We now live in a hyper-personalized world. The ads we see online are often pulled from websites we’ve visited before. The emails we receive often originate from items we’ve purchased in the past - or even just thought about purchasing (left in our online shopping carts, etc.).
For some, this can definitely seem creepy, but for many - if the personalization is done right - it can actually be quite valuable.
Your members are starting to get used to this hyper-personalized experience - and they may be holding your association to a new, similar standard.
So how can you provide your members with a hyper-personalized experience? Well it all starts with segmentation. In fact, here are three ways to segment your association’s membership to boost engagement and retention:
1. By generation
When it comes to membership, age does matter. Different generations want different things from your association. For example, younger generations - Millennials and Gen Z-ers, want help with professional development and finding/securing jobs. Older generations, on the other hand, just want to stay informed with what’s going on in the industry - the one they’ve been working in for 30+ years.
That said, the communications you send to your members should be different - and aligned with their interests/pain points. If not, that could have a negative impact on the perceived value of your association.
2. By interest and activity
Even members of the same generation have different likes and interests. (We know, it can be confusing!) But that’s an opportunity to segment your members even more. Let’s say you work for a human resources association. Well, some of your members may care heavily about employee recruitment and retention, while others are more focused on diversity and inclusion. (Note: That’s not to say BOTH of those topics aren’t important. They most definitely are!)
That said, if you can identify your members’ primary interests (through a survey, for example), you can then send them targeted emails and content pieces.
Amazon is the king of this. The more you interact with Amazon, the more the company personalizes your experience - they suggest items based on what you’ve bought in the past, they show you when items you’ve looked at are on sale, etc.
Try interacting with your members in a similar way. Try sending them content based on content they’ve read in the past. Or, try inviting them to events based on events (or types of events) they’ve attended in the past. The more you’re able to do this, the more likely your members are to continue to engage with your association in the future.
3. By geography
Now we often don’t think of segmenting our members in terms of geography, but it’s worth some consideration. Have you ever heard that doing business with someone in a different region or on a different coast can be different? Well it can be! People communicate and work differently based on where they live. Now this mostly applies to national and international organizations, but even if you’re a large state association (Texas or California, for example), just be mindful. (This is also important if your state has two time zones: Tennessee, for example. A webinar that for some may be after lunch, for others, may be during lunch. That could impact registrations and attendance.)
If you’re a small-staff association, as you were reading this article, you may have been thinking, “Sure that sounds great, but with only four staff members, how is that even possible?” Well fortunately, with technology, it’s actually quite easy! If you’re using an association management system (or AMS, for short), you can easily segment your members however you’d like - by age, member type, location, etc. So let’s say you want to email your student members only. Well, with an AMS, you can input certain criteria (in this case, member type: student), and voilà - you’re all set! You can quickly send an email to all of your student members.
For more about what an AMS is, and how it can help you boost membership recruitment, engagement, and retention, check out our free guide, What Is an AMS?, below!