Automation: Your Tool for Real-Time Member Communication
Creating a pathway for members to communicate is key when maintaining a successful association. The problem is, associations don’t necessarily have the time it takes to communicate 24/7 with members.
Generally speaking, associations have a few main goals. They want to retain members, bring in new members, and keep current members happy with their membership. Between writing and responding to emails, answering messages and comments on social media, and picking up the phones, this is very time-consuming.
So what tools can associations use to reduce the time spent on communication while still delighting members? The answer is automation. In the end, the purpose of membership is to grow professionally. Machine learning makes automating content simple, efficient, and effective for everyone involved.
Here are a few ways that associations can provide the opportunities that members need to maintain their membership:
- Host networking events
- Invite members to industry events
- Create discussion forums via social media
- Engage with members with social media and email
- Publish new and interesting industry insights
- Create member-exclusive content
By and large, the key to all of this is constant, real-time communication with members. Understand their needs, what they like to see, and the events they would like to go to.
When associations take advantage of what explicitly programmed automated website content offers, time is better spent. Subsequently, member experiences and satisfaction skyrockets.
Automated Chatbots and Member Communication
Have you ever visited a website page and saw a little speech bubble in the bottom right corner pop up? That is likely a customer service chatbot. Using AI (artificial intelligence) technology, these chatbots answer simple customer support questions for the web visitor.
This is a valuable tool for answering questions such as:
- Where can I find the member portal?
- When is my membership renewal date?
- When is the next association event?
- How can I sign up for membership?
- Where can I find (X) resources?
Associations can set up chatbots to answer simple questions. After that, it will direct the web visitor to contact the association for more complex inquiries. This saves associations a ton of time answering the same simple questions and most importantly, responds to the user faster.
Likewise, chatbots can also be designed for social media. In today’s world, people expect to receive a response on the same day via messaging apps and platforms like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Chatbots can make this possible for associations to achieve! In short, here’s how you can go about setting up a chatbot.
Steps to Setting Up a Chatbot
- Create an internal team for the project
- List association FAQ’s
- Answer these questions
- Create a list of links to direct people to for each answer
- Find chatbot software
- Hire a chatbot specialist if needed
- Build out the Q&A’s
- Test it out internally (several times)
- Deploy for “beta testing”
After this, be sure to review answers from the chatbot to make sure it’s flowing well. Meanwhile, be sure to review the questions people are asking. After that, it will help inform future communications and marketing efforts.
Create Smart Content to Target your Audience
One of the main services associations provide to members is industry content. In the past, associations had the majority of authority when it came to industry insights. Today, members can find similar information on the internet at no cost to them.
Take a national association for doctors, for example. This association would have all of the exclusive content available on industry news. It would be difficult to find the same level of content anywhere else. Now, hospitals, private practices, and medical professionals have the same ability to publish high value and free, high-quality content.
Smart content has been an upcoming trend in content marketing automation over the past few years. Consequently, many businesses and organizations use smart content strategies to curate content, newsfeeds, emails, blog posts, and more.
A content management system allows associations to curate relevant content tailored to specific members. It gives members the personalization they’re looking for. And with less time spent on behalf of the association. Above all, it’ critical now more than ever for associations to use smart content to their advantage!
Smart Content: Breaking it Down
You may still be wondering, “what exactly is smart content”? This specific type of AI is known as Natural Language Processing (NLP). It has developed significantly over the years. And, it’s becoming more and more in tune with what members are looking for. Using specific algorithms, NLP develops smart content with human-like accuracy. But, does it actually work?
To clarify, the results published by Associations Now are extraordinary:
“When associations use AI to personalize content, we see open rates of 40 percent or more. Furthermore, when you are looking at segments of a community that have interacted with AI-curated content, we see open rates as high as 60 percent and click-through rates as high as 25 percent.”
In other words, smart content is the future for associations. Associations can now spend less time curating content for members and more time building authentic connections with them. As a result, data shows that members enjoy smart content even more than the content that takes more time to deliver.
As many associations know, creating content is a long process. With little resources to keep up with the demand for daily content, associations may wonder how everyone else is doing it. So, either they have an insane amount of staff specifically there to create content… or they’re using AMS.
Association Management Software for Automated Marketing
Using an Association Management Software (AMS), associations can use the power of automation to elevate marketing efforts seamlessly. Here they can connect with members, provide valuable content, and encourage new members to join.
AMS software allows associations to take advantage of AI technology without having to hire several specialists to do the work. Moreover, it makes these concepts easy to apply with the state of the art analytics used to inform future marketing decisions.
Smart content and chatbots are only a couple of ways associations can use automation to power membership, certainly. Simply put, it’s a matter of efficiency.
The more automated tools associations use will allow for more growth and communication as an association. Businesses, organizations, and nonprofits all over the world are already implementing AI technology to streamline these processes.
In conclusion, it seems that there’s only one question left to ask. What can your association do with the power of automation?