On May 25, 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) pertains to EU citizens and any organizations that collect or process data on EU citizens. If your membership database includes EU citizens, you will want to understand the GDPR, how it affects you, and what your obligations as a data controller are.
As noted above, they can request that you delete personal profile data, but their purchase history is part of your accounting records, and you can retain that information if you wish.
Millennials are starting out their careers. They are looking for job leads and are focused on their career. Smart associations will target the next generation of members by offering:
Exware will talk about attracting the next generation in its blog over the next few months.
Here are some very specific and immediate tactics that you can implement:
Make sure you understand the age demographics of your current membership. Do you track birth date or age range so you can understand where your at? If your membership is older in age, you need to figure out how you can attract the next generation.
An easy 'win' -- offer a student or under-30 rate; however, make sure you track second year retention rates
ffer a members-only job board that incentivizes this generation to join. Most millennials will change jobs frequently.
Leverage your experienced membership base by offering a mentorship program.
Yes, this may sound daunting so let's start with the basics:
Before you match your mentors/mentees, it's important that you provide guidance. For example, ask the mentees to list potential areas they are hoping to work on during the course of the mentorship. Each mentor/mentee can then discuss their list during the initial meetings. From there, the mentor and mentoree can agree on a set of reasonable mentoring objectives.
Make sure you actively follow-up with the mentor/mentee to find out how it's going. This is invaluable feedback and will help you grow the program as well as use the results and feedback to attract new millennials.
In addition, you may want to track some basic member demographics so you can monitor change. For example, age range of members and age range by membership type. This will allow you to track membership acquisition by age group -- with the goal to increase your 'under 30' stats.
What does this mean for Exware clients?
Ask Exware to how you can start tracking your membership age stats and what programs will fit with your association's goals and objectives.
Understanding the make-up of your membership can be an important tool to help with your planning and program development.
Research shows that while most associations are still dominated by members from Generation X or older (born before 1980), the next wave of members, consisting of Millennials and the even younger Generation Z, are coming up fast. Those born from 1980 onward represent over a fifth of a typical association's membership, and studies have show that associations demonstrating membership growth and high renewal rates are usually those that have a higher percentage of Millennials.
Is your membership mostly in the early stages of their careers, middle, or nearing retirement? Knowing this allows you to see what types of programs may be of most interest -- should you be focused on career building and networking events aimed at your younger members or leadership/management oriented programs?
Understanding your member age brackets also allows you to assess if you're attracting and keeping younger members that will continue with your association as older members retire. If you find that you need to attract and retain younger members, consider programs that will attract them -- mentorship programs, networking events, career building courses/events, member-only job boards, etc.
The best way to plan for the future is to know where you stand now.
What's this mean for Exware clients?
Exware now offers a Member Demographics module that shows membership stats by age. Associations can also set-up stats on three additional membership demographic fields. Ask us about it today.
Machine learning is one of the biggest growth leaders in technology, giving computer systems greater ability to understand and interact with the world and with society. Machine learning has traditionally been used for things like identifying faces or other objects in photographs, automatic translation, transcribing handwriting, and data forecasting. But now it is being applied in an ever-greater range of applications and businesses.
Machine learning is a technology in which a computer system is fed large amounts of data to analyze, as well as the outcomes or goals it is expected to achieve from that data. It builds an internal model of how to process the data, usually random and meaningless at first, and then applies that model to the data repeatedly. It adjusts the model as it goes, and gradually improves its performance over time. Such systems can learn to disregard irrelevant information, and find patterns that more traditional methods can miss. In some cases, the systems can match or even exceed the abilities of a highly-trained human, or deal with volumes of information too great for a person to process.
Benefits of machine learning are increasingly finding their ways into our day-to-day lives. Our phones have better voice recognition and predictive text, services like Netflix, Amazon, and Google are giving us recommendations that better match our wants and needs, while the latest automobiles come with driving assist features to make our roads safer.
In the future, member associations will be able to use tools like these to better understand and meet their member's needs, plan and organize better events, improve marketing and member retention, reduce spam in their inbox, and benefit from better website security.
What’s this mean to Exware clients?
At Exware, our research team is actively investigating machine learning tools to find ways they can improve our AMS system and benefit our clients. Stay tuned for updates.
As part of client support, Exware continually updates modules and servers. One of our most recent updates is adding DKIM support to the Email Distribution module. DKIM improves overall deliverability of emails sent via the Email Distribution module. It reduces the chance of these emails getting blocked, spam-filtered, or tagged as possible fraud by the receiving mail system.
DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail. It works through a system of cryptographic signatures which verify the authenticity of the emails being sent. The way it works is a bit complicated, but below is a quick rundown.
When DKIM is enabled, each email sent contains a unique encrypted signing block embedded in its mail headers. This digital signature is generated using public key cryptography, which is the same technology that keeps websites secure using SSL. When setting up DKIM for a website, a special Email Distribution DKIM public encryption key is added to the domain’s DNS. Only the Exware mail server has the matching private key, which means only the Exware server can generate the correct cryptographic signature for each email. The receiving mail server can look up the public key in the DNS and use it to verify the validity of the DKIM signature block in the email. That way it knows the received email is legitimate, as its signature matches what’s in the domain’s public DNS records.
Since spammers don’t have access to the server’s private key, and have no ability to mess with another domain’s DNS records, they are unable to generate DKIM-signed email. This is why DKIM-signed email is more likely to get past modern spam-filters.
To have this added to your Exware AMS, please contact us as we must set up the system on our servers and update your DNS records to match.
Another recent email change applies to clients whose email is hosted by Exware using Connex Email Manager. This improves deliverability for addresses that forward to a third-party email account. It’s done using a technology called Sender Rewriting Scheme (SRS), which modifies some of the mail headers in a way that make it easier for the third-party system to understand that the email has been forwarded. Without SRS in place, some receiving mail systems might reject the forwarded email as possible spam. This improvement has been added automatically to clients whose email is hosted by Exware.