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Member Acquisition and Member Retention are Listed as Association’s Top Goals

We hear the same message from Associations day in, day out. They need more members and they need to retain their members for longer.

These are Association’s top membership goals:

2. Increase member engagement
3. Increase member retention
 
Sounds easy really, we all know what we need to do but how do we achieve this?
 

So how do you get new members?

It’s a no brainer that you would hope to get some new members through your association with industry groups and conferences/events that you run within your industry. 
 
But there are many more ways to increase member acquisition. Many member acquisition strategies can be costly as you have to undertake these manually, but…. believe it or not, some are not that costly to implement. Some examples are:
Referrals
 
  •  If existing members feel like their membership fees are value for money, then they will most likely refer you to others in the industry.
  • If existing members feel engaged, and that they are valued as a member and are active in the community, then they will most likely refer you to others in the industry.

Then why not let your integrated website and membership software help you achieve this? For example:

  • Mobile Friendly Well Presented Online Information
  • Make sure that your Membership Website is mobile friendly. Did you know that according to Google more people own a mobile phone these days than a toothbrush! Yep, it’s a frightening thought, but is true!
  • If a new member can easily find you on page 1 of Google then you are off to a good start. Stats show that very few people go to Page 2 of Google to search because the information being presented by Google is becoming much more relevant and suitable to their search term and what they find on page 1 suits their needs.
  • If a new member can see online quickly what the benefits to them are in becoming a member then they are likely to engage.
  • If a new member can find what they are looking for on your Association website then they will most likely engage with that website to become a member.

Communications

  • Utilise your membership management software to drive multi-channel communications and site interaction
  • Using your membership management system, identify user preferences, needs and requirements in order to deliver tailored content driving upsell and conversion opportunities.
Or get the help of professionals in the industry to help you develop a great content strategy and increase your membership. For example:
 

Advertising

  • Mainstream advertising is costly and because of technology soaring as the number 1 method of search, does not make a lot of sense.
  • Internet marketing on the other hand is cost effective, measurable and can be tested and measured to see what works and what does not.
  • Remarketing is quickly growing as a cost effective option for gaining new members, for advertising events and conferences and advocacy.
OK so you have increased your membership, now how do you keep your members engaged so that you can retain their membership?
 
Believe it or not, budget cuts, economic downturn and the cost of fees are not the number one reasons that members do not renew their membership. A member’s lack of engagement with the organisation is in fact the top reason for not renewing membership.
 
Remember that your members need to believe that they are getting a good return on investment. They pay membership fees each year and want to know that they are receiving value for money. The bottom line is that you need to make life easy and rewarding for your members.
 
Keeping members engaged and active in your Association can be done in a number of ways, but many of these are time consuming unless you let your membership management software help you to achieve this.
 
So how do you do that, you ask?
 
  • Make membership renewal easy. Your members need to feel like they can renew their membership quickly and easily using a safe and easy online payment gateway.
  • Life gets busy and we forget to pay some bills so automate the sending of reminders for membership renewal.
  • Allow easy online registration for conferences with special offers and early bird discounts. Let your members know that they are getting a good deal.
  • Market your events through your online member management software to keep them top of mind for registration.
  • Offer industry networking opportunities.
  • Offer professional development opportunities and mentoring – use your membership system’s education module to deliver this online.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. You need to keep you members up to date with what is happening in your Association, provide them with industry news, training opportunities, events, conferences, resources and whitepapers, etc. Always keep them informed.
  • Let them choose what communications they want to see and don’t just bombard them with every piece of news that you have. Don’t clog up their inbox with irrelevant communications. Let them select the special interest groups that interest them and only receive news updates when there is something new to report.
  • Don’t operate a disparate system with many individual system silos. This increases frustration for both the Association and members because data is not able to be integrated to allow reliable information and business intelligence reporting.
  • Integrate your website with your backend member management system so that you eliminate double entry of information and your database is kept cleansed and accurate.