A successful association is often gauged by the strength of its membership. It may evaluate the number of members, the duration of their involvement, and the growth or decline of the membership base. To assess a membership’s value both quantitatively and qualitatively, specific metrics can be employed. Choosing the most suitable metrics depends on goals aligned with an association’s vision and purpose. Some are more precise than others in different contexts.
Here is how to evaluate the status of your association membership.
Membership Growth Rate
The be-all, end-all of ROI for association memberships is whether the number rises or falls. By using membership platform software, you may identify when members sign off and sign on. You may notice a rise in memberships based on specific events, programs, or initiatives.
Suppose the membership growth rate is a negative rather than a positive. In that case, your return on investment is poor. Your association may need a total overhaul of association membership management practices.
Average Membership Time
See if members renew their memberships. If many members stay for a year and then leave, that’s a problem. An association operating like this will burn through its potential members too quickly. They may be depleted of potential to continue.
The association is responsible for providing enough value to encourage members to return year after year. You may even want to discount renewals in a hail mary to see if this lifts the average membership time.
Money Spent Per Membership
Examine the amount of money collected from each member yearly. Besides membership fees, offering reduced prices for specific resources or event tickets can also indicate membership returns. That said, some associations won’t use this metric as they don’t bring in much money per member beyond dues. Some organizations don’t even charge them.
Member Engagement Rate
A member may sign up, register, and pay, but never engage with an association again. This type of member is unlikely to renew their membership and may have only signed up for a specific resource. Member engagement rates are sometimes automatically recorded in membership platform software.
You can monitor metrics such as likes, shares, and comments. In addition, you can see what resources members use and whether they attend association events. All these behavioural data matters, which brings us to our next point.
Usage of Benefits, Perks, and Resources
If an association’s perks and benefits are not used, it indicates poor resource planning. They should promptly adjust their offerings. Members will be more involved with resources that matter to them. If a resource holds no value or importance, it should be removed.
Find resources and perks that resonate with your base. This may involve A/B testing. It may mean changing your resources over time. Be flexible and adapt seasonally or according to member preferences.
A worthwhile program for association memberships is a referral scheme. It allows members to bring new members in and receive a discounted renewal rate or similar perks. Referrals from family members, friends, and co-workers can bring in many new members year after year.
Regarding referrals, an association may want to host special events where it’s encouraged to bring a friend. It may also want to have community outreach campaigns that specifically advertise to would-be new members.
Member Satisfaction Survey
A simple member satisfaction survey will tell you much about how well you provide networking, education, advocacy, and recognition opportunities. If members are unhappy, even if all other metrics show positive data, that should concern any association.
Member satisfaction is one of the most significant ROI measurements. The survey’s open-ended questions provide insights into how to increase your return on investment further.
Patterns in Membership Platform Software
There will undoubtedly be patterns in your membership platform software not mentioned here. Look for anything that resembles a positive or negative rhythm regarding user behaviour.
If you aren’t receiving ROI from association memberships, your software can indicate where you’re failing your members. It can also suggest ways to increase your return. This is the value of membership platform software that collects real-time data. It provides automated reports that anyone can understand.
Achieving Association Objectives
Your association has objectives. They may not be tied to a specific metric, such as profitability. They may be more abstract, such as generating exposure or awareness of an issue you advocate for. Consider whether your association achieves its quarterly goals. If it is, this can be attributed to association membership quality.
Take a broader, holistic view of your association. Determine how memberships factor into your achievements or lack thereof.
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