4 Ways to Stay Relevant With Your Members

Your membership base can pivot at a moment's notice. Here's how to adapt and follow along.

If there’s one nagging thought keeping most decision-making executives up at night, it’s the fear that their association is falling out of relevance. It’s a valid concern, as associations are fighting to recruit and retain membership in a highly competitive space. If your association doesn’t provide a unique experience, your members may take their business elsewhere.

In the association world, keeping up with the Joneses means that you have to really understand your membership base. And you can’t do that with just a one-and-done member survey.

“Just like any business, an association needs to pivot and adapt in order to stay relevant to their members,” says Will Slade, senior consultant at Protech Associates. “Having a database of members is a good start, but everyone has a database of members.”

The question is, what are you doing with that database?

You have a wealth of information at your fingertips, but it’s doing your association no favors if you let your database simply collect digital dust. You can better harness that data to determine what your members really want, and set yourself apart from countless other groups vying for their attention. Here’s four specific tips on how to do it:

Set Up Member Profiles

Your members are more than just names attached to a string of letters and numbers. They’re real people whose behaviors can clue you into the direction your membership is headed. Set up comprehensive member profiles that illustrate your members’ interests and activities. You can learn a lot from tracking engagement, such as how your members volunteer their time or the committees to which they belong. All these bits of knowledge will influence your larger growth strategy.

Offer Personalized Content

Once you’ve set up your member profiles, you can use predictive analytics to tailor your association’s content to specific audiences. With an automated predictive decision-making system, you’ll be able to connect members to the resources that are best suited to their needs. Whether it’s a professional development course, blog post or product, your website will direct the right stuff to the right people. And once members get a taste of the content that interests them, they’re sure to come back for more.

Create Different Levels of Membership

Don’t want your association to appear outdated? Show its relevance to members from all walks of life by establishing multiple levels of membership. That way, you don’t have to rely on just the same group of people to support your membership base year after year. Setting different levels of membership with appropriate pricing will lead to a more diverse membership base, attracting people who may not have considered joining your association before.

Use Mobile-Friendly and Responsive Design

Chances are your members are accessing your website on at least one mobile device. So if your website hasn’t been adapted to function on a smartphone or tablet with ease, your members will lose out on all the great content accessible on the desktop version. Give your members an enjoyable web-browsing experience by making your website not just mobile-friendly, but responsive as well — your website should have a sleek design and seamlessly adjust to any device. It’s worth the effort to demonstrate that your website is as cutting-edge as your association.

Back decision-making ability with the right tools, and you’ll be able to leverage what data you’ve collected voluntarily into stronger membership. That’s a win for everyone.

From the experts at Protech Associates.

Protech Associates proudly provides member-based organizations with association management software built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. Learn more at