How to generate new ideas for member engagement and retention

As member needs and expectations change, so should your engagement strategies. 

Here’s how to uncover innovative member engagement ideas and bring them to life.


By Christine Bergeron, Marketing Coordinator, Community Brands



When you work at an association with a small staff, generating new ideas might not be at the top of your list. You probably already wear more than one hat, so keeping up with daily operations is Job One. 

But if there’s one thing the challenges from the last year have shown us, it’s the importance of being able to generate new ideas quickly and innovate to meet changing needs.  Member needs and expectations continually shift, and your association must evolve to meet those demands. 

Generating ideas for innovative member engagement 
So how can you continually produce new ideas for engaging and retaining members when you don’t have extra time on your hands? One of the best ways is to stay on the lookout for inspiration. For example: 

  • Take note of marketing emails that catch your eye and make a mental note of why they appealed to you.
  • Stay on the lookout for what other associations are doing with their social media, websites, email communications, and other marketing channels to promote their programs.
  • Pay attention to marketing and engagement activities from any organizations you’re involved with in your personal life and take note of what they do that motivates you to get more involved. 

An Associations Now article recommends creating a “swipe file” for these day-to-day inspirations. A swipe file is a place (a file on your computer or even a physical file) to store great ideas that grab your attention. You can then meet with your team on a regular basis to review the items and discuss what makes them eye-catching and effective. Then, you can brainstorm how to apply those same ideas to your member engagement strategies. 

Technology to help put your new ideas to work
Technology is always evolving to help you put your new ideas to work. Here are a few examples of capabilities in YourMembership association management software that can power your innovative ideas for membership engagement and help your small staff do big things

Email marketing – Chances are that many of your great ideas for member engagement will require email marketing. Email marketing capabilities in YourMembership association management software can help you to:

  • Easily create emails with a drag-and-drop editor.
  • Create and save custom email templates.
  • Handle email logistics, such as list segmentation and email opt ins/outs.
  • Track email statistics, such as open and click-through rates.

Workflow automation – With a small staff, it can be tough to find time to implement your new ideas. But, using built-in workflow automation capabilities in YourMembership association management software, you can implement the following time-saving approaches that make it easier to bring your new ideas to life:

  • Schedule automatic email renewal and expired notices.
  • Generate and send invoices automatically or with one click.
  • Automate event confirmations, reminders, and thank you emails.
  • Schedule reports for automatic distribution via email on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Online member community – An online member community is a great place to get members more engaged. It can help connect members with each other and your organization year-round. Online community functionality in YourMembership association management software allows you to easily set up an online community where you can put new ideas to work, such as:

  • Automatically setting up various online discussion groups so members can easily share ideas and information with each other. 
  • Connecting new members with top volunteer ambassadors, or “buddies” to help new members get to know the organization and feel more welcome.
  • Acknowledging and rewarding active and engaged members. For example, display member activity and participation levels, encouraging members to return, share, and connect.   

As member needs and expectations change, so should your engagement strategies. By generating new ideas and putting them to work using association management software (AMS) built for small associations like yours, you’ll be able to keep members involved for years to come. 

Learn more. 

Find out more about why YourMembership AMS is the ideal association management software for small associations: Explore YourMembership AMS.




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