Whenever a new member joins your association, you have a limited window of time during which to fully engage them and make sure they immediately find value in their membership. Because of this, their first interaction with your association should be as smooth as possible. Failing this, new members may feel disengaged or disoriented—and when that happens, they may fail to renew when the time comes or cancel their memberships outright.
Member retention isn’t an area where you want to wing it. That’s why mapping your member journey is so important. It’s a vital step in making sure your membership association is functioning at top capacity. However, due to busyness, oversight, or a host of other factors, sometimes this step gets lost in the shuffle.
Today, we’re here to detail how you can create your member journey map, point out three key benefits of doing so—and show how Impexium can help.
The term “member journey” refers to what your members experience from the moment they join your association.
Since, as an association, your members are your customers, this process is sometimes also referred to as “customer journey mapping”:
Customer journey mapping builds a clear view of how a customer experiences your enterprise as they try to accomplish an important goal. The simple act of drafting a customer journey map forces companies to precisely identify the what, when, how and why of the interactions they design, desire and deliver.
The goal of engaging in this process is to understand your association from the members’ viewpoints and what they experience as they move through your association.
Because every member’s experiences may be different, it’s important that you have robust systems in place that can allow you to map the member’s journey, analyze it, and use what you’ve learned to adjust your approach and respond appropriately.
As with many tasks, you can choose to map your member journey smarter, not harder.
Doing this the traditional way likely involves manually gathering data, inputting numbers into spreadsheets, and conducting an analysis of your findings. After that, you may sit through long meetings in which you and the team run through various scenarios and weigh the pros and cons of each direction. All of this will suck up a great deal of time and energy.
While this approach would likely yield better results than doing nothing at all, there is a better, smarter, and easier way to map your member journey.
The easy way involves taking advantage of what AMS services like Impexium have to offer.
You can set your objectives, create a workflow within your AMS, and let the software do the lion’s share of the work for you.
While there is still brainpower involved, it centers more around decision-making and creative problem-solving than in crunching numbers and analyzing data.
The second a person becomes aware of your association, they’ve started their journey. You should have a process for every step of the journey, including awareness, research, onboarding, engagement, and renewal. Use data from Impexium to figure out what members at every step respond most positively to!
Member personas can help you identify the different types of members in your association and allows you to apply a marketing strategy to each section of members rather than using a blanket strategy for everyone. Understanding where each member fits is an important part of understanding their individual journeys through your association.
Impexium’s bread and butter–highly configurable data reporting and gathering–is what gives you the edge you need to provide members with exactly what they need, when they need it. The numbers don’t lie, and they’ll tell you how your members prefer to be contacted, what events interest them, and what resources they’re most likely to use.
Use our data and your member persona to provide an enhanced member experience throughout every step of their journey with your association.
Investing time in mapping your member journey will allow you to experience three key benefits.
From the moment a prospective member first becomes aware of your association to the moment they come on board and continue through this very day, your members have been on a journey within your association.
Understanding what members experience along the way is vital. This insight can help you see what your organization is already doing well and what gaps still remain in your services.
As members experience your association, it’s likely they do so via a complicated matrix of processes, all of which will fall into these four categories:
The Routine. Certain aspects of your association should feel effortless and predictable for your members. Such routine tasks help build the sort of customer habits and rituals that will keep your members coming back daily.
The Joyrides. These products, services, and events your association provides create on-demand thrills that whisk members away from the tedium of their daily routines. They offer an occasional shot in the arm and generate a level of unpredictable excitement that members love. Just knowing a joyride might be in the offing will have a member logging in more often to see what today might have in store.
The Trek. Treks help members track progress toward achieving their long-term professional goals. Providing long-term tracking of big goals helps members see where they are in their process, which can be encouraging. Treks also establish benchmarks that help big goals feel measurable and attainable.
The Odyssey. Odysseys are big, unpredictable adventures. The shape they take will vary by industry, but often they center around big-ticket, in-person experiences. While they may require lots of work to set up, these major events can generate great excitement among members and remind them that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves.
Mapping your association’s member journey from the very beginning to the present—noting every stop along the way—can help you recognize the unique blend of services that engage your members. During the mapping process, you can examine the balance of predictability vs. unpredictability and effortless vs. effortful that seems to draw your members and keep them close.
As you do this, you may also recognize gaps in those experiences that, if addressed, could add texture and enliven your current member journeys.
This accomplished, the fun part can now begin.
You can begin to implement what you’ve learned.
As you will doubtless discover when you map your member journeys, no two members are the same. While that’s true, there are often touchpoints that draw certain types of members over others.
With the member data you gain from the mapping process, you can
During this stage of the mapping process, we cannot understate the power and importance of automation tools. Robust automations keep the process from being both tedious and time-consuming.
Best of all, a top-notch AMS software can lend the power of BI tools to everyone on the team, giving them everything they need to get the job done—no tech degrees required.
Mapping the member experience will offer you critical insights into how you can not only retain your current members but also more effectively recruit new ones.
While mapping your member journey, you will gain insights into how and why your current members first became aware of your association, decided to join, and began the onboarding process.
This knowledge offers vital information which you can apply to gain new members.
You will learn:
All of this data can be leveraged in future campaigns, making all your future outreach exponentially more effective.
During the mapping process, you will likely discover which of your services are most popular and which are underperforming. You can then tighten the sails, offering more of what is working and dropping what is not.
Members who are getting more of what they want stay fully engaged, and fully engaged members aren’t going anywhere.
We have found that with every technological advancement, this process gets easier, and with Impexium’s powerful tools working on your behalf, you can accomplish these goals fast and with very little extra effort on your part.
Impexium’s AMS has the flexibility and configurability to look at your association’s unique needs, always taking into account how you would define a successful journey for your own members.
With that need in mind, we have built low-code/no-code tools that are powerful and yet accessible, giving you everything you need to map your member experience.
Our software gives you everything you need to examine member engagement from start to finish.
Better still, our dashboards and visualization tools ensure that your information is accessible, giving everyone from the C-suite to the marketing team exactly what they need to make data-driven decisions with up-to-the-moment information.
With Impexium, you have continual access to all the data you need to leverage your data to make smarter decisions.
With this power, you can free up time and spend the vast majority of your energy focusing on providing content and services that you know will keep your current members engaged and draw new ones into your association.
Impexium’s dashboards and easy-to-read reports give you easy access to the most up-to-date data. At any time, you can see what’s working, what’s not, and make adjustments as needed.
Last but not least, Impexium puts the power of automation behind your association.
Once you’ve made your data-driven decisions, you can automate workflows to respond accordingly.
When new members join, they can receive an automated nurture campaign offering tips to help them maximize their engagement with your association. Automations can also be set to perform tasks such as establishing buddy systems, identifying and connecting members to mentors, and many other potentially tedious (but important) tasks.
All this without breaking a sweat.
Are you looking to invest in your next (or first) Association Management System? Learn the 10 most common myths and the real facts behind AMS solutions.
Mapping your member journey provides a competitive advantage that can help your association thrive for years to come.
When you have dedicated software on your side, the time and attention you’ll have to invest in reaping these rewards will be minimal.
With Impexium’s powerful AMS software working on your behalf, you can configure your setup, and then AI and automations do the heavy lifting, sorting members into campaigns that will keep them continually feeling enriched and engaged.
No more combing through spreadsheets or losing time in meetings to endless debates about the next steps.
Your data is your association’s most valuable asset, and it can be hard to manage it all alone.
Fortunately, Impexium provides exactly what you need to discern your next steps and automate the vast majority of your processes.
With Impexium’s AMS, you have everything you need to craft a seamless member journey. Come learn more about our premium software and request a demo today.