Big Numbers Reported from ASOR Membership Services
By Kevin Cooney, Director of Membership and Publication Services
The fall/winter season in Boston has been busy and productive. ASOR’s steady membership growth during 2012 continued, and a new record for total members was set in September. ASOR’s blog content increased in conjunction with two theme months that were wildly successful. September’s "Qumran Month," and October’s "Cultural Heritage Month" themes drove the largest increase in online traffic since the Jesus Tomb controversy in March. Original posts for each theme—written by members and other scholars—were well received, and produced some lively discussion. The increased blog traffic, combined with almost 4,200 likes of our Facebook page, made the fall a great success for ASOR’s ongoing social media initiative. Intent on building on the momentum created by ASOR’s social media success and record membership numbers, a membership appeal to over 5,000 individuals was executed in early November. (See image at right.) The initial response to the appeal has been promising, and thanks to the hard work of everyone in Boston, ASOR set another record in December with 1,581 ASOR members!
The fall and winter have also seen changes that have improved customer service and increased the amount of information available to ASOR’s new and existing members. The 2013 membership enrollment form was redesigned to ease renewal and explain member benefits more clearly. Look for the new form in your renewal notices.
An information packet for new members was also introduced at this year’s Annual Meeting. These packets contain material detailing ASOR’s mission, member benefits, and its history. New members at the meeting were particularly excited to see a new and colorful “History of ASOR” pamphlet in the packet. This pamphlet was produced in September and will be a useful tool for upcoming advocacy and fundraising efforts. Additionally, members have a quick and easy way to learn about the organization’s past and share it with others. Copies of this brochure will be provided to any member wishing to promote the organization at a lecture, conference, or any gathering of people interested in Near Eastern history.
In October, ASOR rolled out a new email client for communicating with members. The Informz integrated platform provides added functionality for every email and is capable of targeting specific demographic groups. Communications will now contain the most relevant information possible based on a member’s individual profile. ASOR’s emails also have a completely new look. Gone are the two color text emails in favor of brighter, more colorful templates that present information that is better organized, and more visually appealing. These templates are also tailored for mobile email clients, so members will now be able to read ASOR’s communications with ease on their smart phone or tablet.
ASOR has even more planned for 2013, including membership drives, resource maps for ASOR’s members, and the new bimonthly News@ASOR e-newsletter. The most important part of ASOR’s continuing efforts to improve the member experience is getting input from the membership. Every ASOR member may provide feedback via email or by posting to the organization’s Facebook wall. Members are vital to ASOR’s continued success and we want to ensure they have the best experience possible!