Friday Buzz: Make Hybrid Membership Work for You

An association-membership firm offers tips to move beyond the traditional one-size-fits-all approach. Also: what nonprofit marketers should know about Google's new Inbox platform.

You know that the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for your members anymore. But “going hybrid”—offering different types of membership to different types of members—isn’t as simple as making the decision and going with it.

Over at Silverbear’s blog, the company breaks down the considerations you need to make when looking into such a model. It requires a lot of analysis—of your membership (and what they’re comfortable with), of your market share, of what other associations are doing, of your pricing—and taking into account all of those things when making a decision.

“Understanding your membership base is vital if you’re planning on introducing hybrid membership models. It’s not good enough to simply roll out a few different subscription options—you need to fully understand who your members are and what they value, so you can create appropriate models,” the company states.

Then, of course, after you make the decision, you have to manage it and communicate it. Check out Silverbear’s blog for more tips.

Learn to Love Inbox

If you’ve been using Google’s new reinvention of its Gmail platform, an invite-only system called Inbox, you’ll know that it’s really great for end users. (I have an invite. It’s epic.)

One group it’s not so great for is email marketers—which happens to include many association pros. But don’t feel like you’re totally missing out. Nonprofit-marketing expert John Haydon outlines the considerations you should keep in mind‚ including how to optimize your messages so that they show up as best they can in the new format.

One tip worth heeding: Don’t use the shift as an excuse to tell your users what to do.

“Email is personal. Everyone has a different way of processing theirs,” Haydon writes on his blog. “Don’t waste your time sending an email telling your subscribers how to make sure they don’t miss your email. The best way to do that is to offer value in your email, which you should have done regardless of [I]nbox.”

Other good reads

Wanna hear a smart guy talk technology? We know one. Reggie Henry, ASAE’s CIO, recently made an appearance on Aptify’s Association Mavens podcast. Listen in and hear something brilliant.

Working remotely? Don’t get sucked into the bad parts of the experience by staying at home all day. Lifehacker‘s Whitson Gordon has some tips for keeping telecommuting fresh.

It’s not all about you. Socious blogger Katie Bapple warns about focusing too much on yourself when managing an online community.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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