With its low barrier to entry, you can start planning how AI can help you bridge the engagement gap between your association and members right now. Most members only engage with their associations on an infrequent basis; they might attend an in-person event every now and then, or watch a webinar a few times a year. Maybe they read your newsletter, but benchmark open rates show that most probably don’t. Artificial intelligence software makes it possible for you to make your members’ experiences more meaningful by changing the way they connect with others in the organization.

Help members make intelligent connections

The top reason members join associations, according to MGI’s annual membership marketing benchmark report, is to network with others in their field. But how do they do this? Some, usually a minority, meet fellow members at in-person events. Others are extroverted enough to find like-minded members in online communities. But many struggle to find and develop relationships with members who could become their peers, mentors, or industry partners.

AI to the rescue. AI taps into behavioral data to steer members toward the people they would most want to meet online. For example, a young professional could find other members her age with similar positions and interests who may want to join her in a virtual mastermind group. Or that same member could find someone who’s about five years further along the career path who could act as a mentor. AI can also lead members to the most relevant content, conference sessions, exhibitors, educational programs, and products.

AI goes one step further than many of the matchmaking apps on the market—it tracks what happens after a member connects with someone else. Again, this is a task (and benefit) that staff wouldn’t normally be able to fit into their workload.

How to try out AI at your association

AI can help your association become an indispensable and regular part of your members’ lives. AI can help you bridge that engagement gap.

With AI in your toolkit, you can think big about the membership experience. For example, consider a brand you interact with regularly—maybe Netflix, Spotify, Blue Apron, Starbucks, or Stitch Fix—and the customer experience they provide. How can you use one of these three applications of AI which we have explored in our blog series—chatbots, curated personalized news-briefing, or intelligent connections—to provide a similar experience for your members?

Or, approach the opportunity from the other direction:

  •      What problem do you want to solve?
  •      Who’s doing something similar now?
  •      How can you copy them?

Let’s say you’d like to make people more aware of the different publications you offer. That’s simple: plug Amazon’s recommendations API into your online store. With it, you can make an intelligent connection between a customer and the publications they’d be interested in based on their online behavioral data.

Engage your members with AI right now

AI for associations doesn’t have to be overwhelming, think of it merely as a tool to plug into your existing technology. AI makes possible opportunities associations never had before to transform the membership experience. Adopt an experimental mindset along with AI and see what happens.

This blog is the third part of a 3-blog series designed to teach associations about how artificial intelligence tools are accessible and effective for decreasing the association engagement gap.

Read Part I: Using Artificial Intelligence for Website User Engagement.

Read Part II: Artificial Intelligence for Curating Individualized Email Content.

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