Why Engaging Your Members Matters

By | Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing, Membership | No Comments

Think about your organization and all the “things” that comprise it. Where did your mind first take you? The facility? Program offerings? Staff? Your cause? All of those “things” point back to two greater purposes – members and community. We wouldn’t exist without them.

Your members provide consistent support, volunteerism, donations and a sense of community unlike any other. Your function is to develop those members from casually associating themselves with a facility to connecting with a community. Then, develop those members into individuals who are committed to your organization’s cause.

This purpose is clear for a non-profit community organization, but the ideology is certainly applicable to other organizations as well. One of your focal points is retention – something that proves difficult in a world crowded with shiny, trendy, new offerings that you must constantly compete with. Members might be attracted to unique offerings, but they will stay if they feel connected with other members, trainers, or staff. Developing your community to be a supportive network that provides accountability will ensure a higher retention rate and a far more satisfied member.

There are two measures for engagement:

  1. Retention – improving your relationships with your members and connecting them to opportunities that they are interested in will decrease the rate at which you see memberships turn over. In a case study performed by our team (the Daxko Engagement Solutions Team), we found that organizations saw a 3-5% increase in retention year over year if they did the following:
    • Establish a new member orientation and develop a new member engagement initiative
    • All staff log 3-5 in person conversations each day in a tracking software
    • Communicate staff successes and coach underperformers
  2. Social Impact – engaging your members is incredibly important to accomplishing the mission of your organization, whether that mission is to make an impact through social programs OR to foster a healthy community and make a profit while doing it.
    • While retention is primarily focused on numbers, social impact focuses more on the stories that you will create when your members have an exceptional experience.

All the “things” that make up your organization are important. But what’s more important are the people and the relationships those people build with others.

 

Emily V. is a proud dog mom, and Netflix connoisseur, and lives on Daxko’s Engagement Solutions Team.

Success Story: YMCA of South Hampton Roads Grows with Daxko

By | Customer Experience, Industry, Marketing, Membership, Mission Delivery, Organizational Health | No Comments

Growing your membership, program participants and donations isn’t easy for a member-based nonprofit, but South Hampton Roads has partnered with Daxko for over 15 years and achieved long-term growth and operational efficiency. Read their customer story with the Director of Operations Software for YMCA of South Hampton Roads, Clarissa Hoagland.

Download the PDF file .

The Aggressive Approach to Marketing Your Mobile App

By | Industry, Marketing, Membership, Mobile | No Comments

Club-based mobile apps are the hottest technology trend in health and fitness, according to a recent report from ACE, IHRSA and ClubIntel. And most mobile apps fail, according to anyone in the app business. Sounds like a paradox. Actually, it’s a marketing a problem, a problem that is fixable.

Experience shows us the build-it-and-they-will-come strategy for marketing your mobile app just doesn’t work. The app stores are crowded, home screens are limited, user attention is scarce, and thus apps are quickly deleted and forgotten. Passive introductions to your new app, like burying its features in the seventh article of the company newsletter will not get you downloads – the app market is too fickle, too competitive.

You must take the opposite approach and adopt an aggressive, swing-for-the-fences strategy designed for maximizing downloads of your app.

So let’s take the kid gloves off and talk about the marketing tactics that will get your club app downloaded. Although the real reason for having a mobile app is to drive content and services to your customers across a wildly popular platform, nothing happens until your app gets downloaded.

MICROTARGETING
Steal from your favorite presidential candidate and start microtargeting your members. Microtargeting is the art and science of mining voter databases for potential supporters. The goal is not just to segment voters based on certain attributes, but to get those voters most likely to vote for a particular candidate to the polls on election day.

You have a database full of members and valuable member data. Use it. Create targeted messages for niche markets.

Who is most likely to download my club app? Start by identifying the low-hanging fruit. According to comScore data, those between the ages of 25-34 spend more time on mobile apps than any other age segment, with the 18-24 crowd right on their heels. Maybe these two segments of your club population aren’t high-value customers, and not exactly loyal, but they do like apps.

After gaining traction with your younger members, look for new patterns in the data. Use your analytics chops to attack other segments of your club like heavy Group X and summer program users that would seriously benefit from the search, scheduling and reservations features of your app. Microtargeting gets voters to the polls and mobile users to the app stores.

VIDEO
A short explainer video can do wonders for your mobile app. Video is engaging, it taps emotions, and it provides an alternative learning path. Like fixing your toilet, some things just make more sense on YouTube.

A short walkthrough demo of your app does not have to be a Hollywood production. And video analytics have proven shorter is better, with 30 seconds being the sweet spot for ultimate viewing. In fact, break down each function into individual videos for users with specific questions.

Tapping the right emotions for a health and fitness app is easy. Somewhere between time savings and shameless vanity, making an emotional connection with your video audience shouldn’t be difficult.

DIGITAL CHANNELS
Using your website as a hub, direct all of your digital channels toward the same goal: app downloads. Be consistent with your message across Twitter, Facebook, and any other social channel you market in. Use strong call-to-actions (CTAs) and show members exactly how to download the app using an infographic or some type of simple flow chart.

Track where your downloads are coming from and identify the platforms and content choices that are working.

Email, email, email. McKinsey says email is a more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined. So not only is email still your best online marketing tool, but guess what the largest percentage of mobile users are actually doing on their phone? Checking email.

According to IDC, checking email is the #1 most popular activity on a smartphone!

Craft and distribute emails dedicated to your mobile app – what it does, why you need it, and exactly how to download it. Make darn sure new members get the message in their welcome package.

INCENTIVES
Who said you had to earn all of your downloads the hard way? Games, giveaways and great discounts will all get your members moving to Google Play and the Apple’s App Store. You have plenty to offer, including swag, food and beverage, and training sessions.

Remember, these are exclusive offers for mobile users and can be positioned as in-app incentives. The catch is you have to download the app first.

RESEARCH
Get to know the app market, the app culture. With over three million apps in the market, and mobile data so easy to acquire, it’s no wonder market researchers have had a field day with mobile. Honestly, some of this stuff (marketing insights) they’ve uncovered is fascinating and can be used (applied analytics) to sharpen your mobile strategies.

Did you know iOS users are four times more likely to download health and fitness apps? So launch an Apple only promotion. Turns out, most app downloads occur at night and on the weekends. So organize a weekend download drive and hit your members when they are most vulnerable.

Follow the mobile market and discover how people actually connect and communicate through their apps. Use this intel to tailor your app marketing and promotion.

80 percent of your members bring their smartphones to your facility so swing for the fences.

How to Hire Right for Engagement

By | Fitness, Industry, Marketing, Membership | No Comments

The most sustainable nonprofits have talented teams. Have you considered that your staff must be engaged before they can effectively engage members? Staff engagement starts during the hiring process. Associations with successful engagement programs say it has changed the way they hire. Even when you have all the right people in place, it is important to continuously engage your staff just as you would your members to get the best outcomes. Here are some staff engagement ideas featured in Entrepreneur from Dwight Merriman (founder of several successful startups):

  1. Ensure that those you hire understand your mission at the outset — those that understand the mission will be a better fit for the long haul
  2. Foster collaboration between staff — open huddles and team meetings encourage collaboration and engagement
  3. Educate staff regularly – when people feel they are growing and learning they stay connected
  4. Be transparent to build trust – communicating the good, the bad, and the ugly encourages open communication and engagement

Staff engagement stays top of mind at the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast. It’s a big part of the overall engagement strategy. Kathy Cannon heads up their engagement efforts and she fosters engagement with her team by facilitating a staff huddle twice a day to talk about training topics and highlight engagement achievements at the branch. The team also devotes 10 minutes to “Connections” (discussing connections with members) at their bi-weekly staff meetings and they regularly involve branches that are seeing the most success in team trainings to spread good habits across the association. The team there has a laser focus on quality interactions. Thanks to a strategic engagement plan and consistent tracking, the team doubled interactions logged from 3% of all check-ins to nearly 6% of all check-ins (that represents an increase of nearly 3,000  interactions per month!)

This is an excerpt from our recent Engagement Insights Report. You can view or download the full report on the Insights Report page.