Member engagement is the lifeblood of associations everywhere, but sometimes it can be challenging to identify your members' pain points. When they aren’t engaged, they’re liable to let their memberships lapse. They’re also not likely to go out of their way to recommend association membership to friends, family, or colleagues.
Fortunately, there are several tactics you can use to boost member engagement, one of which is distributing surveys. In this article, we’ll explain the importance of surveys, get you started with some member-oriented survey questions and discuss how to make the best use of survey results.
Surveys give you an overall pulse on member engagement. In today’s dynamic business environment, it’s important your association clearly understands its members and their needs. Taking a data-driven approach toward membership engagement allows your association to collect feedback on satisfaction levels, the number of events attended, and general suggestions for improvement. There are plenty of surveying tools that allow you to easily collect and analyze survey results, meaning it’s never been easier to gather member feedback.
When designing a survey, the questions are hands-down the most important part. It’s also a good idea to keep things brief, so as not to overwhelm your members. Here are some association-related survey question ideas to get you started:
From there, you can gain useful information that can help with planning out new content and planning events that resonate most with your members.
Once your survey results are in, it’s time to use the data to make association membership as beneficial as possible. Also, by taking action in response to survey results, members know you listen to their suggestions.
For starters, don’t expect your first survey to be your last. Pulse surveys are quick, frequent check-ins that keep you in the loop on member engagement. Don’t spam your members with incessant emails, but do be sure to track engagement over time with regular surveys.
You can even ask communications-related questions in your surveys, letting your members determine how often and via what channels they prefer to receive association communications. Once you have that data, you can schedule surveys and other association communications accordingly.
Surveys can help you gauge what exactly it is your members are looking for from association membership. This information helps you ensure your mission is in alignment with member needs.
Surveys can also assist with event planning and coursework additions. What kind of speakers do your members want to hear? What topics do they want to be covered? Which dates work best to maximize attendance? Let your members do the deciding for you, so you’re not left guessing.
All of your association members are industry experts in their own right. In addition to association-related surveys, you can survey members on industry trends and convert that data into whitepapers and recruitment materials (with permission, of course). This practice can help you build authority both within your association and within your industry.
Nearly every touchpoint between associations and members can be tracked. For the things that can’t be, there are surveys. Showing you value and act on member suggestions can improve retention, increase referral rates and boost overall membership engagement — wins in every association’s playbook.
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By day, Celita Summa is a Florida-based freelance writer specializing in business, technology, marketing, and a plethora of other topics. By night, Celita can be found developing her special talents, which include her black belt in karate, her fluent Italian, and her knack for vegan cooking.
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