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Lisa Collins

Oct 14, 2022

How Association Software Can Help You Engage Your Members

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Managing an association isn't a small or easy task.

There are thousands of professional associations in New Zealand and Australia. Many of these boast thousands of members. Facing that challenge, you need to carefully consider the IT solutions you'll need to support you, your team and your members. 

That's where a robust and market-leading association platform could be your next step. Here's what you need to know about association membership software (AMS) and other IT tools that can help your organisation.

What Is Association Member Software? 

Association member software is any tool or platform designed for professional bodies, trade organisations, clubs, societies and other non-profit groups to help manage member communication, events, fees and sometimes professional development. 

These platforms help organisations store and manage information on their members. Typically, members can also log in to the software and access features relating to their membership. 

Let's look at some features you might see in this software. 

Membership Software: Core Features

Professional association member software has transformed how organisations connect with their members.

While the days are gone of filling in lengthy forms and keeping physical files many associations however still rely on spreadsheets which is also not idea now that information can be stored in a secure, online and easy to access. Let's explore some core features you can expect to find in these tools. 

Contact Information 

Membership software allows your members to keep their contact information updated. That means you'll always have your members' correct addresses, email and telephone numbers. Plus, you'll adhere to GDPR requirements.

Communications 

Professional associations software enables you to send emails to everyone on your list.

You can use this for marketing purposes or to inform members about upcoming events. That might include other significant information such as issuing membership certificates, professional accreditations and sending welcome messages.

You may even have the opportunity to automate these messages. That will create more efficient communications between your organisation and your members. 

Marketing 

If your members don't engage with your organisation eventually, you'll see a drop in your subscription rates. So you need to put continuous effort into your marketing to remain connected.

Engagement marketing might be as simple as sending regular written or video content to your members.

That will provide a sense of the value of being part of your association and help improve membership renewal rates. 

Reporting 

Something else you'll want to have is up-to-date information on your members. You'll need membership software that includes reporting and analytics functionality.

That will give you valuable insight into your membership. That insight could include numbers, subscription dates, engagement and revenue. It will help you set future membership targets and identify problems early. 

Third-party Integrations 

A helpful feature of membership software is integrating it into other third-party systems.

That might include your website, email platform or payment system. It could also mean integrating with internal systems used by your team, like a financial management platform.  

Training

Online learning can help new staff members train faster or help develop the skill set of your existing team. Choosing member software that includes eLearning will help you focus on professional development. 

Internal management 

Association management software is there to help you oversee your membership. One of the features you'll discover is a set of tools that help you with the daily administrative tasks needed for your organisation.

That might include planning and booking events or raising funds. That's useful if you're a non-profit. You could also manage revenue from membership fees using the platform.

Membership Software: Is It Worth It? 

We've looked at all the features. Now it's time to examine the benefits of implementing this association management software. Let's look at some of the main advantages

It's Efficient

As your association grows, you'll probably hire dedicated staff to oversee aspects of your membership. A modern platform to hold your member data will help that team run efficiently and maintain accurate data.

It's streamlined and takes seconds to check or change data instead of hours. That ultimately saves you operating expenses on the number of administrative staff you need to employ.

You get the reassurance that all your records are up to date. That means you won't risk sending the wrong information to the wrong people, which can hurt your brand. 

It Will Help You Retain Memberships

Having up-to-date records on your members and the ability to engage with them via marketing and communications is the best way to retain or grow your member numbers. 

For example, suppose you have a list of members in your database who have not engaged with your association for at least six months. You might feel these people are at risk of cancelling their membership.

You can use that as an opportunity to reengage those members, perhaps with a special offer or an invite to an exclusive event.

Plan this effectively and use the software to its fullest. By doing so, you should see measurable benefits in your membership revenues over time.

It Looks Professional 

Don't underestimate the impression you'll give your members by providing web access to a members' portal. It looks professional and demonstrates that you are a modern, well-organised brand that cares for its members.

Perhaps you compete with similar organisations for subscriptions. If so, cutting-edge association software will help you stand apart from your competitors.

Refocus Your Time 

You can automate small, menial tasks like reporting that probably took a staff member several days to get to grips with excel formulas in the past. 

It will help you refocus on other aspects of what you do that take up your team's time and effort.

Perhaps that's arranging events. Or maybe it's running a marketing campaign to increase brand awareness and your membership base. 

Review Your Organisation's Needs 

Member software seems like an easy choice when managing hundreds of thousands of members. But even smaller organisations and associations can benefit from this software.

A professional membership software solution could help transform your organisation.

Intuto works closely with AMS providers like Membes who integrate seamlessly with the Intuto learning management system. Why not talk to us about your digital needs and we can recommend some of our partners who may best fit your needs. 

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