If you’re struggling with membership growth, there may be only one thing that you can say with certainty: the status quo is not sustainable.

But how do you know where to start making a change?

It’s tempting to throw money into marketing. In fact, that’s what a lot of struggling organizations do.

However, attracting new members when something is wrong inside the program is like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound. It just doesn’t work.

So, where should you focus?

Do you pour more money into front-end marketing?
Do you create incentive packages for renewals?
Do you invest in new technology?
Do you retool your membership levels?

When I work with clients, we take a close look at 8 specific stages in their member experience. Most memberships are strong in some and weaker in others.

In short, these 8 areas are as follows:

1) Discovery: Are enough prospects finding out about you?
2) Contemplation: Are prospects joining quickly or do they get stuck in the decision process?
3) Activation: Are you easy to buy from?
4) Onboarding: Do new members feel like they made the decision?
5) 1st 30 Days: Are new members engaged quickly and educated about offerings?
6) Beyond 30 Days: Is the value of what you’re offering consistently reinforced?
7) Pre-Renewal: Are members renewing reliably?
8) Post-Renewal: Do you have a model in place that rewards longevity?

You can get your engagement score, using this tool:  http://www.myengagementscore.com

The tool itself is straight-forward:

Simply answer 5 questions for each of the 8 stages, then tally your score for each.

A high score for a stage indicates strength, while a low score indicates an area that warrants some trouble-shooting. It is typically in these areas of weakness where you’ll see problems starting to emerge.

Once you have your score, there are two ways to use the results:
1) focus on the areas of lowest score because those are the areas that require the most improvement; or
2) focus on the areas of highest score because small tweaks there can make you even stronger.

I’d love to hear your feedback on the tool.
Were any results surprising for you? How will you use your results in growth planning?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Joy Duling is Founder and CEO of The Joy of Membership.  Since 2005, Joy and her team have helped associations, trade groups and membership-based nonprofits run their programs more easily and deliver exceptional member care.

You can find FREE tools, tips and training to help you run and grow your membership organization in The Joy of Membership Help Hub.




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