B2B Articles - July 07, 2020

10 Nurturing Tips for Your Member Engagement Strategy

A membership website is a bit unique from other websites. Engaging with existing members, partners, or collaborators requires unique approaches from engaging with sales prospects or a general, public audience. With member-partner engagement, you want to drive engagement repeatedly over the course of their membership and align that engagement to specific goals. So it's not enough to just generate a member -- you want engaged members who will advocate for your organization and feel value based on that engagement. In fact, "repeat website visits" is probably one of your key performance indicators.

A great member engagement strategy may include a mixture of updating your website with new content and sending strategic nurturing emails to keep in touch. However, simply updating a website and sending emails is not enough. You need to understand behavior, track patterns, and adaptively respond to feedback in order to improve member programs.

Follow these tried-and-tested tips to as you develop a member program using digital tools.

1. When a new member joins your network, send a helpful onboarding sequence through email. Automate several messages explaining who you are, what you do, and what members need to know at a high level, and space them out over a period of time. Also, provide links to deeper resources that would drive member success, happiness, or education. (Tip: Try to keep to one main topic per email so you can drive a focused action.)

2. Keep a regular blog or knowledge base microsite for members. This content channel will allow you to address topics of interest, demonstrate thought leadership, and address common questions. Focus on being educational or helpful to solving members' pain points. If you post once weekly at a minimum, you will have plenty of content to share with your members.

3. Use engagement analytics to identify content that performs best with members. Analytics help help identify engaging topics, messaging that resonates, and optimal channels for driving action. We specifically recommend a marketing automation system that tracks content engagement on a contact level--rather than anonymous traffic analytics.

4. Publish robust content pieces for your members, and share them over email with links to deeper content or social channels. Content could be a video series, an eBook, a fact sheet, or a research report, for some examples. Invest in high-quality original content and also a beautifully packaged design. Extract key insights or takeaways for follow-on social engagement.

5. Run tests with your engagement campaigns to see what's working. So, always "start small" with your nurture campaigns. Send an email to a small segment of recipients as a test group, and try two different versions with one testable variable. For example, you can test the headline, the CTA, or the image in the email. After sending an A and a B test, review the data to see which version was more successful. (Tip: The best metric to look at is click-through rate, the number of people who opened your email and then clicked your call-to-action.) Send the “winner” to your whole membership database.

6. Send targeted and personalized emails whenever possible. This may mean dividing up your audience in order to be more relevant. You can divide up your emails based on unique interests that members shared during the signup process, or you can inspire your messaging from specific actions members have taken that you can see in your CRM. For example, if a group of members visited a particular page or viewed a video, you can share related content in your engagement campaign.

7. To keep your website engaging, update your value proposition on your website. A good value proposition focuses on what members will get out of a membership, not what you think is interesting about yourself. For example, “We are proud to have 10,000 members and 20 years of experience” could be revised to “Get the support you need from a wide network of 10,000 members, who are only one message away.”

8. As video becomes a more and more important medium, record, and share videos with your members. You can create how-tos, interviews with people of interest, podcast-type talk shows, and more. In fact, we’ve seen even low-production quality videos generate amazing click-through rates for membership websites. (Tip: Share short video clips and teasers as part of your membership social media strategy.)

9. Use dynamic content on your website or content that changes based on who is viewing it. For example, after signing up, your members would like to see "welcome back" language and new content or actions that are relevant to appropriate next-step actions. With a content management system like HubSpot, "smart content" is easy to write and publish. You can segment members into "smart lists" that refresh automatically based on member engagement or data points--such as donor versus non-donor or platinum level versus silver member level.

10. Create members-only content that is accessible on your website only through a log-in or a gate. Not only will this help generate new members, but it will make existing members feel that their membership commitment is valuable. For example, is there a unique insight that you can share or a helpful article series? Put it behind a “gate” on your website with a form, so only members or people who sign up can access it.

And make sure your membership website content is SEO optimized so you can drive new leads while you’re engaging existing ones!

With these tactics, you can create an insightful and impactful nurturing strategy for members.

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