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Personalization may be trending, but it’s not a novelty. Most associations have figured out the bare minimum of personalized marketing. If you’re not at least addressing prospects and members by name in your messaging, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

Consumers have amassed a great deal of marketing savvy on top of their hectic, over-scheduled lives. They know what associations are capable of, and they are quickly turned on or off. Creating a robust personalized marketing strategy is your association’s ticket to member satisfaction.

These five reasons illustrate why you need to step up your personalized marketing efforts.

1. People like to hear their names.

There is a psychology to it. Hearing your own name makes your brain react in a positive way, as does seeing your name in lights.
A personalized marketing strategy starts with collecting data about your audience. As you populate your membership management system with data, your marketing communications can include current and prospective members’ names as well as other information that will let your audience know you’re paying attention to them and may give them the warm-fuzzies.

It’s important, however, to keep your messaging useful – to avoid being perceived as “stalkerish” – and ensure that you’ve ironed out any glitches in your management software. Incorrect messaging that addresses a member by the wrong name or title is a definite marketing turn-off.


2. People like to save time.

You never hear anyone lamenting, “I have too much time on my hands.” Your members do not likely have the time to conduct endless informational searches.

When you conduct surveys and user testing, and keep track of everything you’ve learned about your members and prospects within your management software, you can provide targeted, personalized information. For example, if you know that a member is frequently searching through your research library, a personalization strategy will help you push recent publications that are targeted to his or her interests.

Having useful information presented and being spared time-consuming searching are things that are likely to keep your members happy and show your prospects how valuable membership can be.


3. People like a good deal.

One of the most popular association perks is the member discount. Personalized marketing lets you offer discounts that have value to individual members. For example, if you know that a member frequently searches for online events, you can offer them a discount on an upcoming webinar.

Your prospects also need to see value if they’re going to pay for a product or service. If you can offer personalized information based on the data you’ve collected, prospects are more likely to view your services and benefits as value-added. No one is going to pay for something they can easily get for free – at least not for long.


4. People like good customer service.

According to Neil Patel, 71% of consumers ended a business relationship due to a poor customer service experience. This holds true for associations, too; your members expect to feel appreciated. If a member or prospect is looking to you for a solution, they want to be offered relevant information quickly and painlessly or they’re going to move on.

Personalized marketing gives you a database that facilitates finding a solution to their problem. It even serves to anticipate their needs, which provides exceptional customer service. Being customer-focused helps you build an emotional connection with your audience that leads to member satisfaction and loyalty.


5. People want unique and compelling.

Any marketing strategy worth its salt includes a unique value proposition. Both members and prospects need to know that what you have to offer, they can’t get anywhere else.

Personalized marketing lets you present the material your audience was looking for as well as information they didn’t even know they needed. The data you collect provides information about your audience’s habits, which may lead to inferences on what else they may want.

Giving your member or prospect more than they asked for, including new and innovative information, is a good way to wow them.


The Bottom Line

Personalized marketing can help your association stand out in a sea of sameness. A good, personalized marketing strategy that is thoughtful, well-planned and includes a careful membership management system cost-benefit analysis could lead to a skyrocketing membership count.