While each Association or non-profit and their subsequent events will have unique challenges and goals, we've provided some of the most common challenges and campaign ideas below. We always recommend creating a marketing plan for each of your events, so review these campaign ideas to help generate a successful event plan.
Before we begin:
Let's review some terminology and leading questions that will guide you through this article.
Engagement: Creating meaningful interactions with your site visitors or members to generate results.
- Event engagement includes attending your event, sharing the event, downloading the event app, signing up for speaker sessions/tracks, etc.
- Membership engagement includes networking, responding to surveys, referring a friend, utilizing member benefits, etc.
- Educational engagement includes downloading white papers, attending webinars, registering for educational events, completing certification courses, etc.
Brainstorming questions: answering these before you read about the campaigns below may help you focus on a particular goal. It can be daunting to think about all the possibilities for using Feathr, so use these questions to guide you in the right direction.
- What is your (or your association/group/non-profit's) biggest pain point right now?
- What is your biggest priority?
- What is your most immediate goal?
- What results do you want to generate?
- What is a specific target segment you that want to grow? (i.e., young professionals, industry vertical, etc.)
- What are your expectations for this campaign/event/goal?
- What will a successful campaign look like to you?
Answering these questions will help you work backwards to figure out which campaigns you can use to achieve your goals.
Many Associations are struggling to grow or retain membership for a variety of reasons, whether it be due to the economy, trying to attracting millennials, or attrition due to retirement. In any case, membership growth is frequently one of the top priorities of associations, so we've brainstormed some campaign ideas that focus on membership growth, engagement, and retention below.
Challenge: Getting New Members
Getting new association members always seems like an insurmountable task, but using the ideas and suggestions will improve the chances. These campaigns include a few multi-part nurture campaigns to first show membership benefits, and then suggest becoming a member. Remember, to get new members, you must first give them compelling reasons to become one.
*You can click on the images to open them in full size.
Challenge: Membership Retention
As members retire, change industries or stop getting value from membership, it gets harder to retain them. More and more groups are offering different membership options based on interest, activity, or level of benefits, which can all be segmented into their own campaigns. Additionally, if members don't see the value in their membership, they will most likely not renew. Be sure to remind them of their benefits, or encourage more active participation to remind them of why they became members in the first place.
Challenge: Membership Engagement
Many Association members are members just because it's an "industry standard." However, we've found that many members don't even know the full extent of what's included in their membership. Oftentimes, there are also many discounts specifically for members, which can be highlighted to remind members of their value.
Education, along with networking, are typically the major benefits of a non-profit or Association's membership. With more options online than ever, it's easy to share and highlight the variety of educational events, webinars, and certification programs your group offers. Always show the value of signing up for an educational course or event; remind them that educational courses and programs expand their knowledge and enhance their position in your profession or industry.
Challenge: Educational Engagement
Oftentimes, members don't know all of the educational programs that are included with their membership. Promoting these events not only increases their visibility and participation, but reminds members of the value of their membership.
Associations and non-profits have many aspects that aren't widely known, like discounted member rates, stores, publications, and more. Additionally, greater visibility is always helpful for any group or event, so many campaigns can be run year-round for maximum exposure.
Challenge: Year-Round Engagement
Sometimes, members only go to the annual event, and that's the full extent of their membership. Be sure to promote all aspects of your Association, whether it's smaller events, publications, unique content, or even merchandise.
We always recommend planning out your campaigns ahead of time to ensure enough time to prepare the creatives, build the segments, and launch the campaigns that will work best for you. You should think of each campaign as a "customer journey" that leads them through a funnel to complete your Goal.
How many campaigns should I run?
There's no magic number of campaigns to run--it will be different for each unique Association, depending on your goals. We recommend using this guide as a starting point which campaigns will work best for you.
Do these campaigns only work for Associations?
No way! Any campaign can be customized to fit your needs. If you see something that may apply to your event, use it!