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Keeping Your Members Involved: A Helpful How-To Guide

Keeping Your Members Involved: A Helpful How To Guide

Your association is most effective when you’ve created a strong community of members who value opportunities for professional development. Once your members have attended their first event or taken their first course through your association, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to keep them involved and motivated.

When it comes to keeping your association’s members engaged, your software solutions are your secret weapon. From tried-and-true member retention techniques to fresh ideas for the smartphone age, your association management system (AMS), eLearning platform, and website are full of potential ways to keep your members motivated and involved.

Let’s take a look at some of the best strategies you can use to keep your members involved in your association’s efforts. We’ll show you how you can:

  1. Learn more about your members by gathering information in your CRM.
  2. Keep your members updated using your website.
  3. Get your members involved in eLearning opportunities.
  4. Host a fun event to help your members expand their networks.
  5. Give members control over their participation with communities and regional chapters.c

The more you know about your members, the better prepared you’ll be to create courses, events, and other programming that they’ll want to stay involved in. Your CRM is one of the best resources for gathering, organizing, and reviewing relevant information on your members.

1. Learn more about your members by gathering information in your CRM.

Your members appreciate all of your association’s efforts to better understand their professional goals and their reasons for being part of your organization. They’ll be eager to get involved in the programming you have to offer when it’s tailored to their needs and interests. Create more impactful programming for your members by consulting the information you have gathered in your CRM.

One of the most effective ways to make sure that the member information in your CRM stays updated is to choose an AMS that integrates with—or, even better, is native to—your CRM. Look for an AMS that:

  • Automatically enters data into your CRM. This way, if members change or update information in their profiles via your AMS, these changes will appear automatically in your CRM.
  • Creates comprehensive member profiles. In addition to being able to update their own profiles, members should be able to see all of their interactions with your association automatically reflected on their profiles. Examples include the length of time they’ve been a member and the courses they’ve completed via your eLearning platform.
  • Automates communications. Automated emails can help your members stay up-to-date on their dues payments, remember when to register for conferences and other events, and stay in the know about your association’s most recent news. These communications don’t have to be impersonal, as you can choose to send them to different segments of the members in your CRM according to their various interests.

Your AMS and CRM are essential to gathering information on your members and using it to better understand their needs, which is the first step in keeping them engaged. If you’re thinking about upgrading your AMS to better serve this purpose, you can check out Fonteva’s guide to association management software for information on the most important features to look for.

Once you’ve learned more about your members, you can create courses, events, and other programming that best suits the interests they’ve expressed or pursued. Analyzing member data helps you develop these offerings, while your website helps you share them with your members.

2. Keep your members updated using your website.

Your association’s website serves as a hub for all of the important information your members want to know, from the date of your next event to the latest opportunities for involvement. Regularly refresh your website so that members can easily find new ways of getting involved with your association.

Refreshing your website’s contents, especially that on your homepage, is likely already a regular part of your association management practice. However, it may have been a while since you last gave your site a more extensive makeover. Now is a great time to check whether:

  • Your site’s design is engaging. A clean, modern layout that features multimedia elements such as photos or videos without complicating the navigation encourages members to stay on your site and explore it further. If you’re looking for inspiration, you can check out some top web design tips here.
  • Members can find the content they need easily. Your members should easily be able to log in to their profiles on your AMS or other members-only content from your website. Links to this content should be easy for them to find and all password-protected content on your site should be kept highly secure.
  • Your site is mobile-responsive. It’s no secret that most of us are attached to our smartphones and do much of our Internet browsing from them. Ensure that your association’s website is mobile-responsive so that your members can access and use it from all of their favorite devices.

In addition to keeping your members updated on your association’s most recent news, your website is an excellent platform on which to offer them new types of content and perks. eLearning opportunities are among the most valuable of these opportunities, and you’ll want to make sure that all of your interested members are able to take part.

3. Get your members involved in eLearning opportunities.

Your members are always looking for more ways to further their professional development—after all, that’s one of the main reasons they joined your association! You can facilitate their growth by offering them continuing education courses through an eLearning platform.

Also known as an association learning management system (LMS), an eLearning platform is a software solution through which your members can purchase and complete courses relevant to their professional fields. eLearning platforms provide members with valuable educational experiences and foster deeper engagement with your association.

Whether your association is selecting an eLearning platform for the first time or seeking to upgrade your current system, do the necessary research to make sure that you:

  • Choose the right platform. Look for a platform that encourages course completion by incorporating multimedia content presentation, interactive learning experiences, and gamification tools. These features help members get excited about the learning process.
  • Integrate your eLearning platform and your AMS. Choose an eLearning platform that integrates with your membership management system. This ensures that the courses your members complete and the certificates they earn are reflected automatically in their member profiles. Integration also facilitates the process of offering members additional courses based on their completion histories.
  • Host live learning events. No matter what their different learning styles are, all of your members will benefit from the opportunity to participate in various forms of social learning. Look for an eLearning platform that allows you to host live learning events and upload the contents afterward for those unable to attend.

Live learning events are a particularly valuable aspect of your association’s eLearning platform because they facilitate in-person connections among your members. Other types of conferences and events serve similar and equally beneficial purposes.

4. Host a fun event to help your members expand their networks.

One of the reasons that many of your members joined your association was to get to know more like-minded professionals in their fields. Your association can help your members grow their networks and discover more career opportunities by hosting conferences or events.

Event registration and management may sound like a headache to you, but with the help of your AMS, it doesn’t have to be! Events are a wonderful way to bring your members together, strengthen your association’s branding and overall presence in your field, and drive non-dues revenue through the sale of tickets and merchandise.

To host an excellent event for your members, you’ll want to:

  • Make registration easy using your AMS. When members can register for your event through your AMS, information that already appears on their member profiles will be input automatically. You’ll also be able to gather additional information from their registration forms to store in your AMS and CRM.
  • Leverage event microsites. Created using your AMS, event microsites provide members with all the information they need before your event begins. Microsites include the agenda for the event, the list of presentations and sessions, and any additional information you’d like your members to have to build excitement before they arrive.
  • Sell branded merchandise. Quality branded merchandise builds brand recognition for your association and helps your members commemorate a fun event and showcase their pride in being part of it. To offer an easy and highly popular form of branded merchandise, you can partner with an online firm to design the perfect t-shirt and then sell it at your event.

When you’ve planned a great event, you’ll want all of your members to attend. While this isn’t always possible, especially for large associations with members scattered all across the country and even the globe, you can facilitate increased participation by giving regional chapters and other member subgroups the tools to host their own events.

5. Give members control over their participation through communities and regional chapters.

All of your association’s members deserve the opportunity to meet one another at conferences, live learning events, and other in-person programs. However, it isn’t always possible for your organization as a whole to reach each one of them. Member subgroups such as committees, communities, and regional chapters allow everyone to make the most of the networking opportunities that your association offers.

Member-led groups foster increased collaboration among those who share a geographical location, professional interests, or other similarities. Fonteva’s guide to the best association management software provides additional information on these benefits, which include:

  • Member-led groups within your AMS. Members can use your association’s familiar platform to create, manage, and invite others to their chapters, committees, and communities.
  • Event registration and management for regional events. Live events can have a bigger impact when they’re tailored to the interests and needs of the members who are most capable of attending them. When regional chapters can plan and register attendees for their own events through your AMS, the events will better reflect the attendees’ interests.
  • Communicate via email and other online methods. Automated communications are an important time-saver for your association as a whole, and they can be just as effective for managing chapters and communities.

Members who are able to contribute their input to your association’s offerings, whether through sharing their professional goals or working to help plan events, will be more motivated to stay involved in your organization. Listening to your members and facilitating their involvement is sure to keep them engaged.


When your members are eager to involve themselves in your courses, events, and other programming, your association is better able to further its mission. The more you learn about your members’ interests and preferences, the better you’ll be able to tailor your offerings to meet their needs and encourage their future engagement.

 

Jake-Fabbri-Headshot

Jake Fabbri is the Chief Marketing Officer at Fonteva with over 18 years of experience working in marketing management. He has experience with lead generation, content marketing, marketing automation, and events.

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