Real Magnet

Membership Prospect Scoring for Associations

Membership Prospect Scoring for Associations

In May of this year, we were pleased to advance discussions of Member Engagement Scoring within the industry by providing a detailed two-part overview in the form of a Pro Forma “Association Engagement Scoring Model”.

As a related follow-up, we are pleased to offer a similar Pro Forma model tailored to meet the needs of those associations that conduct active membership outreach and recruitment campaigns.

This application of scoring aligns closely with the core usage of scoring in the private sector – it is the concept of digital body language, or endeavoring to understand both the interest areas and interest levels of all the non-member/non-customer individuals who interact with your organization in a digital way – email opens and clicks, website visits, event registrations, participation in training, etc.

In the private sector, this is known as Lead Scoring and has existed for the better part of two decades. It is now extremely common and offers concepts that will make sense to those of us in the member industry.

Membership Prospect Scoring – Lead Scoring for Associations

In the model below, any individual who accumulates 50 points will be considered a membership prospect, and anyone who reaches 100 points will be considered a strong membership candidate.

Decide for yourself what you would like to happen when one of your prospects reaches one of these thresholds – if you have access to a system such as Real Magnet’s Marketing Automation for Associations, you can set up email campaigns containing precisely the membership information and offers that you have decided prospective members should receive, and the system will trigger these campaigns to be launched exactly when a given individual crosses the threshold.

You might also decide to have the system send an email alert to the appropriate person or persons in your own membership team when an individual reaches 100 points – members of your team could then make a phone call to that individual or take whatever action you have decided would be best for highly-qualified membership prospects.

The automated nature of a system like this ensures that each membership prospect receives exactly the appropriate message or offer that you have decided they should, and at the ideal moment for that one individual.

An overview of Lead Scoring for Associations is below – please keep in mind that every membership organization should modify such a model to fit its own priorities and member types:

Prospect 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: Event information page (abandoned) Website Visit +5 We value that the prospect 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 prospect 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 prospect 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 prospect 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 prospect can take (and is also an excellent indicator that they are an especially high-quality prospect for membership) 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 page (abandoned) Website Visit +25 We value the fact that the prospect was sufficiently interested in becoming a member to visit the "Become a Member" section
Prospect updated their account profile/contact information Participation +15 This example comes from anecdotal customer evidence, but makes sense - if a prospect 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 to receive communications from 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 prospect, 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
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 Membership Prospect 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.

If you did not read the two-part Member Engagement Scoring – A Pro Forma Model for Associations, please download it at your convenience – we hope you find it useful as well.

To continue exploring Prospect Scoring and/or Member Engagement Scoring, please contact us at or 240-743-2941.