Build Your Association’s Retention Strategies Using Predictive Analytics

use predictive analytics to build on retention strategies

Understanding Data Trends Keep Member Retention Rates on the Rise

Every year, association members choose whether to continue their annual membership or cancel. During this time, associations are revising their retention strategies to encourage more renewals.

There are a few member factors that go into the renewal decision-making process. First and foremost, are they happy to be a member?

Aside from having a generally positive experience with the association, members may also consider:

  • How often they engage with the association
  • How often they use association resources
  • How many association events they were able to make
  • How many new contacts they’ve made through networking events
  • How often they felt a part of an association community

These factors are also a great way to anticipate who will renew and who may be at risk. A lot of associations struggle to categorize members by risk to see who needs a little extra attention.

a good retention strategy involves collecting data on current and past association member data

Understanding these trends is an essential part of strong retention strategies! Introduce predictive analytics into your current retention strategies and see how data can help you retain membership.

What is “Predictive Analytics”?

It’s clear how predictive analytics can help associations develop retention strategies. However, defining predictive analytics may not be as clear. Essentially, it is the process of using and combining historical data and statistical algorithms to give you an accurate depiction of the future. The idea of predictive analytics has been around for quite some time but has only recently started to grow more rapidly.

The reason why it’s become a popular strategy for businesses is that it’s more accessible now than ever before. In the past, this type of data analysis was used mostly by mathematicians and statisticians. Now, anyone can collect this data and interpret it. As data continues to grow over generations and provide more insightful information, it will become more and more valuable to associations.

Predictive Analytics for Association Retention Strategies

businesses and associations use predictive analytics to retain memberships

There are many reasons why businesses and organizations use predictive analytics. For the most part, it’s used to avoid company fraud, increase high-value leads, optimize marketing efforts, reduce overall risk, and retain current client bases.

For example, everyday use of predictive data that you may be familiar with is your credit score. Credit scores are calculated using this same data interpretation! For associations, predictive analytics can collect data regarding member interactions to help associations target members who are at risk.

A few variables that can be calculated include:

  • Email Opens and Activity (do they scan it or actually read emails?)
  • Social Media Engagement (how often do they comment or like posts?)
  • Content Reads (do they read blog content or online resources?)
  • Attendance at Tradeshows and Networking Events
  • Web Footprint (how often do they visit and search through the association website?)
  • Event Participation (do they often RSVP for association related events?)
identify member engagement strategies that work for your association

Anything else that can identify member engagement can be used as a variable. Collect this data on past and current members and create a data file that links to these variables.

The general process for predictive analytics is this:

  1. Add a statistical modeling technique that provides an equation related to the variables
  2. Grade members based on the equation and rank by grade
  3. Segment members into 10 groups from least to most at risk
  4. Create a profile for each group explaining their rank
  5. Form a personalized retention strategy for each group

How to Start Predictive Analytics-Based Retention Strategies

In a perfect world, you could read this blog post and say, “oh, perfect! I’ll get right on that!” and have all this data collected in minutes. Unfortunately, this is not the way of the world. If the idea of spending months collecting data and adding it to a spreadsheet, followed by consistent hours used on maintenance doesn’t appeal to you, well, don’t worry… there are other options.

Using proprietary machine learning algorithms, you can interpret this data in no time. 24/7 data analysis collects all of the variables mentioned above automatically. It analyzes and delivers predictions for what members want to see and be a part of. Using a resource like predictive analytics can help associations truly understand their members in a way that they may not articulate themselves.

get the most from predictive analytics to raise retention rates

Get the Most from Predictive Analytics

Overall, using predictive analytics is a great way to understand your members and segment them to provide personalized services.

In this way, predictive analytics can be used for more than retention strategies. It can also be used to connect with strong leads, delight current members, and give valuable association insights. Through this data, associations can get to know thousands of its members in a matter of minutes.

The Secret to Retaining Millennial Memberships in Associations

continue to build the value of association membership

Continuing to Build the Value of an Association Membership

Associations have been providing value to industry professionals for decades. Today, Millennials make up a huge percentage of the workforce. As a result, many associations are being updated to meet the needs of this growing demographic. By this point, you may have found ways to promote your association to Millennials and increase young memberships. Retaining millennial memberships is the next step to association success.

Using social media, association newsfeeds, and email marketing, associations can attract new, young industry professionals to join. How can associations delight this new member base, and build successful long term member/association relationships?

Millennials are a generation that cares about community involvement. They are service-oriented, which means they like to spend their time helping others. At the same time, Millennials are used to a world in which they can access unlimited information at their fingertips. For this reason, this demographic expects fast information and short response times. As a result, Associations must both become more efficient and more community-based. Here are a few ways that associations can achieve this feat.

Building an E-Community for Millennials

e-community for millennials

While Millennials do have a preference for a close-knit community, it doesn’t mean the same thing today. In the past, building a community meant bringing people together in person for meetings and networking events. Today, a community can be a virtual experience. For example, many of today’s young professionals connect via social media. Job searches, professional industry chat groups, and one on one communication is all done online. Associations have a bad reputation of being stuck in the past, unwilling to evolve into the world of social media engagement and mobile compatibility.

The solution is simple. If associations can re-think their business model to become more technology focused, Millennials will be more delighted with membership. As an association executive would know, a delighted member is a long term member.

A few ways that associations can meet young members where they are is by:

  • Building an association mobile app
  • Creating member chat groups (Facebook group, slack, Gmail chat, etc)
  • Hosting private facebook events: volunteering and networking
  • Sending an E-Newsletter with all community information
  • Showing Millennial members how to become Instagram ambassadors for the association
  • Hosting online webinars for members to participate in together

By making it easier for young members to connect with other professionals across the country, associations build a greater and more connected membership. The internet is the perfect tool for associations to take advantage of, so why not use it? If time is a potential issue, there are plenty of streamlining services that can make this process much more efficient.

Retaining Millennial Memberships Through Volunteer Work

retaining millennial memberships

As mentioned earlier, Millennials are very service oriented. They have an interest in sharing crowdfunding campaigns on social media, donating to local causes, participating in charity events, and building experience assisting non-profits. They like to help create positive change for their community.

Associations by nature are a service-oriented community, which makes them perfectly suited for this new generation of young professionals. If associations can hone in on this aspect of membership, then retaining millennial memberships should be a piece of cake.

Some examples of this could be:

  • Hosting or connecting members to nearby charity events
  • Providing consistent volunteering opportunities
  • Crowdfunding with members to donate to industry relevant nonprofits
  • Share examples of the association’s community involvement in an e-newsletter

Giving these opportunities to young members will increase member engagement, help them build a strong resume, and fulfill that desire for community involvement. Plus, organizing these nonprofit fundraisers for members looks excellent when recruiting new members to join your association.

Use Technology to Become Faster and More Responsive

association member retention

For a generation that relies on instant information, being fast and responsive is extremely important. Where older generations used the library for research, today’s generation has had the internet. In conversation, Millennials are quick to pull out the smartphone and google a question to get an immediate answer.

Alternatively, for customer service, the younger generation is quick to use a company’s chat service for a quick response. Unfortunately, associations have difficulty adjusting to this “quick information” era. Resources consist of lengthy white papers and response time take a few business days. As a result, retaining millennial memberships may be a more difficult task.

This is where associations must evolve and put in the leg work to prove a new responsive nature. There are a few ways that associations can become more responsive for members and focus on retaining millennial memberships.

This includes:

  • Adding a chatbot to your website so association employees can respond quickly to members
  • Responding to messages and comments on social media
  • Responding to comments on the association blog
  • Answering any questions via email
  • A phone line to call during business hours
industry associations

In addition to being responsive, Millennials appreciate quick information that answers questions they may have in a short period of time. This doesn’t mean get rid of case studies and white papers! Plenty of members still appreciate an in-depth and industry-focused piece of writing.

It appears that to help with retaining millennial memberships, associations can create short videos, FAQ articles, listicles, and slideshow-style posts that get straight to the point. This type of writing is increasingly taking over the market, both for younger and older audiences.

Using streamlining services like AI, you can focus more on retaining Millennial memberships and creating healthy association/member relationships. Spend less time choosing posts for social media, deciding what news to add to your website, or what content to add to the e-newsletter with technology that makes the process efficient.