Author: Amanda Kaiser

Amanda Kaiser is a qualitative member researcher. She has conducted 319 member interviews and counting. Through these interviews she helps associations understand their members’ goals, challenges, opinions, fears, and hopes. These insights become the building blocks of their member-focused vision and future-focused strategy, innovation and marketing plans. Amanda also writes a three-times weekly blog for association professionals. You can check it out and subscribe at SmoothThePath.net or follow her on Twitter @SmoothThePath.

Jun
03

FIND A BUREAUCRACY AND UNCOVER CUSTOMER SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES

What is the job of the IRS? It is to collect taxes to fund the work of the US government. Except depending on your viewpoint the job of the IRS could be something else entirely. In 2009 the IRS spent 11.7 billion dollars to do its job and in 2017 the IRS had 76,832 employees. So […]

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Apr
29

PROBLEMS WITH ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP

This year I joined three associations and let two memberships lapse. Since I specialize in member engagement I paid special attention to each association’s onboarding and renewal messaging. One association sent a welcome email from the executive director inviting me to reply with questions. I did have questions so I wrote back but never received an […]

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Apr
02

3 Decisions to Join Myths and The Reason Members Join our Association

Why do our members join? It turns out, our most commonly held beliefs of this question are mostly wrong. MYTH #1: MEMBERS JOIN FOR OUR BENEFITS Members join to go to the annual conference. Or they join to get a research report or one of 15 other great benefits. Sometimes members join to gain access […]

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Apr
02

ASSOCIATION EMAIL IS DYING

Email is ridiculously important to the health of our association because at most associations email is by far the most used channel to communicate with our members. But email is in trouble! I am not going to address deliverability (although that is a problem). We are not going to talk all the new filters that purposely […]

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Mar
25

BETTER MEMBER RETENTION FROM FRICTIONLESS EXPERIENCES DESIGNED FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION

In the age of infinite choice, organizations can not afford to make the purchase experience difficult. And so we see one-click online ordering, retail stores with no checkout lines, curbside pick up, and more. All of these changes, which would be unheard of just a decade ago, seek to make the consumer experience easier. Frictionless. Grocery […]

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Jan
28

The Real Value of Associations for Members

What is the real value of associations for members? I have heard members say, “I felt very uncertain, even scared, about taking the next step in my career but, the association helped me be confident.” Or, “I was assigned a big project no one in our company had attempted but, I found help through the […]

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Jun
26

Our Members’ Automatic-Minds Do Not Want to be Engaged

Our brains are on auto-pilot much of the time. Have you ever climbed into your car and got lost so deep in thought that you were surprised when you turned into your destination? Car-driving auto-pilot happens because our brains rely on habits to cut down the cognitive load. When you get on a bike, you peddle, […]

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Feb
22

Give Your New Member Engagement Program a Makeover

Shirley looked at the metrics of her 6-month new member email campaign. The first email generated a 40% open rate and the second a 47% open rate. The rest of the emails were each getting between 33 and 38% open rates, except for the third and fourth email, which had 14% and 19% open rates respectively. […]

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Jan
09

Why the CEO is the Key to Innovation

I am very American in that I believe in the underdog (or maybe this is less about being American and more about being a product of the 80’s?). I would like to think that what it takes to succeed is the will, the grit, and the tenacity to get to the end. As a staff […]

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Dec
05

Belonging to an Association Could Make You Happier

Do members feel they belong to the association? Does their feeling of belonging equal the sense of belonging they feel when they go to a book club meeting? Is it like getting together with coworkers after work for a round of beers? Or do your members have a more transactional feeling about their membership? One that […]

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