GetApp Lab uncovers the importance of online member portals – Our thoughts on the 2017 Membership Management Report


GetApp Lab provides research, analysis, and insights to help you choose the right software to grow your business. They recently published a report uncovering the increasing need for membership organisations to move online by providing digital platforms for member self-service and networking.

Their team surveyed 200+ respondents who participate in a range of membership organisations. You can read the full report here, or continue reading to see the findings we found the most interesting.

The need for a digital space

The main trend found by the GetApp team is that members want a digital space to stay connected and informed.

36% of members are active users of their organisation’s online portal. 28% of respondents would like to use an online portal but their organisation does not provide one. This means that a total 64% of members are championing online member areas.

Stats for members who want to use an online portal

A further 9% are not sure if they would like to use a portal or not. This emphasises that organisations need to understand member needs before implementing digital technology. These 9% can become avid online portal users if the organisation spends time on understanding what they would like to get out of a digital system.

Members’ biggest admin challenges

The survey looked into the biggest challenges members face when it comes to managing their own membership. The top three are as follows:

  1. There is no online space to interact with other members
  2. The website is slow or clunky
  3. The organisation sends too many messages

By combining the top two challenges we can conclude that the lacking quality of an organisation’s online presence makes the top challenge for around a third of members. It is key for membership organisations to provide a fast, intuitive, and interactive online space for their audience.

The third challenge highlights the need for member personalisation. You can resolve this problem by enabling your members to opt in and out of the different communications you offer. In this way your messages are always welcome and relevant. You can read about how we help our clients personalise the member experience here.

Stats of member challenges

Preferred payment methods

Another part of the survey that stood out is how members prefer to pay their membership dues. The most popular payment method is auto-renewals with 50% of members wanting to pay their subscription fees this way.

Stats for how members prefer to pay

However, when asked how they usually pay, nearly 60% already pay their dues using auto-renewals. Tying in with the previous question it seems like even if auto-renewals is the most popular payment method, there are members paying this way who would prefer another method.

Stats for how members usually pay

There also seems to be an unmet need for manual online payments using a member portal. 37% would prefer to pay this way, while only 26% do so right now.

Make sure that you understand your members and find the payment method that works for them as well as for your organisation. Some membership software providers let you give your members the choice of how to pay, including VeryConnect. You can search for the right membership software for you in the GetApp directory

How members access information

Nearly half of members seek out information about upcoming events or organisational news online rather than relying on newsletters and other communications.

To quote the report:

“When considering that almost 50 percent of respondents are seeking out information themselves, having a reliable online space to do that would reduce the time that members spend looking for information or contact details”

Stats for how members find out about news

In short, the GetApp Lab Membership Management report shows that it is increasingly important to give members a fast, personalised, and interactive online experience. We can help you do just that – get in touch with our team to see what we can do for you.

By Anna Bjorkman, Marketing Manager at VeryConnect

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Research and visuals are powered by GetApp.

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