Should marketers drop the use of open rate when measuring email marketing effectiveness? Membership marketers should not live and die by open rates. Open rates are not an exact science and association membership and marketing professionals can't rely solely on open rate figures to tell how many people read their message.
Private social networks for associations are failing at a significant rate. The nature of initiatives at membership organizations and the false promises that "someday your members will participate" which certain private social network providers employ make this failure a slow, embarrassing process visible both inside and outside the association.
This is the second part of our article on free membership models being explored by many associations. You can read the first part in this series to understand why a membership organizations are thinking about eliminating dues, common concerns about moving to a free membership model, and which types of organizations are most successful in making this kind of shift.
This post builds on, and responds to, the recent discussions about one of the major trends steamrolling toward associations and other membership organizations in the next 5 years.
You know when a child turns 18, it is time to start taking life more seriously. When a caterpillar spins a cocoon, you know that a major change is at hand-but how do you know when your online member community needs an upgrade?
There has been a debate brewing for several years over whether forums or listserv are more effective in engaging members of an association. In the past, the discussion has even been framed as listservs vs. private member communities. However, this is not an accurate way to help associations make member engagement technology decisions. Online community software designed for mid-sized and large associations should have both forum and listserv functionality built-in to allow organizations to engage members in their private community using the methods that their members are most comfortable with.
With conference attendance down in recent years, many groups have looked at their online community as a means of carrying through the networking and educational benefits that members used to enjoy from their conference. This has resulted in groups looking at the online community and the event as two separate entities.
Only recently have organizations begun to optimize how they use public social networking websites and online communities to fit their member's online preferences.
Both online communities, where the data is owned by the organization proving the community, and public social networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn where the data is owned by the social networking site, have a role in member engagement. Simply tailoring your member engagement strategy to the way different segments operate online (i.e. men vs. women or new members vs. longtime members) can significantly help your organization engage, mobilize, and retain members.
What can association leaders learn from the American Marketing Association Foundation's report, Nonprofit CMOs Call for a Transformation of Marketing?