What’s the Score? 4 Things to Know About Member Scoring

Whatever type of organization you work for, engagement scoring is an effective way to identify your most likely candidates for membership or sales. For associations, member scoring has become all the rage as they seek to target their most valuable members and identify those who are least engaged and vulnerable to non-renewal.

The reality is, though, that there is no single engagement formula or scorecard. As ASAE’s blog recently pointed out, just about any type of activity can be defined as engagement.

So where do you start? Here are four things to consider:

  1. Integrate your approach. To maximize your member scoring process, you’ll want to incorporate activity data from different sources including your AMS, your webinar or event platform, surveys, email or marketing automation platform, and/or your online community. By bringing these together, you achieve a fuller and more accurate picture of each member’s type and frequency of engagement and create greater synchronization across the association.
  2. Define the purpose. Is your goal to identify top revenue-generating members to nurture for retention? Are you looking to identify members most likely to support advocacy initiatives and political action committee funding? Perhaps you want to identify the least-engaged segments and target value-added content to them. Understanding your purpose is critical to designing the most effective scoring program for your association
  3. Identify which actions to score. Your list will vary based on your purpose, but some typical actions to consider include:
    1. Email opens and clicks
    2. Website visits
    3. Content downloads
    4. Event or webinar attendance
    5. Social media likes or shares
    6. Volunteerism – such as serving on a committee

Assign a score to each action based on its importance to your purpose (back to #2 above). Not sure what sorts of score values make sense? Real Magnet’s Member Engagement Scoring Model is a good starting point. Ultimately, the values you choose might be higher or lower, but remember, there is no right or wrong; develop a scoring mechanism that works for your association’s unique situation. And don’t overlook incorporating negative values for abandonment – such as when a member registers for a webinar but does not attend.

  1. Leverage the power of marketing automation. Now that you’ve answered the why, what and how, it’s time to use marketing automation as your workhorse. Consider how difficult it would be to score an individual member’s interactions with your organization manually, even in a spreadsheet – and then multiply that by thousands of members.  It is simply not practical to manage in-depth, action-driven scoring without automation. The system can seamlessly capture interactions, apply scores to them, and keep a running total for each member. In other words, it does the grunt work for you.

That said, keep it simple. If your marketing automation system is difficult to use, it likely won’t be used to its potential and the investment wasted. It should be easy to set up your initial scoring model in the system, track results, and make changes to the model as your needs change.

Member Scoring in the Real World

It’s all well and good to talk about member scoring in the abstract, but how might it be used in the real world? Take for example the association whose goal is to increase renewal rates among members with low engagement scores. You might start with a re-engagement campaign to those with pending renewal dates – a series of emails promoting some particularly interesting content, a survey, or a special offer. As the members engage with the content, their scores climb. When a member’s score reaches a particular threshold, they would be removed from the re-engagement campaign, and a renewal offer would be sent automatically. Since the member had recently engaged and been reminded of the value of their membership, they would be far more likely to renew. And, since the campaign is fully automated, members with scores below a certain threshold can be added to the re-engagement and renewal program on an ongoing basis.

There are a myriad of other insights to be gained from engagement scoring – from identifying highly engaged members who might be interested in taking a leadership role, to finding those who share an interest in a particular topic, or even how they prefer to consume your content. The key is determine the type of information you need, and to develop a scoring mechanism which uncovers that information.