Association industry research from Community Brands shows that when looking at 2021, most associations are focused on developing or improving virtual opportunities, as well as increasing membership acquisition and retention. Almost three quarters of associations are looking to increase non-dues revenue and develop and/or offer new benefits and services.
So how can you recruit, reach, and retain members to achieve these strategic goals? Increase member engagement.
Three effective ways to increase member engagement
Build a bustling online member community.
You can maximize membership value by providing members with the connections and resources they care about most, year-round. The best way to do this: Create a digital space for them to engage, and then use targeted communications to build a personalized experience for each of them.
A great way to start is by offering an online member community.
An online member community has the power to inspire and enable members to connect with each other and gain access to relevant content anytime from the convenience of their home, office, or wherever they are. Offering an online community is a great way to elevate and encourage networking among your association’s members. It can also make your association a part of your members’ daily social networking habits.
Nimble AMS is association management software (AMS) that includes online community functionality called Nimble Communities. Nimble Communities allows you to easily set up and host a branded online member community – a digital home for connections and collaboration, including member to member, staff to member, member to staff, and staff to staff. Nimble Communities is built on the Salesforce Community Cloud platform and provides the collaboration capabilities you need to drive continuous member engagement.
For example, with Nimble Communities, you can:
- Present members with a custom home page that presents them with targeted, valuable content based on their member profile.
- Use groups functionality to create discussion and content areas in the community based on specific topics, so members can join in the areas that interest them most.
- Use online badges to acknowledge and reward active and engaged members.
Ready to get started with an online member community?
You're going to need this guide.
Deliver targeted, personalized email communications.
Email is still a great way to connect with your members on a regular basis. Sending targeted, personalized communications shows your members you understand and care about their needs and that you’re delivering value to them.
Here are three types of emails that can be especially helpful for keeping members engaged:
- Onboarding email series – Help new members feel at home right away with a series of emails that lets them know how your organization works, what to expect next, and where to go for information.
- Newsletters – Send a regular newsletter to keep members updated on new resources, industry news, and upcoming events. This communication will help to keep your association top-of-mind with your members.
- Renewal communications – As your members get close to their renewal dates, remind them of the benefits and value they receive from your organization. For example:
- Remind them of the benefits they have not yet taken advantage of, and that there’s still time to do so.
- Reinforce the value of membership by reminding members of the benefits they have taken advantage of, such as event discounts and learning opportunities.
- Let members know about upcoming events and opportunities they’ll miss if they do not renew.
Nimble AMS helps you create and send personalize email communications like these through an easy-to-use point-and-click branded templating tool called Nimble Create. You can use Nimble Create for your personalized member facing communications for onboarding, engagement, renewals, and more.
Put artificial intelligence (AI) to work.
You have a wealth of data in your AMS. Wouldn’t it be great if your AMS could use that data to predict member behavior and give you actionable insights to encourage deeper engagement with members?
Using artificial intelligence, such as the Salesforce Einstein Prediction Builder through Nimble AMS, you can. For example, you can determine:
- Which of your members are at risk of not renewing, and then take steps to avoid non-renewal.
- Which of your members are high quality candidates for your certification program, and then send them targeted learning/certification opportunities.
- Which annual meeting registrations might cancel or be a no-show, and then take steps to encourage them to attend.
Member engagement is your key to happier members, more revenue, and overall better health for your association. Technology plays an important role in getting members more involved and showing them that they matter to your organization.