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8 Essential Tools for Delivering Exceptional Member Experiences

Posted on June 09, 2023

How to Thrive in Today's Rapidly Evolving Digital Landscape

The rapid evolution of the digital landscape often leaves membership organizations struggling to keep up with the changes. At Inorbital, we understand the importance of staying ahead and creating exceptional digital experiences for your membership. In this article, we will delve into the major challenges faced by membership organizations in this digital-first era and provide insights on how to improve member experiences.

The digital revolution has transformed how we purchase products and communicate with others, impacting every aspect of our lives. As a result, membership organizations have had to adapt to meet the changing needs and behaviours of their members. However, many organizations still lag behind in adopting digital strategies. According to the Digital Excellence Report by MemberWise, only 35% of organizations have a digital strategy in place, and even fewer (25%) have a data strategy. This lack of digital maturity can lead to falling below member expectations.

Let's explore the challenges faced by membership organizations and understand why enhancing member experiences is crucial.

Challenges for Membership Organizations

Membership organizations encounter several difficulties in the digital-first era. However, harnessing the power of digital experience platforms (DXPs) can enhance digital maturity and provide engaging member journeys. Here are some key challenges:
  • Sky-high member expectations: Members now expect engaging, interactive, and personalized experiences tailored to their interests and needs. They desire self-service tools and online FAQs that empower them to have more control over their accounts. Unfortunately, many membership organizations lack the necessary systems to provide such experiences.
  • Multichannel requirements: Offline channels are becoming less effective, leading organizations to adopt a cohesive multichannel approach to engagement. However, ensuring consistency across channels and aggregating member data from various sources is challenging, especially with disparate systems and isolated data.
  • Lack of optimized journeys: Members seek instant gratification and will abandon experiences if they can't find or process something quickly. Membership platforms must be user-friendly and technology should not impede page speeds.
  • Neglecting retention: While acquisition is often the focus, membership organizations struggle with high dropout rates after the first year. Failure to demonstrate ongoing value and benefits to existing members undermines renewals. Understanding members and their motivations is crucial for combating this challenge.
  • Lagging behind data regulations: Protecting members' data should be a priority in digital efforts. Balancing privacy with personalized experiences is complex. Organizations without proper compliance tools may face legal issues.
  • Measuring ROI: Even with personalization tools, measuring return on investment is a struggle for membership organizations. Robust analytics capabilities are necessary to understand what resonates with audiences and link conversions to their respective journeys.
  • Streamlining technology: Marketers burdened with manual processes hinder their ability to capitalize on opportunities and deliver relevant experiences. Systems should empower marketers to be self-sufficient in creating experiences that attract, nurture, convert, and retain members. Traditional content management systems (CMS) are insufficient for these requirements.

8 Essential Tools for Delivering Exceptional Member Experiences

At Inorbital, we believe in supporting digital strategies with robust tools to enhance digital experience maturity. Here are seven essential tools for creating outstanding member experiences:
  1. Deeper member insights: Understanding your audience's needs and motivations is vital for improving conversion rates and renewals. A comprehensive 360° view of your members allows for accurate message customization throughout the membership journey. Seamless integration between systems ensures consistent member profiles across various channels.
  2. Ease-of-use for marketers: Investing in advanced marketing tools is only effective if marketers can utilize them efficiently. Marketers should be able to manage, create, and publish content across multiple channels without technical assistance. They should also have the ability to run, automate, test, and optimize campaigns independently.
  3. Optimized email campaigns: Easy-to-use customizable email templates amplify marketing efforts and engage members effectively. Marketing automation tools enable timely invitations, reminders, and messages to reduce first-year dropouts. Personalization tools and A/B testing capabilities optimize email effectiveness. Integration between these tools enhances efficiency.
  4. Personalization through personas: Leveraging comprehensive member data allows organizations to segment their member base and provide tailored content. Assigning personas enables targeted and tactical engagement, meeting ongoing individual needs and nurturing members through renewals. Targeted content personalization supports lead nurturing, enhances member loyalty, and boosts upselling and cross-selling.
  5. Member-only zones: Members seek a sense of exclusivity and personal care. Members-only areas provide a dedicated space where they can access FAQs, self-service resources, and gamified content. Engaging members through action-based trophies and rewards enhances their connection with the brand.
  6. An omnichannel approach: Members desire engagement across various channels and devices, necessitating consistent experiences. By joining the conversation on social sites, organizations can interact with members where they already are. A DXP enables a cohesive member journey across different touchpoints.
  7. A smooth customer journey: Technology and processes must support engagement efforts. Seamless sign-ins, registrations, and payment processes are vital for a smooth member experience. Fast page loads and clear navigation further enhance the journey. Technology serves as the foundation for digital maturity. 
  8. Bullet proof security: Enterprise class security expected by your members to ensure trust and piece of mind when it comes to personal information managed by your team. By defining permissions, creating multiple roles, leveraging MFA and other authentication methods along with cloud hosting and regular testing your platform will be safe and secure now and well down the road.   

Technology and Strategy: The Key to Digital Experience Maturity

Digital Experience Platform
Engaging members should be the top priority for membership organizations. Aligning strategies and technology enables marketing teams to design and manage exceptional omnichannel experiences that attract, nurture, convert, and retain members. Assessing and enhancing digital maturity and agility is crucial to adapt to changes and evolving member needs.

At Inorbital, we offer a unified digital experience platform that provides the necessary tools to thrive in the digital-first, digital-now world. Contact us to learn more about how Kentico DXP can support your membership organization and provide a smarter approach to membership digital marketing. In the coming months, we will continue to explore how a digital experience maturity model can help overcome membership challenges and guide you in making the right technology investments for your organization.
Blog post author Tony


Director and Founder

Inorbital founder and digital solution architect with over 20 years’ experience planning and directing dynamic web presence and web applications for all types of savvy organizations. When not directing Inorbital you can find him actively trying something completely new.

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