Examine Your Data to Drive Member Engagement
When I was in school, I had to take a statistics class, and it was easily my least favorite class, which is saying something considering how much I disliked my high school calculus class. Don't get me wrong though, I didn't hate numbers or data. I just found it slightly intimidating at times. However, that stats class was the tipping point that made me view numbers as my nemesis (for that semester only). As a result, it gave me terrible anxiety every time I walked into class. Thankfully, I got through it in one piece, and I came out of that class more aware of how we live in a data-driven world and how I needed to embrace the value of it.
Data is a powerful tool that can help associations make better and smarter decisions on how to interact with their membership. It allows association staff members to get a better handle on how their members perceive their organization and what they truly want out of it.
Here's what you can do to drive member engagement at your organization.
Examine different data segments
If your organization has a membership software, then you should use your system to examine member data to get a better understanding of what your members want from you.
Here's a brief excerpt from Part 2 of our Scoring Member Engagement eBook on why segmentation is beneficial to every organization.
Segmentation is only as good as its relevance to your association, so we urge you to work hard on evaluating the right segments to analyze. If you need help with this, enlist a consultant who has experience in this area. Also, you can use data mining tools to help you find potential segments.
Tools (such as the Composite Engagement Score Calculator) will help identify patterns that you may not have recognized. For example, if you enter a large data set containing member information and CES values, the tool might discover a correlation between member age and level of engagement, or perhaps geographic location and engagement, which you may not have thought to analyze initially.
Here are some segments that might be worth examining.
- Geographic region
- Years in profession
- Organization size
- Member type
Some segments may not be helpful, and that's fine because every organization has their own unique purpose. Whichever data segments you use should support your organization's goals.
With segmentation, you can get a better understanding about their behaviors and preferences. Once you know who your members are and what their needs are, you can use this data to give them exactly what they want. You can deliver what they need in order to keep them more engaged.
Personalize your content to your members
Whenever I'm on Spotify, the folks at this company are curating a play list based on my listening history and my music taste. The more I listen, the more data Spotify is collecting to give me a better, more personalized listening experience and helping me discover new music. By doing this, they're bringing me and many other users back on a regular basis.
Choosing to view your data as a powerful tool will allow you to see what content resonates with your members. You can use those insights to create valuable content that actually helps your members and keeps them engaged. For example, let's say your organization sends out a monthly newsletter to your members. Do you send the same newsletter to your entire member base? Maybe some members would prefer just to stay informed on upcoming events. Or others might want to learn more about upcoming what's happening in the industry as a whole. Consider personlizing your newsletter based on their interests which you can discover in their member data. If you take the time to understand your member's mindset, then you can give them what they want. And in time, you're more likely to become a trusted source that they will continue coming back to.
By making the decision to look closely at the data living in our membership software, you'll open the door to endless possibilities with how you can better engage with your membership.
Download Part 1 of the 3-part series Scoring Member Engagement.
About Chandra Chakravarthi
As a Coordinator of Content, Branding, & Buzz at Aptify, Chandra supports the department with content creation, digital advertising, and overseeing the social media channels. Outside of Aptify, you can find her exploring Chicago and eating too much pizza while she waits for her letter from Hogwarts.