Part 2: Data, Data, Data
In our last blog, we looked at things to consider when starting your sign-ups and renewals. In this instalment, we are digging down into the data side of things.
Data can be information they have given you, what pages they looked at on your site and more. Data about your members grows over time. Never underestimate your data – if you keep it up to date, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.
???? Tip – always ensure your data is “clean”. This means: no carriage returns in cells, proper case, free from spelling errors, addresses are checked, expiry dates are correct, formatting is uniform, etc. Doing so enables smooth integration into the mailing process and reduces the number of proof amends needed.
Join Dates and Renewal Dates
Join dates and renewal dates are secondary birthdays and anniversaries. Automate these to populate your data on sign-up with triggers set to alert these occasions. Set triggers for renewal reminders and to chase up any lapsed members. Your data can give you an early warning as to whether a member is going to renew or not.
A sign-up or reminder communication can include a simple Thank you message, a gift, discount or place at an event. It instils that feeling of belonging and gratitude helping to increase engagement (and the likelihood of renewing!).
It is harder to secure a new sign-up so always keep an eye on these dates to avoid losing precious renewals.
Ask the right questions and you’ll get all the answers
Your data capture starts when members join up. For every question they answer, you’ll get a bit more information. But you must ask the right questions. Juicy questions include:
The reason for joining and the type of membership they plump for: basic, intermediate, top level, and the fee paid
How they found out about membership
If they would be interested in events you may hold
Knowing the Reason for Joining
Knowin the reason for joining gives you more than, “because I wanted to”! It gives you an insight to what appealed to them about the membership package they chose. Nobody joins for the free pen alone! Members join to gain and share knowledge, discover new ideas and partake in events.
For more clarity on why they joined, use multiple choice answers instead of a free type response. Not only does this make your data manageable and easier to categorise, but when teamed with the membership type, you have a fantastic insight to what benefits are most attractive to potential sign-ups and what keeps the regulars coming back for more.
helps you keep track of your budget. The data will state if you need to increase costs when members begin to lean towards a more expensive benefit scheme.
How they found out about membership
How they found out about membership is a guide to how well your communications are running. By cross-referencing this information against your campaigns, your data will weed out the ones that have little return on investment and free up areas of your budget.
Interested in events
If you run events, conferences, volunteer schemes, etc., make sure you add these on your sign-up form to keep your members ‘in the fold’ so they get the very best from their membership with you.
Your data will tell you if events are successful by member response; why they attended/did not attend, why they responded to certain volunteer scheme and not others. Following up with less engaged members can yield a huge return with ideas for improvement – never neglect the stragglers!
Knowing these answers helps build an assumed profile that you can polish as the data you gather grows. For example, if they are in a junior role within a large company they may be interested in training, whereas a senior person in a HR role might be interested in the legal helpline they get access to. This profiling enables tailoring of your communications and offerings from the onset so you can begin to personalise accordingly. When the member starts to use their membership, you can hone their profile and adapt the communications further.
Dig into the Digital
Data you hold on your members doesn’t just come from the forms they complete. You can uncover a wealth of information from your company websites. Look at your website traffic report.
- What pages are the most popular? Are they following through to a sign-up or are they leaving before this happens?
- What pages do visitors leave on? If visitors are leaving on your membership pages, you need to investigate why.
- Does the page need an update? Slow pages or ones with inconsistent or incorrect information cause visitors to leave.
By checking your website statistics, you will learn the habits of your online visitors and adjust your site accordingly for a better response rate.
Every download, webinar and opened newsletter gives insight into what they value. If they see their membership grow with them, they will see what they stand to lose should they decide not to renew.
Member activity is so much easier to track now and even with offline activity you can generate a rich and rounded profile. You don’t need to use all the data either – using just some of the information you hold can make a persuasive argument for renewal and this is better than a blanket message for everyone.
Membership is Social!
We all like to chat and socialise with like-minded individuals and social media is a perfect platform for this. You don’t have to go very far to find the latest news and buzz trends. With over 2 billion people on Facebook alone, it will also have the ears and attention of your members.
Take a moment to jump on social media and read comments on your company sites. Are they negative or positive? Read what they say and find the voice of your members – what they like about your membership scheme and what doesn’t work so well. You may even find ideas for your next renewal packs! Always listen to your members – they are a large network of resources and the lifeblood of your business.
The Maze Runner
Data can run in an endless loop or weave like a giant maze – there are lots of avenues to travel and explore. The team here at Synergy have oodles of experience navigating these avenues to give your data a nice clear path to tread. Get in touch today 01543 257257 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll guide you past the dead ends and on to the treasure.
Don’t miss our next blog instalment in this series where eye-catching content will breathe life into your data.