Membership Hack: Affinity Analysis

The Society for Human Resource Management took a close look at which affinity programs members wanted most. The result: a new menu of options to better meet their needs.

How to hack it? Most associations offer their members affinity programs that provide discounts, incentives, and other benefits. But when was the last time you analyzed your portfolio of affinity programs?

Guillermo Corea, director of digital media and business development at the Society for Human Resource Management, says SHRM surveyed members and conducted an affinity analysis—a periodic review of how members are using discounts and benefits—to make sure their offerings were meeting member needs. They found gaps that needed filling.

Why does it work? After the analysis, SHRM expanded its affinity program lineup from six member benefits and discounts to more than three dozen options, grouped into three categories: personal services, travel services, and professional and small-business services.

“Our analysis showed that the current program was lacking,” Corea says. “Now, the benefits range from your typical rental car or insurance discount to savings on shipments and technology. You really have to look at how your membership has changed and ask your members what they really want.”

What’s the bonus? It’s only been a few months since the affinity programs changed, but already member engagement is high, Corea says. Early indicators, like site traffic to the benefits page, is proof that the program is sparking renewed interest.

(BrianAJackson/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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