Member Engagement Scoring – A Pro Forma Model for Associations


We’ll begin with a truism – no two associations are quite the same.

Given this, any specific Member Engagement Scoring model will need to be tailored to match the unique needs of the organization whose members it is monitoring.

That’s a good thing, and conversations around priorities are healthy exercises within any organization.

Even so, there are approaches to scoring that can be discussed across associations and we at Real Magnet felt that the time was right to provide a straw man model for our hundreds of association clients, as well as the industry as a whole, to use as a starting point for conversations.

When reviewing the model that follows, we encourage you to look at the overall structure of the scoring system and the proportions/weighting of the scores for each action. It is our hope that you will come away from even a brief examination of this model with both an improved sense of how your association might apply member engagement scoring and a few questions (again, these are healthy).

A few contextual points:

Most associations will wish to score actions that take place across different systems (including systems other than your marketing automation platform) and in different ways. Your scoring process needs to bring all of these together so that you have an accurate sense of each member’s true level of engagement. Real Magnet’s own Marketing Automation for Associations solution was designed to do this with particular ease, but you should be able to find workarounds to most obstacles no matter what your approach to scoring is.

Typical actions to be scored include:

  • Email interactions (opens, clicks, etc.)
  • Website visits (with different scores depending on the content of each page visited)
  • Association Events (attendance of annual meetings, webinars, training/learning, etc.)
  • Participation (volunteering, serving on a committee, referring a new member, etc.)

An interesting concept to consider is that of negative points – the model that follows deducts points for certain things, and you may decide that this capability helps you more accurately score certain actions (or inactions) among your own members.

This model does not score the actual membership renewal (or initial join), with the logic that all members will have done this within the past year, but you may have reasons to provide a score for this (or different scores, perhaps, for different membership types or circumstances).

Please note as well that these scores are designed with a rough 50/100 point scale in mind – a member who accumulates 50 points or below in a given year might be considered at risk (and thus be a good candidate for inclusion in an automated re-engagement email campaign 90 days before his/her renewal date) and a member with 100 points or more might be considered a candidate for committee invitations or might earn some form of thanks (such as a phone call from a board member or an emailed gift certificate to your online store). Again, every part of this is meant to be adjusted so that it reflects exactly what matters most to you and your members.

The Model:

Member InteractionTypeScoreNotes
Opened Email Email Interaction +2 Difficult to tell if it is "Real" open or an automated one. Consider not only scoring a generic open, but different scores for different types of "opens" (marketing messages vs annual meeting etc)
Clicked Link Email Interaction +10 Consider not only a generic clicks, but different scores for different types of "clicks" some may have more value than others
Website Visit: Article or blog on Association website Website Visit +5 Relatively low score -- indicates interest in association-related subject areas
Website Visit: Member center/logged in Website Visit +10 Higher score due to member trying to access more in-depth content
Website Visit: Event information page (abandoned) Website Visit +5 We value that the member was sufficiently interested to visit the page, but don't want to give many points because they did not in fact register
Registered for online event Participation +10 Registration shows a higher level of interest/engagement
Registered for online event (but did not participate) Participation -5 This is an example of potentially assigning negative points - the member registered but did not attend
Registered for non-online event (meeting reception) Participation +15 In-person events require a greater commitment than online events, so we've chosen to score registration for a meeting or reception higher than a web event
Registered for non-online event but did not participate Participation -10 Another potential use of negative scoring - the member did not actually participate
Website Visit: Annual conference registration page (abandoned) Website Visit +10 Most associations value participation in the Annual Conference highly, so we view a visit by a member to the event registration page as a strong indication of interest in attendance. For this reason, we score a visit to this web page more highly than a visit to other event registration pages.
Registered for annual conference Participation +25 Taking part in the Annual Conference is one of the most significant actions a member can take (and is also an excellent indicator that they will renew) and is thus scored highly
Registered for annual conference but cancelled/did not attend Participation -20 One might choose to reduce the number of negative points if the reason for cancellation is medical, etc.
Website visit: Online membership renewal page (abandoned) Website Visit +15 We value the fact that the member was sufficiently interested in renewing to visit the renewals page
Member updated their account profile/contact information Participation +15 This example comes from anecdotal customer evidence, but makes sense - if a member takes the trouble to make sure that the association has the correct contact information, it is a solid indicator that he/she wishes to continue their involvement with that association
Registered for training/learning Participation +20 Online training is of particular importance to some associations - this score will vary depending on its importance to yours
Registered for training learning, but did not participate Participation -15 Another example of potential negative scoring
Was active in association community Participation +25 Online communities are vitally important to some associations and some members, and most online community software systems have some means of measuring participation by individuals - this community involvement score should be reflected in your engagement scoring model
Served on a committee Participation +25 Donating one's time to serve as a committee member indicates a strong interest in the association and its activities
Referred a membership prospect Participation +20 Referring a member is a very strong indicator that a member feels positively about the association - if incentives are provided, however, this score might be reduced (as the member might just be pursuing the incentive)
Volunteered for association Participation +15 Donating one's time to serve as a volunteer indicates a strong interest in the association and its activities
Purchased a book or other 3rd-party item from your online store Participation +5 Awareness of the online store and choosing to make a purchase from it are positives
Purchased an Assn logo item from your online store Participation +15 Demonstrating this level of affinity with the association is a very positive indicator


We hope that this model serves as a basis for Member Engagement Scoring conversations within your association and among your contacts throughout the industry. Further, we would be extraordinarily grateful to receive your thoughts about ways in which this first model might be improved.

We hope to continue to advance discussion of these concepts within the association industry with Member Engagement Scoring – A Pro Forma Model for Associations Part II coming soon! In Part II, we will expand upon the concepts set forth in Part I and will also introduce new concepts as Engagement Score Deterioration.

To continue exploring Member Engagement Scoring (and/or to provide your feedback on this model), please contact us at or  240-743-2941.