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What metrics should you be tracking at your association?

Novice membership managers tend to gauge success by looking at overall member participation levels. While this does provide some insight, it's rarely the best method. Instead, it's much more helpful to measure the actual engagement of your membership base. Having an AMS that allows you to capture and report on these metrics is invaluable, so choose an AMS that includes this functionality.

Common methods of measurement

When trying to determine overall member participation, you should focus on studying membership engagement instead of individual activities and contributions. Not only does this provide a more accurate picture, but it also gives you further insight into the relationships of your most engaged members.

Although it's difficult to measure member engagement, and different companies use various strategies, several approaches are common.

  • Measuring individual activities. Tracking activities such as social media comments online or conference attendance offline is a good start.
  • Measuring specific touchpoints. To improve your results, start tracking the number of interactions each member has with your staff. Pay extra attention to interactions specifically initiated by the member.

Useful metrics to watch

Regardless of the method you choose to track membership activity, the following are important metrics to focus on.

  • Churn rate. This metric lets you know the rate at which you are currently losing members on a monthly basis. While it should be your goal to get this number as low as possible, anything up to 10% is still considered a normal churn rate.
  • Growth rate. In contrast, the growth rate indicates how much your membership is growing on a monthly basis. This is helpful when setting up your association for future success.
  • Bounce rate. Specific to the internet, the bounce rate lets you know how many visitors leave your website after viewing only one page. It essentially clues you in to the effectiveness - or ineffectiveness - of your content.

Tracking online and offline members

Don't forget to follow up your online membership tracking activities with offline measures, too. It's easy to do - with so much focus on the internet, offline strategies are sometimes neglected. However, there's still a lot of value in the traditional channels.

Moreover, some of your members may not be active online at all. While rare, it's still common in some social circles - particularly among older generations. If this is the case, offline tracking might be your only recourse.

For more information on membership tracking, including details about additional metrics that are widely used today, visit the professionals at Impexium.