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Could Extra Revenue Be Hiding in Your Association’s Daily Data?

Tracking your association’s data can save you quite the hassle when it comes to member recruitment, engagement rates, and much more. But did you know it could also do much more?

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Tracking and analyzing your association’s data can save you quite the hassle when it comes to member recruitment, engagement rates, and much more. But did you know it could also help you uncover more revenue?

In 2016, ASAE reported that only 30% of total revenue for professional associations come from membership dues. And while that is a large chunk, that means there is more room for non-dues revenue sources to make their way into an association’s overall revenue stream. But why work harder for more non-dues revenue, when you can work smarter? If your association tracks data on a day-to-day basis (and it should), you could be overlooking key information and analytics that could be making you an extra amount of revenue. And as any nonprofit organization knows- that revenue is vital for the success and growth of your mission.

Before expending any extra energy trying to start up a new non-dues revenue stream, it’s a smart move to figure out how your current streams are functioning- and that includes data tracking. Any association looking to fill in revenue gaps should always start by double checking its data. So, let’s discuss ways that you can search your own daily data and uncover extra revenue that you may not know even existed.

How Data Gaps Happen

Whether your association is one that is new to the data tracking world, or one that has tracked data meticulously for years on end, data gaps can still happen. But what, why, and how exactly do they pop up seemingly unnoticed? For many, it’s a lack of resources. Small staff associations and associations on a tight budget are known for taking on many different roles, and with that having their staff wear many different hats. And while juggling multiple positions can save associations money, it can also let revenue slip through their fingers.

Similarly, associations that aren’t properly trained on using data tracking technology can miss out on important analytics that could be the answer to many revenue-affecting problems. If you’re using technology tools that seem confusing or complex, it can actually hinder the way you track data instead of help it. And on top of those reasons could be other reasons that fall just in between the two. You could be using the wrong type of tracking tools, or maybe not using tracking tools at all. There are a lot of variables that come into play with data gaps, so staying self aware when it comes to your associations shortcomings is important.

Analyze Your Strategy

As mentioned before, it’s vital that your association stay on top of its data tracking strategy and know the in’s and out’s of its data sources/tools. For many associations with the resources, putting together a data tracking team/committee will help keep your data’s integrity in check. A properly trained team dedicated to updating, organizing, and analyzing data will save your entire staff the frustration of keeping tabs on data and making sure everything is in order.

Similarly, if you aren’t using a data tracking service and/or online tools, you might want to reconsider. For smaller staffed associations who can’t spare the manpower to watch over data, tools like Association Management Software (AMS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems can take your data tracking to the next level while still on a smaller staff. In addition to analyzing your larger strategy as a whole, your association should focus on tying up loose ends and taking care of the smaller details in data. After all, many small chips in your armor can lead to a much larger problem further down the road.

Check for duplicate accounts from members who may have left and come back. You can also reach out to members in spare time and double check that all of their data is up to date and correct. In addition, make sure that any tracking tools are accurately tracking and reporting data like email open rates, website visits, online traffic information, etc.

Use Data to Pinpoint Revenue Opportunities

Once you have a firm grasp on your data and you feel it’s under control, it’s time to use that data to pick up on revenue opportunities for your association. Tracking data will allow your association to look at trends when it comes to a variety of things: Member acquisition, content engagement, event engagement, and other trackable analytics. And with that data, you’ll start to notice specific patterns and trends that may help the way you strategize your revenue plans. For example, a deeper look into your data can let you know that members have been attending less events, but engaging with more content in the recent months. With that information, you can formulate your next step in order to hopefully change the data in your favor (for example, think about stepping up event promotion and offering paid content offers within free content for more revenue).

Having a better relationship with data tracking will also help you keep your members satisfied as well, securing long lasting dues revenue for your association. Disorganized member data can have your association scrambling to find ways to communicate and connect with members. Without the right information, you might be missing the mark altogether and leaving interested members in the dark, turning them off to what you have to offer and persuading them to terminate their membership. But if you can keep your eye on your members and frequently check in to update their data, you can be sure to have an organized and well informed database for your members that allows you to engage with them any time and on your terms. This, in the long run, will lead to better engagement rates and hopefully a fuller membership lifetime.

Test And Experiment

Data tracking is an analytical and logical strategy for associations to accurately predict trends and make moves accordingly. But that does not mean there isn’t room to experiment and test out new trends. Try branching out with your new found data and see if there aren’t other, creative opportunities to make revenue from what you have in front of you. If you would typically use this data to do one thing, consider brainstorming a different way to take that data.

For example, if you want to know more about your membership as a whole, you can consider running beta tests based on data collected over a select period of time. You can try running new benefits and services like online member communities, webinar talks, and anything else you’ve always wanted to take a stab at.

Don’t let valuable data and the revenue that comes from it slip through your association staff’s fingers. Take your daily data and put your best sources to work, and you could easily rejuvenate your revenue sources.