Whether you’re communicating with members, processing dues, or planning your next event, your association’s members and team benefit tremendously from efficient management. With the right technology on your side, your association can accomplish more for your members while making the best use of your time and energy.
Technology has changed how your members interact with the world, in their professional lives and within your association. One of the most valuable ways that associations and members alike can leverage technology is through your association management system (AMS).
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that your association can use your AMS and other helpful software solutions to:
- Keep member data stored and organized in your AMS.
- Facilitate member-driven management strategies.
- Leverage eCommerce and event management tools.
- Automate communications to stimulate engagement.
- Keep members updated with your website.
Recording and managing member data is key to providing personalized experiences and optimizing your association’s membership offerings.
1. Keep member data stored and organized in your AMS.
Member data is key to personalizing association member experiences and communications. If you’re using an AMS, your association can easily access this data for use in marketing campaigns, audience lists for communications, and event planning. You can collect and store data about your members such as their contact information, financial data, preferred form of communication, survey feedback, and/or their industry topic interests.
Integrating your CRM with your AMS can help you further streamline your data management and ensure your association’s management team has adequate resources. Connecting the two systems allows you to benefit from:
- Automatic data entry. When members complete continuing education courses, register for events, or make updates to their profile on your AMS, these changes will appear automatically in your CRM. This ensures that your records are up-to-date.
- Comprehensive member profiles. When members login to your AMS, they can update their information, record their messages with other members, and complete industry training. Choose an AMS that includes comprehensive member profiles and features ways to recognize outstanding work, like badges that represent completed courses.
- Segmented communications. Using the information from your AMS and CRM, you can segment your members according to their listed interests or preferred communication methods.
By using your AMS and CRM effectively, you can improve your data hygiene, save time, and easily record valuable member information. You can also use your AMS to give your members access to their own portals, streamlining management even further.
2. Facilitate member-driven management strategies.
It’s likely that your association has many members spread out all over the country and perhaps even the world. You’ll be better prepared to tailor your association’s offerings to your members’ preferences when you give them some control over their experiences. Choose an AMS that allows members to create member-driven committees, communities, and regional chapters.
Members would have the opportunity to become community leaders within your organization by using your association management software to create their own chapters or groups based on professional interests or geographic location. According to Fonteva’s best association management software guide, your association will want to look for an AMS that allows members to:
- Communicate with the members of their chapter or community. Look for an AMS with topic boards and messaging functions to give your members more control over their communication with their fellow members.
- Host regional events. Regional events allow more of your association’s members to network and make valuable connections with their peers and other industry professionals. Your AMS should give regional leaders access to the same event registration and management features that you use for larger association events.
- Keep in touch with members via mobile. Look for an AMS with a mobile app that committees, regional chapters, and other subgroups can use to communicate with members and keep them updated on the latest opportunities.
Member-run committees, communities, and regional chapters encourage and provide more leadership and networking opportunities within your association. Facilitating these groups based on specific topics or location makes your association more valuable to your members’ professional interests.
Whether it’s association-wide or intended for a specific regional chapter, an event is an excellent way to provide these in-person opportunities. Use your AMS to make the registration and management processes as smooth as possible.
3. Leverage eCommerce and event management tools.
Conferences and events are incredibly valuable to your association. Events steward your community, help your association build brand recognition, and provide opportunities to increase non-dues revenue through registration fees and the sale of branded merchandise. Increase attendance at your next event and streamline planning by facilitating event registration and management with your AMS.
Make your registration process convenient and simple, collecting only the most important member information. This can help increase attendance by reducing the number of registrants lost from a long sign-up form. Using your AMS can help you optimize members’ registration experience by:
- Making registration easy for your members. When members register for events using your AMS, they won’t have to spend time re-entering information that you already have stored in their member profiles. You’ll also be able to update your database if they change their information.
- Keeping members updated using event microsites. Event microsites are smaller websites dedicated to your upcoming event. You can create them via your AMS to promote the event, stimulate excitement about keynote speakers, and keep them informed as sessions fill up.
- Selling event merchandise through your eCommerce platform. Use your AMS to create an eCommerce shop for attendees to purchase branded merchandise from your organization’s event. This merchandise can also help build your brand awareness among members and their networks.
Well-planned events keep members engaged, lowering your turnover among members and helping them feel excited about their involvement in your association. To make sure they know about upcoming events and other news from your association, use your AMS to send automated communications.
4. Automate communications to stimulate engagement.
It can be difficult to stay in touch with each and every member of your association, especially if your membership base is large or growing. Automated communications ensure that you can share targeted messages that are personalized for specific member segments.
Choose an AMS that allows you to automate communications to all of your members as well as to select groups, like regional chapters or event registrants. Automated communications can streamline some of the most essential association management processes, including:
- Dues reminders and collection. Make the dues collection process hassle-free by automating reminders to members when their payments are coming up, due, and late. You can also automate the dues payment process by having your member management software automatically charge members if they’ve elected that option.
- Event reminders. Maximize attendance at your next conference or event by automating reminders to generate excitement and encourage more members to sign up.
- eLearning course recommendations. If you’re using an association learning management system (LMS) to offer your members continuing education courses, you can automate course recommendations based on their previous purchases within your association LMS.
Automation saves time for your association staff and enhances communication between your organization and members. As an additional source of important information for your members, don’t forget to keep your website updated.
5. Keep members updated with your website.
When members have questions related to your association, it’s likely that your website is one of the first places they go to find answers. Your website serves as an important source of information for potential members who are considering joining your association. If you haven’t updated it in a while, it’s a good idea to give your association’s website a refresher.
Morweb’s best association websites guide shows examples of how websites can be engaging without overwhelming visitors with information. Provide visitors with content that encourages them to explore your offerings in more depth while always directing them to your important information, like your upcoming events, meeting times, or eLearning opportunities. As you update your site, make sure it offers:
- A clean and modern layout. Choose a design that showcases news about your association and pertinent information, such as how to sign up for membership, corporate partnerships, or the deadline to register for upcoming events. Multimedia elements including photos and videos can help captivate visitors.
- A protected members area. Members should easily be able to login to their profiles and other member-exclusive sections of your site, like certificate courses. The link to this area should be prominent, to incentivize visitors to join your association.
- A mobile-responsive design. Make sure your website is functional for a variety of devices your members may be using.
Your association can use your website and AMS to make managing every aspect of your operations easier and enhance member experience and engagement in the process. When your members can easily access information about programming and other opportunities that closely match their professional goals, they’ll be more likely to participate and stay involved.
Use helpful software solutions to make managing your members easier, giving your team more time to create programming that addresses your members’ specific needs and interests and encourages their participation. Everyone involved with your association will benefit from the management solutions that these helpful software systems facilitate.
Erin Lemons joins Togetherwork Association Solutions with over 15 years serving as a marketing director, event producer, and project manager creating robust marketing campaigns and initiatives that focus on the growing and ever-changing technology needs of the association industry. She leads the marketing teams and strategy at Fonteva and Protech.
Great info , thank you good.