Why Associations Should Embrace Marketing Automation

As an association, it’s crucial to stay competitive and relevant in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. One way to do this is through the use of marketing automation. Marketing automation refers to the use of software and technology to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows.

Save time and resources

Marketing automation allows you to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time and resources to focus on more strategic, high-impact activities. For example, using a marketing automation platform, you can set up an automated email campaign to send a series of welcome emails to new members, without having to manually send each email individually.

Improve lead generation and conversion

By providing personalised content and experiences, marketing automation can help to generate and nurture leads, leading to increased conversions. For example, you can use marketing automation to segment your audience based on their interests and behaviour, and then send targeted emails or ads with relevant content that speaks to their specific needs.

Increase engagement and retention

Marketing automation can help to build relationships with members and keep them engaged through targeted, timely communications. For example, you can use marketing automation to send automated birthday or anniversary emails to members, showing that you value their membership and helping to foster a sense of community.

Enhance data management and analysis

Marketing automation enables you to collect and analyse data from various sources, giving you a more comprehensive view of your audience and allowing you to make informed decisions. For example, you can use marketing automation to track how members interact with your website and emails, and then use that data to optimise your marketing efforts and better understand your audience.

Streamline workflows

Marketing automation allows you to streamline workflows and improve efficiency by automating tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and lead nurturing. For example, you can use marketing automation to schedule social media posts in advance, ensuring that you have a consistent presence without having to manually post updates each day.

Boost ROI

By automating tasks and targeting the right people with the right messages, marketing automation can help to drive more qualified leads and increase ROI. For example, you can use marketing automation to create targeted landing pages and forms that are tailored to specific audience segments, increasing the likelihood that they will convert into members or customers.

Stay ahead of the competition

By leveraging the latest technology and marketing best practices, associations that embrace marketing automation will be well positioned to stay ahead of the competition. For example, you can use marketing automation to A/B test different subject lines or email templates, helping you to identify what works best and staying ahead of the curve in terms of email marketing best practices.

If you are looking to enhance your marketing automation, I recommend reaching out to MemberBoat. MemberBoat specialises in supporting professional associations and membership organisations with all their marketing efforts, and can provide cutting-edge marketing solutions for your membership. Find out more here.

Strategies for Cultivating a Strong and Supportive Association Community

In the association sector, cultivating a sense of community among members is critical for building strong relationships, encouraging engagement and loyalty, and achieving organisational goals. Here are some of the ways successful associations are making it happen:

Facilitate communication and collaboration among members

One of the ways associations can cultivate a sense of community is by facilitating communication and collaboration among members. This can include providing online forums or discussion groups, hosting regular webinars or conference calls, and facilitating in-person networking events. For example, a professional association might host a monthly virtual roundtable discussion on a specific topic of interest to its members, or an industry association might host an annual conference that brings members together in person.

Encourage member involvement and participation

Another way associations can cultivate a sense of community is by encouraging member involvement and participation. This can include providing opportunities for members to volunteer their time and expertise, or to take on leadership roles within the organisation. For example, a trade association might encourage members to participate in committees or task forces that help to shape the direction of the organisation, or a hobbyist association might provide opportunities for members to lead workshops or presentations at annual events.

Foster a sense of belonging

Associations can also cultivate a sense of community by fostering a sense of belonging among members. This can include creating a welcoming and inclusive culture, recognising and celebrating member achievements, and providing opportunities for members to connect and socialise. For example, a sports association might host a member appreciation night at a local game, or an alumni association might hold a reunion event for former members.

Promote a shared sense of purpose

A shared sense of purpose is another important factor in cultivating a sense of community. Associations can promote a shared sense of purpose by clearly communicating their mission and vision, and by providing opportunities for members to contribute to the organisation’s work. For example, an environmental association might provide opportunities for members to participate in conservation projects or advocacy efforts, or a healthcare association might offer opportunities for members to contribute to research or education initiatives.

Provide resources and support to members

Associations can also cultivate a sense of community by providing resources and support to members. This can include access to information and expertise, as well as practical support such as discounts on products and services. For example, a professional association might offer members access to a members-only online library or provide discounts on continuing education courses, or an industry association might offer discounted rates on industry-specific software or tools.

Create a welcoming and inclusive environment

Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment is another key factor in cultivating a sense of community. This can include initiatives to be more inclusive and diverse, and being mindful of the needs and preferences of all members. For example, an association might have a diversity and inclusion committee that works to ensure that all members feel welcome and included or might provide accommodations such as sign language interpretation at events for members who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Recognise and celebrate member achievements

Finally, associations can cultivate a sense of community by recognising and celebrating member achievements. This can include publicly acknowledging member contributions, awarding awards or accolades, or recognising milestones such as anniversaries or retirements. For example, an association might hold an annual awards ceremony to recognise outstanding member achievements or might create a member hall of fame to honour long-time members.

If you are looking for support to maximise the success of your membership program we can assist. Email Belinda Moore for more information.

JOURNAL: Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal Released

We are excited to announce the release of Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal, a compilation of articles from over 50 association thought leaders from around the globe.

This journal offers a unique perspective on the future of associations and the role they will play in shaping industries and communities. From innovative ideas for growth and sustainability to strategies for adapting to changing environments, the articles in this journal provide valuable insights and inspiration for association professionals.

As the association landscape continues to evolve, it is important for professionals to stay informed and stay ahead of the curve. The Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal is a must-read for anyone looking to drive positive change and impact within their organisation. Get your copy today and join the conversation on the future of associations.

JOURNAL: Associations Evolve: 2022 & Beyond

Forty-six association experts from around the world have collaborated to produce a collection of articles showcasing contemporary thinking on governance, membership, revenue, events, and much more.

This is a great resource for those looking for inspiration and motivation to make 2022 your best year ever. It makes great holiday reading for those who are feeling particularly enthusiastic (tip: this publication pairs well with red wine and cheese).

Download “Associations Evolve: 2022 & Beyond”

This publication is part of our Associations Evolve project which looks for ways to help associations to thrive into the future. 

Thanks to Beau Cummin from Visual Traffic for his fabulous work designing this publication, Northern Territory Business Events for their great support of this project, and all our wonderful contributors.  

We hope you will find this collection of articles from experts in the association space as informative, inspiring, and motivating as we did. 

All the best for a fun and relaxing break over the festive period. I hope you arrive back at work refreshed and ready for an awesome 2022.

Warm regards,

WHITEPAPER: Association Apocalypse

The operating landscape of associations is undergoing a seismic shift. Associations need to act now to ensure they can navigate these shifts to emerge stronger and more relevant than ever before. In my new whitepaper, Association Apocalypse, you can read more about the:

  • Six fundamental shifts occurring in the association operating landscape,
  • Three key models associations will need to re-invent, and
  • Eleven core operational enablers associations must get right along the way.

This whitepaper has been designed to assist association leaders to understand the scale of the change coming and create a platform for productive discussions within their associations about appropriate pathways forward. If you have more questions please feel free to contact us to find out how we can assist.

Read the whitepaper.

BOOK: Membership Managers Handbook (2018 Edition)

Are you looking to effectively manage a membership program for your organization? Look no further than The Membership Managers Handbook! This comprehensive guide covers all the essential aspects of membership management, from acquiring and retaining members to developing member benefits and creating a successful membership strategy.

Filled with best practices and real-world examples, The Membership Managers Handbook is a valuable resource for anyone responsible for managing a membership program. It includes tips on how to engage and retain members, as well as strategies for growth and innovation.

Whether you’re a seasoned membership manager or new to the role, The Membership Managers Handbook is the perfect tool to help you succeed.

Download the Membership Managers’ Handbook free of charge.

Are Your Communications “Friendly”?

There is a distinct difference in the “tone” of communications between associations who are successfully engaging their members and those who are performing poorly.

Those doing poorly have a very transactional communications style. It is geared only to convey information in a bland and unengaging manner.  For example: Welcome to the association. Your membership number is #. Your password is #.

Those engaging well have a very warm, friendly and engaging communication style.  For example: Welcome to the association. We are looking forward to meeting you face to face and helping you to make the most of your membership. Speaking of which, there is an event coming up in your area next week. Would you like to come along so I can introduce you around to some of the other members? 

When writing communications to members I picture a specific member in my head (who I like) and then pretend I am writing the communication specifically to them. 

I also keep in mind is the outcome I am trying to achieve. Eg: If the purpose is to get the new member activating a portion of their membership, then my entire communication is geared to achieve that action.