Ok, maybe that’s an aggressive title. Surveys are good tools for analyzing and dissecting your members. They offer insight on the highly engaged minority that answer the questions. But they are not a tool designed to engage your community. Surveys are good for you, not so much for the member.
Often times, PropFuel is seen as a survey platform. While I get the confusion, it’s an inaccurate description. Yes, asking questions is a key characteristic in a survey, but asking questions alone does not make a survey.
When you’re in a conversation, do you ask questions? I do. And I do it to engage the person I’m talking to… to build a stronger connection with them.
THAT is the difference. You can ask questions to gain insight. Or you can ask questions to engage. Fortunately the latter comes with the insight as well.
The key to engagement is how you digest the answer to the question. In a platform, like PropFuel, there are workflows that are designed to drive people to certain resources based on how they answer a question. So if you ask questions over the course of the year, you’re highly likely to meet the needs of your member by asking questions before you offer them a particular piece of content.
More often than not, associations send content to groups of people based on where they are in their member journey. New members get a dump truck of information backed into their inbox. Members about to renew get tons of emails reminding them to renew, which are mostly ignored. While the messages are targeted, they’re still just sending out blocks of content with no regard to that particular member’s needs. If you ask a question (not a survey) then you will know better how to serve them with content, and it’s easy to automate.
ASAE for example is asking new members and renewing members questions over the course of a year to get a better feel of their needs and responding to each question with resources that can help.
For instance, by asking what professional group you associate with the most, they can determine which community group discussion might be interesting to you and drive you there using automated workflows.
Or by asking what your learning goals are this year they may discover you’re interested in getting your CAE and help you along the way with guiding steps using automated workflows.
So you see, surveys are fine for studying members every few years, but if you want engaged members, keep asking the questions, but change your motivation. Ask questions to help them, not you.