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Understanding Member Needs - Before the Breakup

Business Team Finishing Puzzle
On any given day, some proportion of your members are probably a bit less engaged with your association than they were the day before.

Those ups and downs are natural. But when the relationship becomes weak enough, you run the risk that some members will leave the organization. Do you know how to read the signs of an impending breakup and rekindle the relationship before it’s too late?

Every member has their own excellent reason to connect with your association when they first join up. And it’s easy to spot the most engaged members, because you always see them—volunteering for committees, speaking at conferences, driving social media traffic, and playing other leadership roles in the life of the organization.

The majority of members are probably quieter, and that makes them harder to read. Many of them may be satisfied with the benefits they receive, but you won’t know for sure unless you listen carefully and reach out constantly.

In a 2010 white paper, Lebanon, Indiana-based
Association Metrics suggested three questions to help you classify your members as loyal, neutral, or vulnerable, and are still very relevant today:

1.      If a friend or relative asked you about the association, how likely would you be to recommend they join?
2.      When your current membership is about to expire, how likely will you be to renew?
3.      How would you rate the overall value of your membership in this association against your dues?

A negative rating in response to any one of these questions is your signal that a member is vulnerable. And if you can spot a particular characteristic—age, income, educational level, years in your industry, or years in the association—that is more prevalent among vulnerable members, it may point to a cluster of members who are headed for a breakup.

Do you have an innovative strategy
for keeping members loyal and engaged? Drop us a line to tell us about it, and let us know if you’d like us to tell your story (anonymously) in a future blog post.