Association management system, or AMS for short. You’ve likely heard the term, and you may even know what it means. (For those who don’t, an AMS is a technology solution that allows you to manage your organization’s membership using one integrated system, which includes your website and your database. Dues renewals, email marketing, event registration, and more - you name it, an AMS does it.)
Sounds great, you might be thinking. But do I really need one? I mean REALLY?
We say yes, and here’s why:
For starters, it saves you time. Like we mentioned, an AMS allows you to manage your organization’s membership using one integrated system. So no longer would you have to jump from system to system to get things done - to update your website, to send out an email notification, to view your list of event registrants, etc. Rather, with an AMS, you can do all of that under the same roof.
And best of all, because you can do all of that under the same roof, all of those features (and all of that information) overlap. Here’s an example: Because everything is tied to your organization’s member database (email marketing, included), you can actually set up automated dues renewal reminder emails. All you have to do is draft those emails, and then as your members approach expiration, the system will automatically send those out. Can you say TIME SAVER?
Next, an AMS adds value to your members. When you’re doing everything manually, you can only do so much. But an AMS takes it up a notch, adding features and capabilities you wouldn’t otherwise have. For example, with an AMS, you can provide your members with personalized content - in emails and on the member landing page (the first page your members see upon logging into your site). Remember, an AMS is tied to your organization’s database, so it can pull personalized information (member name, expiration date, member type, etc.) into your emails, making those messages 10x more relevant. Same thing goes for online forms. When a member goes online to renew their membership or register for an upcoming event, the AMS will pre-populate many of those form fields, making the process infinitely simpler. (And the easier it is for your members to do something, the more likely they are to actually do it.)
One more example here: With social community features like messaging capabilities, online forums, a directory, and more, an AMS gives your members a place to engage. It allows them to get more from their membership - and that’s key when it comes to membership retention.
In fact, that’s what all of these features boil down to. They’re designed to improve the member experience so your members will reap value and want to stay.
In addition to saving you time and adding value to your members, an AMS provides you with a helping hand. How? Well if you choose the right technology provider, they can actually be a partner in association management. They can help with tech-related issues and provide ongoing training and best practices. Put simply, they can be an extension of your staff - to help your organization thrive. (This is particularly important if you’re a small-staff association professional with limited resources.)
Intrigued by the idea of an AMS? Want to see specifically what an AMS can do, not just to help with membership management, but with engagement and retention as well? Check out our free guide, What Is an AMS?, below!