Does your association value job boards as much as your members do?

YourMembership Blog

A recent Community Brands study shows that job opportunities are one of the most important benefits to members, yet associations have work to do in this area. The post Does your association value job boards as much as your members do?

Ringing the Bell for Member Engagement

YourMembership Blog

From Greg Melia’s Opening Keynote “The Rules of Engagement: Enhancing Membership in Your Association” to Shelly Alcorn’s “Buckle Up Kids: Behind the Wheel of the Disruptionmobile”, a somewhat disturbing look at the future and how it will impact many associations, there as a great deal of information to consider. Member engagement played a big role in the content that was presented in the meeting’s sessions. represented ad hoc members. Know your members.


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The Formula for Member Engagement

Smooth The Path

The new member engagement rule of three. Who are the Stephanies in your association? The post The Formula for Member Engagement appeared first on Smooth The Path. Member Engagement association value association value trigger point attendee engagement creating a member experience delivering value engaged members member engagement member experiences membership value perception of value

The New Member Engagement Rule of Three

Smooth The Path

There is a short window of opportunity to engage new members. Most new members join with high hopes. During the first few days of their membership, new members are inherently very engaged. Their excitement is at an all-time high the moment they click join , and they are super receptive, at least, for awhile… We only have 3 emails to engage some new members. We only have 3 days or 3 weeks to engage some new members.

Do You Need a Member Engagement Strategy?

Smooth The Path

Arlene is a very engaged association member. She often buys the research reports and sometimes purchases a book or two from the association’s bookstore. Arlene is a promoter; she frequently recommends the association to other professionals in the industry. Because of her efforts a handful, or more, new members join each year. Many of the members Arlene refers, rise to volunteer leadership roles. She faithfully renews every year.

Who is Solving the Member Engagement Problem?

Smooth The Path

“Who is helping to solve the member engagement problem?”, ”, an association CEO and big thinker in our industry asked me yesterday. Many indicators point to a member engagement problem for associations. Many associations are facing shrinking annual revenues, low retention ratings and, are having a harder time recruiting volunteers and quality volunteer leaders. When members had more time in their days.

How to Exponentially Improve Member Engagement at Any Association

Smooth The Path

Wouldn’t it be great if members felt this way every day of the week? At some associations, members do feel this way, and your members can feel like this too. The good news is size is not holding associations back. Deeply understanding members is at the root of it all. There is not another thing that will sustainably drive awareness, engagement, and retention more than understanding our members. Related: Member Engagement Research.

The Association Value Trigger Point Explained by New Member Background

Smooth The Path

When I speak about a way to engage new members early in their membership by using an Association Value Trigger Point (AVTP), association professionals often ask me if their association should have just one AVTP or should we have many for our different members? I find that association’s that have an AVTP put a lot of time, effort, and resources into their AVTP so funneling new members through one great experience is recommended.

Industry Study Brings a New Way for Association Professionals to Think About Member Engagement

Smooth The Path

There was one theme running so strongly through each member research project I could not ignore it. It was that members who engaged very early in their membership were more excited about the association than members who reported that “the association just grew on them.” ” These early engagers are special. Some associations have far more early engagers than others, and these early engagers tended to engage with the same benefit.

Members Want More Meaning

Smooth The Path

Members are looking for more meaning in their interactions with their associations. How can your association plus up the meaning? Related: The future of associations is experiences. What are you doing about your member’s psychological safety?

Members Might Need a New Way to Solve Problems

Smooth The Path

There are some problems in our industries and professions that are so big, so complex, so nuanced, or so new that no industry expert has the answer for all members. So, where might we help members find some solutions? Effective association to innovative association at light speed.

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Member Benefits Take a Back Seat to Member Experiences

Smooth The Path

What is it like to be a member? Many members say they feel a warm sense of belonging. Engaged members talk about the sense of community where colleagues are supportive, understanding, and generous. Members also feel valued because they give to the community.

Creating Member Engagement is a Two-Way Street

Associations Now

Member engagement as commonly discussed in associations is all about getting members to act. What is your association doing to engage with members where they are, on their turf? Before I started working in associations, the only thing that came to mind when I heard the word engagement was people getting married. Now, after years of exposure to the concept of membership engagement , it means so many other, very different things.

Thursday Buzz: Weak Member Engagement? Look At Your Staff.

Associations Now

You can’t rely on your volunteers all the time to get your members motivated—your staffers have to do the job too, even if they’re not membership pros. Also: Microsoft introduces a new—and very snazzy—member to the Office family. Associations value their volunteers, but there’s a limit to how much they can help on top of their own full-time gigs. As a result, associations struggle to maximize their potential for member engagement.

Building Buy-In for an Online Community at Your Association

Higher Logic

You don't have to be a hypnotist or a master of persuasion to build support for an online community among your association’s board and executive team. Instead, you need to align your new online community with the mission and priorities of your association's leadership.

Want to Maximize Association Membership Value? Create Indispensable Engagement

Higher Logic

Although “engaging people” might not seem like the most groundbreaking approach to organizational growth, it’s a simple idea that has wide-reaching effects. What is engagement, at its core? Maybe you’re struggling with: Retaining and recruiting more members. Member Retention.

Association Awareness is Actually a Different Problem in Disguise

Smooth The Path

” Incoming association boards and staff often leap to this conclusion too. Most association’s awareness problems are member engagement problems in disguise. Improve your value and deliver exceptional experiences to improve engagement. Related: Solve your member engagement problem to solve your acquisition problem. The superpower most associations overlook. Members want to be seen.

We Join Because That is What We Do

Smooth The Path

Combing through over 343 interview transcripts, I am discovering the reasons member join. We tend to think they join for the benefits, but most potential members have no idea what the member benefits are. A professor, a manager, a peer, or someone they respect recommended the association to them. There is also another reason members join. Sometimes members join because it is what people like them do. Your association might as well solve them.

Better Member Retention From Frictionless Experiences Designed for Your Association

Smooth The Path

If you work for an association where membership is required or an association with a 98% retention rate and no competition, your association might be able to get away with a bit of friction. The rest of us need to design frictionless experiences wherever members interact with us, including: Intuitive member applications. Immediate access to behind-the-pay-wall member benefits upon joining. Quick response to members who call, email, or chat.

Association Email is Dying

Smooth The Path

Email is ridiculously important to the health of our association because at most associations email is by far the most used channel to communicate with our members. We are not going to talk all the new filters that purposely block and sort association mass emails into spam folders (that’s a problem too). What we are going discuss today is what we can do to ensure our members do not sort our emails into their mental spam box. Members have told me so.

Our Member’s Automatic-Minds do not Want to be Engaged

Smooth The Path

Of course, our members use both modes of thinking as well. Our member’s reflective-mind may want to explore all the association has to offer but first, the reflective-mind has to overcome the automatic-mind and that is a tough battle to win. The automatic-mind steers members to their inbox every morning. Take advantage of this by having a super relevant, super quick, super engaging email waiting for them. Related: Association email is dying.

Is Your Association Breaking This Key Rule While Trying to Engage Younger Members?

Smooth The Path

I’ve come across many organizations who try endlessly to engage younger members, but to no avail. Once associations start following that rule, they are able to engage younger members with ease. While we apply The Halfway Rule effortlessly to many areas of our lives, we often neglect it when it comes to membership management — especially with younger, newer members. Why Associations Routinely Break the Halfway Rule.

Mismatches Between New Strategies and Problems Happen at Associations

Smooth The Path

An association’s board had been talking about how young professionals were the least engaged of all the member segments. In fact, offering a free first year of membership has unintentionally created more problems for the association and its newest members. These strategies might even be working well for other associations. Before investing time and effort into a new strategy, define your association’s problem.

Associations and Lousy Marketing

Smooth The Path

Just because we manage non-profit associations does not make us immune to lousy marketing. Even association marketing can force attention, game participation, and fake attraction. Sometimes the relentless drive for numbers makes us take shortcuts, and these shortcuts repel members in the long run rather than engage them. When members respond to the association, do they sometimes regret it later? Related: What are associations really selling?

Why Long-Time Members Are Reluctant to Leave Your Association

Smooth The Path

New members are our most at-risk segment of members but, they are not the only at-risk members we have. We see retention rates decline for long-time members as well. Long-time members have experienced years of happy membership. Too often long-time members feel like they could take the stage and give the speaker’s presentation. They say there’s a lack of value for them. They say the association is getting stale.

Design Comes Before Utility for Associations

Smooth The Path

So if we see bad design, we might not stick around long enough to notice its utility and value. Every association has to jump the design barrier to convey to members that the brochure is something they want to read, the website is navigable, the guidebook is worth investing time in, the research report is worth scanning, or the conference app is worth using. Related posts: How the association’s technology impacts your member’s experience.

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When We Create a Vacuum of Information Our Members Make Up Stories

Smooth The Path

For example, when a member calls the association’s headquarters, leaves a message, and does not get a call back within 24 hours that member may start thinking: “My message got lost”, or. “They (the association staff) do not care about us (the members)”, or. “The association must not care much about customer service”, or. Members are busy making up stories when they do not know the answer.

How Content & Thought Leadership Can Build Association Value

SCD Group

Louis Institute for Association Leadership (STIAL) meeting got a personal look at the strategies and tactics of the Composite Engagement Score system. Matt Van Cleave, Senior Vice President of Aptify, shared the details of the Composite Engagement Score system and encouraged participants to download his presentation and an ebook with more details on the system. I really like the concept of “scoring and tracking” member engagement of your association.

When to Make Innovation a Priority for Your Association

Smooth The Path

Overall declining membership numbers, worse retention ratings or fewer new members. Less member engagement. All of these member focused indicators should tell us when the value of our offerings is not quite valuable enough and when we should make innovation a priority. If not in our data, how do we know when it is time to make innovation a priority in our association? Association change doesn’t come without practice. Declining revenues.

People Like Me Join an Association Like This

Smooth The Path

The same goes with associations. Each association is for some professionals but not for everyone. In fact, the association is not for everyone in the profession. It is harder, but maybe more useful, to say this association is for the innovators. Who are your best members? Define this now and help your best members say, “people like me join associations like this.” ” Related: Are you delivering the right value to members?

Engagement: It's Not About You

Thanks For Playing

There was a lot of talk about measuring and scoring member engagement at December's ASAE Technology Conference. People talked about engagement as the key to recruitment, retention, and upselling, whether that means getting members to invest money by buying stuff or invest time by taking volunteer positions. People talked about rewards for engagement. People talked about engagement being the core of the association value proposition.

2018 Building Associations Momentum Award Winners


The GrowthZone AMS 1st Annual Association Momentum Awards Competition for Construction Trades and Building Associations yielded extraordinary results, with entrants submitting details of their most inventive and forward-thinking programs. The Big Book of Association Ideas: Construction Trades & Building Associations Edition. Entries were judged on creativity, industry impact, value to association, value to members, and replicability.

5 Ways Great Associations Become Great

Smooth The Path

What makes an association great in the eyes of members? Members say, Transactions work like I expect them to. The value of my membership is bigger than the cost of my money and time. The value of my membership is apparent. My membership is of value to me now, it was valuable to me when I first joined, and it will still be valuable to me in a few years. The association keeps me informed and helps me connect to the right people.

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3 Ways to Engage More Association Members in Your Online Community


Online member engagement falls into that category. An effective member engagement strategy gets your members participating and interacting with your association and their peers through its website, networking events, or private member community. That interaction then leads to stronger relationships that can help your association increase member satisfaction, renewals, and advocacy. Task #2) Empower Veteran Members.

Developing My Dream Association

Smooth The Path

If I were to build an association, I would pull the most significant insights from all of the research I have conducted. Here is what I would focus on as I created my dream association. One of the core staff values would be to be intensely member-focused. We would talk with members often, conduct listening tours, and interview them. We would use all the member insights we gain to develop our member communications, set our strategy, and create an innovation plan.

Recruiting Members Face-to-Face

Eric Lanke

As has become my habit, whenever I find myself going somewhere, I check our database to see if there are any members in the area and, if so, I try to reserve some time to go visit them. That worked for one of our most engaged members this week, but on this particular trip there was another kind of opportunity that presented itself. Why, I wondered had he not yet decided to become a member? This association is not for you , the member reportedly told him.

Case Study: In-depth Member Interviews Feed Association’s Strategic Plan

Smooth The Path

What else should the association do to support members during these extremely challenging times? This was the nagging question one association VP had. In preparation for other strategic planning processes the association conducted quantitative member surveys but found the results were not all that actionable because there continued to be so many unanswered questions. Learn if there were any barriers preventing deeper member engagement.

The Competition is Out to Get Associations

Smooth The Path

That is a deceptively complex question because: Not only are competitive associations your competition, but for-profit companies are now your competition too. Not only might industry consultants be your competition, but your members might be your competition too. We are competing for our member’s money, attention, and time. Email, meetings, and projects are all competing with associations. Related: The formula for member engagement.

Big Ideas for Association Professionals

Smooth The Path

An idea so big, I wish I could personally tell everyone in our association community. Last year, because of the Association Industry Innovation Study , I was consumed with the continuum of innovation. A seemingly simple concept but, one that offers the answer to many associations who cannot seem to get their innovation engine started. We talk a lot about value and rightfully so. The membership has to be of value for members to give their time, money, and attention.

Interesting Trends in Association Industry Survey Results


GrowthZone recently released the 2021 Association Industry Survey results. This year’s report contains specific data on association value proposition recognition, COVID’s impact on organizations’ operating status, 2021 revenue trends predictions, and more. It’s that time of year!