Tips on Creating an Effective Member Engagement Strategy

According to our 2022 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, 7 out of 10 associations acknowledge that they have a strategic plan to engage members, do you? To increase member participation, engagement strategies are necessary. When members are engaged, they’re more likely to renew.

Membership engagement is at the heart of member retention. If you want to keep members around, you need to employ a continuous membership engagement strategy. In this blog, we discuss the following:

  • What is membership engagement?
  • Why does your association need to engage members?
  • How to engage members using your website

At the end, we provide a holistic solution for developing a successful member engagement strategy plan. Keep reading to learn membership engagement ideas that will support your membership growth strategies.

What Is Membership Engagement?

Before investing in a member engagement strategy plan, you need to know what we mean by “membership engagement.”

Membership engagement is an ongoing initiative where organizations intentionally find ways to interact with members, building rapport. From our 2022 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, member participation and engagement strategies include:

  • Membership surveys
  • Contacting members (e.g., personalized emails, phone calls)
  • Sending newsletters
  • Publishing blog content
  • Hosting and planning events
  • Offering networking opportunities
  • Creating an online community
  • Posting often on social media

Maintaining meaningful relationships with your members is central to member engagement and retention. The goal is to demonstrate that membership with your association is valuable and worth renewing each year.

Why Does Your Association Need to Engage Members?

Understanding what engages members helps associations improve overall member engagement and retention. An effective membership engagement strategy also attracts new members by highlighting your thriving community.

Membership engagement plays into your membership growth strategies. Engaged members keep renewing. When members are pleased with their experience at your association, they tell others; therefore, increasing membership counts and making them your association’s most valuable asset.

How to Engage Members Using Your Website as a Membership Marketing Tool

Your website is your association’s hub. That’s where members should go for information, participate in your online community, communicate with other members, register for events, manage their membership, and more. It’s also a public source that potential members will look to when they want to learn more about your organization.

If you want to engage members on your website, you must share fresh, relevant content that speaks to your audience. Here is a list of member engagement ideas to help you use your website strategically.

  1. Start an online community. Create a gated community on your website where members can talk to each other and communicate with you directly. Employ someone who can moderate conversations, provide answers to questions, and generally encourage participation.
  2. Create a member directory. Add a membership directory to your website where visitors can see a list of current members, search using various criteria, and view member profiles. Anytime a new member joins your community, have them create a profile that adds them to the directory, encouraging networking.
  3. Include new content in your weekly newsletter. 99% of email users check their email every day. You’re reinforcing your association’s brand by consistently showing up in members’ inboxes via a newsletter. Make sure you include a section dedicated to new website content (e.g., news, blog posts).
  4. Share updates on social media. Social platforms like Twitter and Facebook are great avenues to engage members. Sharing links to your site on social media gets your content in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of followers – some of whom may not be members yet – and increases website traffic.
  5. Enable blog comments. Assuming you already have a blog – if not, we recommend creating one – enable comments so your members can engage with your posts. Be sure to set up a filter to remove any spam comments from populating.
  6. Conduct member surveys. Elicit member feedback by distributing surveys inside your online community, on social media, or via email. Ask questions to engage members and gain insights into what they want and currently like about their membership.

Use your website to your advantage by centralizing your resources and directing members there as part of your member engagement strategy. Ready to implement a member engagement strategy plan for your association?

Develop a Successful Membership Engagement Strategy With Marketing General Incorporated

Marketing General Incorporated (MGI) is a widely respected and preferred partner in the association and nonprofit communities. Our membership lifecycle approach to membership marketing means we keep the big picture in mind as we develop the details of a successful membership engagement strategy.

We understand that every organization we work with is unique, so we tailor our solutions to fit your needs:

    • Practiced and practical strategic planning
    • Astute industry research and analysis
    • Innovative tactical development and implementation
    • Exacting project management and execution
    • Comprehensive results reporting

MGI steps in when membership organizations need additional expertise or simply have too much to do. As a full-service membership marketing agency, our clients receive comprehensive support in everything from branding to research strategy.

Request a membership consultation to learn more about how our services can help your association raise new membership counts, increase dues revenue, and boost non-dues revenue streams.

Request a Membership Consultation