Archive for August, 2016

User Experience for Member Satisfaction through Seamless Membership Applications

August 30th, 2016 by Andrea Basting
Working in the association world for the past few years, I have spent a lot of time redesigning better user experience (UX) for member based associations. How can UX drive member retention? What key aspects of these sites should be targeted to limiting the frustration of existing members, while considering the turnover of potential new members?

A great place to start is through seamless member applications. By limiting the number of clicks it takes a user to complete these applications, as well as tracking its completion through steps or progress bars, users will be more likely to complete and submit them. This can be achieved through the design and functionality of the member application. A multi step application can help limit confusion while users are filling out their information.

Progress Bar

Try to avoid using tabbed accordion content. Many membership based applications can be extensive, and users are asked to provide detailed information about their backgrounds in order to be accepted. Hiding and displaying content fields can be frustrating to users who are spending a decent amount of time filling out the application. Include a verification page that is easily editable prior to the application submission.


Another area to consider targeting is membership renewal. A complaint I have seen multiple times is difficulty renewing membership, and where to renew it. When it’s time for your members to renew, include linked reminders throughout the site. Not only does this act as a reminder, but it helps direct the user exactly to where they can renew quickly.
A great way to simplify the dues renewal page can be to pre-populate the members information. Users can update their information if needed or verify and confirm the renewal in a quick, one-step process.

Aura eStore Releases New Integration with BadgeCert

August 19th, 2016 by Tiffany Caliendo

aura badgecert


CHICAGO, Aug. 18, 2016 – Aura Innovative Technology is pleased to announce its partnership with BadgeCert Inc., a leader in digital credentialing and professional recognition, for the delivery, management, and verification of digital badges. The partnership allows users of the Aura eStore to immediately display a secure and verifiable digital badge across professional and social platforms, while giving issuing organizations market and brand exposure in social networks.


“We are excited to offer digital badge services through our new partnership with BadgeCert,” said James Chen, CEO of Aura Innovative Technology.  “Digital badges have gained significant traction in the credentialing industry and we have found that BadgeCert’s reliable security and verification capabilities will protect the integrity of our customers’ credentials.”


This integration will prove to be successful for both organizations.  While the Aura eStore will have access to the online badges, BadgeCert will receive Aura’s “seamless administrative experience”, which has become a major trait of the company.


“We are thrilled to partner with the Aura eStore, as they have consistently exceeded their clients’ expectations with respect to high quality customer service and technology innovation,” says Ginger Malin, Ph.D., Founder and EVP of Business Development at BadgeCert. “This partnership will provide organizations with a seamless administrative experience, while also delivering significant value to certificants, as they can now digitally share their verified credentials across the web.”


In today’s digital world, professionals want the option to share their credentials online. Digital badges are used in professional and social networking environments to recognize achievements and establish credibility in real time.


BadgeCert digital badges are third-party verifiable icons that are packed with information or “metadata” about the issuing organization, as well as when and how the credential was earned, and when it will expire. They can represent accomplishments such as knowledge competency, attendance, participation, or the completion of a professional credential.


An organization will work directly with the Aura eStore to create a unique digital badge for each of its credentials. As credentials are earned, Aura works through BadgeCert’s technology to award the verified credential so that an earner may begin securely sharing the badge in social networks and with individuals to gain recognition for their accomplishment.


The Aura eStore will begin offering digital badge services immediately.


About BadgeCert

BadgeCert’s enterprise-class hosted software platform enables organizations to recognize their stakeholders’ accomplishments with dynamic digital badges. BadgeCert’s 100% verifiable badges are embedded with qualifying information that details the nature of an earner’s accomplishment and once received, earners can share them with others (particularly employers, customers or colleagues) by putting them directly on their social media profiles, corporate databases, resumes or email signatures. Visit

Webinars vs Learning Management Systems

August 18th, 2016 by Tiffany Caliendo
Is your association debating on whether or not to invest in an LMS or simply continue offering webinars to your members?

When an organization commits to an LMS, they are investing in the future of their e-learning offerings, technology, and benefits to their members. In contrast, webinars are a great, low-risk way to offer online learning.  However, what is available is very limited, learners cannot search through catalogs to find relevant topics, and can only view topics as they arise. An LMS can manage a large catalog of classes, regardless of the format (i.e. SCORM, live webinars, On-Demand, micro-learning, etc.), which gives learners the freedom of choosing what information best fits their needs.

As an association, you are in the business of serving and providing additional value to your members.  By giving your members the opportunity to easily search courses by relevant content, manage all credits and badges, transcripts, online course registration, etc, your organization can provide additional value to your members, which can result in growing membership and a significant increase in revenue!

Aura eStore Releases New Integration with HighRoad Solution

August 10th, 2016 by Tiffany Caliendo

aura highroad


CHICAGO, August 10 2016 – The Aura eStore is now integrated with the suite of powerful and comprehensive digital marketing platforms offered by HighRoad Solution.  

As part of this integration, HighRoad Solution will create targeted marketing campaigns based on our users’ purchasing behaviors.  These campaigns will be based on a variety of digital marketing styles that are new to the Aura eStore.  Some of the marketing areas include: mail and inbound marketing, content management systems, event management, business intelligence, and advocacy among other applications.


“Digital marketing has become a standard requirement of a fully functional LMS environment,” said James Chen, CEO of Aura.  “HighRoad Solution brings all of that capability, with well-engineered integration, to the Aura eStore. We are extremely excited about this new level of power for our clients.”


The integration of multiple, separate information systems is a specialization of Aura Innovative Technology. The experts at Aura are focused on delivering solutions that result in a single, easy-to-use environment for our clients, and their constituents.


“We are excited to expand our partnership with Aura and bring new valued added offerings to the association industry,” stated David Caruso, President and Co-Founder of HighRoad Solution. “Associations are struggling with how to do a better job generating new revenue–being able to automate email sequences from an eCommerce experience is a great new way to minimize cart abandonment and put the right products in front of the right people at the right time.”


As a next generation LMS, the Aura eStore delivers all system functions in an easy, single user interface. An Aura eStore client may integrate multiple backend sources of catalog content, thereby creating a single “virtual” catalog of available courses, and learning materials.


About HighRoad Solution

HighRoad Solution is the only digital marketing agency endorsed & used by ASAE. We combine digital & database platforms to increase revenue, member insight & efficiency. Whether you need email, marketing automation or inbound marketing, we have the subject matter and technical experts to deliver the solution you need.

Get Action From E-Learning Users

August 9th, 2016 by Claire Archibald

Thrill, Inspire, Awaken the users of your eLearning system. Association secrets revealed!

Are your members motivated to use your eStore or eLearning system solely to get their mandatory course credits?

Associations usually provide online services to their members and the public in the form of registering for events, conferences, meetings, exams and (sometimes) on-demand or livestream videos. After they register, users fail to engage in further interaction, until something significant happens.

What is the best way to motivate your users to stay on your website? Here are some tried-and-true ideas that AIT has seen work firsthand:

Provide Exciting Incentives

  • Volume Discounts: Buy two or more continuing professional education (CPE) sessions, events, tickets to an annual conference or exam products, and get deeper discounts
  • Email blasts containing Coupon Codes
  • Online Surveys with Prizes
  • Member Rewards if they sign up additional members or promote your event on Social Media.

Broaden Your Network and Display Visual Feedback

  • Social Media: The all-important promotional tool; link your events directly to social media
  • Discussion Forums: Public and member forums to discuss hot association topics
  • Blog Posts And Feedback: Post staff or user-submitted articles and promote positive feedback
  • eStore Event and Product Ratings: Let your users rate your event or product with stars and garner feedback.

Provide a Motivating Reason

Your website users should be there because they want to be, not only with the intentions of gaining certification, passing an exam or finishing CPE hours.

  • Provide On-Demand Videos or Livestreaming: Engage your users with need-to-know, relevant, call-to-action events
  • Free Interactive Workshops: In-house or livestreamed, everyone wants to hear important information and have the ability to network
  • Knowledge-Sharing: Provide collaboration websites with document sharing that can tie back into your LMS and eStore.

Like I said earlier, the AIT team has seen these tips succeed.  Try them out with your eStore or LMS, and I can guarantee you’ll be happy you did.

Check out our Aura eStore, our eLearning system, to help engage your users today!