Book a Speaker
Grow Membership
Reduce Turnover
Guest Posts

Segmentation Recommendations For Membership Associations

I belong to a few membership-based organizations and nothing frustrates me more than getting too many emails from them. Often, they are about information, products or services that I am not interested in, or their timing between departments is way off, and I end up getting multiple emails in one day.

I belong to a few membership-based organizations and nothing frustrates me more than getting too many emails from them.  Often, they are about information, products or services that I am not interested in, or their timing between departments is way off, and I end up getting multiple emails in one day.

I am sure that I am not the only one who finds this difficult to take – and at times, I find myself shutting off and not even opening their emails.  What’s sad is that I am likely missing information that I should know, and want to know, all because it has become too much.

SEGMENT MEMBERSHIP FOR BETTER REACH

The idea of segmenting your membership is not new – and I am sure that there are several organizations that do it well. And, in the case of email and other communication tools, doing so can help your membership association gain better reach and traction with your audience.

Here are some recommendations of possible segmentation methods that may help streamline your association’s communications:

  • Determine the types of communication you send first. Make a list with the entire department of the types of information you are putting out there and who within your membership would be interested in it.
  • Corporate memberships: Those who offer corporate membership should know who within the company should be getting your information, and their job titles. If they are in the C-level suite, they may not be interested in the same information you would send to a marketing contact, a research specialist, a product designer, etc.
  • Offer industry & supplier memberships? Segment them. As a supplier member, I may care about governance issues – I may not.  Best to find out.
  • Events, Products or Services? Make sure that I am interested in getting information before sending me the email.
  • Special programs and events? If you offer special programs or information to select portions of your membership, do not send information to your entire database. Those who cannot access it, or will not qualify will only get frustrated that they are getting excluded.

GATHER INFORMATION

There is several ways to segment your members. A best practice is not to assume, get them to tell you. Here are a few ways to help gather the information.

  • Send a communication, other than an email, advising that your organization is in the process of segmenting membership in order to provide effective, streamlined communication. In this communication, tell them to expect an email inviting them to provide their preferences. Utilize communication methods that resonate with your members; that may be Twitter and Facebook for Millennials, it could be a mailed letter for others.
  • Send the email and prepare a landing page with all of their options. Ask your members to select the categories that best suit their needs. Make sure that the information transfers easily to your CRM (customer relationship management) system.
  • Follow up. If you didn’t hear from everyone, don’t be afraid to follow up with a phone campaign to get their preferences captured.

Another idea is to incorporate the landing page into your online membership renewal process. Make it a mandatory page that members have to fill out in order to renew membership with your association.

NOW WHAT?

Armed with all of the information you’ve gathered above, go back to your list of communications and come up with a calendar of emails (or editorial calendars for any of your communication channels) – knowing that there may be times when an unplanned email has to go out, but keeping as consistent as you can to the set schedule. Ensure that you are selective in the number of emails your members are getting from you.

All of this effort should increase member satisfaction, engagement and email open and click through rates. After all, keeping them happy will give you a better chance to keep them renewing, right?

Take the first step towards your future.

Looking for a game changer at your next event or a strategy unique to your organization?