Associations across the board, with few exceptions, are faced with decreasing membership and revenue. Their members are disengaged and there’s evidence of that in their renewals and conference attendance. First-year members are the most likely to open and click on an email, but that ends abruptly for the vast majority who don’t renew for a second year.

Many associations also send a lot of broadcasts out to their membership to try to increase interaction. They’re yelling their value proposition from the treetops. And, when all they hear is an echo, they yell louder or use different tools to talk at members. Associations are broadcasting, but not listening. And this isn’t limited to associations. We all do this, because it’s how we were taught to market.

What people are craving more than anything else is an authentic connection. Imagine meeting someone at a cocktail party and you want to get to know him better. Do you talk at him incessantly telling him all about your features and benefits? About why he should want to hang out with you? No, of course not, we might tell him something and then ask him something and then tell him something and then ask him something. There’s an exchange of listening and telling. That’s how connections are made.

So, why don’t we do that with our members? Why don’t we ask them questions and give them the stage? Oh, and an annual survey is not giving them the stage, by the way.

Feedback Automation Platforms tackle this issue. So, how does feedback software drive engagement?

  1. 60 percent of the value (super subjective math) of asking for feedback is simply getting your members thinking. When asked a question, it sticks. When told something, it disappears. Simply hearing a question and sparking some thought creates a stronger connection to the association. The more engaged they are in their thoughts, the more likely they are to renew and participate.
  2. 30 percent of the value of feedback comes from what you learn. Organizations will find that their staff is making better decisions of where to spend their time, based on better understanding their members. How aligned is your staff with your membership?
  3. And finally, 10 percent of the value of feedback comes from actually DOING something with the feedback, like calling members and continuing the conversation. But, that’s a strong 10 percent, and could likely result in increased revenue and participation.

Obviously, those numbers are highly subjective, but it’s important to note that simply giving your members and customers a voice is valuable in establishing a more connected relationship.


Dave Will is CEO and Co-Founder of PropFuel Feedback Automation Platform. PropFuel is the first feedback platform to create authentic member engagement for associations by asking continuous and targeted questions in what they call Feedback Campaigns.

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