Four tips to start personalization for small staff associations

You’ve likely heard or read the term “personalization” a lot the past few years in webinars, articles, and conference presentations. It’s a hot topic in the world of marketing and customer experience. That’s why the Association of National Advertisers voted “personalization” the marketing word of the year for 2019.

These days, your association can’t afford to ignore personalization. The Digital Evolution Study shows that members are interested in receiving personalized content from their associations. Seventy-nine percent say it’s very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content.
Four tips to start personalization for small staff associations
Your members – like all of us – have come to expect highly-personalized experiences. Even though your organization may be small, you’re still competing for your members’ attention with leading companies like Amazon and Netflix that take personalization to new heights.

Here are four important ideas for using personalization to create a great experience for your members:

1. Collect and use member data. 
The Digital Evolution Study shows that few associations target information and content to members based on their preferences. In fact, only 18 percent of those working at professional membership organizations (“Pros”) say they personalize the content members see. This points to an opportunity for associations to catch up with member expectations.
Four tips to start personalization for small staff associations blogUse your association management software (AMS) to collect and analyze data about your members’ career stages, interests, and behaviors to provide them with the personalized communications and benefits they’re seeking. For example, based on your members’ interests, recommend new industry reports or new services offered by your organization that will help them in their specific career stage.

TECH TIP: YourMembership association management software offers multiple ways to personalize the member experience through targeted online community content, recommendations for job opportunities, personalized event registration paths, and more.

2. Set up a preference center.
Providing a personalized experience for your members requires giving them an easy way to let you know how and when they want to hear from you. A preference center can help.

A preference center is an online portal that gives your members an easy way to control what communications they receive from your organization and how often they receive them. It also gives you another way to gather more of the data you need to improve member communications.

TECH TIP: YourMembership association management software allows you to easily set up and manage various membership levels to support targeted member communications and member preferences. 

3. Track and measure your personalization efforts.
At a minimum, be sure to track and measure open and click-through rates on your communications to ensure you’re connecting with your members. Take it further using reports and dashboard functionality in your AMS for insights into your member data so you can see the impact your personalization efforts are having on member activities and online community participation.

TECH TIP: Community Brands offers career center, LMS, and AMS solutions as part of an integrated software suite for associations. They work even better together to give you greater insights into your members and support a great member experience.

4. Make sure your member data is secure.
The Digital Evolution Study shows that 71 percent of members of professional associations say they worry about data privacy and security. However, this concern doesn’t prevent most of them from sharing information if they feel it’s secure and/or for their benefit.

For personalization to work, it’s critically important to have a single place to keep your members’ data safe. That means it’s time to move away from spreadsheets and housing member data in multiple systems. When your member data is located in many different places and staff members are sending spreadsheets back and forth, it’s difficult to collect and share data safely.

Moving your member data and management into an AMS system puts your member data in one, secure place. Be sure your AMS offers the following functionality to protect your member data and reduce risk:

  • Transparency into security and performance status
  • Best practices for data security, such as multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access and tokenization for credit card payments
  • Data recovery to safeguard your data from data storage errors, catastrophic failures, and everything in between
  • Compliance certifications to validate securityAlso, make sure your members know you have data privacy and security standards and precautions in place. Explain how the information you collect will be used for a better and more personalized experience, and your members in turn are more likely to trust you. That trust will then translate into a better member experience and, ultimately, greater member loyalty.TECH TIP: YourMembership membership management software allows you to manage member processes and data in one, secure system.

    Take the next step
    Learn more about the importance of personalization for associations and how to get started using it to deliver a great member experience. Join us for our upcoming webinar, Personalization 101: Turning Member Expectations into Reality

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