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‘A’ is for automation: how a simple word can change your world.

by | Dec 1, 2016 | Membership & Marketing

As associations become more and more data-driven, the need for automation and efficiency is even more critical. Member expectations are growing faster than ever, board members are seeking return on technology investments, and association professionals are tasked to not only meet, but exceed, these goals every day.

So, how does an association professional survive in this demanding and ever-changing environment? Well, besides drinking an abundance of caffeine, the answer is simple: automation.

As the saying goes, “there’s strength in numbers,” and this can’t be any truer than for an association working hard to meet member wants and needs. Remember, every new member experience is the next expectation. Generally-speaking, companies like Netflix, Facebook and Amazon have raised the bar even higher.

You may ask yourself: how can my association keep up with companies like that when I don’t have the same resources or budget? It’s a lot simpler than you may think.

While keeping up with technology trends can feel daunting, association technology companies like YourMembership are keeping associations ahead of the curve with ongoing customer-driven development and new advancements in member-serving functionalities. Here are some notable updates:

Member digests.

Recently, a new automatic member digest email was added to YM online community, allowing members to set their preferences to receive daily or weekly emails that highlight everything happening within their social community. This not only provides an easy way for members to stay up-to-date about what’s going on throughout their association, it also entices them to return and interact. In turn, this opens new opportunities for your association to capture a member’s next renewal, event registration or product purchase.

Membership auto-renewal.

While auto-renewal membership is not a new concept to associations, it’s certainly not always easy to process, especially with multi-tiered and complex membership models. And, the functionality to support these models is vital to selecting an association management software (AMS) or customer relationship management (CRM) technology.

Companies such as Hulu, Netflix and Spotify have built their entire business models around tiered recurring subscriptions, driving the expectation for you to offer an auto-pay option. Make sure the technology you choose is flexible enough to support your membership model and robust enough to deliver auto-renewal options. It can mean the difference between retaining or losing a member.

Membership renewal prompts.

For those members that choose not to set up an auto-pay account and instead prefer to monitor their monthly or yearly transactions, it can be difficult to retain them. Each time their membership is up for renewal, you’re giving them an opportunity to reconsider their membership when they haven’t been as engaged as usual. With this in mind, it’s essential to capture them for their renewal when they are most engaged.

For example, a member may log in to message a colleague or register for your annual conference. These are the micro-moments when members are most likely to renew. Membership renewal prompts that appear automatically during this time allow you to capture them with the simple click of a button when the member is receiving the most value for their membership.

Scheduled reporting.

According to the 2015-2016 NACD Public Company Survey report, on average, directors spend nearly 250 hours on board-related matters, or approximately one full month a year. When you think about what this means for, let’s say, a membership director (who’s also strategizing and running the next member recruitment or engagement campaign), losing that valuable time can make an impact on member service and growth.

How many times have you run a report and thought: “Wouldn’t it be nice if this just took place automatically?” The good news is, technology is quickly catching up to this need with custom report scheduling and automated email distribution on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. With the right association management software, you can easily send these important membership reports to your executive leadership team.

Technology that grows with your members + you.

Technology, of course, is an ever-changing landscape. It’s difficult at times to keep up with it or even know what the next trend will be. There’s nothing worse than being stuck with a technology that doesn’t evolve with your needs and the expectations of your members.

Having a partner keep a watchful eye on these trends and continue to launch new enhancements makes the technology your association needs more efficient and helps you deliver compelling experiences for your members. It’s all about your association surpassing goals with technology that keeps things simple and efficient, making your world a better place.


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