Membership Space Blog: Insights for Effective Management

Posted on October 15, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
When customers are happy with your organization, they don’t always give you the praise you deserve, but if they have a bad experience with a product, they will likely voice their complaint online.  Membership websites offer you a quick means of tending to unhappy customers while showing online traffic the positive sides of your business.  Here’s a more in-depth look into the benefits of membership websites and online communities.
Connecting With Customers

The membership website can act as a central location online where both members and potential customers interact and have an opportunity to learn from each other.  Here, like-minded people have a chance to engage about various topics regarding the products and services that a business offers.  As a result, this could lead to more customers becoming members of the online community.
Customers Have A Safe Platform

Unlike social media pages, membership websites reassure customers so they feel safe when sharing their information.  Due to feeling secure, customers are able to talk more freely and give their honest feedback.  In doing so, this helps you know which areas you need to improve or change.
A Better Support System For Customers

When you want to retain customers, an effective way of making that happen is to provide them with reliable support at all times.  It’s not always possible to make that happen through email, text messaging, or by phone.  With an online community though, customers can have answers to their questions at any time.  Some questions haven’t been addressed but there are other customers online who might be willing to assist.  In essence, an online community is a form of 24/7 support that clients can rely on.

Ultimately, a membership website is one of the best tools for loyal customers to do free marketing for you.  When a customer or member feels your product has met or exceeded their expectations, they might be willing to inform others about the benefits.
Posted on September 28, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
As a community manager, you might face a variety of duties that seem impossible to complete without a team such as managing club websites.  For that reason, you may end up fatigued and feel as though you’re not accomplishing tasks as efficiently as you want to.  Often, many managers are so stressed out by this that they experience burnout.  If you feel this way during your efforts to keep members happy, the strategies described below might be just what you need.
Set Aside Time For Creativity

Community management usually involves repeating the same tasks over and over again.  For instance, informing members how to update or change their passwords and profile pictures, or where to get account information.  In this monotony, it’s easy for some managers to grow exhausted and feel like they’re not making any progress.  To avoid that, set aside time for creativity so you can devise different ways of handling tasks.
Network With Others

When professionals come together, they not only share ideas but also give meaning to their work as they explain what tactics make them more efficient.  That’s why more managers should consider connecting with other community managers.  If software is used for managing club websites, there’s a good chance they have user groups made up of community managers which would be a great place to start.
Set Time Boundaries

One cause of burnout with community managers is the notion that you always have to be on call for members and stakeholders.  To solve this problem, run the community strictly during business hours and let the members know they can only contact managers during this time.

If you have to work outside business hours, only let it be when there’s an emergency and be sure to define clearly what qualifies as an emergency.  Lastly, recognize any signs of burnout and ensure community managers take a break or ask for help from a fellow community manager.
Posted on September 19, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Many organizations are currently using automated email campaigns with a goal to create awareness for their products and boost sales, but often this goal is not achieved.  When irrelevant, generic emails are sent, the recipient is likely to ignore them or even unsubscribe from the email list.  If you want to avoid such marketing hurdles and have an effective automated email campaign, try these tips.
Ensure Emails Are Relevant

Emails that might be useful for one member might be totally useless for another member.  For instance, a member that already registered for an event should not be sent an email informing them to register for the same event.  Therefore, segment the email list such that members only receive relevant emails.
Apply The Right Timing

An amazing feature with most membership management software is that it allows you to send emails to everyone.  However, if you can find out what time the recipients are more likely to open the email and act on the call to action, the email campaign would be much better.  Consider timing it so the email arrives after working hours but also before it gets too late.
Mobile-Optimized Emails & A Clear CTA

If your emails are not optimized for viewing on mobile devices, members who open them using a smartphone will likely have trouble reading them.  As a result, this increases the chance they will not fulfill the CTA.  Make sure your emails are suitable for both, desktop and mobile users.

One of the leading causes of email marketing failure is an unclear call to action.  Thus, tell members exactly what you need them to do so your emails are always effective.  It might be that they need to fill out a survey, register for an event, or check out a product.  Ensure it is easy for them to fulfill the call to action by using a distinct CTA button.  Finally, use tools like membership management software or web analytics to track the results!
Posted on September 10, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
With online customer communities being relatively new, association leaders are sometimes skeptical about their value and what kind of impact they make.  Typically, membership websites achieve their return on investment in the long run as the idea to build customer trust and leverage that trust is a process that requires time.  Have you ever thought just how much of an impact an online community has on customer success?
Find Brand Advocates

When some customers find satisfaction in a brand they care about, they want to help other people like their friends or coworkers discover the brand.  Various online communities use game mechanics to get the willing parties competing on who will represent the brand publicly while encouraging more engagement with the products.  Take it a notch higher by offering badges and use some type of scoreboard so participants know where they rank.
Monitor Engagement Levels

Research has continuously shown that many new visitors on a brand’s website never return, and most of the people who sign up to membership websites end up becoming dormant members.  Interestingly, a lack of engagement is what causes that and an online community can often trigger the much needed engagement.

A community provides new members with the answers they need to understand particular products and establishes a personal connection between them and the brand.  Aside from reducing a falloff, a community is helpful for identifying the customers who are at risk of falling off.  For instance, when a customer records declining engagement levels, that’s a vital indicator that preventive measures should be taken.

Studies have indicated that brands with an online community and a dedicated manager have higher retention rates than those that don’t.  The goal of a community manager or significant staff member is to show association leaders that the community has a long-term ROI.  As a result, it could greatly improve the overall health of the membership in the long run.
Posted on August 29, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Acquiring new members is what associations thrive on as it can truly be an exciting time.  However, statistics indicate that new members make up over 70 percent of the deterioration of the membership.  Sadly, for many club websites, the number of new members who don’t renew their membership is so high that acquisition campaigns seem ineffective.  If your association is struggling to retain new members, try the following strategies.
Personalized Welcome Messages

When someone becomes a member, send them a welcome email and thank them for joining the association.  Afterwards, follow that up with messages that contain valuable information like the benefits of being a part of your association.  You could also give them a phone call to add a more personal touch.

Also, use the member’s first name when referring to them as it’s one of the most effective personalization tactics.  At first, try prompting them to take simple actions like completing their profile or resetting the password.  Then, move on to bigger CTA’s like asking them to post questions in the online community.
Local Events & Chapters

Some of your members might be from a different country.  In order to help them find your association useful, organize or partner with various events in areas where you have a substantial following.  Ensure members get an invitation and give them some incentive for getting new members to join.
Gather Data

These days, club websites use cookies and other mechanisms to track the online activity of members legally.  Actions that members take on these websites such as registering for events and visiting blog posts help in understanding what appeals to them.  Then, use that data to personalize your services and offers in the future.

When it comes to increasing the retention of new members, reach out to them regularly through a phone call or email at least every three months.  This helps you understand how they feel and you can ask them what changes would improve their experience so they feel compelled to stay.
Posted on August 20, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Using membership management software to better communicate with members is one of the best ways of promoting your membership website.  Ads on Facebook and Google are also effective for getting traffic but if you want a steady flow of leads on your website, consider investing in search engine optimization.

SEO is about creating optimized content that is targeted at a certain group of people but that’s not enough.  If you want excellent results, you must focus on your content marketing strategy and monitor the impact with SEO tools.  Check out the following options to see what works best for you.
Keyword Research Tools

An efficient way to build an audience for membership websites is to have a blog that is updated regularly.  But for your blog to be placed high in the list of search results, it needs to have certain keywords that tell Google the content is relevant to what the user wants.

Keysearch is a web-based keyword research tool that not only offers you keyword suggestions but also displays in-depth competition analysis.  Other options include Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and KWFinder.
Speed & Uptime Monitors

Search engines are known for penalizing slow-loading and unresponsive websites these days.  For that reason, you need to keep tabs on the speed with which your membership website loads.  Furthermore, a fast and responsive website is likely to have a much lower bounce rate than a slow one.  There are free and paid options available for speed and uptime monitoring on platforms such as Google PageSpeed and GTmetrix.

Membership management software helps you handle the details of members and many other tasks.  Yet, when it comes to tracking the precise number of people visiting your website, a web analytics tool like Google Analytics is essential.  The best tools for tracking traffic integrate with your website and monitor the number of visitors daily; as well as how they found your content and how long they stay!
Posted on August 8, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
There are two reasons why people usually subscribe to membership websites and it comes down to necessity or desire.  In the case of necessity, subscribing to the membership offers one access to information or a network they need that they wouldn't get without becoming a member.  As a result, they have reluctant commitment to the community and will likely leave when the benefits end.

If people join membership websites due to desire, they do so willingly which means their commitment to the community is genuine.  Consequently, the organization benefits since members are loyal and tend to interact more online.  Here is how to build trust with members and make them stay due to desire rather than necessity.
Deliver Value

Part of building trust with members requires delivering value at some point.  You can either deliver practical value which involves offering useful benefits; or emotional value which is about connecting with members on matters they deeply care about.
Practical Value

This can be a tangible or intangible item but it is often visible.  For instance, a couple of possibilities might be access to premium content or increased recognition when a member has helped the membership expand.  Tangible items will require shipping as it may be anything from books to DVD’s.  Since practical value is typically visible, it is measurable so that is one advantage to this way of building trust.
Emotional Value

Value regarding emotion is intangible and it targets how a member feels about the organization.  Although it’s hard to measure, the effects can be assessed by viewing what members say online about the organization.  When many members are participating actively in the discussions and give positive feedback, that’s an indication they receive great emotional value.

If you’re looking to build trust with your members, focus on creating a good balance between practical and emotional value.  Also, keep in mind that when members feel they’re not getting enough of either, their engagement and commitment slowly dwindles.
Posted on July 30, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Maybe you have already figured out the most effective way to drive traffic to your website.  That is an amazing achievement but what can you do to ensure those visitors keep coming back?  Often, this is the part that baffles some marketers and owners of club websites.

According to statistics, most people don’t take significant action like signing up to an email list or making a purchase on their first visit to a website.  It usually takes several visits and if you want to increase memberships, you should use certain tactics for visitors to return.  Here are a few suggestions on how you can make that happen.
An Email List

When people join your email list, you have a way of contacting them so make sure you send out valuable content that shows the benefits of subscribing to your membership website.  The secret to getting people to sign up is to offer an incentive that’s relevant to them.  An e-book works but you should also try other options that are more enticing like a free course or a unique video.
Membership Reminders

The MemberPress plug-in helps you send automated emails to both existing and potential members.  Perhaps there are existing members whose membership is about to expire.  This automation platform sends them a reminder for renewing their membership.

Based on studies, many online buyers are abandoning the purchase process for a variety of reasons.  If a new or existing member enters their email address but doesn’t complete the process, the plug-in sends them a reminder to continue with the sign-up.

Aside from those tactics, website designers are using social media as a major tool for sending traffic back to club websites.  When you make it easy for visitors to follow you on social networks, there’s a higher possibility they will see value in what you post there and keep returning to your website.
Posted on July 19, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Have you realized how difficult it can be to get members to participate in the online discussions?  Though membership management software is essential, creating engaging discussions is important too and it requires a great content strategy that focuses on issues of common interest.  The discussions you start and the articles you post also need to grab the members’ attention.  What techniques are effective towards making that happen consistently?
Use Questions

Many people enjoy answering questions as it makes them feel useful and helps them relate more to the issue being discussed.  Often, there are headlines online that are meant to trigger your interest and you may not have noticed it.  By employing the same technique with discussions on your online community, you could see more members become engaged.
Focus On The Impact

Before starting a discussion, make sure there’s a clear objective which could be to change a perspective, connect people, or provide a solution.  Also, the title needs to be worded in such a way that the reader promptly knows how the discussion will impact them.  Consider the interests of your audience then use a headline that indicates a potential impact on their life.
Watch The Length & Be Relevant

There are thousands of other activities that a member could take part in on the internet aside from reading your discussion.  For that reason, use a minimum of 50 words and a maximum of 250 words to draw their attention.  If you need ideas, check out popular forums and use them as a guide.  What is your community about and what type of members does it usually attract?

For example, if it targets software engineers, a discussion about gardening would be irrelevant and would likely get zero comments.  As a community manager, it is imperative you know the discussions that increase engagement and which ones fail to engage members.  To do that, ensure the membership management software you use is well suited for your membership needs!
Posted on July 9, 2018 by Membership Space
Categories: Membership
Acquiring new members is one of the biggest challenges that membership websites face. But, did you know that starting an online mentoring program can illustrate your association’s worth and help you gain new members quickly?  With the versatility of the internet, mentors and those who need guidance are able to connect effortlessly despite their time zone.  Here’s why online mentoring programs are great for attracting new members.
New Graduates Find Jobs

Unfortunately, formal education barely prepares graduates for practical work and they often lack the skills that employers are looking for in an employee.  This makes it difficult for graduates to secure jobs.  Online mentoring programs come in handy by connecting young professionals with experienced workers.  Aside from that, older professionals gain a sense of satisfaction in mentoring the next generation of workers.
Experienced Professionals Find More Opportunities

Studies have shown that many people in different niches are not satisfied with their work.  Even though they might be several years into their career, they’re continually seeking better career opportunities in other fields.  Your online mentoring program can be a learning platform for them, showing them what other lines of work are all about.

Membership websites should also use mentoring programs by making them accessible to everyone.  This way, they avoid industry jargon and utilize trial membership tiers so mentors on their platform are encouraged to assist those who are looking to make a career shift.
A Platform For Career Advancement

You could use an online mentoring program as a tool to help employees advance their careers with regards to salary and promotions.  Offer prospective members a chance to be connected with successful niche leaders who will suggest valuable advice, training, and recommendations for career advancement.

The best membership websites add value to their mentoring programs by incorporating learning tools like eBooks to lure potential members in.  Therefore, try an online mentoring program today and see how it improves your association.
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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.