The Executive - November/December 2018 - 19

takers feel about particular topics and
what challenges or recommendations
they have regarding those topics. Make
sure your questions probe enough that
you actually receive new and useful
information.
An example:
Ok question:
Would you be interested in ABC
Association creating a newsletter for
members only?
A. Yes
B. No
Better questions:
If ABC Association created a
newsletter, what would be your
preferred frequency?
A. Weekly
B. Bi-Monthly
C. Monthly
D. I wouldn't read an ABC Association
newsletter
Rank from 1-5 the content features
you would consider the most valuable in
an ABC Association newsletter?
A. Breaking industry news
B. Association events
C. Legislation and regulation updates
D. Career opportunities
E. Member profiles
F. Other: ______________
As a general rule, try to steer clear of
Yes or No questions. While those types
of questions may give you some broad
information, they're not specific enough
to help you make an effective decision.
In the example above, the first question
will certainly show you if members want
a newsletter, but the second and third
questions give more specifics to help you
decide how often you should produce a

newsletter and what kind of information
it should contain (this is huge to help you
with new and fresh content!).
Custom communications start with
custom surveys. Fifty-seven percent
of respondents say it's a challenge to
customize info for different segment
groups but most survey platforms
can do the work for you. You can use
your survey platform to have different
segments of members answer certain
questions. One survey can act as two
if you put each group down a different
path based on your first question. For
example:
What type of member are you?
A. Producer member
B. Supplier member
In this example, producer members
could be led down a survey path that asks
their opinions about being readers of a
magazine. Supplier members could be led
down a path to see if they have advertised
in the magazine before or have an
appetite to do so along with questions
related to their advertising preferences.
Culprit No. 4:
Not Surveying Enough
The last offender might not be
as obvious as some of the others,
and that is associations surveying
their members and advertisers, but
not enough. Nearly two in three
respondents indicated they do not
survey their members every 12-24
months. In the ever-changing
communications landscape, it's
imperative that associations survey
their members annually. Preferences,
trends, goals and directives can change
every month, let alone every year. How
can you keep up with your members and

It's imperative
that associations
survey their
members annually.
Preferences, trends,
goals and directives
can change every
month, let alone
every year.
advertisers' wants and desires if you
aren't asking them more regularly?
The key to keeping members
engaged, renewing their membership,
and believing in what you do on
their behalf lies in your association's
ability to truly understand what they
want. When it comes to producing
relevant content in your association
communications, understanding is
really as easy as just asking. Don't
assume your members will feel the
same about an article or feature
idea as you. Survey often enough to
keep up with the constantly evolving
communications world, ask the right
questions, use features your survey
platform offers to customize, and
implement the survey results with
clear, actionable plans and deadlines.
Brianna Martin is a corporate
marketing specialist with Naylor
Association Solutions. She can be reached
at bmartin@naylor.com.

One thing to keep in mind as you survey members regularly is to fend off survey fatigue. Organizations send out many
surveys. You need yours to stick. You need members to respond. A few helpful tips to accomplish a higher response rate
include:
* Offer an enticing incentive, and no, that doesn't mean just a gift card. Can a few select people win a free registration to
your annual event? If it's a survey to sponsors, how about a discount on an exhibit booth?
* Make your survey as short as you can. While there is most likely about a billion things you could ask, keep your end
goals in mind and ask questions in a concise and meaningful way.
* Promote the survey length, time and incentive in your promotions. This key information will give your survey takers the
reasons to take your survey.
* Tell respondents what they get in exchange for their time. This is an important piece that often gets overlooked.
Besides the incentive, what's in it for your members or advertisers to take your survey? Will it help you craft a more
relevant content plan that will benefit members? Will it help you craft custom sponsor packages to give sponsors more
of what they are looking for?
C a l S A E ' s TH E E X E C UTI VE - N O VE M BE R/ DE C E M BE R 2 0 1 8

19

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The Executive - November/December 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Executive - November/December 2018

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: CalSAE Still in the Middle of Its Story By Jim Anderson, CAE
AT A GLANCE BY THE NUMBERS: Understanding Gen Z as They Enter the Workforce
AT A GLANCE BLOG SPOT: The Importance of Virtual Meetings
AT A GLANCE TECH TOOLS: Prioritize Your Association’s Technology Needs
AT A GLANCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Want Successful Marketing Campaigns? Don’t Leave Emotions at the Door
A Tale of Three Chapters: Rebuild, Rebrand or Reinvent
Don’t Let These Communication Culprits Derail Your Content
Is Your Communication Keeping Up with Leadership Evolutions?
Embrace Your Personal Brand— And Make it Work for You
DESTINATION: Wining-and-Dining in Style in Northern California
NEW MEMBERS
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Laura Calderon Rivera
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Intro
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover1
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover2
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 3
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 4
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 5
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 6
The Executive - November/December 2018 - PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE: CalSAE Still in the Middle of Its Story By Jim Anderson, CAE
The Executive - November/December 2018 - AT A GLANCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 9
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Want Successful Marketing Campaigns? Don’t Leave Emotions at the Door
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 11
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 12
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 13
The Executive - November/December 2018 - A Tale of Three Chapters: Rebuild, Rebrand or Reinvent
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 15
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 16
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 17
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Don’t Let These Communication Culprits Derail Your Content
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 19
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Is Your Communication Keeping Up with Leadership Evolutions?
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 21
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 22
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 23
The Executive - November/December 2018 - Embrace Your Personal Brand— And Make it Work for You
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 25
The Executive - November/December 2018 - 26
The Executive - November/December 2018 - DESTINATION: Wining-and-Dining in Style in Northern California
The Executive - November/December 2018 - NEW MEMBERS
The Executive - November/December 2018 - INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
The Executive - November/December 2018 - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Laura Calderon Rivera
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover3
The Executive - November/December 2018 - cover4
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