April 4, 2018

Why Engagement is Important to Your Association

Why Engagement is Important to Your Association

Is growth important to your association?

If you answered, "no", we probably need to step down a few rungs on the ladder to success so we can start from the beginning. In fact, growth should be important to every prosperous organization, no matter what its focus or who its target market. Naturally, if growth was easy, everybody would do it and the entire landscape of the world would look different. Growth isn't necessarily easy; neither is retention. If your organization is failing at either of these, stagnation or loss of membership can be critical hits to your overall strategy.

So, how do you not only prevent people from leaving your organization but encourage non-members to join? You engage with them! How do you boost engagement? You optimize personalization.

Are you seeing a theme here? Read on to find out why personalization feeds engagement and boosts the overall health of your association!

1. Existing Members are Your Brand's Best Friends

Every organization—whether it's a for-profit business or a not-for-profit association—needs a solid army of brand ambassadors standing behind it. These are the people who will encourage friends and family members to join your cause and become one with your community. Of course, the work of these folks also comes without a cost to you, making this word-of-mouth advertising some of the most important messaging you don't even have to pay for.

What association isn't looking for a way to boost membership without spending a dime?

2. Engagement Builds Loyalty

Obtaining new members isn't the only obstacle associations’ face; retaining existing members is a challenge in and of itself. When people feel disconnected, they're far more likely to leave. Just as disengaged employees cost workforces tons of cash, disengaged members can cost associations real setbacks if their membership base disembarks from the organization. Your association could face the loss of knowledge, leadership, and, of course, monetary contributions if your members begin to flee.

To counter this effect, it's imperative that your members feel engaged with your association. This means you must talk to them about the issues that matter most, in a manner that relates to them. Engaged members are far more likely to stay, even when the waters get a little rough.

3. Personalization Builds Trust

Think about it this way: when you go to a restaurant, is your server more likely to respond when you say, "Hey, you! I need a refill." Or, is she more likely to respond when you say, "Hi, Sarah. When you have a minute, could I get another iced tea?"

Your association, in many ways, is a service-industry business. Your job is to build the trust of your members and do right by their needs and wants. Personalization is a key factor in these interactions, allowing you speak directly to your membership base with messages meant just for them.

How to Impart Personalization into Your Association's Marketing Plan

The key to engagement can be unlocked with one simple word: personalization. People want to feel like you're talking directly to them, addressing their concerns and meeting their needs as individuals, not as a group of faceless humans. Take a look at these tips:

Do Your Data Due Diligence

Data is your association's best friend, especially when it comes to engagement.

  • Are you planning an event you want to advertise to the masses? Take a look at the attendee list from your last soiree.
  • Is your information location-specific? Segment your list so you're targeting members most likely to be affected by your message.
  • Have you instated a drip campaign that keeps up with your members at various touch points of an interaction? If you haven't, it's time to start.
  • Is your membership base comprised of various demographics? Younger people may respond to some messages differently from seasoned members.

Employ Engaging Messaging Practices

Your web content should be on point, plain, and easy to skim. If you're sending texts, only hit the necessary points and avoid extraneous information.

Address Your Members by Name

When your members log into your website or visit your app, say hi to them, and greet them by name. This helps encourage a sense of community and removes the technological barrier, allowing everyone to be human.

Hold Events

Nothing is more personal than face-to-face interactions. Plan an event quarterly, which will allow each attendee to see the people on the other side of email and phone conversations.

Membership engagement is an all-encompassing task. With these tips, you'll surely boost enjoyment within your association.

MemberSuite is one sweet company that can help your organization boost engagement by building a foundation based on personalization. Let us put your data to work for you so you can interact with your members on a more human level. We can't wait to hear from you!