Much of event management strategy has changed in the last few years, especially when it comes to membership organizations. Non-profits, community organizations, and membership sites all have one thing in common: a driving need to work smarter to find ways to retain and renew memberships, and to continually attract new members. A recent study of more than 800 membership organizations found that technology is central to these efforts.
Here are the top six attendee retainment strategies for membership organizations.
- The most effective retainment strategies blend technology and psychology. The very best way you can attract and retain members is to use technology to drive an emotional connection with your organization. Investing in a customizable portfolio management software package might give you the tech, but in order to be effective it must be driven by the human factor. By utilizing event management software to fully engage with your target market, you'll lay a firm foundation that results in a higher percentage of positive results measured as increased event registration and membership retention.
- Utilize mobile apps to reach your members where they live. Your members and potential members live in a technological world. From smart phones to i-Pads, young and old alike are tech-savvy and expect the same from you. By using a mobile event app to engage with your membership, you'll increase brand awareness and add to the perception of membership value.
- Use technology to tie your marketing message together. This is not an ethereal point; research has shown a clear increase in membership attraction and retention when organizations use technology to send a cohesive message on their website, through social media, using a mobile app, and even with direct mail efforts. While each media has a unique use, all need to send the same core message: 'This is the organization you're a part of, and here's why you, individually, are important'. By making use of a custom event theme tied to followup coordinated with event management software, you will create a cohesive and compelling message.
- Interact regularly with your membership, and routinely add value. Want to do a push for new members? Send a message offering a discount on renewal fees when members bring a friend who signs up, or offer a bonus month of membership to a current member and a free trial to the new member. Want to increase the numbers of members using your mobile registration app? Offer a contest. Adding a member benefit and need folks to help get the word out? Tie together an announcement on your website to an email campaign and a social media storm.
- Interestingly, direct mail continues to be the backbone of retainment strategies, but only when combined with technology. Don't bother sending out ten thousand glossy postcards reminding members to renew before a deadline unless you simultaneous target them with a personalized tech-driven message. Use direct mail smarter; tie it to a Twitter hashtag survey, email announcing a discount on your next live event, or an incentive for new member signups.
- Use technology to provide a personalized interactive experience for members. You may be scheduling a communication campaign to your entire membership using multiple areas of technology, but each person needs to experience the message as if he or she were the only recipient. By using event portfolio management software wisely with the focus always on the human factor, you'll effectively retain current members and attract new ones much more efficiently.
With seemingly endless ideas for how to interact with your current and potential members to increase attraction and retention, you'll find the best results come from sending a cohesive message that makes use of technology to help you work smarter. Attendee retainment strategies wisely used will also provide you the data necessary to continually evaluate your campaigns and enable you to easily nudge marketing in the direction(s) that generate the best results for you. Contact us to explore how we can be your tech partner in creating the best membership experience possible.