In our last ROI blog post, I discussed how determining your ROI isn’t always a straightforward equation because of disparate systems, gaps in data, and unquantifiable costs and benefits. Focusing on areas of your business that are actionable and measurable, however, can pave the way for the positive business returns you’re seeking.
I shared 5 operational processes that have the potential to make – or break – your YMCA’s return on investment. Today, we’ll look at the obvious ROI influence of participation growth.
The goal of any organization, particularly one with a membership-based business model, is to engage and grow a relationship with its members. Participation is key to healthy business – and healthy profits.
2 Critical Ways to Grow Membership Participation
The problem is simple. If registering for your activities is inconvenient, people won’t register. If members have to squeeze in phone calls during business hours, or worse yet, drive to your facility to register, you’re creating barriers to participation growth.
The solution is equally simple. Eliminate the barriers. Allowing members to register for activities online, anytime, anywhere, is about as convenient as it gets. Members can register from any device – at home, at work, or from their smartphone wherever they are.
This is excellent customer service, and it breeds not just participation, but long-term retention as well. Online registration is a win for you, too, organizing all member and registration information in one place.
PARTICIPATION IMPACT: 5%-10% increase*
Building a relationship with members new and old can be a challenge. We have learned that communication is far more effective when targeted but finding an easy way to reach groups of members can feel like sorting the forest from the trees. Making a meaningful touchpoint with potential members is harder still.
With its endless potential and targeted reach, social media has the power to transform an organization. Imagine being able to encourage former Level 1 tennis participants to register for Level 2 in just minutes. It’s that specific and it’s easy. Easier still, you let the members do the work, sharing statuses, pictures and registrations to their online networks.
We’ve heard from large YMCAs that social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook have helped them reach people they never would have been able to touch without it, representing a whole new revenue stream. Promoting events on social media, also, has secured more registrations than ever before.
PARTICIPATION IMPACT: 6.6% (or more) improvement*
It’s common sense that growing membership and participation is one way to grow your ROI. Online registration and social media are two of the most effective ways you can do it, and you’ll want the right system to support your growth along the way.
*While these impact numbers are drawn from real ACTIVE Net use cases by a third-party auditor, they are not guarantees. And since the solutions recommended here involve the cost of software, these expected impacts are intended to be factored into a Total Cost of Ownership evaluation for software ROI purposes.