7 key member engagement statistics

25 June 2018 by Steve Sydee

On June 20th, smartimpact and MemberWise ran a Select CRM seminar in London, with around 30 membership associations attending, ranging from large to very small. The session was aimed at helping organisations identify how to find and select suppliers to help migrate them from old or no-longer-fit for purpose systems.


There were some excellent presentations from a range of speakers – more about that in a future blog – but the area that piqued my attention most was covered by Richard Gott of MemberWise. Part of his presentation addressed member engagement and put forward a mixture of results from his most recent annual survey and direct feedback from the audience.

I’ve picked out some of the key facts – many of which surprised me.

Improving member engagement

1. Everyone in the audience said their organisation viewed improving member engagement as a key directive. No real surprise there, but what action were they taking to address this?

2. Just two of the associations have someone responsible for growing member engagement (Richard’s annual survey put this at 35% nationally)

3. No-one in the audience felt they had improved member engagement over the last 12 months. I found this astonishing, but then pretty much everyone in the audience was looking for new systems to help them in this. Even so, I feel there are clear steps many could have taken to measure and improve engagement based on their current practices and technologies.

Improving member proposition

Talking to participants in the break, some viewed engagement simply as good retention. For most, it’s obviously more than that, but there was an interesting fact that perhaps explains why the audience felt engagement had not improved over the last year.

4. No-one in the audience thought they could articulate their membership proposition in less than ten seconds. This is the famous ‘elevator pitch’ but no associations seemed to have one, or at least be able to explain one. Without this, how can anyone responsible for attracting new members or retaining existing members convince people of value? Every association must be able to quickly answer two key questions: “Why join?”, and “Why renew?”

Improving your membership systems

Systems used by audience members were a mixture of old and new, bespoke and package, including, Integra, ThankQ, OpenEngage, Salesforce and products based on Microsoft Dynamics. Richard asked a few questions and produced a few more facts from his research.

5. Not one person in the audience would recommend their current supplier to another organisation. This is understandable for older technology, but as there were users of new systems such as Salesforce and Dynamics in the audience, this shows the importance of selecting good suppliers as well as good software.

6. Most of the audience said they are looking for a new system. Not surprising given point five...  Richard’s annual survey found that 40% of associations are currently in the market for a new membership system – that’s a very high figure and shows that there is a technology threshold being crossed from old legacy to new CRM.

7. Dynamics is most popular membership CRM system with 15% market share. Richard’s survey listed the top 12 suppliers with Dynamics the clear leader and Integra still second at 10%. Salesforce was fifth at 7%. But as point five shows, choosing a powerful CRM like Dynamics isn’t the total answer – you also need to choose a great partner who matches your culture.

That’s a brief but (I thought) interesting insight into the position many membership associations find themselves in – feeling they need new technology, but also (perhaps mainly) needing to look at their members’ touchpoints, member journeys  and take the chance to overhaul best practice. At smartimpact we can help you review your processes and support them in a new system if that’s what you need to do.

If you would like an informal chat about your current systems and the options available to you, please reach out to us at info@smartimpact.co.uk or call on 0845 544 2043.