At PropFuel, we're all about helping associations connect more personally with members and future members. Here are a few quick tips on how to do it!
1. Take Members Beyond the Persona
Yes, I know: you have member data, which allows you to segment them into categories for various communications and CTAs (calls-to-action). This basic data, such as a job title, can be useful if for example, you already know what a segment of your membership needs (like a particular education course). However, it's less useful when you aren't sure what your members are looking for - or who needs what.
Instead of going off past data sitting in your association management system or other database - which might be years old and no longer relevant - consider finding ways to get a fresh look at what your members need, directly from their voices. There are many ways to do this - and that doesn't just mean by conducting long, drawn out surveys.
When you frequently and consistently check in with members to find out what they want, need and are thinking, members feel understood and heard. And as a paying member of anything, who doesn't want that?
2. Keep It Simple
The painfully long, never-ending association newsletter... it persists, still today! Yes, you probably have advertisements to fulfill, and every department came to you last week with a "please promote this" request. It's exhausting.
I know you may not be able to get around a large monthly broadcast email. But I can assure you, too much of the above is a recipe for unsubscribes and TL;DR reactions (Too Long; Didn't Read).
Have you ever simply asked your members a single question? Try it. It could be anything, from, "What industry topic is top-of-mind for you this week?" to "Do you know your membership expired?" It's amazing how members respond with ease and enthusiasm when the request is simple.
3. Be Conversational
Association members feel beat up when they get what feels like a dump truck of information dropped in their inbox on the reg. And even worse: they can't respond directly to what they received. It's always a blast of information that associations subliminally ask members to consume. A one-way transaction.
So it begs the question: why do we still do it? Instead of blasts of one-way information, how about we start crafting messages with the member's voice incorporated into the communication? Give them ways to converse back with the association, even (especially!) when there's something you want them to do: whether it's asking for their opinion, what they need, what they want, what they intend to do... the possibilities are endless.
Members want to be heard!