Digital Strategies for Enhanced Engagement in Membership Organisations

Fostering new and existing member engagement is, and always has been, a crucial factor for the sustained growth and success of membership organisations. Digital strategies, technologies and initiatives play a pivotal role in the ability to drive engagement, continuously presenting new opportunities for the creation of personalised, interactive, and multi-channel experiences which resonate with users. In this article we explore some of the key digital strategies shaping the success of growth in membership, including personalisation, interactivity, multi-channel platforms, feedback mechanisms and data insights.

 

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Personalisation

Personalisation is the cornerstone of effective member engagement and key to successfully engaging and retaining members. Tailored experiences that resonate with individual member preferences can be created by leveraging member data, analytics and insights. can . For example, customised content, targeted communications, and personalised recommendations can all contribute to creating an engaged community of members.

Creating a personalised User Experience

Personalised recommendations foster a deeper connection with members  making them feel valued and considered. Data and analytics sit at the heart of a successful personalisation strategy, analysing member behaviours and intents can provide a grounding for your content strategy, targeted messaging and channel strategy.  Netflix for example places personalisation at the core of their user experience as they recommend films and series based around your previous interactions with their platform and viewing history.

A highly personalised experience is pivotal to promoting increased user engagement and interaction based on an increased relevance of content which captures a users attention more effectively. A personalised experience instils trust in users and helps to create credibility while building a stronger connection and relationship with members. This can lead to repeat purchases, increased visits to a site or app and even increase advocacy to other potential customers.

For example, The Pharmaceutical Journal uses insights from member profiles and interactions to curate content specifically tailored to different segments, such as pharmacists, researchers, and students. By delivering articles, research papers, and resources that align with each group’s preferences, the journal fosters a deeper connection, making members feel valued and understood.

Personalised Member Profiles

Creating personalised profiles and dashboards for members can be a great way to interact and communicate, and create an environment to build strong relationships between a brand and its members. Enabling your members with control over their preferences and the content which is delivered to them can help to boost engagement and drive interaction throughout.

Multi-Channel Approach

Adopting a multi-channel approach ensures that member engagement is not limited to a single site, technology or device, providing a seamless experience across various digital channels and media. With the continuous emergence of new technologies, devices, websites and applications, many ‘stand out’ membership organisations  deliver a consistent experience across all channels to increase engagement and interaction throughout.

Mobile First Approach

By adopting a mobile first approach, organisations can offer members convenient access to resources, tools, technologies and exclusive content on-the-go. The vast majority of online engagement now takes place on mobile devices, which is why organisations have shifted their focus in recent years to creating a mobile first and fully responsive website which delivers a valuable and pleasant experience for modern users.

By prioritising the mobile first approach in the design of a website or app, organisations can offer a seamless experience across their site, enhance their online visibility across search engines (Google prioritises mobile first sites) and provide a better competing experience amongst competitors. 

Utilising methods such as push notifications and personalised alerts can further stimulate engagement with on the go members by delivering timely updates and reminders based on their activity and behaviour. Embracing a mobile-first strategy also enables membership organisations to meet the evolving needs of their increasingly mobile-centric audiences, ultimately driving higher levels of engagement and satisfaction.

Interactivity of Websites and Apps

Gamification

Gamification has become increasingly popular across membership organisations due to its ability to actively engage users through the use across a website or app. Implementing features such as:

  • Polls – Allowing users to vote on popular topics, trends and subjects. This is a common feature across social media platforms to engage users on specific topics which may be relevant to your organisation or industry.
  • Status bars – Encouraging users to take action through visualising their progress for tasks and actions across your site or app. For example, when setting up your account on LinkedIn, the site rewards you with milestones showcased as ‘achievements’ which encourage the user to keep taking action.
  • Badges and Certificates – Rewarding users through badges and certificates for engaging with your content and completing specific actions across your site in order to build a more engaged community of users loyal to your brand.
  • Points & Leaderboards – Creating a way for users to compete and earn points helps drive engagement both short and long term. Often offering rewards for the most points or leader board winners is an effective  way to maximise engagement across your site or app.

This method of driving engagement can also be utilised across events, webinars and other online activities which ensure optimal participation and live engagement.

Forums and Discussion Groups

Implementing discussion forums or online groups where members can engage in conversations, ask questions, and share insights on relevant topics helps to promote a community driven platform which drives engagement amongst members and between the organisation and individuals. Utilising these interactive features can help to encourage active participation by facilitating discussions around industry trends, best practices, and upcoming events. Communities and groups which have high levels of participation and engagement often have higher retention rates as a result.

 

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Gaining Actionable Feedback

Gathering member feedback is a continuous process that ensures organisations stay attuned to member needs and preferences, which is often the best way to gauge actual member satisfaction, sentiment and perceptions of an organisation and its offering. Using this information then allows organisations to adapt and optimise their websites and apps accordingly to provide a more seamless experience which drives engagement.

Surveys & Discussion Forums

Statistics show that integrating community forums can increase engagement by up to 21%, while also impacting customer retention significantly, with 66% of branded communities reporting an impact on retention. These communities have also been shown to contribute to a 55% increase in sales and a 57% boost in brand SEO, demonstrating their role in driving business results through heightened member involvement (Higher Logic).

Integrating interactive features like surveys, polls, and discussion forums can encourage users to provide honest feedback around the organisations offering, products and services. Surveys often provide insight into challenges, pain points and bottlenecks throughout an organisation and its operations, allowing them to adapt and change their strategy to suit real user needs and preferences.  

Providing this ability to engage in feedback across all channels including websites and apps. ensures customers feel their voice is heard and thus promotes engagement with the organisation and its activities., while contributing to improvements and optimisations made.