Ideas For Using Data to Boost Member Engagement


Data is only as powerful as its wielder. It’s not what data you have, but what you can do with it. And many times, those placed in charge of managing the data and putting it to use are not trained in this area. Having all of this data and not knowing how to use it can not only be frustrating and stressful, it can cause your organization to fall behind.

So, here are some quick tips on how you can use member data to increase engagement.

Start with small projects

The concept of utilizing data to drive member engagement new to many organizations and the possibilities are endless. However, it’s recommended that you don’t jump into several projects initially. Start small.

Rebecca Achurch, director of business solutions for Old Town IT, states, “Start small, start specific and start with a robust set of data.”

Trying to tackle a poorly defined project is impossible. Your job will be complicated by being unable to distinguish relevant, need-to-know variables. Find one specific problem within the organization and start there. When that project is underway and showing success, you can add another small project or expand the current project.

Identify and predict at-risk member groups

The members that are engaging less and possibly about to leave the organization are those that especially need applied insights from smart data use.

Current data should give insight on who the at-risk members are. Use this data to personalize content to meet their needs and hopefully, regain their engagement.  You can use this same data to help you build profiles of groups most likely to leave the organization. With this knowledge, you can be proactive by targeting this groups with content, events and activities that will draw their interest and keep them engaged.

Now, let’s get specific: Specific ways to use location data to increase engagement

One of the first pieces of information you obtain about members is an address – whether it is a home address or a work address, it is highly valuable information. You can use this simple piece of data in multiple ways to increase engagement.

Provide the member with events, promotions and information that involves their region. For example, a member in Seattle will not be as interested in a continuing education event in New York City as they would be in a CE event in Spokane, Washington.  Members will not solely be interested in local events, but they will be more likely to engage more often when they are given more opportunities close to home.

Provide information about local issues that affect the member. For example, if you are a pediatric medical association and there is an outbreak of West Nile in the southern region of the United States, you can send out information regarding the outbreak; tips to help identify and treat patients; notices from the CDC and more to those in the association who live and practice in the affected area.

Use location information to lend aid when needed. No matter what association or organization you are a part of, tragedy can strike anywhere. Members who are affected, could need aid or support. This is a great way for an organization to give back to its members, in a way that can increase member loyalty.

Right now there are horrific fires ravaging the state of California. If you have members that live in California, reach out to them. See if they are OK. See if they are in danger of evacuation. Offer any support you may have.

For example, an association that I work with has a member whose house was completely destroyed by one of these fires. The association sent out information regarding this member and set up a GoFundMe account. The association has now enlisted the help of the entire community to help out a fellow member. Helping someone in a time of need can significantly strengthen the loyalty of the member to the organization – in turn, increasing member engagement.

Data applied to boosting membership engagement is such a new concept for so many organizations, experimentation is necessary.  Start small and work your way up. Don’t be afraid to take risks and make mistakes – they are going to happen. It’s time to use what you have to increase your member engagement.

MultiView Team Expert Danielle Manley

Danielle Manley

Assistant Executive Editor

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