Strategies to Drive Member Engagement

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Over time, you’ve collected a wealth of data on your members. That’s because your members are engaged with your organizations for reasons that are beyond materialistic. They care about your mission and work. They’re regularly reading your content. They’re giving you donations to do what you do best and expect nothing but goodwill in return.

So why are you analyzing this data in a spreadsheet?

Engagement has so many interesting dimensions and can be eye-opening to a marketer who is looking to make the most out of a limited marketing judgement. Instead of letting your invaluable trends fall to the wayside with data that is going unanalyzed, take a look at the following tactics and strategies. With the right tools, processes, and systems, you can integrate your data into your high-level strategy. 

Still need a way to engage your members? Check out our ebook, A Crash Course on Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits >>

Create Exclusive Groups on Social Media 

Your most engaged members deserve special recognition because the offer the most value to your organization. Of your overall audience, they are likely the most engaged, likely to donate, and passionate about your work.

Imagine how fruitful it would be to have a direct, ongoing conversation channel into this audience where you could conduct research, ask for opinions, share content, and discover what’s on their minds.

One way to tackle this challenge is to create exclusive social media groups in your sector. These include groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and hashtag-based Twitter chats. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you could launch your own niche online community. Keep these cohorts small so that you can keep the benefits exclusive and interaction alive.

Build an On-Site Personalization Strategy 

If you’re tracking information about all your members in a central marketing or communications data, you’re in a strong position to create customer segments. Why not craft one that’s focused around your most valuable audiences?

Create personalized welcome screens, share interesting content, and offer custom resources for your most engaged members. Understand what appeals to them personally, and make sure that your messages aligns with their interests on an individual level.  

Here are some resources that can help you get started:

Personalization has many moving parts, so make sure to do your research upfront. Spend time with your highest value members and donors in person so that you can continue to develop your most current and compelling messaging. Master this creative side, automate process, and devote as much time as you can to learning about your audience.

Send Personalized Emails

Email still remains as the best channel for communicating with audiences 1:1. It’s especially valuable for connecting with members who have a high personal stake in your organization. Think about it: they’re committing their time and money to your cause. It’s the ultimate form of brand engagement.

Why not make the most out of these touch points by increasing the value of your interactions? When you’re sending personalized emails to strangers or minimally engaged audiences, you risk wasting resources. But when you’re sending personal emails to audiences who are already engaged, your probability of having a successful outcome is high.

Think about it: if you’re sending member renewal emails, wouldn’t you want to give your long-timers a special thank you? The extra effort will only take a couple minutes of your time. If you’re looking for some ideas to get started, check out this list of example email templates.

Spend Time Together in Person 

When it comes to engaging your members, nothing replaces an in-person interaction. Use your online strategy to help guide your strategy for setting up exclusive meetups in key geographies where your most engaged audiences are living.

Use your member database to identify potential hosts and speakers. Come up with a monthly schedule for longer and shorter events. You can even create a monthly meetup (at a venue like your office or a park), host a potluck, and invite members to spend time together. It’s a marketing program that you can build at almost no additional cost, while complementing your marketing funnel. 

When you spend time together in person, you’ll come up with some great ideas for additional marketing initiatives, content to write, and campaigns to run. You’ll get feedback on your programs to date and figure out exactly how to iterate and make your processes better.

Final Thoughts

Data and personalization campaigns can help tie together many moving parts of your member engagement strategy. Focus on giving this group your best marketing experience: after all, they’re your most powerful advocates. Engagement fuels more engagement. Automate as much as possible so that you can focus on what you do best–building engagement.

Inbound Marketing for Nonprofits Crash Course

Article first found on David DeMambro

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