If you need to streamline business processes, consolidate data, and get better insights, you need to think about a platform that can help you deliver benefits to your members. To keep people excited about your brand, you need to think of their journey, how to design it and ensure that you have people and software working together to aid that journey and its outcomes.
First things first, your potential customers (i.e. members to your business) are people. That's important to note. People are driven by an emotional connection to your brand. Your membership management software might be helping you organise your contacts, but is it also giving you ample opportunity to connect better with them?
Humanising your sales and marketing efforts via your membership software is key to creating opportunities to engage with members and non-members alike.
Here are some tips that can help you with your engagement strategy in 2019/20:
Tip 1: Treat people like people
As a brand, it's important to ascertain what journey you would like to take a person on. People are more connected to your brand when there is a human connection. Kick off humanising your sales and marketing efforts by asking questions like the following:
- Who are you talking to?
- What are their characteristics and what are they most interested in?
- What are their challenges ?
Then it's time to identify and set up your member and non-member personas and map out their buying journeys. This will help you personalise each person's experience with your brand and help you stand out.
Image: 3 steps to humanise your sales and marketing
It's important that your membership software allows you to capture the type of persona and journey that can be mapped to different properties, enabling automation and database management, so you can make your sales and marketing efforts about the person and engage them more.
Tip 2: Make their journey an experience
Traditional interactions begin when customers have an unmet need and then begin to look for ways to fulfil it. They browse online, Google search specific terms, and eventually might find your brand's products and services.
It is up to you and your brand strategy on how you would like to transcend traditional transactions to a connected experience. If you just want a non-member to attend an event, getting them to join a list only to send them ongoing emails so they buy a ticket merely keeps the relationship transactional and you haven't honed in on creating experiences that matter.
Image: Example contact record to manage your relationship with each person
An experience online would make a non-member feel a greater sense of inclusion and belonging when considering your brand by, for example, visiting an event page, then being presented with other content that was delivered with context and personalisation based on his or her interests.
Each interaction with your brand should culminate in to an experience that transcends a transaction.
Tip 3: Delight members with special benefits
You've set up personas for both members and non-members, so you're working to appease both parties, but does your membership software make your members specifically feel special? If not, they deserve more. They're paying for and want to be a part of the community.
If you've gone all out and have a mobile app, that's great. For general purposes, even having access to content that is specific, personal and relevant to each member will get you miles ahead in learning more about what drives collaboration and community and helps them feel the benefits of your membership.
You can create private access areas to allow for this to work, so members can get what they are looking for easily and all the while feeling special, like what they are getting was built for them.
YOUR CHOICE OF SOFTWARE MIGHT HELP BUILD UP OR TEAR DOWN RELATIONSHIPS, SO PICK WELL.
Membership Management Software is a merge between a CRM and other additional features that help you manage the ongoing relationship with your people.
Here are some features that you might want to make sure your membership software accommodates:
- Membership levels that define free private access to content
- Membership fulfilment workflows including change/forgot password, upgrades/downgrades, suspension/reactivation
- Membership activity on all digital platforms
- Retention, renewal and delight opportunities
Research Director of the Membership Puzzle Project, Emily Goligoski, sums it up well, "Membership isn’t just 'subscription by another name' (though it’s often referenced that way), or about giving consumers access to a product. It’s participation in a larger cause that reflects what they want to see in civil society. In membership, there’s a different social contract or value proposition between the site and its members. At the basic level of: What do you give? What do you get? Subscribers pay their money and get access to a product. But members join the cause and participate because they believe in it."
So make people believe in your brand and participate in what you stand for. A robust membership management software will help manage the mundane so you can focus on what's more important.