New Year’s Resolutions for Membership Organisations
The New Year is a fantastic time to take stock of your current position, and to implement some goals and plans for the upcoming 12 months. However, it can be a bit overwhelming when trying to think of things that will really help make a difference to your organisation.
So we thought we’d help you out by putting together a list of some of the things you might be thinking about if you’re a membership manager of an association or membership organisation.
Get Your Data More Organised
Good quality data is the lifeblood of an association, so it’s vital that you’re able to maintain accurate records. This can be difficult if you’re not using an up to date membership management solution, but even more so if you’re relying on spreadsheets and old database programmes. There are a few things you need to make sure are accurate at all times:
Making sure that these areas are always up to date will ensure that all communication will be relevant and appropriate going forward (a real lifesaver when it comes to renewals and marketing promotions). Likewise it allows anyone in the business to get an instant snapshot and understanding of that member’s position and current relationship with the association.
- Membership contact details
- Membership contact preferences
- Membership status and history
- Membership finance status
- CRM (if applicable) status
- Event history and upcoming event booking
Revamp Your Communications
Now is a great time to assess the quality and effectiveness of your member communications. Take stock of what you’ve done in the past, and review what works and what doesn’t.
If your key communication method is email, do you have a solution in place that enables you to track the success of this channel? Understanding opens, clicks and engagement is vital if you want to improve this part of your marketing.
Likewise think about what you’re sending out and to who? Can your members specify a preferred communication channel, and do you respect this request?
Also consider personalisation. This is a great way of instantly boosting the effectiveness of your communication – but this can only be achieved if you’ve got an accurate database of all your members.
Finally, it’s a good idea to create a communication calendar, so you can map out what you’ll be sending out, to whom and when. This makes it much easier to plan in advance what resources you’ll need and if you need to draft in any additional support. Having a communication calendar also means you’re more likely to communicate effectively with your members throughout the year – something that many associations often struggle with.
Use LinkedIn to Network with Members & Industry Peers
Many membership organisations are wary of LinkedIn and other social platforms. We’ve been told in the past that they’re viewed as competitors and something that should be avoided.
However, does it not make sense to go where your members go? If your members are regularly using LinkedIn, would it not boost your brand presence and relationship with that member if they saw you and engaged with you on LinkedIn on a regular basis?
It’s not wise to ignore these social networks. Instead many membership organisations are taking advantage of the platform they provide. By joining (or even creating) relevant groups, you’re able to take part in the discussions that are held there. You can help shape the discussions and cement your position as an industry leader.
Use it as a tool to boost member relations, to network with peers and potential new members and to keep on top of industry trends and developments.
Give Something Back to your Members
Associations often struggle with lapsing membership accounts because members find it difficult to fully understand or appreciate the value they gain from their membership.
By creating and publishing a Membership Value Statement, you can pull together a list of all the benefits each member has had since they joined. These can include things like training, networking events, discounts on products and goods, access to reports and research, mentoring, membership of special interest groups and committees, presentation opportunities and career support.
By pulling together a Membership Value Statement, you reinforce to each member why they joined and why they should remain a member.
If you’re struggling to create value statements that look ‘valuable’ then it’s time to access the services you give to your members. Think about what else you can give them that they’d appreciate and make sure 2015 is the year that you step up your value statements.
Don’t Make Do, Make New
If you have systems or solutions in place that aren’t working, now is the time to start planning their replacements.
This can include software like your:
Or processes such as:
- Membership management solution
- CRM solution
- Email marketing tool
- Marketing automation software
- Finance software
- Event management software
So there you have it. A few things that you might want to consider when creating your association’s New Year’s resolutions. Let us know if there's anything we can do to help you achieve your resolutions and goals this year.
- Renewals marketing and communications
- Event promotion
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Sales management
- Direct debit management