For many membership organisations, the new year heralds that anxious wait for the renewals to flow in. But maybe they should look at this period as a chance for renewal too? To offer more, to do things better, to enrich front-end experience while enhancing back-end operations?
Thanks to our engagement platform and membership/community app, some of the UK’s 8,000 organisations are already seizing the initiative and changing things for the better. Here are a few of the possibilities:
- From analogue to digital
In 2022 do we really need plastic membership cards, paper membership packs, letters and flyers? Digitalise the membership experience end-to-end –in-app membership cards, push notifications around renewals, promotional QR codes, mixed media membership resources, booking, buying, surveying, reporting, all at your fingertips. Think about digitalisation in terms of innovation – what else can you do now that you have such an agile, enabling mechanism to hand? All those ideas that you have had that were stymied by logistics or impracticality? Get them out, dust them down, because a new world of opportunity awaits.
- From passive to active
All that excellent information on your website? Get it seen! Don’t just wait for someone to need to visit, surface all your great content through the app to catch people’s attention, pique their interest, drive a response. With comms, don’t just email and sit back, hoping it might get read. Push key updates and event news and offer details through the app’s feed, directly to every member. Encourage the sharing, liking and commenting on content amongst members to foster that community spirit. If there are helpful user tools on your site, mirror that functionality in the app so it's more visible and accessible.
- From commoditised to personalised
A friendly, useful, evergreen connection right there on someone’s home screen is more intimate and personal for a start. Better than being on the end of a mass emailer for sure. With organisational data and app analytics, you can go on to curate a far more personalised experience for everyone. Identify groups and tribes to which people belong and bring them together in messaging channels with a flow of hyper-relevant content. Use data points – such as birthdays, new memberships, referral rates – for a more tailored reach out. Create membership directories and personal entries that recognise the individual not just a row in the database.
- From cost to profit
Look at digital through the hard-nosed lens of commerce. Improve the leanness and green-ness of your back-end operations, reducing paper and postal costs, focusing more on agility, responsiveness, and sustainability, and freeing up staff time to get to things previously off-limits because a) they didn’t have the bandwidth or b) they didn’t have the means or budget to make it happen. Now there’s no barrier to proactive campaigning – renewals, upselling, partner promotions, refer a friend – or enabling systems, such as self-service booking or buying.
- From attrition to acquisition
The better the experience, the greater the perceived value of belonging, the more likely members will stay. The more you do to incentivise and facilitate referrals, the more likely the new members will keep coming. A bigger, stronger, more vibrant and social community, with a clear lead and voice from the centre, and truly engaged and valued participants all around, that’s the basis for a healthy future.
Now you might be thinking ‘well, you would say that, wouldn’t you’, given we have a digital enabler to push. But right now, scratch beneath the surface of us Engagers and you’ll find members of organisations as varied as English Heritage, the British Cycling Federation, the Caravan and Motorhome Club, the Institute of Directors, the RNLI, the Historical Association, the Tate Museum, and the Wine Society (multiple representatives!)
And do we all enjoy the same dynamic, entertaining, useful, value-for-money club participation that makes renewing the easiest decision ever? No, it’s a bit patchy, to be fair. And that’s why we’re a bit keen because from where we are sitting i.e., as the individual beneficiary, why wouldn’t you want something that really dials up the whole membership experience?