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Blog Feature

By: Eric McDonald

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June 19, 2016

MMCC 2016 Roundup

Association Management | Professional development | Marketing


At this year’s ASAE Marketing, Membership & Communications Conference (MMCC), there was a key theme throughout the learning labs: data. Working with prospective clients and helping them see how to analyze their data in Aptify, I realize how important the notion of analyzing your data is. 


It can help you grow revenue, increase member retention, build out new business opportunities, and increase member engagement. But, to achieve your organization’s mission, should you only focus on data?


Focus on the basics back_to_basics.jpg

One of the learning lab sessions dealt with focusing on small data. I felt this perfectly played into what we refer to as our Composite Engagement Score. While our brains tell us to analyze every piece of information we have on every single person, Aptify has found the most success in analyzing a few of the basics for generating scores. While your association management system (AMS) knows how many times each person has opened an e-mail or tweeted about your organization, does electronic interaction truly lead to a member’s satisfaction?


Our clients have had success in identifying members that are both incredibly engaged and barely engaged by identifying three key performance indicators that also strategically align with their organization’s goals. For example, assigning points for the amount of money a member has spent within the organization in the past few years demonstrates both engagement from the member’s perspective and leads directly to your organization’s revenue goals. Assigning points for the number of events a member has attended also shows desire to participate with the organization and leads to increased registrations for your lucrative events. Assigning points for the number of committees or task forces a person serves on also shows that a member wants to have a positive impact on the mission of your organization. By analyzing three key, basic facts on everyone, our clients have been able to identify their key members, reach out to those in the middle to build more awareness about what’s available, and to identify those who are likely to discontinue their membershipleading to better forecasts and lower attrition.

Keep it easy and exciting share_your_idea.jpg

In the closing keynote, Brian Bordainick, CEO of Dinner Lab Inc., said something that really resonated with me: “When you have an idea, tell a kid and a friend about your idea. If they don’t get excited about it, your members probably won’t either.”


Wow! How many times do we sit around a table with our colleagues brainstorming ideas for our annual conference and the best way to get people to sign uponly to launch that idea and have it be a dud! It’s probably because we didn’t take his advice and ask someone who might be a customerwould this make you want to participate? Additionally, I often see organizations say “become a member today, buy this 1 book, pre-purchase 3 webinars, and we’ll give your 4th registration a 50% discount” … I’m sorry, what? That reminds me of seeing an advertisement that a car is on sale for $8,000 off the list price, only to show up at the dealership and be told “that one model is sold, the rest are for sticker price.” 

You are the face of your organization

When someone calls to update their account or goes online to pay an open invoice, are you friendly or do you sound annoyed? Is your website user-friendly—does it take five clicks or two clicks to perform a simple action? When you send your marketing e-mails, do you send three every dayincluding every single piece of information you can about what’s coming up with promotions that require 50 hoops to jump through? Or do you send simple, targeted, and well-timed information with clear incentives? If you are in the membership and marketing department, you are the active and passive face of your organization, and what you portray is what your members will think of you.


At the end of the MMCC, I really took away two things: stick to the basics and make sure every one of your ideas will get your members excited.

Scoring Member Engagement


About Eric McDonald

As an Engagement Manager with Aptify, Eric helps clients determine whether Aptify is a good fit for their organization as they look for a new AMS. As part of the process, Eric works with clients to consider implementing new systems and new business processes to boost efficiencies and drive greater change throughout the organization. Eric is based out of the New Orleans office, calling the “Big Easy” home since 2010 when he moved there to earn his MBA from Tulane University. Outside of work, Eric loves to CrossFit, spend time with his spouse, cuddle with his Corgi, Bentley, and watch every Saints game—Who Dat!

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