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Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Are Your Vendors Engaged? Would You Like Them to Be?

Rumor has it, in some association circles, trade show attendance is struggling. This could spell trouble for how vendor members find value in belonging to your organization. While some industries may be feeling the pain more than others, it is never a bad time to think about the ways you are engaging your vendor/supplier members. Read on for a handful of ideas on engaging your vendor-side members in effective and successful ways.

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4 Things Your Members WANT to Hear

Posted by Callie Walker

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You probably spend a lot of time crafting and sending out messages to your organization’s membership. But are those messages even being heard? And if they are, are they resonating with people?

You have a lot to communicate to your members, so to do so effectively, take a look at these four messages your members genuinely want to hear:

1. Your mission

You’d be surprised at how many members don’t actually know your association’s mission. They probably joined for one or two specific benefits (networking, content, etc.), but they may not understand your overarching goal or purpose.

That said, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to.

On the contrary, they probably do! You’re advocating - in some way, shape or form - on behalf of a group of people, and I guarantee you, they’d probably like (and want) to hear that. From time to time, shed light on your association’s mission, whether it be at the beginning of your next event, in your organization’s newsletter, in a special “From the Executive Director” blog post, or something entirely different. Your members will appreciate your passion and likely get behind it (more so than they are now).

2. Your progress

People like to know how they’re doing and performing, and your members are no different. Think about your goals for 2016. What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to grow your membership to gain traction and have a greater impact in your industry? Are you trying to get a certain piece of legislation passed or halted? Whatever your goals are, let your members know how you’re tracking against them. If you’re seeing success, by telling your members, they’re likely to get excited and be proud to be a part of your organization’s initiatives. On the flip slide, if you’re not seeing success (or at least not yet), by letting your members know, they might be inclined to help out/get more involved. Either way, it’s good for your association.

3. What lies ahead

This is perhaps the most important of them all. Your members WANT to know what’s ahead of them, both in terms of what your association is offering and where your industry is headed. That said, be sure to provide them with that information. Let them know about your upcoming meetings, events, online courses, etc., as well as what changes and trends you’re seeing in the industry. (I’m telling you, that has value written all over it.)

4. Thank you

Now this is something your members may not expect to hear, but will certainly appreciate. They do a lot for your association - pay dues, follow you on social media, attend meetings and events, etc. - and that’s something that deserves a thank you. Now this doesn’t have to be anything long or elaborate. A simple email or face-to-face “Thanks so much for coming!” at your organization’s next event is just enough to do the trick!

Want more tips for communicating with your members, particularly via email? Check out our free guide, Best Practices for Email Marketing! It has everything you need to ensure your emails get delivered, opened, and read.

Best Practices for Email Marketing

Topics: association management, member engagement, membership management, Association Views

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