Three Business Resolutions for Membership & Marketing

By | Daxko Engage, Engagement, Industry, Marketing, Membership, Tips & Resources | No Comments

It’s the season of renewal – personally andprofessionally. While many are making resolutions to join a fitness facility or creating bucket lists for the new year, we’d like to challenge your team to make a resolution to simplify your professional lives. Simplicity enables you to do more that you enjoy. Here are three ways to freshen up for the new year:

1.  Consolidate your email marketing efforts.

Could you say that every department is on the same page as it relates to email marketing? Do you know what other teams at your organization are sending out? Is the content brand compliant?

More often than not, the answer to at least one of these questions is no. Working for a community center, a fitness center, a child care provider, and a camp (among many other strengths) means your efforts are likely siloed. This is even more the case because non-profit team members juggle so many responsibilities. We sometimes work with customers who have their camp team using Emma, the Wellness team using Constant Contact and the Sales/Marketing using Campaign Monitor. Not only is that ineffective, but man, it gets expensive!

In order to ensure your efforts are well received, a single source of truth is invaluable.  A single source of truth means control over how much and when members receive information, who receives a message, a consistent portrayal of your brand image, and an integrated approach to member engagement. To toot our own horn, we recommend Daxko Engage because it is already integrated with your membership database.

2.  Document processes and responsibilities

This one is easy. From a marketing perspective, it is crucial to have best practices in place around who can createcontent and who can releasecontent. Our most successful customers have a Member Engagement committee where different stakeholders and leaders come together to discuss what messaging to share when.

Once discussed and approved, the person with the information will create some messaging using a template your marketing guru has approved. From there, a marketing team member will make adjustments and schedule the initiative to launch based on a content calendar to ensure members aren’t oversaturated with content.

3.  Hold managers accountable

Picture this:Staff are having engaging conversations with your members because they genuinely believe in the mission of your organization and want to see people succeed. It’s not hard to picture, right? The perk of working for a non-profit means that your team members are on board with the mission and working to help members accomplish their goals.

Assuming you have Daxko Engage to make it easier, there are two major reasons to log conversations that are alreadyhappening:

  • You’ll move that one-to-one relationship to a one-to-many relationship – meaning that every single team member can build on that relationship and create exceptional experiences for your members.
  • With a plethora of data, you are able to extract information to make important business decisions. For example, if half of the goal-related notes pertain to weight loss (looking at you, New Year’s Resolutions), it may be a time to offer programming geared towards those needs.

The idea is fantastic, but it will happen only if your managers are promoting the reason behind logging conversations and holding their team members accountable. As the directly responsible individual over member engagement, make it your mission to follow up with managers and ensure those conversations – whether to reward or coach team members –  are happening.

In doing these three things – consolidating marketing efforts, documenting processes and responsibilities, and holding supervisors accountable – you will start your new year fresh. Get everyone on board, and enjoy the version of you with more free time!

Take Your Engagement to the #Nextlevel

By | Daxko Engage, Engagement, Industry | No Comments

I’m going to cut to the chase: Next Level service requires data. Daxko is in the business of next level service – and you are too.

Consider this scenario: It’s peak join month. Your membership staff is putting in extra hours to deal with the influx of joins. They’re obtaining basic information about new members – including why they joined and what their membership goals are. This information will ultimately make or break their membership. Bucketing that information to provide strategic offerings and intentional engagement opportunities can be difficult without a procedure in place.

The What:

You might be thinking to yourself, “How do we bucket that data when it’s just a bunch of words?” That’s when we swoop in with the answer of the decade: hashtags.

Hashtags, or keywords, are extremely useful in sorting notes your team members have logged about members. Check out these real examples of hashtags in action:

  • Charles stopped me in the hall and complimented me on my Flow class yesterday. We talked about his fitness journey and why he stays motivated to be active. It was nice to get to know him a little better. #MemberMarvels #GroupFitness
  • We talked about a committee we are on together. He mentioned that he is here almost every day! #FierceFundraisers
  • I engaged Keiko on the 2nd She was getting ready to do a group fitness class. She does not use any equipment – she prefers group fitness overall. #Story

The How:

The first step in bucketing your data will be deciding on keywords you’d like to keep an eye on.

Check out this Hashtag Bank to see examples from your peers and develop your own “bank.”

We recommend focusing on who is pulling the reports, determine what data they’re most interested in and work backwards. Start small and build the list to make sure the process catches on without overloading staff. Departmental and goal-oriented hashtags are a great start!

From here, you’ll want to communicate your decisions. Tell staff in team meetings, post your Hashtag Bank in an employee area or next to desktops, and make sure to reward team members who are doing a great job. Giving them kudos shows the team that this is important – plus, everyone likes to be rewarded for a job well done.

Your Next Steps:

Once you’ve created and discussed your Hashtag Bank, extracting information is simple! Log into Daxko Operations and head to Custom Reports. Access your Daxko Engage reports and navigate to the Keyword Search Report. From here, you’ll simply put in your parameters. You can also set a schedule if it is something you’d like to pull monthly.

Pull trends around areas of interest that your organization can expand upon. If a large group of people share similar goals, consider developing a specialized program for that group of members to create a community and solution for your members. You can communicate with them by utilizing the custom Member ID group rule in Daxko Engage. From there, the world is your oyster!


Akron Area YMCA Motivates Employees to Engage More Members

By | Daxko Engage, Engagement, Industry, Mission Delivery, Tips & Resources | No Comments

The Akron Area YMCA launched Daxko Engage in mid-2015. Like other Daxko Engage customers, they are excited to have data that predicts how likely a member is to terminate their membership as well as the ability to segment their membership based on interest or activity and communicate to those groups appropriately. But it doesn’t stop there. The Akron Y is also using Daxko Engage to motivate their staff to create good engagement habits.

I recently caught up with Ken Hoyt, the Technology Director at the Akron Y, to talk about how his Y is motivating staff to keep member engagement top of mind. Ken shared with me that the front-line staff had always done a good job of communicating with and engaging members, but there was no process to record notes and follow-up tasks. He knew that this was a missed opportunity, and set out to bridge the gap.

Months after launching Daxko Engage, notes recorded averaged 75 per month across 6 branches. The Akron Y set up an internal competition and offered prizes to the individual and the branch with the largest quantity of quality notes. Hoyt shares, “The quality of notes is just as important, if not more important, than the quantity. We want to create a habit of entering notes, but not at the expense of notes that include short, generic comments.”

The results of the competition were greater than anyone could have expected. Hoyt shared that during the one-month competition, staff entered 2,300+ notes in Daxko Engage. Hoyt explains, “We have great front-line support that have a competitive spirit. We’re still auditing the notes to review the quality, and will ensure that the branch membership directors are prepared to coach anyone that may need help in that area. All-in-all, we think that the competition was the nudge they needed to try something new.”

When asked how they will continue to motivate staff now that the competition is over, Hoyt said that is yet to be finalized, but he does envision a recognition system at each branch. Next steps also include training staff to be deliberate when choosing which conversations to have; to choose critical members that are at highest risk of terminating their memberships and need to feel that connection.

We look forward to seeing what 2016 brings for the Akron Y. Keep up the great work!

Engage Success Story: New Britain-Berlin YMCA

By | Daxko Engage, Engage, Engagement, Industry, Membership, Mission Delivery, Online, Organizational Health | One Comment

We periodically speak with our customers to get a gauge on how they use our products and what they like about Daxko. For this post we spoke with Eric Hutchinson, who is now the Director of Membership with the Wilson-Gray YMCA (a part of the YMCA of Greater Hartford). We wanted to speak with him about his work at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA where he worked closely with his staff to adopt Daxko Engage:

As a Membership professional at the YMCA, how do you define engagement?
I define “engagement” as an organization’s ability to connect with members on both a personal and professional level, creating deeper relationships and solidifying longevity.

Why do you think YMCAs struggle with systematic engagement?
I find that YMCAs often struggle with systematic engagement because, as their membership base grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to develop personal relationships with those members. It’s easy to learn a few facts about 10 people. When the number jumps to 10,000 people, something as simple as learning a member’s name becomes a challenge. This is further compounded by the fact that members with habitually low engagement present our staff with even fewer opportunities to connect.

You recently moved from a YMCA that had just rolled out Daxko Engage to a YMCA that doesn’t have Daxko Engage. Can you tell us what changes or new opportunities you observed while using Engage?
Our recent Engage launch first came with some basic and very surface-level observations. Engage is a great tool. But, much like our membership staff, it is only as good as the information we give it. For example, a large part of the platform is the ability to view a member’s photo on their individual tile, match the face in front of you to that photo, and identify the member so a conversation can begin. This simple task forced us to reevaluate the quality of the photos we were taking during the member registration process; providing us with clearer, closer, and sharper member images (something we should have been doing to begin with). Additionally, it became a fun game for my staff to see how much new data they could collect. We spent days trying to acquire the latest contact information, personal goals, email addresses, and other information so that the first post-engage conversations would be meaningful and well-educated. In doing so, we became better Engage users, and more importantly, better managers.

As someone in charge of membership, what did you like most about Daxko Engage?
Engage isn’t reinventing the wheel. Most of the features that Engage presents are things that most YMCAs already do to improve their retention. However, most YMCAs are spending hundreds of employee hours accomplishing these tasks. With Engage, the software does most of the work for you, reminding the user when it is time to step in and holding them accountable for the completion of those assignments. It also provides your organization with continuity of voice and policy by providing each user with a full documentation of each interaction between staff and a member. It’s almost as good as having your member engage with the same staff member during every single interaction.

What kind of reaction did you get from your staff? Did they embrace Daxko Engage?
I think that initially my staff didn’t quite understand what Engage was. We got a lot of, “So we’re using this INSTEAD of Operations now?” It took a few meetings to really outline the benefits of Engage. Engage is a very hands-on tool. Until you actually put an iPad in front of your staff and say, “try it!”, they won’t fully understand. As soon as they began to see how user-friendly it is, it became a game. By the time I left, the staff members were beginning to have a lot of fun gathering quality data and using it to make connections.

Do you have a specific story you could share, either about how Engage has changed a specific staff member in their approach, or something compelling someone discovered about a member as a result of a conversation sparked by Engage?
We used Engage to identify a woman who was using our facility almost every day. Because of this, we approached her and asked if we could have a conversation with her about her involvement in the Y. We learned that she began coming to the Y simply to lose weight after the birth of her children. She preferred the Y over other gyms because of our Childwatch program and our programs that encourage family participation. She began to come more and more frequently, often teaming up with other members to work on her skills. Through this conversation we discovered that the Y had made such an impact on her that she is now enrolled in school and studying to be a personal trainer. That was a special feeling.

What are some ways you envisioned using Engage beyond membership (like to get more members involved in programs or giving to the annual campaign)?
One feature that we found very helpful was the ability to “follow” members. We used it several times to receive alerts when certain members would enter the facility. It allowed us to approach one of the young ladies that works out quite often and ask her if she would be willing to be one of our monthly Spotlight Members. We have also been able to start conversations with donor prospects by being aware of their presence in our facility.