By Mike Lobue, Membership Management Executive
Associations are always looking for ways to save, especially when the economy goes through rough times. Many will turn to technology or new employee roles to discover methods of saving, learning the hard way that waiting to invest will cost them in the long run. More and more, business associations are discovering association management software solutions to be a cost-saving investment, and waiting to invest can delay membership growth, hurt retention, and limit opportunities to generate non-dues revenue.
Associations who invest in areas that help enhance productivity and efficiency tend to win out financially in the long run, whereas those waiting to invest will find themselves dealing with the following potential pitfalls:
Archaic software platforms create an office environment where employees consistently find themselves frustrated over data errors, duplicate entry or pauses in member services due to poor connections to a main data source. With a robust all-in-one technology solution, the advantages are nearly endless. All of the data is kept in one place, reducing errors and limiting duplication. Websites are integrated with the database so website information is updated in real-time. Additionally, solutions that generate standard reports quickly, can allow staff to work much more efficiently while having access to greater member intelligence, saving time and money.
If you don’t demonstrate value to your members, you won’t grow your membership. Fail to consistently upgrade what services members receive, and they’ll inevitably leave for good. Utilize association management software that flawlessly connects your website, events, email communications, finances, and social media, to your internal databases for a wealth of beneficial member benefits, including:
- Real-time updates of online member directory and event calendar listings
- Ability to segment communications based on event attendance, member interests, and member behavior
- Ability to track website referrals and leads to your members
- Easily scalable software which grows as you do
Missed Equity Growth
Building equitable momentum early on makes future equity gains sustainable, over and over again. You may not think association management software could have that profound of an impact on whether financial gains sustain growth or not, but your members can tell if you’re keeping up with the latest technology or barely getting by. Most of your members would prefer to be part of an organization that is using technology effectively, rather than one who is behind the times.
For the greatest growth potential coupled with continuous returns on investment secured through future member signups, invest wisely in software designed to drive membership growth. Learn more about maximizing ROI from Curt Moss, as he discusses in 5 Steps to Increase Membership Retention: The Best Defense is a Good Offense.
Does your current association management software contribute to the growth of your association? This somewhat ambiguous question can be answered with a quantitative representation of the obvious. Instead of haphazardly guessing based on feelings or erroneous assumptions, go back to historical and trending sales data, looking for the specific trends in retention you’ve maintained over the past 24 months. Data analytics can show you how effective your sales are, and where they're headed.
Note that sales efficiency, and the analysis thereof, reaches far beyond quarterly and annual reports, particularly when your association management software has a critical role in whether potential members join your association - or if they look elsewhere.
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