How Your Association Can Take Advantage of Website and Member Analytics
The digital world offers associations the ability to connect with members in ways that were never possible before. Memberships have improved and associations everywhere are benefitting, but many are still barely scratching the surface of what they have access to. While technology has given rise to more efficient member management, the true strength of the digital machine lies with the information being gathered beneath the surface. Associations have access to an incredible wealth of data. Every click and page view is tracked and is ready for analysis. Associations that use this information best are able to understand the why, where, what and how provided by members. Effective analysis leads to more effective action and that bodes well for everyone involved.
Here are five ways your association can take advantage of analytics.
Get the Most Out Your Association
Members are the key to any association’s success, but understanding what makes members tick can be a challenge. This is where analytics comes in. Member analytic tools take tracked member information such as member activity, demographics, page views, communication engagement, membership lifespans, and much more, and help associations put that information to use. This data can be monitored and observed for trends. Not only does the information allow associations to better understand their members and improve the membership by reinvesting in the things that work best and correcting or abandoning those that do not, but analytics also create a better understanding of the association as a whole.
Analytics provide associations with basic information that allows for the personalization and maximization of future sales materials, communications, and membership offerings, but they also help visualize and break down the various components of the association. Information is available on the percentages of turning website visits into leads, leads into customers, and/or communications into sales. Over time, each of these percentages can be turned into predictive scores, which help determine current and future success. Now, the association knows what their members truly want and knows what to expect from future efforts. Benefitting from analytics requires time, adaptation and reaction, but generating and responding to periodical reports and member trends enables associations to fine-tune their plan for success.
Expand Marketing Capabilities
Effective digital marketing is typically discovered through trial and error, but, with marketing analytic tools in tow, the errors are smaller and fewer. This is because the effectiveness of marketing efforts can be tracked and analyzed in significant detail. Analytic tools provide information on where website hits come from, what attracted them, and what did not work. Tools like these enable the association to communicate to leads and/or members appropriately. Based on the results of the association’s marketing efforts, leads and/or members are able to be grouped with other like-minded individuals. Grouping can be determined by the types of marketing they respond to, what they are interested in, and/or what stage in the membership or lead process they are currently in. This level of personalization eliminates redundancies in marketing and helps associations establish a more direct connection with the target. More importantly, predictive reports can then be generated to establish what is needed to reach associational goals or targets.
Improve Member Retention
Similar to marketing, member retention is aided by analytics in presenting associations with a clear picture of what works, what does not, in what way it works or doesn’t work, and why. By having detailed knowledge of how members react to retention communications, who left the association, and why, associations can adapt and respond appropriately, correcting issues early on. Once again, analytic tools are extremely useful for member retention. Over time, you can create an accurate visualization of membership trends. This helps associations to identify members that are on the path to unsubscribing well before they ever get to that point, all based on patterned activity that follows members who went that route in the past. Associations can also determine how long members will stay in the organization and even have an idea of how active members will be based on their current level of activity. With such detailed information, associations can act rather than react.
Enhance Your Events
With all this information available regarding the association, members, leads, and renewals, it is inevitable that an association’s events also benefit from analytics. The information provided by marketing campaign analytics, for example, is likely every bit as useful in an event setting. Now, considering the face-to-face component, there is bound to be some differences, but the content that turned leads into members online should still be effective in person. But analytics play a much larger role in events than this. With access to the information provided by mobile event apps and trackers, social media information, attendee polls and digital response forums, event planning is turning into a precise art. Simply put, associations have access to what attendees respond to and want to see and can personalize the event specifically for the guests. Throughout the event, all present attendee data is gathered and analyzed and event exhibitors can even adapt and react on the fly.
Understand Associational Growth
At this point, it may seem obvious that analytics helps increase associational growth. After all, knowing completely the strengths and weaknesses of an association, improving marketing and retention strategies, and enhancing events are bound to help an association grow, but there is more to it than that. While, at the most basic level, member analytics can identify what areas are an association’s worst and why. They can also determine what level of commitment an association should place on certain efforts based on the return on investment. Even more importantly, growth is almost never linear and endless. As with anything, there are peaks, valleys, and plateaus with membership and associational expansion. Analytics help associations understand the growth it experiences and predicts where it will lead.