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5 ways tech can drive greater member engagement

Whether it’s…

  • activity within your existing membership community
  • infrequent site visitors you wish would stay longer
  • or regular users you’d love to convert to that paid member status

…engagement is important – no matter which audience you’re talking about. But knowing how to boost that all-important metric can be a key question, and challenge, for many membership organisations.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in – engagement basically boils down to people, which means there are a lot of tips and tricks we can draw upon to appeal to them.

As the technical partner behind several member platforms, we understand what you’re up against – but we also know the exciting opportunity technology can present to the market, if you use it in the right way.

Here are five ways you can make the most of technology to boost your member engagement levels.

1. Artificial intelligence

AI is a huge topic in itself – by 2030, it’s predicted that AI will contribute as much as $15.7trillion to the world’s economy.

At an enterprise level, 31% are planning to use AI within the next 12 months, while the number of businesses adopting AI grew by 270% in the four years between 2015 and 2019.

We could talk for hours on this topic alone – but to trim this down for you, here are a few key uses for AI that you could put into action immediately:

  • improve your organisation’s ability to create content, organise the workplace and manage conferences (whether that’s in-person or virtually) through chatbots, AI-driven prediction tools that can track successful content examples and give marketers guidance on strategy, and brainstorming ideas, with the ability to even dictate copy so that content can be created quickly
  • for more passive members, proactive AI systems can encourage engagement and communication through automated email reminders as well as membership profiling, behaviour and composition monitoring to assess the type of strategy that will best engage these passive members
  • improve your marketing strategy with AI-driven predictive analytics and tools. These can help track member trends and user behaviour, giving your organisation greater insight into the members you should target, when you should target them and how to best go about it
  • deliver insightful, interesting content about your sector and it will naturally provoke interaction with your audience – but it can be time consuming. Together, analytical and CMS AI tools can help you create content quicker and more efficiently by streamlining processes, whilst ensuring it hits the right discussion points based on all your user data

2. Customer portals

Typically, customer portals offer an exclusive space on your website where your members can interact with you. A secure and robust customer portal can increase brand engagement, save your organisation time and allow your new and existing members to manage their own accounts.

This not only provides a useful and intuitive method of engagement – but by empowering members to control certain aspects of their account, it can relieve unnecessary calls to your customer service team too.

Customer portals can provide a multitude of uses – so it won’t just be your engagement levels that go up. Data management, integrations with cloud systems, billing and invoicing and secure client message and file transfer – all this gives your members a personalised and safe method of communicating with you, whilst improving your internal processes at the same time.

And don’t worry about it being an isolated entity either – portals can be built and integrated across multiple platforms to suit a variety of devices, including mobile, tablet and more, giving your members the opportunity to engage with your services 24/7, in the most convenient, enjoyable way for them.

3. Data & Analytical Tools

Let’s expand on that point above around data.

A bespoke set of data and analytical tools can help you identify member behaviour, allowing you to predict and understand the actions your members take. Earlier, we mentioned how this impacts your ability to create great content and timely promotions – but it also helps to inform your digital roadmap.

Digital offerings need constant evolution – especially in the membership sector, where competition is high. Integrating with data visualisation platforms allows your organisation to make clearer decisions when it comes to assessing:

  • which features help to convert new members
  • what your members use the most
  • what features and functionality they like and dislike
  • what part of your roadmap should be prioritised
  • what areas need to be improved

Plus, these tools can power feedback models that ask members for their insights directly (like push notifications or pop-ups in a mobile app), at the ideal time that they’re likely to respond.

Internally, the custom dashboards and reporting elements mean it’s easier for marketing, client services and all teams involved to share success, and make more informed decisions through high quality feedback.

4. AMS Automation

We have a wealth of experience in developing automation and integration services for healthcare and government organisations – so we know first-hand how powerful this type of AI can be.

Let’s say there’s an application process required for members to join you. Everything might be digital on the front-end, but the challenges usually happen internally – manual procedures, lengthy data entry tasks, human error and so on. Automating Association Management System (AMS) workflows and all procedures cuts out the complexity, and ensures a smooth, simple process.

Staff can get on with more important tasks, while new members are on-boarded faster which promotes quicker engagement. You can even automate notifications to them about the process of their application, making them feel involved and taken care of right from the off.

The better their experience in the beginning, the sooner you start building that brand loyalty.

From that point on, more automation workflows can kick in – reward members who show the greatest engagement with your organisation, email them with exclusive offers and events (personalised, based on those insights we gathered earlier about their behaviour), and provide quick and effective response to any issues. An automated response through a digital assistant or chatbot gives your members the answers they need quickly.

5. UI/UX Design

Our clients and their customers are at the heart of everything we do at 6B. We know that through embracing beautiful and intuitive UI and UX design, your organisation can increase attraction and retention rates.

In fact, research shows that a quality user experience can raise conversion rates by as much as 400%, while Airbnb founder Joe Gebbia famously said recently that UX was the reason why the company turned its fortunes around from being a near-failure to being valued at 10million dollars. Member-centric UX design ensures your member needs are met, any user problems are quickly resolved, and they enjoy the experience of interacting with you.

Ensuring that your users have the correct information to hand is critical in driving member conversion and engagement. Key to this is that initial discovery phase (we call it our Breakthrough stage) – researching member journeys, creating mock scenarios and pathways, carrying out user research and user testing. It all ensures that the UX of your website, mobile app or web solution matches your user criteria.

You can also add that extra drop of creativity to your ‘join us’ processes – the easier and more engaging this experience, the more likely they are to convert and to want to join you. Always allow users to complete tasks in as few clicks and fields as possible; intuitive search functionality, simplified navigation and easy-to-use forms can do this without compromising on quality.

Summary

So – through impactful UI/UX design, AMS automation, data and analytical tools, customer portals and harnessing the power of AI, you could create multiple different pathways to driving greater member engagement, and maximise existing ones.

 

At 6B, our no-nonsense approach to tech means we utilise the power of web and mobile development to provide real value to your members.

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