Everyone likes to be appreciated, and your members are no exception. Here are five great ways to say “thanks”.
Your association wouldn’t be an association without members. They’re what make your organization thrive.
The season of gratitude is the perfect time to consider how you can make your members feel more appreciated.
Here are five ways to thank your members for their support.
1. Thank them for their membership.
This may seem simple, but thanking your members for joining can be a powerful way to make them feel welcome, appreciated, and to set the tone for a great member experience.
Send new members an email from your executive director. Or better yet, give them a call. Celebrate them by listing them in your email newsletter, and consider sending new members a welcome gift.
In your message, be sure to address their reason for joining. For example, present them with information and next steps that address their particular needs. Let them know what communications they can expect to receive from you. The more you can welcome them and show immediate value, the more likely they will be to feel appreciated.
And don’t forget about renewals. Granted, it may not make sense to list every renewed membership in your newsletter or send all renewed members a welcome gift. But anything you can do to thank returning members and add a personal touch, such as listing the ways they’ve been involved with your organization in the past and thanking them for their participation, goes a long way to showing your gratitude.
TECH TIP: Nimble Create is a visual template builder included with Nimble AMS. It allows you to easily build templates for branded, personalized, and information-rich content that will help you deliver a stellar member experience. For example, using Nimble Create, you can automatically pull member data and other details straight from your Nimble AMS system into an email template to deliver personalized, relevant member communications.
2. Give them the benefits they want.
Another way to say thank you to your members is by delivering the benefits that matter most to them. After all, that’s why they joined in the first place.
The recent Community Brands Member Engagement and Loyalty Study looks at member benefits from multiple perspectives: what benefits members value most and how the importance of benefits changes based on member loyalty segments and career stage. Review the study’s findings and think about how your organization is delivering on the most important benefits.
Also, learn as much as you can about your members. Ask them for feedback — a bonus, as the study shows asking for feedback is an area of improvement for organizations!
Incorporate changes to benefits based on your self-assessment and member feedback, then be sure to share the changes with members to let them know you’re listening and understand their needs. But, don’t make it a one-time thing. Plan to continually gather information about their interests and needs, and then use it to inform your services and programs.
When you think about providing member value, remember that your members’ needs and expectations evolve as they move through their careers and their membership with your organization. Be sure to consider your members’ needs and expectations today as well as how they change through the member journey.
TECH TIP: Learn more about how to deliver a great member experience from recruitment to renewal, for students to retirees – and everything in between. Read Supporting the Lifetime Member Journey.
3. Deliver targeted, personalized content.
In the Community Brands Digital Evolution Study, 79 percent of members say it is very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content. Once you have a clear view of the value members want from your organization, think about how to deliver content to the right members at the right time. For example, based on your members’ interests and preferences, recommend new industry reports or new services offered by your organization.
TECH TIP: Salesforce platform-based Nimble AMS enables point-and-click artificial intelligence (AI) using the Salesforce Einstein AI technology. Einstein can give guidance and make predictions on things like which members are likely to renew or not renew and then, most importantly, empower your staff with tools to act upon what it finds.
4. Offer the tech experience your members want.
Technology plays an important role in showing members they matter to your organization. Members will not feel appreciated if they have an outdated or frustrating online experience with your organization.
The Digital Evolution Study also shows that technology plays a critically important role in the lives of today’s members. And, the most loyal members place more importance on technology in their lives and feel their organization delivers a better technology experience.
Consider conducting a member survey to better understand your members’ digital behavior and how they would like to interact with your association. Let them know you’re collecting the information to help create a better member experience that meets their expectations. They will see you care about and are open to their feedback.
TECH TIP: Be sure you have association management software (AMS) in place that helps you deliver a great member experience. For example, Nimble AMS, built on the Salesforce platform, gives you the member management features you need with the Fortune 500-class CRM functionality of Salesforce. This combination allows you to use and interact with your data in ways that were unimaginable in the past. The results are vast improvements in customer service and member engagement.
5. Ask members to get more involved.
Nothing says thank you like letting your members know you want to see more of them. Yet, the Member Engagement and Loyalty Study suggests there’s room for organizations to get members more involved.
The study looks at member loyalty data by three segments: high (“Super Members”), medium (“Rank and File”), and low (“Value Seekers”). Even among the most loyal member segment, who are more likely to have participated in most of the activities tested in the study, less than half say they’ve participated in any one engagement opportunity.
So, get your members more involved. Ask them to participate by volunteering at an event. Invite them to serve as a mentor, or even hold a leadership position. The more involved they are, the more engaged and appreciated they’ll feel, and the more likely they’ll be to stick around.
Showing your members you understand their expectations and that your association is keeping pace with their demands is a great way to let them know you appreciate them.