In the first part of this series, we explored the benefits of using experimentation to solve old problems. In the second part of our series we explored some best practices around rolling out a trial program and soliciting feedback. In this third and final part of our series, we’ll talk about taking action and turning your trial into a full-out launch.
Making a case for a full-out launch
If your trial isn’t successful, you can still gain value from the experience: you can walk away with useful lessons about member behavior, and you have worked on promoting problem-solving in a way alternative to the status quo.
Alternatively, if your experiment was successful, now it’s time to report your success and get approval for roll-out to the entire membership. When preparing your case, include:
- Goals (metrics) met.
- Milestones reached.
- Participant feedback and testimonials received.
- Comparisons to the norms; for example, typical newsletter open rate vs. trial open rate.
- Predictions; for example, we tell our clients they can expect to see a continued increase in open and click rates as more behavioral data is collected.
The success of your trial program will be even more impressive when it’s tied to organizational goals, opportunities, and revenue. For example, rasa.io provides opportunities to generate revenue from advertising and sponsored content.
Tweaking the program
During a trial, you discover new things about user behavior. Most importantly, you find out whether your program provides enough value for members to continue using it.
You also learn how to improve the program. For example, in the case of rasa.io trials, we might decide to tweak any number of things based on user behavior:
- Newsbrief content sources
- Terms to include (or not) in the AI’s searches for content
- Featured content from the association
- Time spent
- Template style
- Subject lines
- Footer information
Address any issues and make final changes before launching the program. If you’re working with a partner, make sure you know who’s responsible for what. In the case of rasa.io, we do the heavy-lifting so implementation takes hardly any time for the association. And, if the trial went as well as expected, all we have to do is add new names to the distribution list.
Preparing for launch
Trial or pilot participants are your program champions and your co-champions when it comes to evolving your experiment into a reality. Keep them informed and engaged so they can help you get members excited about this new benefit. They might even put in a word with decision-makers if you’re having trouble getting approval for the program.
Be sure to thank participants publicly for their time and insight. Refer to them as advisors (or a similar title) in program marketing materials.
When rolling out the program to membership, follow the same on-boarding practices you used for the trial group. Bolster your communication with testimonials from trial participants. Be sure to tell your story of how you wanted to solve old problems with innovative solutions. Your members will appreciate the value that the new insights, practices, or technology will add to their membership.
A retrospective on the process
Before you move on to the next project on your list, take time to do a project retrospective. Document how you went through the process and note areas of success and areas that need improvement. You can use this experience as a template for future pilots and projects as well as a case for continuing to promote innovation in your association.
Trial or pilot programs let you experiment on a small scale with solutions for big problems. One of the biggest problems shared by all associations is finding a way to bridge the member engagement gap—the span of time between a member’s infrequent interactions with your association. Our association partners are using rasa.io on both a trial and permanent basis to help them deliver regular value to members and to ultimately solve the engagement gap challenge.
Experimentation with rasa.io
rasa.io bridges the engagement gap by harnessing Artificial Intelligence to find and deliver personalized content to every single member in a daily or weekly newsbrief. Members eagerly anticipate these emails because they’re crafted just for them. Over time, as a member interacts with the newsbrief, rasa.io’s AI engine learns more about their interests, behaviors, and personalities, and their content continues to intelligently evolve.
If your association has an “unsolvable” big problem, consider running a trial program to experiment with a new solution: a new technology, process, or program. Taking a small calculated risk, like a trial program, will help your association build a culture of experimentation while revealing new ways for your members to build an association habit. Are you interested in experimenting with new ways to engage your members? Learn about how rasa.io can help.
This blog is the final in a 3-part series on experimentation. Read the first part of our series on the benefits of experimentation and the second part of our series about rolling out a trial program.