acknowledge what they have done by mentioning their name or give them a discount.
Motivate Them

When you love helping a member, you celebrate their success and motivate them when their efforts are not working out.  Even though there may be a lot of members, encourage all of them to have a positive mindset and to venture into activities that will foster their professional or personal growth.  Through marketing automation and membership management software, you gain a better understanding about members as you know their interests and can leverage that to improve the community!
Posted on March 26, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
One way of making an organization more lively is to bring young people on board every year.  Most of them understand emerging technologies and have more time, as well as energy, to interact online so they can take your organization to the next level.  Unfortunately, attracting and retaining younger members is not an easy task, but these tips should be helpful.
Study Their Needs

When targeting young people, a typical mistake that associations make is assuming they know what younger members want.  For instance, you might provide them with an exceptional platform to download items from the internet.  When all they actually need is a web conferencing platform where they can hold meetings.
Data collection techniques like consulting groups consume time and money, and they’re not always accurate.  If you want to understand the needs of youthful members better without spending a lot of money, use web tracking software on your online community.
Show Respect

Obviously, respect is a key factor that can take an association from unattractive to incredibly enticing for millenials and newer generations.  To show a prospective younger member that you respect them, try offering them the same privileges as older members and listen to them attentively.
Review Your Online Presence

Several organizations also assume that the only internet platform young people are interested in is social media.  The truth is that there are many of them who are looking for meaningful connections through membership websites.  When reviewing your online presence, make sure you remove any old website themes and set a newer, responsive theme that is more appealing.

Video testimonials and relevant, well-timed videos can make a significant impact on how attractive membership websites and social media accounts are to the youth.  There are plenty of ways to maximize the interest of younger people in an organization and it starts with finding out their needs.  Use these tips to establish and maintain a great online presence now and well into the future.
Posted on March 14, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
For associations, marketing is not an easy task; it requires careful planning, execution, and persistence even during the most challenging times.  However, when it is done efficiently, marketing can produce exceptional results that overshadow the hardships involved.  When it comes to marketing, there are 3 issues that you’re constantly dealing with that affect the success of your association.  Here’s how you can address them to ensure your community has a bright future.
Keeping Up With Trends

The online community industry is continuously changing, and surviving will be a problem unless you adapt appropriately.  One way to overcome this is to always observe the latest trends.  Check technical blogs that are related to club websites, as well as follow the industry leaders on social media.

Not all trends are useful or worth following since most of them end up being hype.  The secret to identifying which ones might be hype is to study the benefits against the costs.  Also, join online forums for community managers to get advice from other professionals in your niche.
Evaluating Success & Growing Engagement

With membership associations, the top priority should be to keep the community growing each year.  To achieve that, you have to prove to your association that the online community is providing real benefits such as increased sales.  Through marketing automation and reporting tools, you can study your members and analyze customer engagement rates.
Content Marketing

A great way to help new members understand what you offer is to have how-to videos.  Video is also an effective means of sharing your brand’s story on club websites.  Unfortunately, the expectation of video content keeps rising and the solution is to hire a video expert to assist you in developing excellent content.  If you want to ensure your community is successful well into the future, be sure you learn and understand your audience’s interests to serve them accordingly.
Posted on March 4, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Membership management software is an integral part to most associations as it helps with member retention and the results are obvious.  However, there may be times where you might want to know the exact figures to keep better track of retention rates and this post shows you how to calculate that.

The method used for figuring member retention is expressed as {(EM-NM)/SM} x 100, which might seem complicated at first.  EM (end members) refers to the members at the end of a time period, NM (new members) refers to the new members acquired during a period, and SM (starting members) refers to the members at the start of the period.
Choose A Time Frame

To begin, pick a time period you want to focus on or know more about and check the number of members your association had at the end of the period.  That’s the end members, or EM, and it can be figured by adding starting members and new members that were gained, then subtract any lost members.
Retained Members

Recruited members are new to the association and for that reason they are not used in the calculation.  To know how many members stayed, take the number of members that joined your association during the selected time period (NM) and subtract it from the number of members at the end of the period (EM).  That is, EM-NM.
Rate Of Retention

In order to calculate the figure for retained members as a ratio to the members at the start of the period, take the number from the previous calculation, EM-NM and divide it by starting members.  That is (EM-NM)/SM and then multiply that figure by 100 to express it as a percentage rate.

For instance, let’s assume an organization has 400 members at the beginning and gains 60 members but loses 20 of them during the period.  In this example, SM = 400, EM = 400 + (60 – 20) = 440, NM = 60, so subtract new members from end members, 440 – 60 = 380.  Remember, the retention rate is expressed as {(EM-NM)/SM} times 100 which would be 380/400 x 100 = 95%.  Frequently do these calculations and always use good membership management software to boost retention rates!
Posted on February 19, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Marketing is evolving and marketers that want to stay on top know how important it is to learn about trends and to adapt to them.  These days, staying ahead means you need to engage customers and focus on generating more traffic to membership websites and other internet platforms.  Summarized below are a few of the most promising marketing trends for 2019.
Integration Of Sales & Marketing Processes

The separation of sales and marketing teams is becoming unpopular, and many businesses are beginning to see the benefits of bringing the two together.  Holding joint meetings for the sales and marketing teams helps create common goals.  Often, this has a tendency of lowering costs and forms harmony.  Try using typical reporting tools so that both parties have access to common metrics.
Better Personalization

Without a doubt, personalization is one of the most essential marketing trends.  Customers want to work with organizations that know what they need and provide them with pertinent information.

Good personalization starts with gathering data on members.  Luckily, there are numerous resources for web tracking that you can use to assess the behavior of users on your website or online store.  Once you have compiled the data, you can use it to run more targeted campaigns while offering helpful content to your audience.
Increase Engagement

Membership websites and social media are vital tools that not only educate an audience but also boost engagement.  You could build a great rapport with members by sharing your story and create a friendly environment for them to connect.  When you create interesting posts about your line of work, it keeps current clients interested and draws potential clients.

Change in the world of marketing will always be there and the best technique to deal with it is to tweak your strategies in a way that benefits your business the most.  Whether it’s about changing your approach or using different software, adapting is the safest and quickest way to ensure success.
Posted on February 6, 2019 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
According to a study conducted by reputable company that specializes in scaling solutions, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with a brand that personalizes their shopping experience.  Through club websites, marketers are increasingly appreciating the importance of personalization but many of them are failing to do it correctly.  Instead of implementing effective tactics to draw more clients, they drive them away.  So, how can you improve personalization?
Integrate Data

Often, the biggest mistake that marketers make is to use outdated or inaccurate information in their attempt to offer personalized services to a member.  You could use integration tools such as marketing automation software to avoid this mistake.  With association management software and other integration tools, you’ll be able to bring your most recent member data into one place and use it so they have a better experience.
Track Behavior

Many websites and internet firms use actions from members such as what they search for to provide them with relevant suggestions.  Consider doing the same with your association since it typically increases engagement.  Today, there are numerous options for website tracking software that allows you to trail the actions of a visitor on your website.
Respect & Protect A Members’ Privacy

Prior to collecting data, inform members about it and briefly explain to them how you collect their browsing information for personalization purposes as it shows respect.  Aside from being open about your methods of personalizing, ensure their information is safe.  Some associations use club websites as a safe place for their members to connect rather than using social media since it’s not always safe on there.

Also, avoid simple errors such as spelling a members’ name incorrectly as that might quickly put them off.  Ultimately, having a strategy to provide members with a customized experience is a vital step but for the customization to be truly valuable, it needs to be accurate.
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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.