I spent a day this week immersed in the world of membership organisations at the MEMX15 conference. Run by MemberWise, a network for over 3,000 membership professionals, the day was packed with workshops on a range of subjects, from crowd-sourcing and CPD, to member experience engineering and marketing automation.
Being surrounded by other like-minded membership professionals was inspiring and valuable, and my biggest ‘learning’ was a realisation that we are all affected by pretty much the same issues. It seems there is little new when it comes to members and representing their interests. How we deal with them … now that’s where differences showed.
I had five main take-aways from the day – a few I knew already (but it is always useful to be reminded) and others that were new. Here goes:
- A low conversion rate from student to member is not unusual.
- Crowd sourcing ideas from members needs to be carefully managed, especially managing their expectations.
- 89% of the UK population uses the internet, but having a digital publication as an app is merely housekeeping as only 1.8% are read.
- It is easy for members to get email fatigue. You should give the choice to opt-out of non-essential information, only, which allows you to still send important information, e.g. membership renewal, Council updates
- Member acquisition is eight times more expensive than member retention.
- an increase in new member acquisition
- an increase in member engagement
- an increase in member retention
- an increase in membership revenue
- an increase in member satisfaction
As I said at the beginning of this post, we (as in membership organisations) are all affected by pretty much the same issues – as shown by these 5 common goals. My surprise at the results is with the top one being an increase in new member acquisition when data shows that it costs far more to acquire a new member than to do what you do better and retain the members you already have (see point 5 at the top). Surely, goal 1 and 3 should be swapped. What do you think?
All-in-all, MEMX15 was a really good event. My name will be on the delegate list for MEMX16 for sure.