3 of 743: Get out your magnifying glass and study your collection

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Matt Arthur | Published Wed Feb 24 2016

Some people collect stamps, others coins. Some collect big at the casino, others study butterfly collections under a magnifying glass.

That last kind of collector is the one from which membership organisations need to learn. Because you’re collecting data, every day, and then you’re, well . . . what are you doing with it all?

Have you dusted off your magnifying glass?

The amount of data we’ve got access to today can make your head spin. But it’s what we do with that access that makes the difference for success in membership-based organisations. Think in terms of the three Cs and you can’t go wrong:

Collect. Connect. Convert.

Add another C: you have to collect cleverly. You have to know how to use what you gather at your collection points to drive better experiences and up conversion rates.

It’s important to have a really clear idea of your data collection points. There are so many along the way to membership, which makes for a lot of information. And that means a lot of relationships between these collection points.

All of this forms a picture of the relationship between fan and club. So, let’s look at some of those collection points:

  • member phone calls
  • Google Analytics membership site statistics
  • cart abandonment information
  • member check-ins at venue
  • merchandise sales
  • event attendance
  • email open rates and engagement
  • social media

Hopefully you’re collecting at all these points. But is the information stored together? Or does it live in unconnected places where only certain people in your business can see it?

Collect this little rule for success in membership-based organisations: access to data is only helpful if it can be analysed and put to use.

With that in mind, let’s look for a moment at your membership online sales portal. It’s important to collect information there about:

  • where potential members are coming from (i.e. social media, EDMs, digital advertising, paid search, free search);
  • how long they’re spending at your portal;
  • what they’re looking at; and
  • at what point they’re leaving.

Clever analysis will mean you find out at what point people leave before purchase, and then you can put it to use by trialing different messaging. Your analysis may also show that, whoops, your purchase point is hard to find! And if you learn from your data collection that nobody arrives from free search you then know it’s time for some SEO work.

Opens and clicks are great to collect, but they’re not the whole story. To measure engagement, consider purchase activity, website visits, website visit duration, and social media shares. That’s why it’s important to have your data and the different areas of your organisation talking to each other.

You need to be smart with your data so it can lead to improved conversions.

Work out what data can be usefully linked and what information leads to new ideas. Data about people who abandon their cart while on the membership track can be passed to the outbound callers and they can be phoned with a membership message.

Members who don’t check in on game day can be emailed with information about memberships that match their attendance patterns. Or you can offer incentives to attend games. And you can also offer merchandise deals to members who attend every game of the season.

Even a simple thing like knowing that university aged visitors to your membership site are less likely to purchase means that, if you discover you have a lot of them, you can target them a package. In regard to your internal business, using UTM links in your EDMs, social media and digital advertising can show what’s most effective in generating memberships. And that information can be fed back into your budget process to make your marketing spend work harder.

The amount of data you can collect will only grow. But better understanding what you collect will bring about the gains you’re looking for in your membership organisation.  

Read the previous post in the series '2 of 743: Get all existential – and find success!'

Read the next post '4 of 743: Aim to find your targets. Then set your aim.'

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