March 27, 2020

Evaluating The Impact of Your Membership Tactics

Every strategy has tactics. Some tactics are powerful, some are not. Sometimes a tactic’s value isn’t easy to see. When it comes time to determine what tactics are worth investing in, and which should be set aside – it’s important to have a strong understanding of the impact that each makes (and could make). Avoid investing time, money and energy into work that doesn’t provide value – and instead funnel it towards tactics offering the best opportunity by learning to confidently evaluate which work helped you succeed, which didn’t, and which could with the right investment and focus.

The Difference Between Strategies And Tactics

As a membership manager, you’ve got strategies for all kinds of goals.

Event strategies, acquisition strategies, engagement strategies, renewal strategies, etc.

For each one of these strategies, you’ve got a host of tactics.

Take events. To get people to register and attend you’ve got a combination of tactics you rely on. Your website, emails, referral program, direct mail, etc. all contributing towards your overall event strategy.

Take member acquisition. To encourage sign-ups, you’ve got your website, application form, promotions, social posts, etc.

Whatever strategy it is that you’re trying to analyze, consider writing down the various tactics you perform to help it succeed. This list will form the basis of your evaluation as you turn to analyze the impact of each tactic.

Define Your Conversion

To evaluate the value of the tactics that contribute to a given strategy, we’ve got to first define our conversion.

A conversion is any action that our strategy is trying to get members of an audience to perform.

For events, you want people to attend and engage.

For acquisition, you want people to successfully sign up as members.

For learning management, you want successful course completions and high engagement.

Whatever the strategy, defining a conversion will provide a foundation for your analysis that you can use to determine value. As a measuring stick, you’ll be able to measure the contribution that each of your tactics made towards getting people to perform the actions you’d like.

Having trouble defining a conversion you’re confident in? Consider defining more than one for a given strategy! Event registration is an action you desire from your audience. So is event attendance, and workshop engagement. Not every member will perform all these actions, but even one is still a success.

Attributing Impact to Tactics

When you’ve defined your conversion(s), you’ve developed a strong understanding of what ‘success’ means for your given strategy.

Take a look at the past performance of the strategy you’ve chosen, and identify all the individuals that ‘converted’, or performed the action(s) you desire.

For events, this means everyone who registered, attended, and engaged with various optional activities like workshops (if you offered them).

Using this list of individuals, your next task is to perform a bit of investigation. Depending on the tools available to you, the way that investigation works will differ.

Your goal here is to develop a ‘history’ of actions that your group of ‘converted’ individuals took on their path to successfully performing the action you wanted them to.

For event registration, this means finding out if these individuals read your emails, applied your promo codes, visited your website, engaged with your direct mail, etc.

For acquisition, you’ll want to find out if members engaged with your form from your social posts, or found it on your website, were referred by a friend, etc.

With membership management software that integrates analytics data across various engagement channels like your website, event emails, member portal, payment processor, etc – this task is comparatively simple. Member365’s ‘Engagement Analytics’ tracks member behavior across channels like email, your website, member portal, etc – and gives you the tools to investigate whether members have engaged with each.

Without membership management software that supports engagement analytics, your work will be a little tougher. Manually sorting through siloed systems is slow-going work, but even a basic understanding of who converted through emails, social posts, direct marketing, or any other channel can reveal powerful insights you can use to understand which tactics work and which do not.

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