Last week we discussed what you could do in the face of declining numbers at conferences, seminars and events. For some organizations the key to reversing a downward trend has been partnering with other similar groups, to create a bigger impact. But that’s the simple answer. Before you hitch your wagon to another organization – with all its different focuses and foibles – there are five serious questions to ask. Honest answers can set you on the path to long-term success.
By John Haughey
With the hope of fostering greater long-term viability, some organizations are attempting to infuse new relevancy into their conventions and conferences by finding partner groups to create joint events with.
You’ve invested the time and money in recruiting new members, but now you have to convince them to re-enroll as dues-paying constituents in your organization.
While membership renewal is always a continuing process, regardless of how long someone has been paying dues, retaining first-time members presents a unique challenge – and opportunity – for professional associations, trade groups and nonprofits.
Here are 10 strategies and techniques that you can implement now to enhance your odds of retaining this critical segment of your membership.
Responsive web design, sometimes abbreviated as RWD, is an approach to building websites that seeks to render the same experience for your reader irrespective of the device or machine she is using to visit your site: phone, tablet, laptop, super big monitor, etc.
If you’re on a laptop or desktop and you want to know if the site you’re on is responsive, collapse your browser window down to a size slightly smaller than the full width of your screen, then move the right edge of your browser in, leftward – if the site adjusts itself proportionally in response to the reduction in browser width, then the site is responsive.
Hint: The site you’re on right now, Connectivity, is responsive. Give it a whirl if you’re on a laptop or desktop.
Every fall, students will join campus chapters of your association, providing a valuable venue for introducing them to their chosen professions, as well as providing you with an opportunity to enlist them in a fashion that fosters enduring engagement. Here’s how to grow your audience and capture that all-important millennial advocate and future member.
Among the best ways to enhance the effectiveness of your organization’s advocacy is to find other groups with related concerns and similar goals. By building an advocacy coalition, associations and nonprofits can mix-and-match proficiencies with partner groups to better engage public officials and influence policymakers.
In other words, there is strength in numbers and diversity.
“That is the bottom line,” said Charles Brumlik, of NanoBiz LLC, a New York consulting firm that works with the Chemical Marketing & Economics Group (CM&E) to build coalition alliances and devise coalition building strategies.
Effective advocacy for associations, trade groups and nonprofits requires more than the occasional ask of members to email letters to their lawmakers and sign petitions. All must organize fragmented information and analysis to induce engagement, compel responses to calls-to-action and recruit new members.
Among ways your organization’s content can be more effective in driving engagement and recruiting new members is by assessing what content is being produced, who it is targeting and what the best channels are for distribution. To best do this, ask these questions:
For frustrated membership and communications staffers sending missive after missive into their seemingly disinterested membership block (as registered by low open rates and abysmal click-through rates), consider the following sanity check before you reach full-blown exasperation.
While benchmarks for measuring email efficacy vary by industry, the general consensus is that 30 percent of emails sent to members will be opened, and about 8 percent will generate a click-through response.
Here are four reasons why you may be falling short of that benchmark: