How to create a member journey map

Retaining members, whilst recruiting new ones, is critical during these challenging times. So understanding your members’ journeys, and how you can improve their experiences, has become even more important.

What is a member journey map?

A member journey map is a visual representation of every experience your members have with you. It helps to tell the story of a member’s experience with your association from initial engagement through to long-term relationship.

Your members can interact with your association via many channels such as marketing, referrals, search and social media. To make sure every interaction runs smoothly, it’s a good idea to map out every touchpoint or experience along the journey to give members the best possible experience.

What is member journey mapping?

Member journey mapping helps associations step into their members’ shoes. The process can help you to understand how to improve members’ experiences and define what prospective members need in order to engage with you.

Members expect associations to understand and remember who they are and what they’re looking for, across multiple touchpoints. Therefore, a map can help to reveal issues with siloes in your association and areas for improvement to make a member’s experience connected and seamless.

The benefits of a member journey map include:

How to create a realistic member journey map

We work to include every point where a member comes into contact with your association; from joining to attending events, networking or professional training to social media posts.

This involves using data from tools such as your website analytics, as well as less formal channels like members’ feedback, to provide additional insights on your map. For example, you may find out that your events are well received, but prospects aren’t joining after attending one.

It is important to remember that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to mapping out your members’ journeys. Not all members want to interact in the same way.

“Through research we have found that typically membership associations will have 4 to 6 different segments amongst their members. One segment will be made up of members with broadly similar behaviours such as their altruistic view, their goals, beliefs and/or frustrations. Researching and understanding segments first and including those when journey mapping is key when striving to achieve a long-term relationship” says Maria Fager, Head of Projects and Research.

Looking at the completed journeys of your segments can help to highlight whether there is a clear route from research and enquiry to joining as members, whilst mapping out potential opportunities to improve the journey and any obstacles in the way.

As the number of online touchpoints increases and offline interactions take on a digital dimension, technology has an increasingly important role in a member’s experience of an association.

We know that many of our clients have limited technical solutions but have found that both research and member journey mapping assists associations in engaging more effectively. Even without a complex CRM solution, messaging, activities and member interactions can help you to move far away from a “one size fits all” approach. Understanding segments and how to take interact with them is vital to success in both achieving goals and growing memberships.

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If you think your membership organisation could benefit from our 10+ years of industry-leading experience in membership research, financial modelling and proposition development, please contact us on 08459 555 155 or email

Find out about our membership expertise: Membership Research | Membership Consultancy.