“Whichever user journey they embarked on - whether purchasing technical standards or renewing membership, they couldn’t get to the end result.”
This was the situation that Carl Stokes, Head of Corporate Affairs and Operations describes he encountered when he joined the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) in January 2021.
IGEM represents 4,000 gas professionals and over 300 companies engaged in the business of creating a sustainable gas future for all. Created in 1863, it offers individual membership for professionals at all career stages as well as company membership.
Launched in January 2023, their new ReadyMembership platform delivered impressive results in the first 30 days after launch - including a 40% increase in new individual member applications and 10% increase in the average sales of technical standards. These positive results were not just a one-off but have been sustained in the following months. IGEM’s achievements have been recognised with a nomination for Best Digital Transformation in the 2023 Association Excellence Awards.
Upgrading the member experience
One of the first projects that Carl was assigned was finding the replacement for an ageing CMS (that wasn’t going to be supported beyond June 2023) and CRM. A bespoke connection meant that when members updated their details in the CMS, they didn’t update in the CRM and vice versa. This would prevent members from renewing their membership, booking events and completing purchases.
Carl Stokes confirms that “they were sending in cheques to us and calling the IGEM office to process their orders. Our technology was creating a poor user experience and frustration for members and staff.”
Dodgy data & inefficient operations
For the IGEM team, the quality and useability of data was a major concern. Inaccurate and siloed data in separate email, CRM & CMS platforms resulted in unreliable data and manual administration.
Inefficient internal processes that were in place due to these poorly connected separate systems (and also because they had always been done that way) needed updating.
Ultimately IGEM’s technology and processes were putting in barriers to attracting and renewing members, making the lives of staff difficult and the institution’s plans for growth.
Carl confirms, “We knew from members' feedback that our old website was hugely frustrating for them. There were calls to the office, abandoned web baskets. Whichever user journey they embarked on - whether purchasing technical standards or renewing membership, they couldn’t get to the end result.”
Immediate impact out of the box
Carl and the IGEM team considered enterprise platforms and all-in-one systems but selected ReadyMembership. Single platforms get out grown and ‘best of breed’ platforms are often underutilised - ReadyMembership offered IGEM a different, flexible approach. With plans to expand their products and services it can easily extend as they grow.
What we liked about ReadyMembership was that it offered us things out of the box that we considered as next steps for us. For example, we could easily use segmented data in the platform’s CRM in the integrated email centre and send automated emails. Before we’d had to hand-crank the data.
Automated events management
IGEM runs over 60 events a year - from free webinars to in-person conferences and training courses. The events team’s time was previously being taken up by manual bookings, processing payments and troubleshooting. Now, everything is managed in ReadyMembership - members book and pay online, and email confirmations and reminders are automatically sent from the platform. In the first month since launch 370 event transactions were processed through the website. This freed up the IGEM team to manage multiple events, support speakers and attend in-person to ensure they run smoothly.
Creating digital experiences that convert, join, renew
IGEM worked with the ReadyMembership team to make it simple for gas professionals to join and renew online. A streamlined online workflow in which anyone with an interest in the industry can easily join as an Associate and gain access to more of the platform. They can then move to professional grades as their career progresses. With the new platform IGEM has attracted more website visitors who have signed up for website accounts. 5% of these new website users have been converted into full members.
Now, when members login to IGEM’s website they get a personalised homepage where they can manage their details, bookings and purchases. They can easily capture their CPD, purchase technical standards and book training courses. In future, members will be able to manage their professional registration applications there and submit supporting documents through the website.
Focusing on the fun stuff
Teams across IGEM are saving time and delivering more for members thanks to automated processes and a single view of data that can be easily segmented and targeted across email, events and website. The membership team’s focus is now on supporting members’ achieve their longer term goals and not processing simple transactions. The events team is able to spend more time on developing a programme that members really want. The communications team can now easily publish videos of events to the wider membership on the website. The single view of data in ReadyMembership is bringing the whole organisation together on a strategy that will help them grow in the long term.
Digital experiences that deliver
IGEM used the widgets and tools in ReadyMembership to make the site “stickier” - bringing rapid and ongoing positive results. After launch, engagement on the website was 10% higher and the time users spent on the website was up by 120%. The number of pages viewed also increased by a similar amount. The site is 33% faster compared to the previous iteration.
Increased revenue, growing membership
IGEM’s membership has grown month on month since launch of the new platform in January 2023. Members are finding it easier to renew online - with 200 doing so in the first 30 days after launch. Sales of technical standards (in digital and hard copy formats) have soared 183%.
IGEM’s new unified platform has streamlined processes and modernised operations. Having all teams on one platform means that the whole organisation can get a single view of their members and access the same tools wherever they are based. ReadyMembership has brought teams together around delivering their vision of giving the best service to gas industry professionals around the world.