If you’ve been keeping up with our Membership Monday series, you know up to this point we’ve covered attracting young professionals to your association and successfully onboarding new members.
What comes next? Engagement, of course! But not just right-off-the-bat engagement. We’re talking long-term engagement; keeping your members around - and involved - for the long-haul.
How do you make sure your benefits don’t grow stale? Or that your members don’t slowly lose interest in your organization? Here are a few tips for keeping your members engaged throughout a long-term membership:
1. Survey, survey, survey
Members engage in the activities and benefits that appeal to them. Plain and simple. So how can you make sure your association is keeping pace with what members actually want?
By conducting membership surveys!
As your members grow with and through your association (which we’ll talk more in-depth about next), their wants and needs will likely change. Maybe they loved networking events when they first joined your association, but now, they’re really just more interested in keeping up with industry news and trends. Or, on the flip side of that, maybe webinars were largely beneficial when they first joined your association, but now, that type of information is available elsewhere (for free), and so face-to-face events have become more valuable.
These are insights you need to gather - and respond to! - in order to keep members around. And the best way to gather this type of information is by conducting frequent membership surveys.
Once a year, at the very least, send out a detailed member survey. Ask your members what benefits they like best, least, what their pain points are, etc. Then make changes within your association accordingly.
Tip: To boost survey participation (because we all know that can be an issue), be sure to tell your members why you’re conducting the survey in the first place. Let them know you’re trying to better your association, and more specifically, their membership experience. When people know something will directly affect them, they’re more likely to take up interest.
2. Create a member journey map
If there’s one constant in this world, it’s change, and that’s true of your members, your industry, and your association. But that’s nothing to worry about as long as your association recognizes that and is willing to support (and adapt to) that change.
Take your members, for instance. As they advance in their careers, their wants and interests will likely change. Young professionals are usually more interested in networking, while senior-level members are usually more interested in training and skills development (plus certifications, accreditations, and all that).
To make sure you’re meeting your members’ needs at each stage of their career, consider building out a member journey map. How do members typically advance in your particular industry? What are the various career paths they could potentially take? Once you identify those, make sure you 1) have solid offerings for each stage, but also 2), let your members know (when it applies to them) what specific offerings are available. The more those offerings directly apply to your members, the more likely they’ll be to actually take advantage of them. (And long-term value = long-term retention.)
3. Keep track of engagement through analytics tracking
Did you know you can actually boost engagement by tracking it? It’s true.
Tracking your association’s website analytics is crucial for member engagement success. After all, how will you know if members are engaging with your website and its content if you aren’t keeping close tabs on them? It just makes sense.
Consider incorporating analytics tracking services into your engagement strategy. Think about platforms like Google Analytics, for example. With over 30 million websites using Google Analytics, there’s no doubt it’s a good option for your association to check out.
Google Analytics allows access to multiple tracking tools for associations. You have the ability to track individual campaigns and sources on your website, giving you total control of the information you want to collect. You also have access to real-time reports, so you always know who’s visiting your website, where they’re located, and how long they spend on your page. It’s an easy to use software that provides a serious kick as far as analytic tracking goes!
Whether your association uses Google Analytics or another analytics software, tracking engagement of your members is always a smart idea.
4. Provide more volunteer opportunities
Want to get your members engaged? Try getting them involved.
Providing your members with plenty of volunteer opportunities can help them engage more with your association. It’s a win-win for everyone involved: Your members get to provide for the community and help move your association’s mission forward, and you get a group of engaged, helping hands.
So, what kind of opportunities will peak your members’ interest? Here are a few activities your association can try on for size.
Micro-volunteering is a popular phenomenon that is making its way into the hearts of many looking to give back. Micro-volunteering consists of “bite-size” volunteer opportunities that can take anywhere from a few hours to even minutes to complete. It’s a great choice for members on the move who are still looking to donate time to bettering a community.
Another volunteer idea your association can incorporate into its engagement plan is content contribution. Try recruiting volunteers to help create content for your association. You can have members lead webinars, submit guest articles to your blog, or create photo/video content for your association’s social media platforms.
Get members engaged by getting them off their feet and involved in your association’s mission.
5. Score members with an engagement chart
Sometimes, putting engagement rates into the hands of your members can actually be the best solution of all. Let members keep track of their own engagement by scoring them with a member engagement chart.
A member engagement chart allows you to keep track of members who are very engaged with your association, and members that could use a little encouragement to get back on track. These score cards can be distributed to members to let them know where they stand as far as engagement goes. You can even include tips on how to get more engaged with your association, like attending more events or responding to more emails.
So, how does scoring work? That’s for your association to decide! You can set up a points system for every different activity members perform. For example, 1 point for filling out a survey, 5 points for attending an event, so on and so forth. This way, members can see exactly how a score is created.
By breaking down activities, you can create an easy to follow system for keeping track of member engagement.
Creating a long-lasting relationship with members is all about the right engagement tools. Give these 5 tips a spin and see how your members can get more engaged and stay on the membership path!
Want more tips for keeping your members engaged? Check out our free guide below!