How Do I Keep My Members Engaged?
Member Engagement is going to be slightly different from one club to another, as different clubs are unique and may have different features, values, and a different approach. Regardless of what member engagement means to your club, you are probably reading this, because you realise just how essential it is.
The main idea of member engagement is to make your members feel at home, valued and for them to feel that your club membership gives them meaningful contact.
So what is member engagement, and how can you keep your members engaged? Let’s take a look…
What is member engagement?
Member engagement is a broad term that describes the interaction between your members and your club or organisation.
It takes into consideration such things as a member's loyalty or membership duration, participation in things like chats, forums, attendance at events and webinars, and many other factors. They all work to give the member a meaningful interaction with your club often enough that they find personal value in the relationship.
Why is member engagement important?
An engaged member recognises the value in their membership and their relationship with your club. They are aware of the role your club plays in their life and in turn have increased loyalty and retention rates. When it comes to renewal time, engagement can mean the difference between your member leaving or staying.
Because of the value your club brings to your member, these engaged members are
more likely to renew their membership on time
recommend your club to other potential members
creating long term members and
help your membership numbers grow
So, how do we engage members, and keep them engaged?
There are many ways to keep your members engaged, and each organisation will have a different approach.
Here are 6 ways that clubs and organisations can keep their members engaged
1. Personalise the member experience
Members love personal interaction. In person or via email, they like to feel like they are appreciated and welcome in your organisation. Things like thanking a new member for joining, or an existing one for rejoining, emailing your members on their birthday, even making a phone call to see if your new member has found what they needed on your website and offering them information and resources specific to their needs.
Automating something simple like a “welcome email” that is personalised with your members name and details can appear to be manually sent specifically to that member and is often appreciated by someone who has just signed up or renewed their membership.
2. Foster Continuous Engagement Between Your Members
Encourage your members to engage with your club and with fellow members. Providing a platform where your members can contribute and discuss topics of interest, such as an online chat or forum, is a great way for like minded people to communicate with one another.
These platforms can also help connect new members with the old which can be beneficial for the new members to see the value that the retained members see in the club, and benefit from their knowledge of the industry.
Use a mobile app to keep your members updated and informed by using push notifications. In this day and age, most people have a mobile device. With app usage taking up 90% of all mobile uptime, this is an excellent opportunity to stay in your members pockets and the forefront of their minds.
3. Offer fresh, Up To Date Content
It is frustrating to land on a website and see the same old, outdated content. Your members and potential members that visit your site, want to see new information and updates so that they keep returning to your website and their member platform.
Use a responsive website design that is favourable to both desktop and mobile users, and update your content regularly. Things like latest news, upcoming events, recent blog posts or even an image gallery that are always changing and evolving are a great way to keep your website always fresh and updated and often have website widgets available to help you keep this information dynamically updated on your homepage too!
Having a “members area” on your website, which holds member-only content and resources and discounts, can be an excellent way to have your members regularly visit your website, and recognise the value in their membership.
4. Stay Active On Social Media
These days, most people are on one or more social media platforms. While you don't need to be on every social media site possible, it is a good idea to choose a few that make sense for your club, and try to keep these active and updated.
Not only does being active on social media give your members relevant content and engagement, it can also broaden your club's reach, and help you to thrive, connect and engage with potential new members.
5. Host industry related events and webinars
Online webinars are becoming increasingly popular with membership groups (courtesy of the recent pandemic). They are easy to to put together and great for increasing online member engagement. Don't forget to record your webinar and post it as fresh content on your website for members to view if they cannot make it!
Hosting live events will help you stay in the forefront of your members minds. From competitions and awards ceremonies, to conferences and social gatherings, events can boost engagement and provide real added value to your members. They can give your members something to look forward to, and increase hype and excitement amongst your members as the event approaches.
Having member discounts for public events, or holding member-only events help your members see value in their membership and can encourage new members to join so they, too, can enjoy the member incentives.
6. Regular Contact With Your Members
Ensure you keep in regular contact with your members. Whether this be via a regular newsletter, sending out surveys or questionnaires, a text message or push notification with important member information, event invitations or even initiating member communication by starting a chat or forum discussion.
There are many ways to stay in contact with your members, so it is nice to change it up a little and use a variety of methods to keep your members engaged and interacting with one another and your club.
Approaching Engagement In Your Club
Every club and organisation will approach member engagement differently. This is expected and makes your members' experience unique to your club.
One thing that does not change from club to club, is that member engagement is a top priority. From the day a potential new member discovers your club, to when they join as a member,, through the duration of their membership, and even when they leave your club. Every experience should be positive for your members.
Sometimes members leave for reasons out of our control; leaving the industry, retiring, moving away etc. While these things can not be avoided, it is important to always leave a positive impression on your members - you never know who they might recommend your organisation to in their future travels!
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