Increasingly diverse audiences with growing expectations, the search for additional revenue streams, new online communication channels that surface; there are many external factors that impact how membership evolves. But, what always remains at the core of how any association operates is its relationship with its members.
Attracting, engaging and retaining members is always a priority. However, for many associations member retention is reactive. Too few are proactive enough to identify membership segments that require special nurture and even less have taken the step to continuously track the changing needs of their membership and reinforce their value to further strengthen their relationship with them.
While many members might feel satisfied, how many do actually feel a connection to the organisation? A connection that will transform them into loyal members?
Member loyalty can be perceived differently. But, despite how organisations see and measure loyalty, there are three key areas that cannot be ignored: member satisfaction with the association, likelihood to renew membership, and the sense of connection to the organisation’s core value.
So, how can associations ensure that their members are not only content, or just happy with their membership, but are encouraged to become loyal?
Content is one of the most important tools to engage with members, but when utilised incorrectly can have a negative impact on the member-association relationship. Standard messages that are spread across all members regardless of age, region or needs, indifferent information that add no value to recipients, language errors or inconsistencies, and inconvenient content formats can really harm a member’s perception and jeopardise their relationship with the association.
The more personalised the content is, the easier it becomes to drive members into loyalty.
Channels, timing and formats make a difference
In order to transform a satisfied member into a loyal one, associations need to keep communication consistent; communication that is target-focused and value-driven. One of the greatest benefits members seek to enjoy, is the opportunity to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and research.
Therefore, it is important to maintain an open communication channel, preferably via email – the dominating means of contact with members – on a weekly or monthly basis. Social media, articles, journals and videos can also create powerful storytelling, but direct email is particularly popular when it comes to consuming easy and engaging information.
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