Selecting the Right Membership Management Solution for Your Organisation

It is important that you select the right membership solution to fit with your business requirements, so what should you look for when selecting a membership management solution? There are many membership solutions on the marketplace; some are much more wide-ranging and technically sophisticated than others. However, membership managers need to be sure that the investment they make is future proof. This means the software you select must be able to develop and adapt as your organisation grows, the members evolve and technology expands.

The specific features that make a sophisticated and quality membership management solution are:

Integrated Communication Tool

In order to meet the needs of a busy membership organisation and connect with your members you need to ensure you manage your member data efficiently by ensuring all communication is maintained, targeted and relevant.

Membership subscription and renewals are fundamental determinants for all membership organisations, therefore to attract new members you first need to understand what motivated your current members to subscribe and renew and utilise this information within your member outreach communication strategy.
Being able to communicate with your members through both traditional and online methods are essential for any membership organisation, enabling you to communicate via:

  • Mail merge (both Word and Email) – Direct mail campaigns
  • SMS Support – Through an SMS gateway provider
  • E-Communications – Powerful, integrated and fully functional email marketing tool
  • E-Surveys – Integrated and automated feedback management tool
  • Social networking – Interaction with third party social sites
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Blogs
    • Forums
    • Instant Messaging

A membership solution will ensure your communication and engagement programme delivers important and relevant personalised interaction with your membership society whilst continuously developing and managing community relationships.

Membership Web Portal
A membership management solution that offers you a fully web based portal will allow your members access to their personal information at any time and from any location. Your members should be able to simply log in using their unique username and password and update/amend/edit their personal information.

Any amendments made by the member will automatically update the system to ensure your record of the member is always accurate. A membership portal which is offered by a membership solution provider will enable each member to access relevant tools and content for each member type, such as blogs/forums/wikis etc encouraging member-to-member interaction and cross interaction between different groups.

A comprehensive membership software solution will ensure relevant information is captured for each individual member account. A comprehensive member web portal should offer a number of modules which include online capabilities such as:

  • Registration
  • Account management
  • Invoice payment
  • Event management
  • Forum interaction
  • Blogs, wikis, etc
  • Surveys
  • News and content aggregation
  • Member to member communication

Reporting and Analysis

Improving the service you offer your membership base can really only be achieved through the measurement and analysis of the feedback you get from your members. This can be a multifaceted and very time intensive activity and can sometimes get pushed aside as there always seems to be more pressing matters!

Having the ability to understand your membership clusters, such as profiles, geographic breakdown, job title, dashboards and KPIs is crucial. The segmentation of your members and the provision of detailed reporting information will ensure you are able to analyse multi-dimensions of your members such as the who, what, where and why, whilst still ensuring you target each group accurately.

As organisations develop and change, it is vital that the membership software is able to grow with them. In selecting the right membership solution, the reporting functionality within the membership software will make it easy for membership managers to create off the cuff reports and new reports on demand.

Integration

Selecting a membership software solution that integrates into your business makes for a more resourceful, efficient and complete internal business solution. Business applications such as Finance and CRM solutions all contain member data that will need to be updated on a regular basis. The finance system will need to process invoices for subscription and renewals and your CRM system will need to be continuously updated with the member’s latest activity. Being able to automate the process of updating internal business applications will make managing your members that much more efficient.

Technically advanced membership software solutions will have the flexible architecture which will allow integration with all other business systems whether it is now or in the future.

Essential Factors for Successfully Building Membership Sites for Internet Marketers

Membership sites have picked up significantly since they first started. These days, they are some of the biggest money-earning websites online, offering everything from premium content to financial advice to stock brokering to romance. Nearly anything that can be sold or offered exclusively may be put up through a membership site. Little wonder it has become supplementary to internet marketing businesses. Interested in this growing internet business model? Here are important things you should know for building membership sites for internet marketers.

Why pay for a membership site?

Just as people would pay to become a member of your local book club, golf club, men’s and women’s clubs or some professional association, so would they sign up to become members of membership sites. These sites may offer products or services, usually for exclusive access, which members may obtain either free of charge or for a set fee.

A membership club is rather a simple business model – you build a club, offer people certain privileges which they will pay for in order to receive. This is why membership clubs are often created in relation to an internet marketing business. Sometimes, they ARE the business, becoming the primary means with which internet marketers earn an income.

Why start one?

Other than the potential for a lucrative online business, membership sites also offer you a chance to expand your network of contacts. Membership sites, if designed well, have a tendency to grow exponentially, particularly because they are based on one of the most telling tendencies of human nature – the need to belong and to communicate. Membership sites are currently one of the most promising ways to run an online business, which in large part explains their appeal to internet marketers.

Building a membership site for internet marketers

There are several factors that contribute to the creation of a successful membership sites. Keep these in mind should you consider using a membership site for your internet marketing business:

Popularity

The more members a site receives, the more income it generates. It’s that simple. This is why the site’s popularity must first be established in order to attract more people to sign up. It also has to be able to offer value to its members, considering that there are numerous other membership sites to compete with.

The key to ensuring attractiveness to potential members is to offer a unique means with which people can communicate online and top it with functionality and value. Members should be able to find the site useful or else they won’t bother wasting their time with it.

Market segment

The potential of a membership site for internet marketing can fly out the window if the market segment is not tapped correctly. If the market is too organic, don’t even try to dream of big profits because you can only expect an average return at best. Tapping the right target market is essential to the success of a membership site and thus must be considered carefully.

A wide range of products and services

A membership site needs only one concept but it has to have multiple functionalities on its web pages. Social networking sites, for example, don’t just let people post their photos for other members to see. The most popular sites, for example, allow members to maintain blogs, post links and communicate with other members.

Sustainability

Ideally, a membership site should last as long as a lifetime subscription. However, this isn’t a perfect business world, so expect some folks to cancel their memberships at any time. This makes it important that you build a membership site that is sustainable – meaning, it is built around a concept, product or service that doesn’t stop or is temporary. If your membership site is for Christmas enthusiasts, for example, expect only two to three months’ worth of activity at the most.

In order to become a viable source of income for an internet marketing business, a membership site has to offer a product or service that doesn’t rely on the seasons or special events. Consider dating membership sites, for example. These sites don’t just run on Valentine’s Day – they actually make a living everyday, particularly the most popular ones. When you do design your membership site, consider a product or service you can sell throughout the year.

Marketing

When building membership sites for internet marketing, remember that they have to adopt a suitable marketing strategy that is systematic and appropriate to the overall concept of the site. They have to be flexible enough to allow the service to adapt to changes but effective enough to let the business earn and produce a reasonable return on investment in no time.

Home Business Online Opportunity – A Membership Website is Your Answer

If you have expert skills or strategies pertaining to a topic that people need help with and is continually evolving then a membership website may be your answer. Keep reading to learn if it is the best home business online opportunity for you.

You’re not the only one looking for a home business online opportunity right now, and although there are a lot of legitimate options available you have to make sure to do your homework first to see if the option you are considering is a good fit for you. I have personally made a great income with the membership website format and would recommend it to anyone who is motivated and has the right skill set. How do you know if you have the right skills? Don’t worry I will get to that.

First of all you must be motivated, although membership websites can create a significant amount of practically passive income (once they are up and running). This is not a “get rich quick scheme” and there is no free lunch. You will have to do a substantial amount of work to get the membership website going and probably the most frustrating part of this experience is when you are working like a dog and have little to show for it. Then once you get all of the pieces of your website and marketing system working practically overnight your workload will begin to dissipate. I don’t say this to scare you off, but it’s important that you are aware of it because unfortunately the most common reason for failure is simply that they give up to early. So if you have the tenacity and motivation to see a project through to the end then a membership website may the home business online opportunity for you. Lets see if you have the right skill set.

You must have significant knowledge of the topic compared to your prospective client, an interested person, motivated to purchase and has the means to do so. If your significant knowledge consists of an online course you took on the topic or a weekend seminar you attended this is unlikely to be sufficient for creating a home business membership website. Knowledge of any topic will not do, and some topics that are of value and would work for an information product like an e-book for example are not sufficient enough for a membership website. You need a topic that constantly evolves so that you will have fresh material. Ideally, the goal/problem you are working with should also be something that requires effort to maintain (like your weight) so that clients will be motivated to remain members.

In order to create a membership website with enough initial content to satiate your clients cravings and enough continual new material you choose a topic that you know very well. People who do well with membership websites often create them around their career success, a passionate hobby or something else that has a significant daily impact on them. This allows you to use the challenges and successes of your daily life as new material for your membership website.

As to technical knowledge of how to create a membership website, and tools to market it, they are much easier to come by. You can purchase membership website software or outsource it. Once you learn the marketing methods they are not that difficult to implement. Your most important concern should be if you have the right kind of skill set, and if you do, you are holding a golden home business online opportunity in front of you to make an excellent income online with a membership website.