The pandemic has forced associations to confront the inevitable: “digital” is an operational imperative. Associations can no longer rely on their flagship events to boost revenue. They must figure out how to bring their world class experiences to digital formats. The challenge is not just figuring out how to “go digital” but also to engage and delight their customers given our modern digital-first landscape.
Capturing member attention isn’t as easy as it used to be. The problem is there’s more competition for professional development than ever before. Could-be association members are finding community and networking on Linkedin. Why do they need to join your association? They upskill and credential via Coursera, Udemy and LinkedIn Learning. Why should they sign up for your programs?
Mapping Member Journeys
Your association might have the best webinars and events - but in order to compete with professional development alternatives and maximize attendance and engagement, you need to up your game in how your deliver those programs to your members.
Experiences must be meaningful and relevant given individual preferences and behavior.
So how do you align your members’ interests to content that they want, need, and will pay for? Look to your data for the answers. Your data has a unique story to tell about what your members want from your association.
For example, when a member reads a blog post, signs up for a webinar, or shops one of your programs, you get a sense for what they want and need next. You already have everything you need to understand member journeys like this one. It’s stored in your technology systems as member data. Unfortunately, most association technology is siloed, and data lives in a myriad of places, making it almost impossible to to use data intelligence to inform your strategies.
But don’t fret! You already have the data. You just need to learn to use it to build better outreach. Let’s explore a few ways you can use your data to supercharge your programs and events.
Data-Driven Event Outreach
If you're serious about getting more members at your webinars and events, you have to get targeted with your marketing.
Sending emails to every person on your list can quicky exhaust your members, lessen your impact, and result in less attendees. (In fact, it can lead to less engagement across the board!)
Instead - start thinking strategically about who needs to hear what, when.
For example, let’s say you have a new digital training program. This program is an important source of non-dues revenue, and you're focused on selling it to your members.
We recommend building a simple nurture funnel to target those with demonstrated interest, rather than sending your entire membership list (yet another!) email about it.
- Start with an email to people with a demonstrated interest in topics related to your program.
- Create a landing page designed to warm and convert people, talking about the benfits of the program.
- Only then should you point them to the program signup page
With targeted outreach, you’ll see higher webinar attendance, greater program engagement, and your audience will thank you for offering more relevant content.
Use Event Data to Improve Digital Offerings
COVID forced associations to rethink how to format events and foster digital communities. Digital offers a more dynamic forum for events.
Operationally, digital events are easier to pull off. Your production costs will go down, and revenue will increase. Digital events are “evergreen” in that you can record sessions for visitors to engage with over and over again. Plus, you can track rich, detailed interactions at digital events, which isn’t as easy at in-person events.
If you do it successfully, you can create a sophisticated event feedback loop to improve your approach to events in the future.
The lessons you learn from tracking event data can inform new programs or offers, future event content planning, and more. Need more ideas for creating better digital and hybrid events? We’ve got some!
Maximize Your Events & Programs with Association Data
With an event strategy guided by association analytics, you can be 100% certain that you’re building the events and programs that your members want.
The easiest way to do this is with an integrated customer data platform (CDP). This technology integrates all of your technology systems to give you a 360-degree view of every member and audience interaction. With a CDP, mapping member journeys is seamless and easy. You can use this data intelligence to create better products and programs for your association member. These data-powered programs are based on your membership’s topical interests and educational needs.
With a CDP like Hum, specifically built for associations, you’re able to integrate each of your specialized systems and target product offers that will dazzle your association members, subscribers and sponsors. We offer full-service solutions to interpret association data and accomplish growth goals like:
- Launching personalized marketing and membership experiences
- Developing a new data-driven strategy for new events, webinars and products.
- Improving your programs and engaging sponsors year-round.
Ready to kick off new levels of audience engagement and attendance for your webinars and events? Download our free Executive Guide to Digital Transformation to learn how your association can utilize first-party data in a strategic way.