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4 Must-Have Association Management Software Features

Pete Zimek
Pete Zimek  |  November 26, 2019

As your association aims to grow and develop meaningful relationships with your members, focusing on the experience they have with your organization is essential. 

How you manage your association is a large part of this. That’s why it’s important to leverage tools that will help you improve your members’ experience within your association and make sure they see the value in remaining a member. 

Association management software features that improve member experience and retention

In this article, we’ll focus on how you can leverage your association management software (AMS) to create a better member experience. Using these solutions, you can boost your member retention rate and continue showing members the value you have to offer.

Take advantage of the resources available to you through an AMS and you’ll end up with happy members and a high retention rate. Let’s get started.

1. A robust member database

If your association wants to improve its member experience, it’s important to leverage a robust member database. Your member database contains essential information about your members and helps both your association and your members stay organized.

Use a member database that is structured to accommodate your association. This means using association management software that can adapt to the specific membership structure of your association, such as parent-child relationships.

Your database should make it easy to:

  • Update information. Let your members update their information in their member portals and have it automatically sync to your database. This reduces the amount of work on your staff’s part and helps you avoid errors caused by a lack of automation.
  • Stay connected. Allow members to view other profiles in the member database so they can stay connected with one another.
  • Stay organized. Maintain your member database with tools that help you prevent duplicate entries and merge data. Automating this process saves time and keeps your database organized.

A robust member database that’s easy to navigate and keep updated will keep your members happy and help you retain them in the long-term. No one likes encountering outdated information; keep your records organized and demonstrate to your members that you’re on top of your data management.

2. Third-party integrations

If you already use accounting, marketing, or other software solutions to run your organization, integrating them with your AMS can help streamline association activities. 

Integrations help you manage your association without needing to enter data twice in different places. They also prevent human error and can help keep your members happy as a result. Leverage integrations such as:

  • Accounting software. Through an accounting software integration with your AMS, your members’ financial information will remain safe and secure. With a two-way sync, any financial transactions on one end will appear automatically in both systems.
  • Email marketing software. Email distribution lists and membership rosters can change, and your organization needs to keep up with this. Stay updated with the most current lists of your members and current contact information using integration with email marketing platforms.
  • Social media. Meet your members on the social media platforms they already use to boost engagement. By embedding a social feed on your website and linking to your association’s social media accounts, you’ll keep your visitors updated on organizational news.
  • Learning management systems. Offer continued learning opportunities to your members so they can stay at the top of their field. The more opportunities you give your members to advance their career through continued learning, the more they’ll value their membership with your association.

AMS integrations allow you to continue leveraging the software and tools you already use and keep your members engaged.

See the Highest-Rated Accounting Software →

3. An easy-to-navigate association website

Providing your members with the information they need is part of keeping them happy. Your association website is the main resource your members use to learn about updates with your association, events, and more. Make the most of your website by ensuring it’s easy to navigate and houses all the information your members want and need.

Leverage an AMS with a content management system (CMS) built-in. This prevents you from needing to invest in a separate vendor for designing your website and keeps all of your website information stored in one place.  Using this type of CMS, your website can offer:

  • Event information. Offer easy ways for your members to learn about and register for events.
  • Member portals. Through a member portal on your website, members should be able to pay their dues, see online order history, and review event registrations.
  • Easy editing. Leverage click-to-edit capabilities so you can easily update your website and keep your members up-to-date with the latest news and opportunities.
  • Mobile responsiveness. Mobile-Responsive design ensures that anyone can view your website from any device, whether it’s a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.
  • Analytics. If your website has digital analytics software like Google Analytics tracking built-in, you’ll be able to view where your website’s traffic is arriving from, as well as which of your ads, newsletter links, or other marketing efforts are driving the most traffic to your website. 
  • SEO tools. Leverage automated SEO tools that will help you can rank on search engines. More technical members of your team can also add meta descriptions to each page of your site, optimize page titles, and more.
See the Easiest-to-Use SEO Tools →

By using a CMS that’s already part of your AMS, you’ll be able to stay on top of your member information, easily view traffic to your website, and make edits to your content whenever you need to. Improve your members’ experience with your association by giving them an excellent resource to consult: your website.

4. Member management features

Your association should take advantage of member management features. There are certain features you should look for in your membership software, including targeted communications, newsletters, and career information. By offering different ways for your members to receive information, you’ll be able to connect even more members with the resources they need. 

Start by segmenting your members based on different attributes, then leverage these with member management features within your AMS. This will help ensure that your members receive communications that are relevant to them. You can segment groups based on:

  • Age
  • Years in the profession
  • Geography
  • Leadership roles

When members receive communications that are relevant to their needs and interests, they will not only appreciate it but also will be more likely to renew their membership in the future. Getting value out of your association is probably a top priority for most of your members, so when they receive targeted information that applies to them, it makes a big difference.

In addition to targeted communication and email marketing, you can also leverage the following member management tools to provide your members with value:

  • Member e-newsletters. Some members rely on the content that is sent directly to them, which is why it’s important to leverage email marketing software to create and deliver email newsletters. Industry news, new association programs, event information, and other pieces of content can easily be communicated using this platform.
  • Online registration and renewal. Most members prefer to join and renew their memberships online. If you want to boost your renewals, make it easy to do so. An overly complicated process will turn members away.
  • Job boards and career centers. Being able to connect to open positions within their industry is a huge reason why professionals turn to associations. Be sure your AMS offers the ability to create job boards and offer career resources so your members understand the real value in their membership.

Find the perfect AMS

Improving your members’ experience and boosting retention rates shouldn’t be a daunting task. By leveraging an AMS with the above features, you’ll stay on top of your membership data, keep members updated, and ensure that everyone is happy.

Be sure to find the right association management software solution for your needs to set your organization up for success.

See the Highest-Rated Association Management Software, Free →

Pete Zimek
Author

Pete Zimek

Pete Zimek is the founder and CEO of Novi AMS. He has been an active participant in over a dozen associations, volunteering in roles ranging from committee chair to president.