How often are you looking your membership management metrics? At my last association, we looked at metrics every day. In fact, we even had a visualization room where anyone in the organization can visibly see how we were trending. It enabled the entire staff to start thinking how their individual job impacted our outcomes.
You may already know the importance of metrics, but what metrics should you be tracking constantly?
Here are five membership metrics that can give you visibility into the health of your organization and equip you with the data insights to drive growth.
New members. Every year, members leave your association. As members go out the back door, you must keep new ones coming in the front.
- Start off by looking at your trending data – how many new members have joined your organization this year? Are you trending up or is your new member growth flat?
- Also, you want to monitor the reason new members are joining your organization. Constantly monitoring the reason members join will empower your organization to meet your new members expectations and deliver the value to retain their membership.
- As with all business, first impressions are lasting impressions. The first 90-days of membership with your organization directly correlate to member satisfaction and membership renewal. What is your 90-day plan to welcome and engage new members into your organization? Has your organization built a welcoming culture? Not sure? Ask your membership especially those that have joined within the last year.
Member engagement. Member engagement is the lifeblood of an association. Active, engaged, passionate members renew their memberships and help to bring even more new members into the fold.
- Again, begin with year over year trending data – how many members have participated in an activity this year? How many participated in an activity last year? You can define activity by what is important to your organization’s goals. Those activities can be attending an event, clicking an email and/or participating in a committee.
- Your membership management software’s online community is another engagement metric to be constantly reviewed. Are your members connecting and networking with one another? How many comments and shares are occurring? (If you don’t currently, have an online community, it’s time to speak with your membership management software vendor about implementing one. Built-in online communities are a great way for your membership to connect, share and collaborate with each other.)
- Furthermore, log-in rates are another great engagement metric. Log-in rates can assist you in determining if your organization’s member portal provides value for members. The more members are engaged, the more likely they are to renew their membership.
Member retention. Building a loyal member base takes time and requires the focus of each person on your team.
- Once again, start with year over year trending data – how many members renewed this year? Where have you been – how many members renewed this year vs last year vs the year prior?
- Additionally, you want to pay attention to why members are leaving. Constantly tracking why members leave will enable you to pinpoint what members value. Equipped with the reason members leave, you can make the changes to your organization and get in front of the issues before members leave.
Website traffic. Your website is the digital face of your organization, and can be a wealth of information impacting the growth of your organization.
- Google analytics will tell you how much web traffic your organization has. What’s the total number of site visits and what’s the total number of unique site visits? What pages are being visited the most? But, don’t just look at the traffic. Take a deeper dive and monitor the time on the page. For instance, if your “Becoming a Member” page receives the most traffic, but the average time on page is one second, there is an issue. The information on the page is not compelling enough for prospects to stay on the page.
- You also want to monitor your marketing activities. What activities are you doing to drive traffic to your website? Emails, social media and blogging are just a few of the activities that can bring prospective and current members to your website, so they can engage with your organization.
Help contacts. Whether your organization is lead by volunteer or paid staff, helping contacts via phone or email can be a major time commitment.
- Where are you now with the quantity of help contacts? Have they increased or decreased over time? Is there a trend with topics of help? Keeping an eye on this metric can identify potential issues with your website, application process or lack of information. You’ll also most likely discover some improvements to your business processes that can assist in streamlining operations and increasing efficiency.
There, you have it – 5 membership metrics that you should be constantly monitoring. You don’t have to start off with monitoring all of these at once. But, consider adding one a month to your review. We bet that you will see an increase in member loyalty as the data unfolds into actionable insight.
You can learn how data-driven associations like yours grow their organizations. Just download our Small Association’s Guide to Increasing Member Engagement.