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Explore the Higher Logic Blog:Online CommunityMarketing Automation

How to Successfully Upgrade from a Listserv to an Online Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 8, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

There was a time when email listservs were the new kid on the block.

Short for "mailing list server," your listserv has probably served your association or membership organization well over the last decade or two. You've been able to easily send out automated emails to segmented lists and your members have enjoyed reply-all options that allow them to easily communicate with the group.

During their heyday, listservs made a huge difference in member interaction and association communication. However, they're now competing with new options that have additional opportunities for member engagement and membership value.

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Topics: Associations, Online Community Software, Member Experience, Online Community

Four Essential Steps to Prepare Your Organization for Content Creation

Written by Marcus Sheridan on August 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM | 4 minute read

Our Learning Series guest speaker, Marcus Sheridan, and his team at The Sales Lion, have some follow-up advice on how everyone in your organization can help develop great content marketing.

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Topics: Communications, Marketing, Marketing Automation, Online Community

Can Online Community Insights Lead to Better Marketing Strategies?

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 5, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

You often hear about how to leverage data from your private online customer or member community to inform decisions about product strategy, customer retention, or which customers are your biggest advocates.

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Topics: Communications, Marketing Automation, Online Community

How to Generate Compelling Content Ideas for Your Online Customer or Member Community [Infographic]

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 31, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

When your private online customer or member community is in its early stages, you have to rely heavily on content as the driving force that brings people in. Your online community is not just competing against other communities and social spaces, but other priorities as well.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Member Communities, Online Community

Why Your Online Community Needs the Board of Directors

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 28, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 3 minute read

What's the one thing almost all associations have in common? It's formal volunteer leadership programs. Volunteer leaders are highly visible, engaged MVPs in the association, lending credibility and encouraging other members to attend events and participate in activities. There are volunteer trainings, guidelines and formal committee structures and procedures, all of which boost the program's credibility and desirability; members aspire to join the ranks of these MVPs.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Associations, Member Engagement, Online Community

How to Use Data from Your Private Online Community to Make Better Decisions

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Running a private online community for your association comes with its fair share of decisions"”from the daily steering of the community to quarterly strategic adjustment. In fact, managing your association's online member community is often viewed as a microcosm of overall association management. As an association executive, it's your job to make the choices that will keep your association members engaged and looking to your community as a valuable resource.

However, without the right information driving those decisions, the choices that come with managing an association (or an online member community) can seem overwhelming.

That's why you need a little bit of the "good stuff"" and why we're happy to share this new whitepaper from our friends, Peter Houstler, CEO of Mariner Management and Marketing, and Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CEO of Spark Consulting.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Associations, Member Experience, Online Community

The Pros and Cons of Auto-Login for Discussion Emails

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM | 3 minute read

A topic of frequent interest and debate among Higher Logic clients is the auto-login feature. Auto-login embeds a user's credentials into community discussion group emails, enabling users to click on links in emails generated by the community platform to engage in the community site without having to manually log in.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Communications, Associations, Member Engagement, Online Community

Why People Contribute in Private Online Communities [Engagement Tips]

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM | 4 minute read

People have lots of outlets and opportunities to "talk" online. There's no shortage of large social networks out there to soak up their attention. Yet, despite having so many options, people still participate heavily in private online customer or member communities.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

Automatic Enrollment Will Always Trump The Opt-In Route

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 2 minute read

When organizations launch a new private online community that includes a member directory feature, one of the big questions that always comes up is whether or not to automatically include all members, or require individuals to "opt-in". Privacy is a big concern these days, so it's understandable that associations want to give members complete control over whether or not they're included in a member directory.

However, asking members to opt-in just doesn't work. Success rates will be much higher using automatic enrollment with the option to opt-out, versus asking users to opt-in.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Don't Let Bad Email Subject Lines Hurt Online Community Engagement

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 11, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

If your branded online community is like most others out there, the majority of your members probably don't check it every day. Unlike their public social network accounts that they check multiple times a day, your branded online customer or member community is more likely to be a place they visit with intention. They sign in to ask a question in the discussion forum, read a new blog post from your CEO, check out a new how-to video, or follow up on an offer. That's where the importance of email comes in.

The Role of Email in Private Online Community Engagement

Email is a big part of creating an online community that consistently keeps customers or members engaged. Your target audience is full of very busy people. By sending both manual campaigns and automated emails with updated information, newsletters, and invitations for specific actions, you can stay top-of-mind and encourage community members to come back to the community to get value.

Email is a vital part of your community management plan. That is why you'll find sophisticated email marketing systems built-in most business-class online community software platforms.

Unfortunately, not just any old email will do. Your members likely get dozens of emails a day, so your email communication needs to stand out from the pack. You put a lot of effort into creating value for your target audience in your online community, so you don't want to leave "conversion opportunities" on the table.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Online Community

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