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How to Automate Member Management in Membership Organisations
Streamline your organisation with automation! Automate member management from registration to payments and communication and more. Here's how to do it.
Membership organisations play an essential role in today’s society, bringing together people with similar interests, goals, or professions. However, managing many members can be daunting, especially if your organisation still relies on manual member and task management. Thankfully, with the advancement of technology and digitalisation, automating member management has never been easier.
Apart from facilitating processes and saving precious time, opting for member management automation also brings various benefits to organisations. And that is what we cover in this blog post!
Make membership applications accessible and easy to fill out
Streamlining the membership application process is a key area where membership organisations can benefit from automation. By creating an online application form, new members can submit their information quickly and easily, from the comfort of their homes or any other place. The idea of faster onboarding and not having to be somewhere at a certain time is important for many individuals.
Apart from saving staff time spent on manual processing, online application forms can capture all the important data about new members, including their interests, reasons for joining, etc. All this valuable information can be used at a later stage to craft personalised marketing campaigns.
And let’s not forget about human error and hard-to-read writing, which can lead to incorrect information being introduced to your systems! This doesn’t happen with digital registration forms!
Automate data management and keep member details up to date
One of the most important and sometimes overlooked aspects of member management is a robust data management system that allows you to keep all the member data up to date and centralised in one place. Back in the day, all data was manually collected in tabs and folders, handwritten, and easy to misplace or be outdated. With the development of technology, organisations of all sizes have now the possibility to securely store member data and update it easily in just a few clicks, without having to spend loads of time.
Updating members’ contact details and preferences is not only vital for the smooth management of daily tasks but also helps with crucial aspects like billing and nurturing relationships.
Member management: automate member communications for your organisation
Taking care of an organisation with hundreds or thousands of members requires good organisation skills and seamless processes. Therefore, automating routine tasks such as membership renewal, reminders, and communication can save valuable time and resources for your organisation. Digital communication is much faster and more cost-effective than traditional ways of staying in touch with your member base. Here are a few things you can do to automate routine matters:
Set up workflows or triggers for email marketing: is email marketing a crucial part of your strategy? Make sure you automate at least some of the emails sent out to your members. For example:
Create a series of emails sent to new members. Once a new person joins your organisation, they can receive, for instance, two or three weekly emails for the first two weeks explaining all the different benefits, rules, and other important information about your membership programme. Apart from giving a warm welcome to all new members, you get to also highlight all the great things about your membership organisation.
Send birthday e-cards to members. Here’s an example that does wonders for member loyalty and trust! Make sure to add a date of birth field to your registration form so that all members can receive a personalised message on their birthdays. A thoughtful thing would be to throw in some special, time-limited perk to make the members’ day a little bit more special.
Automate reminders. Instead of keeping track of memberships when they run out, set up reminders that can be automatically sent via email or text message to members due for renewal. Members on a recurring payment method will be made aware of a new charge coming up, while those who pay as they go, will be able to make their way to your front desk or find time to make a bank transfer.
Trigger-based communication. Has a member attended a niche event? Or maybe they’ve signed up for a premium product? Use all this information to send out emails that they might find interesting. For example, you can provide information about similar events coming up.
Use text messages for short updates: Did you know that text messages have an average open rate of 98% while email marketing scores only 20%? Opt for short texts to send important messages about renewals, missing information, or special offers.
Collect feedback: Knowing what your members think about your organisation, membership benefits, or events is important for your business’ success and future. Positive feedback helps to identify the best aspects of your membership organisations, while negative comments can help you improve and learn. Use email marketing or text messages to send links to online surveys so that you can collect valuable feedback.
Automate payments for member management
Some might say that the members who pay their membership fees on time are what give organisation managers ease of mind. Chasing outstanding invoices is no fun, even less when you have to track always the same members. That is why automating payments is a crucial aspect of member management that can be streamlined using digital tools and solutions.
Recurring payment methods allow organisations to charge members’ credit cards or bank accounts on regular basis, eliminating the need for manual invoicing and payment processing. By scheduling automatic payments (monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.) you reduce the risk of missed payments and improve the cash flow for your membership organisation, while also improving member retention rates. Additionally, you avoid charging late fees, which might have a negative impact on your members’ moods and approach towards your business.
So… Would you like to automate payments for your organisation and reduce the workload on staff, freeing up their time for other tasks? Here’s where our Digital Autogiro comes in.
Digital Autogiro (direct debit) is a recurring payment method that requires no action from the member or the organisation once it has been set up. Every month, automatic withdrawals are made from your member’s bank account, streamlining the billing process. Additionally, direct debits lead to increased member retention as there are no involuntary cancellations due to expired credit cards, etc.
Find out more about Digital Autogiro from our infographic.
Automate member management: member support
We’ve covered the most important aspects so far; member data, payments, and communication. By automating all these aspects of member management you make a step towards automating member support too.
Having all the information about a member’s subscription and payments enables you to access all the information within seconds, especially if you use Waytobill’s Merchant Area.
Additionally, there are other ways to automate member support:
Leverage digital tools: chatbots are becoming more popular and accessible, helping organisations solve easy issues and answer questions quickly. This helps save your team time as they don’t have to attend to all the messages.
Create a FAQs section: create a section with frequently asked questions that members can easily access from their member panel or your website. Create questions and answers about benefits, cancellations, upgrades and downgrades and upload them to your website. This will solve many questions and issues.
Provide clear contact information: in some cases, members will have to contact you directly. Make sure you provide a phone number and email address so that members can contact you via their preferred method.
How to automate member engagement in membership organisations
Member engagement is a critical aspect of membership management that can improve communication, encourage participation, increase retention and generate word-of-mouth recommendations.
By setting up previously mentioned email campaigns or social media posts and online forums, membership organisations can create a regular cadence of communication with their members. Apart from email marketing tools used to segment audiences and schedule emails, there is a variety of digital tools are used to create and schedule social media posts in advance. By regularly posting on your members’ favourite social media networks you get to generate engagement and a feeling of belonging to the organisation. Additionally, you can use social media to promote upcoming events and activities. Here are some ideas for social media posts that can be scheduled:
Giveaways and contests
Presentation of facilities
Meet the team series
Automate reporting and analytics for your membership organisation
Tracking membership trends, monitoring engagement and identifying areas for improvement are vital for all businesses, including membership organisations. By collecting data automatically, you can gain insights into member behaviour and preferences, which can be used to make data-driven decisions that improve the overall member experience and services provided by your organisation.
Use reporting and analytics tools to track membership growth, event attendance, social media engagement, and member retention. By analysing your first-hand data you can develop strategies to improve member engagement and retention and therefore become more effective and efficient in your operations.
Member management automation
As you can see, member management automation is a great way to provide quality service to members of your organisation and therefore generate loyalty and trust.
You might have noticed that the members’ email addresses and phone numbers are essential for automating many aspects of member management. If you’re missing this vital information from some of your members, try to run campaigns to collect this information. If you find it difficult to achieve, consider offering some small incentives like discounts, in return for members’ contact details. Nevertheless, nowadays making email a required field when registering is crucial.
Automating member management in membership organisations can save valuable time and resources, improve customer support, and provide members with a better experience. By integrating digital tools and automation, organisations can streamline their operations and deliver better value to members. It’s a worthwhile investment for organisations looking to stay competitive and provide superior service.
At Waytobill, we can help you automate billing and invoicing. Our solutions allow you to sign members up for recurring payments in Sweden and other Nordic countries (for example, AvtaleGiro in Norway).