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The Single Key to Better Engagement

Dave Will
May 3, 2024

Newsletter Post: The Single Key to Better Engagement

Let me just get to the magic trick right away… Here it is:

Treat your members like they’re human!

I suspect you know they’re human. And when you see them in person, you do it.

When you see them in front of you, it’s obvious you’re dealing with a human (usually). Humans have emotion and needs. And our needs are ever-changing. That’s why when we see someone in person we start a conversation with a question, almost every time.

When you see you’re neighbor… “Hey Marie, how are the kids?”
When you see your friend looking good at the grocery store… “Dang, Joe, you’re looking fine. Did you lose weight?

”When Marie and Joe answer the question, the conversation takes a turn to something that’s relevant to them.

Now let’s apply that same concept to your association.

If you saw a new member in person, you would probably run up to them, introduce yourself and ask how you could help them… or why they joined… or what they’re trying to accomplish this year. Based on what they say, you would be able to provide them with really valuable and relevant information for them, or pass them to the person that can.

That’s just what you do when you interact with another human, in person. So why is it that most associations are only talking at their members, guessing what it is they need or want. We send them loads of information hoping that they can find something valuable. It’s not human interaction.

It’s not your fault. It’s the tools you’ve been given. Email and marketing automation are really good stuff. They tell people things in very sophisticated ways with data and triggers and automation. You can capture clicks and transactions. It’s very good. Don’t stop telling members things. Don’t get rid of your marketing automation, but sometimes we all need to stop talking and start listening a bit more.

You listen when you ask a question. This is where PropFuel comes in.

Let’s look at the renewal process… Chances are your renewal email basically tells members coming up for renewal, or those that have already expired, how awesome membership is and all the cool things your association does. You’re awesome. Why wouldn’t they want to renew? Then there’s a “renew now” button. Unless someone clicks and renews, you really have no context for what they’re thinking.

  • are they not renewing this year?
  • are they just going to do it later?
  • did they just miss the email… again?

So just send it again, right? :(

With PropFuel, every email starts with a question. It’s a listening system.

So try cutting back on all the text and images and just ask them a question, “Are you planning to renew?”  Super low friction. Low commitment. It’s so easy for them. And if they say no, at least you can ask why not. And perhaps it’s because they’re retiring. If you have a retirement program, now you’ve created a super relevant dialog to give that person what they need right now.

Perhaps they are planning to renew, but not now. At least you know and you can connect with them again later via email or a phone call. But you can find out the best way to connect with them.

This works. And it works in all aspects of engagement.

Apply this “human” approach to all these use cases:

  • Member Acquisition
  • New Member Onboarding
  • Conference Engagement
  • Certification Renewals
  • Continuing Education
  • Advocacy
  • Profile Updates
  • Renewing members
  • Lapsed Member Win-back
  • Dormant Member Win-back

Think about where you want to spark engagement. Then figure out what you would ask a real person. It’s that easy.

If you would like to see how 200+ associations are listening to their members using “Conversational Engagement”, set up a time to talk with us.

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