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Associations Posts

Onboarding for Retention: How to Engage New Members for the Long Term

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 23, 2019 at 2:55 PM | 6 minute read

Onboarding new members is a critical step for associations, and often one that is missed or under-emphasized. That first year of membership has a big influence on whether that member will renew with you.

If you’re onboarding with the goal of retention (and you should be), it’s all about connecting your members and continuing to engage them at strategic touchpoints. Engagement during their first year of membership, and every year after, is how you keep members around.

When evaluating how your onboarding program is doing, ask yourselves if these three things are true about your program:

  1. Are members quickly introduced your association’s benefits, like your member network and key resources?
  2. Are members drawn in so much that they want to remain and participate?
  3. Are staff able to introduce members to these benefits on a large scale and in a personalized way?

If the answer to any of these was no, don’t worry. We’ve got the resources you need to get your onboarding program where you want it to be.

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Member Communities, Associations, Member Retention, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

The Member Journey Has Changed: Are You Changing With It?

Written by Tom Lehman on May 16, 2019 at 9:08 AM | 4 minute read

“Digital transformation” is leaving no stone unturned. Its effects aren’t limited just to big consumer brands like Amazon, Netflix Uber. Technology has changed how people travel down the path toward membership at your association, and how they engage with your association if or when they join.

A member’s experience with your association or nonprofit used to look different. They might hear about you through a direct mail flyer, send in a check to join, and attend a conference once a year. That was association membership. Their journey to joining your association was linear and sequential.

Now, they come to your association at various stages of the funnel, or the member/buyer’s journey. And along the way, they expect a different experience from what was the norm 20 years ago.

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Member Communities, Associations, Member Experience, Nonprofits and Charities, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Integration

8 Tips to Write Emails Your Association Members Will Open

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on May 8, 2019 at 12:51 PM | 8 minute read

Let me guess – your inbox is overflowing with so much content that you don’t know which way is up, much less which emails are worth your time. What to open? What to ignore? It’s a relatable circumstance for anyone with an email address (and fun fact: active email accounts are expected to hit 5.6 billion by 2019). Keep this in mind when trying to reach your busy members.

A “good” email open rate among members depends on your industry and the end goal of your email.

Recent data shows that:

  • The average email open rate (across all industries) is 16.19%
  • The average email open rate for the Civic/Social Membership industry (e.g., associations, chambers, clubs) is 23.09%

If your target audience has opted into your communications, the open rate should be on the higher end. How do your association’s metrics stack up? Regardless of how great your content is, if your members aren’t opening your emails, your message isn't getting out there.

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Associations, Member Engagement, Email Marketing

6 Tips to Maximize the Success of Your Association’s Publication

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on May 2, 2019 at 2:47 PM | 6 minute read

If your association is interested in maximizing the educational value its offering members, you might already know that having a publication is a great asset to your content strategy. Association members want to learn, and there are multiple different ways publications can support that.

For example, an annual event publication could be your biggest print run of the year – and a huge opportunity for revenue growth and boosting member knowledge. But what if you aren’t seeing the results you want to see? What if your readers aren't engaged? To get your members excited about your association’s publication, you have to deliver one that grabs their attention and delivers the resources they want and need.

If your association’s publication isn’t performing well, it’s time to assess your strategy. If your association has never considered creating a publication, ask yourself why.

Association publications boast a number of benefits, presenting opportunities to:

    • Establish your association as an industry thought leader
    • Strengthen the knowledge of your members + readers
    • Build rapport with your community
    • Enhance professional relationships with partners + sponsors
    • Improve member retention
    • Increase non-dues revenue

Did that get your attention? (That last benefit tends to get people excited.)

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Topics: Associations, Member Retention, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Advertising, Events

4 Reasons You Should Integrate Your Learning Management System and Community [Case Study]

Written by Elizabeth Bell on March 27, 2019 at 7:50 AM | 4 minute read

Imagine this: You’re inspecting a wind turbine about 350 feet up in the air. You’re there to repair a gear in the gearbox to keep the turbine turning at about 80 meters per second. You’re very capable, as you’ve learned your trade on the job with some specialized training, but you’re a sole proprietor, and you’ve got some questions. Who do you turn to?

The American Gear Manufacturing Association (AGMA), a trade association with about 500 member companies of various sizes, recognized that its members were facing these types of challenges, so it jumped to fill the gap.

To provide its members with access to the education and training they needed in a useable, relevant way, AGMA invested in Higher Logic’s Learning Management System (LMS).

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

5-Step Guide to Calculating Your Member Retention Rate

Written by Elizabeth Bell on February 19, 2019 at 9:16 AM | 5 minute read

Ah, member retention. When it’s good, it’s great, but when it’s bad, we worry.

In fact, 46 percent of associations reported that increasing member retention is one of their top membership goals, according to the Membership Marketing Benchmark Report.

If you’re worrying about member retention, the first place to start is to find out how you’re doing on paper. Once you have your membership retention numbers on hand, calculating your member retention rate is simple (don’t worry, math-haters, we’ll help you get there with a step-by-step guide).

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Topics: Associations, Member Retention, Online Community

AARC Brings Back 800 Lapsed Members with Automated Win-Back Campaign [Case Study]

Written by Caitlin Struhs | on January 30, 2019 at 7:45 AM | 3 minute read

The American Association for Respiratory Care’s (AARC) membership was stalled. A flat line in the association’s core group of active members was even starting a bit of a downturn.

This steady decrease in membership renewals gave rise to a growing number of lapsed members. Sherry Milligan, Associate Executive Director of Membership, was determined to find the right action plan to quickly change that trajectory.

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Topics: Engagement, Associations, Member Retention, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation

3 Ways to Strengthen Communication Using Smart Member Data

Written by Jake Fabbri on January 24, 2019 at 8:40 AM | 7 minute read

If your organization manages a membership program, you know that it can be a real challenge keeping your members fully engaged while developing ways to grow your program.

After all, no matter how many new members you attract, it’s your retention rate that drives real growth. Member engagement drives retention, and communication is the key to boosting engagement.

Data-driven and unified communication strategies are the best way to ensure you and your members get the most out of your program. There are a few essential elements to consider as you develop smarter communication strategies for your membership program.

To strengthen your communication strategy through smart data usage, try these three tips:

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Associations, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

What’s the Difference Between Automation Rules and Marketing Automation, Anyway?

Written by Elizabeth Bell on January 23, 2019 at 7:50 AM | 3 minute read

Automation rules. Marketing automation. Two terms that sound similar (and sort of are) except for the fact that they tend to be siloed into two separate spheres of community and marketing.

Though it’s a tad confusing, it’s no coincidence that these two key Higher Logic features both use the word “automation,” because it reminds us how closely and effectively the two tools can work together. And for what? Improving member communications.  

To eliminate any potential confusion, let’s look at some expanded definitions – what do these terms really mean?

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Marketing, Associations, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Integration

Making Connections, Expanding Reach, Improving Data: A Trade Association’s Community Story [Case Study]

Written by Elizabeth Bell on January 8, 2019 at 9:15 AM | 6 minute read

Staying relevant, providing value, connecting with members and customers – do these challenges sound familiar to you and your organization? Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) was thinking through these goals.

Leadership had sensed that PPAI’s relationship with members wasn’t very “sticky.” Members might pay dues so they could gain education at tradeshows or access a search tool, but the connection didn’t go much deeper.

PPAI wanted to find a way to show members the real value of their membership.

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

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