What Brought ‘Em Won’t Keep ‘Em

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

If you’re like other organizations, your membership strategy for the beginning of the year is focused on welcoming as many new joins as you can. But you blinked, and it’s March, so now it’s time for your team to think about how you’re going to build those relationships.

As with any new relationship, the early days are about novelty and excitement. The bad news? That won’t last forever. The good news? Intentional touchpoints keep people engaged throughout their journey. Here are three ways to keep ’em for the long haul:

1. TREAT NEW MEMBERS RIGHT
Take your new member onboarding experience seriously. The first 3 months are crucial. Define the path you want your new members to take. With Daxko Engage, you are able to create a multi-step initiative workflow with a mix of emails and tasks for your staff to lessen the load while still providing an excellent onboarding experience for your members. The New Member Engagement campaign the Engagement Solutions Team recommends has a dozen touchpoints in the first 120 days.

2. TARGET YOUR MARKETING
The “spray & pray” marketing approach is as messy as it sounds. Use Daxko Engage Group Rules to create meaningful member segments, and send a simple Initiative to that Group with a clear call to action. Fill your class and program rosters by targeting those who would potentially be interested with compelling information. For example, if you are looking to fill your 65+ Aqua Kickboxing class, be sure to target those ages 65 and older. Consider sending a separate, but similar, initiative to those who have participated in similar classes in the past.

3. DELIVER ON YOUR PROMISES
Real talk: relationships are built on trust. Are you meeting the expectations your members had when they joined? If a member joined for the community, make sure she feels like a part of one. If a member joined to become more fit, see if he’s meeting his fitness goals. Here’s some feedback from the Shames JCC on the Hudson about the “we miss you” Initiative they sent to members they hadn’t seen lately. Here’s what Lisa H. had to say:

We have had great success. This initiative will help us to engage our members who have not been here for 90 days or more. I have responded to all who have reached out, and I am working on re-engaging them here at the JCC by connecting them with staff members to learn more about our adult programs, our complimentary fitness orientations, personal training and our new group exercise schedule. I even encouraged them to stop by to say “hello” the next time they are in!

We like metaphors on the Engagement Solutions team, so we’ll leave you with this: In December and January, you plowed your soil and planted the seeds. Soon it’ll be spring, so you’ll need to water your garden, pluck the weeds, and tend to your budding flowers. That’s how you get your memberships to blossom.

Transparency Means Show Yourself

By | Communication, Culture, Employment Brand, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko | One Comment

I’ll confess: I’m a word nerd.

Words are important. How you put something matters, whether that’s in conversation, email, or just in your own head. I’ll often get wrapped up deliberating the right words to use, validating my struggle with that Thomas Mann quote about writers.

In another blog post, I tried pinning down what we talk about when we talk about engagement and how Daxko embodies it. I want to try that with the word transparency in order to see how it guides Team Daxko in what we do every day.

We’re all familiar with the sense that transparent means “clear or see-through.” Our pals at Merriam-Webster define it as “easy to notice or understand.” And most relevant to the business world is this definition: “visibility or accessibility of information.”

At Daxko, transparency is a guiding principle that defines our culture. Transparency is Open Q&As with our CEO and it’s our open-concept collaborative workspaces. But what does transparency look like for individual team members and what they can control in their own day-to-day?

Another definition of transparent that’s closer to what I’m getting at here is “free from pretense or deceit.” And when you slice the word down to its Latin roots – trans + parēre – you get “to show oneself.”

When a company’s culture is defined by transparency, team members feel encouraged to be themselves when they’re at work.

For professional development last month, I took a course on communication strategies. We focused on creating our personal brand and exploring how we can better show ourselves in our work. Ask yourself this: What is your unique selling proposition, and how does your work show who you are, your background, and your talents? Answering that question is easier when you work in a transparent environment because of the implicit invitation to show yourself.

I also think a lot about our team’s brand, about how we show ourselves. The Engagement Solutions Team implements and consults on Daxko Engage and Daxko Mobile, two of Daxko’s engagement tools. How should our team behave given that we stand for building relationships through engaging interactions, that we’re all about meaningful communication? It means we should be and do exactly those things for our customers and for our teammates across the company. Why the heck shouldn’t we have a reputation as an engaging team?

Here are a few things the Engagement Solutions Team has done lately to better show ourselves:

  • Our team is full of creative types, and we’re always looking for ways to use our skills in design, writing, music, videography, and even Excel wizardry to enhance what we do.
  • We started referring to implementation phone calls as conversations—because words are important.
  • At our team pod, we have a board where we highlight a customer’s “Engaging Conversation of the Week” and hold a weekly poll/conversation-starter like, “Is pineapple on pizza an abomination? Y/N.” (It turns out pineapple is not an abomination.)

The work of transparency doesn’t end. It’s a style, a philosophy, and a challenge – whoever you are. As you go through your day, think about how you show yourself in the work you do. Think about the effortless groove you get into when you’re simply being yourself.

There’s always something good cookin’ on the Engagement Solutions Team. Here we are at a recent team building event, where we whipped up a Tropical Tiki Party meal.


Charlie P., Engagement Solutions Team Lead at Daxko, wakes up early for a good long run, a good book, or just because.

Putting the ‘Engage’ in Engagement

By | Culture, Rewarding Careers, Technology | No Comments

What is engagement really? It’s hard to disagree with its importance, but it’s even harder to define. You know it when you feel it.

At Daxko, we take engagement seriously. For our team members, engagement is about enthusiasm, fulfillment, and feeling connected to our culture. Engagement is about building relationships through experiences.

You could say the same about our product, Daxko Engage. Daxko Engage is where Daxko’s commitment to providing mission-critical solutions intersects with our promise of creating Exceptional Experiences. We cannot talk about Daxko Engage without talking about doing engagement. Think about it this way: while engagement is a noun, Engage is a verb.

Daxko Engage is a relationship management platform – the industry term is CRM (customer relationship management), but there’s more to it than that. Engage is your association’s marketing hub and communication engine. It’s where you track relationship growth, and it’s where your data becomes meaningful and actionable. Using Daxko Engage makes being an engagement wizard easy.

How? Here’s a sampling of verbs Engage makes possible:

  • SEE who’s checking in. At a glance, you’re equipped with key information about your members. Now go connect with them.
  • LOG notes from meaningful conversations. Each interaction needs to build the relationship. Every 2 interactions your staff has with members results in one extra facility visit1.
  • SEGMENT your membership base for targeted marketing. Know who you’re communicating with, and know you’re staying relevant.
  • CREATE engagement initiatives that streamline your day-to-day. Work smarter, not harder.
  • PREDICT the future. The Daxko Engagement Index, our algorithm made up dozens of data points, gives you a glimpse into how likely a member is to stick around. From here, you can make initiatives to do something about it.
  • DESIGN best-in-class, mobile-optimized emails. These days, 72% of your members prefer to hear from you through email2, and 55% of emails are now opened on a mobile device3.
  • ASSIGN tasks to your team and make hospitality and member satisfaction everyone’s job.
  • TRACK how you’re measuring up against retention and engagement goals and celebrate your successes. As we like to say: what gets measured gets remembered; what gets measured gets improved. 
  • CHANGE your culture. What’s the story you want members to know? How are they part of it? How will you change their lives? 

At Daxko, we believe that our customers are committed to engaging their communities and that they have the ability to build a culture of engagement with the right tools. We promise to do our part by empowering & educating our customers through relationship-driven experiences. Nothing fires us up more than seeing engagement in action.

1http://www.ihrsa.org/blog/2017/1/24/15-surprising-facts-about-health-club-member-retention.html

2https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/customer-communication-by-channel

3 http://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics


Charlie P., Engagement Solutions Team Lead at Daxko, wakes up early for a good long run, a good book, or just because.

Get More Members to Open Your Emails, Tips from the Pros

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

The Delivery Services team at Daxko works around the clock to drive member engagement through targeted initiatives delivered through Daxko Engage. We work closely with customers to design initiatives using email, text, and Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) that drive engagement and involvement in the YMCAs, JCCs, and community nonprofit organizations we serve. We send a fair share of member emails and we’ve done a ton of research on what drives members to open and engage with emails from their local YMCA, JCC, or community center.

Here are some tips based on research from organizations like yours to get your members more engaged with your emails:

  1. The subject line is key. Play around with different ones and study what works and what doesn’t. Questions tend to do well, but don’t use them exclusively. An effective subject line piques interest without feeling “sales-y.”
  2. Make use of good segmentation – be sure you are delivering the right content to the right person at the right time.
  3. Think about timing – get emails to readers’ inboxes when they are likely to open them. Tuesday through Thursday evenings are typically a sweet spot. Avoid emails on weekends and stay away from holidays.
  4. Content, content, content!  Over the long term, the best way to see better open rates is to deliver emails that people want to read. It’s about good, relevant content. Ultimately, it’s also about content they can trust.

When you work with your team to improve email open rates, start with the subject line. Testing out more engaging subject lines (things like using members’ names, asking questions like “Remember Why you Joined the Y?” for low-performing new member emails.)  Clearer and more direct emails also tend to perform better. We focus on providing simple emails that have fewer things to read and click so we can be intentional about how we communicate to members on behalf of our customers.

Hopefully these tips will get you thinking. A good email strategy and conversation with your team is important to see continual improvement and real member engagement.  Looking for a good plan to improve your email strategy?  See this post outlining a 3 Step Process to Improve Member Emails.