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Associations Finding Alternatives to Email, But Not a Replacement

By Association Adviser staff • January 5, 2014

As texting and social networking gain traction across all segments of society, associations will have to do more than simply email members in order to stay in touch. As we learned last month, more than half (54 percent) of Association Adviser eNews followers say they are either texting, or planning to text members within the next 12 months.

Email’s not going away any time soon, but according to our latest unscientific reader poll, two-thirds of respondents (65 percent) believe that at least 10 percent of their members will not be using email as their primary online communication conduit by 2018. In fact one in eight respondents (12 percent) think that more than half of their members will not by email regulars by 2018. 


As business training and development specialist, Elaine Rodgers noted earlier this year, there are just as many arguments in favor of social media replacing email as there are against it. What smart are associations are likely to do is find a balance that optimizes the communication experience for each member’s preferences.

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Kelly Donovan notes in today’s Front Lines column that associations are getting better attuned to the communication challenges facing them down the road—young, disengaged professionals, needing networking, tech updates and best practices in real-time and on the go.

“Associations need to modify their culture quickly to keep with the times” observes Donovan, and they’re learning they need to customize the membership experience for each dues payer.

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