Member dues are the primary source of revenue for an association. But increasing those sources of revenue outside of member dues are becoming even more important. According to a 2021 association report, 71% of association professionals listed non-dues revenue as a top strategic priority in the coming year. Leveraging your association LMS to help create that new revenue is a perfect way to prioritize your goals throughout the year. Consider our 13 tips for capitalizing on your LMS capabilities when looking to increase your revenue streams.

What can your LMS do for your revenue streams?

Your ability to drive revenue from your learning program depends largely on your ability to create great content. After all, content is what your learning program is selling.

As you create a content strategy for your online educational program, be sure to capitalize on the ample opportunities for your association to succeed and thrive, through the power of diverse revenue streams. Below are 13 ways to leverage your learning management system to generate non-dues revenue for your association.

How to use your LMS to generate non-dues revenue

  1. Offer dynamic and diverse content that has tiered pricing. On-demand content is any learning material that can be downloaded at any time. This kind of content can come in all shapes and sizes ranging from re-broadcasts, webinar recordings, white papers, course materials, etc. You may or may not already be selling this content. If your educational content has typically been included as a free member benefit, consider limiting how much of your content remains free, and what becomes “premium content.” Creating content that does not require a lot of heavy lifting on your end and includes public offerings from free education to high-value, higher priced, premium, and members-only options. Upsell your product as a great online learning opportunity and utilize the fact that your consumers can purchase the information they want in real-time.
  2. See what's TrendingFocus on industry trends to capture your audience immediately and provide learners with the insights they are striving for. Our ever-changing world offers many opportunities for “hot topic” programming that can meet your learners’ just-in-time needs. Look for topics that are being discussed in your industry today, such as changing regulations, and offer up online sessions to provide your learners with details and expert insights.
  3. Repurpose and break out content when possible. Hold your learners’ attention and keep them coming back for more, by breaking up longer courses into smaller, easier-to-consume chunks. Your members have diverse needs when it comes to formats for their learning. On-demand content is readily available to repurpose. Mixing in repurposed content is an ideal way of expanding learning options and leveraging resources that already exist. A few examples of repurposing include:
    – Breaking up long-form content into smaller more accessible packages – compare your content to the popularity of social media and how most people enjoy short bursts of knowledgeable content in some cases and longer formats in others.
    – Re-formatting information, e.g., transcribe info from a video into an infographic or a series of images.
    – Update pieces with new or more relevant information, e.g.
    – Offer re-broadcasts of pre-existing webinar
  4. Customize your learners’ experience to meet their requirements. If your members are required to complete a certain amount of ethics hours to maintain their license, then offer a set of learning opportunities that complete their hours. Alternatively, you can also offer a variety by letting them create their own bundle. Learners could choose several pieces of content to customize their own experience at an affordable grouped price for them but new revenue for you.
  5. Personalize the experience by combining your LMS with other technology. Sometimes reaching out to potential attendees on a first name basis is a way to get them in the door. If you have staff to help facilitate the right outbound communications, make them as personal as possible. Without staff the LMS and your marketing system will be ideal to handle the personalization for you. Capturing data from your association management system (AMS), LMS, marketing system, online community, and more will allow you to segment your learners. With learners segmented, you can target communications to them based on several distinct characteristics. The right LMS will easily allow you to deliver a range of offerings that allow personalization with data like:
    – Preferred mediums I.e. mobile vs technology-driven learners.
    – Encompassing demographics
    – Previous courses taken and the topics of interest
    – Career stage
    – and activity during events.
  6. Easily complete sales with a user-friendly experience. An LMS that provides an online shopping cart makes it easy for your members to add all the content they need. The experience should strive to be as easy as shopping on any other eCommerce site, with multiple currency options, coupon or promotional discount capabilities, and instant downloads. Ultimately, your LMS’ ability to offer a seamless shopping experience will lead to higher sales. An outdated or difficult eCommerce system will discourage transactions and leave members unsatisfied. Make sure your learning management system can easily support these content purchases and downloads.
  7. Sell sponsorships when hosting virtual events, to further increase profit margins. Your customized LMS can display advertisements on your educational content to bring in that new revenue. This creates more visibility for your sponsors and allows added exposure to your membership base. Best of all, this does not cost your association anything. It is free space that you would otherwise be wasting. Not only can you add sponsorships to your event space, but you can also add sponsor logos and advertisements to your on-demand content. This is an additional strategy for re-purposing and redistributing your pre-existing content.
  8. Reach non-members by targeting providing your educational content catalog to everyone, members and non-members alike. Social sharing is a must in 2022, and the right LMS will be able to serve all audiences your valuable content. Be sure to have separate pricing tiers for non-members who purchase your on-demand content. This allows you to still capitalize on non-member transactions while maintaining premium value on your membership services.
  9. Effectively market and promote with your LMS. Obtaining the right data to secure your learners’ interest is at your fingertips with the right LMS. Saving your team money and time by having the right technology ensures that you can continue to learn from your provided content. Refine your learning program with reporting insights on everything from per-course metrics to learner engagement analytics. Your LMS should allow you to monitor learner participation via Q&A, group chat, real-time polling, surveys, checkpoints, and robust quizzing. Surveying your attendees can then guide you when you are looking to segment your learning offerings, or repurposing in the most impactful way.
  10. Integrate your LMS and AMS software systems for a single sign-on experience that presents a uniform front to your members. Remember that a streamlined, user-friendly interface will lead to a more positive experience for your members. Making their information, content, purchases, and downloads as convenient as possible will only benefit your association. Additionally, linking the member data between your LMS and AMS allows you to communicate with members conveniently and effectively to proactively market your content. With custom email contact lists, you can target segments of members with more relevant content. Consequently, this leads to more interaction with your content as well as increased purchases.
  11. Customer support that goes the extra mile. Ensure your LMS includes supporting services to supplement your team such as content creation, webinar moderation, production services, and end-user support. Having this support allows you to produce the highest quality content and educational services possible. Indeed, the right association LMS will provide you with the support and services you need to achieve your objectives and help secure those non-dues revenue sources.
  12. Built-in live event and virtual conferencing capabilities. Live events and conferences can also be a major source of added non-dues revenue for your association. Promote your learning events and sell several ticket pricing tiers to extract the most value out of this opportunity. Virtual conferencing and video streaming give your attendees the convenience of an in-person experience online, at their fingertips. Generate even more revenue by sharing events with non-members (at premium prices). You can accomplish this easily through social media sharing and promotions. This wider audience secures more ticket sales as well as increased brand recognition for your association. Webinars and webcasts are great ways to provide continuing education opportunities in an online learning environment. Moreover, they require only minimal equipment: a device with a webcam and microphone, an internet connection, and a learning management system (LMS) such as Freestone by Community Brands, which makes it easy to deliver interactive live and on-demand content.
  13. Host continuing education and manage certifications with ease. Empower your members’ development by providing them with a robust and well-organized learning portfolio. There are many industries that require continuing education credits, training, or certifications. Be sure your members can easily accomplish all their learning needs through your association’s LMS. Manage continuing education requirements and deliver certification based on your association’s unique needs in one centralized platform.

Can your current LMS deliver?

It may be time to upgrade your LMS platform if your software poses obstructions to accomplish the above list. If your existing content is disorganized or difficult to download, administrative tasks are a headache, or your association is lacking the support it needs to provide members with quality educational content, it may be time to consider upgrading your learning management system.

Similarly, if you are currently getting by without an LMS but are ready to streamline your processes and monetize your content for added revenue, be sure to keep these capabilities in mind when selecting your new LMS platform provider. The right learning management system will not only optimize your educational content, but it should actively boost your revenue opportunities.

If you are considering taking the plunge in shopping for a new or more robust LMS, keep these three tips in mind when comparing systems:

  • Keep your association’s objectives at the forefront of your search. How does your association plan to grow? You want a system that can handle your current needs, while being easy enough to scale for future growth.
  • Establish your prerequisites. Develop a list of the technology criteria you will need to meet member expectations. Keep in mind any integration needs that will help to create a seamless member experience.
  • Partner for success. Write down your goals for strategic growth (including increased non-dues revenue through content and credentialing) and find a vendor who will partner with you to achieve them.

Do more with Freestone LMS

Award-winning Freestone is the association industry’s most relied upon learning management software platform that offers all these capabilities and more. Freestone offers an elegant and dynamic learner interface, accessible from any device. It provides sleek tools to streamline program management and a flexible online learning framework designed to integrate with all the latest technologies.

Start leveraging more ways to increase your non-dues revenue without any hassle. Contact us today for a free demo to learn more.

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