Membership

Tuesday Buzz: Member Communication Tips From Santa

By / Dec 23, 2014 (iStock/Thinkstock)

No joke—Santa can really teach you how to improve membership communication. Plus: the best ways to open a conference.

Taking a look at kids’ letters to Santa, there are many styles of communication that can be found in the notes shipped off to the North Pole.

For membership pros, they’re definitely worth the analysis.

“Children always make sure that they ask how Santa is doing, and they hope that his elves and reindeer are well and are ready for Christmas,” Victoria Chapman writes at Silverbear. “It’s just polite to ask how people are, so make sure you offer your members the same courtesy.”

Aside from the best policy of keeping it personal, Chapman says associations should write about their value and share what good they’ve done this year in their member communication. Then they are able to make a plea, just as kids make their requests. “Make your call to action clear, strong and irresistible,” she adds.

The last thing on the list is sending member communications at the right time. “In order to get Santa and his elves at the optimum time, it’s probably best to pop their letters in the post at the beginning of December,” Chapman suggests. The same approach applies to member communications.

It’s still not too late for a New Year’s note!

Powerful Conference Starters

Conferences can be fun. Or they can be … something else. Author Adrian Segar shares two unusual conference openers that really benefit attendees.

“The Three Questions” is a strategy Segar uses in opening conferences. He writes queries of “how did I get here,” “what do I want to have happen,” and “what expertise or experience do I have that others here might find useful” on cards for every attendee to have.

He then has participants take a little time to write their answers, which they share with the group; for larger groups, he sets up roundtables for the discussion. “They publicly uncover a rich stew of ideas, themes, desires, and questions that is bubbling in people’s minds,” Segar says. “And they expose the collective resources of the group—the expertise and experience that may be brought to bear on the concerns and issues that have been expressed.”

Another entryway is “The Solution Room,” where event attendees can share an issue they would accept peer advice on. Think of it as an incubator where problems can be solved, with participants writing their problems on paper and soliciting for advice throughout the room.

Other Tips for Today

*Last-minute shopping? * Entrepreneur and investor John Rampton highlights 10 different holiday shopping apps that will help online businesses meet the rush this week and straight into New Year’s.

Going on vacation today or tomorrow? Do you want to disconnect? “Enjoy your traditions without technology at your hip,” Heinan Landa, CEO of Optimal Networks, says. Landa shares five tips on how to take a break this holiday season with American City Business Journals.

Get your tech life cleaned up: Here’s a resolution worth keeping: Maggie McGary speaks up about the value of an end-of-the-year digital cleanup.

Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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