by Nancy Haywood, Account Associate
As a new Membership Coordinator, gaining and retaining members may seem intimidating. Here are seven things to keep in mind.
1. Gaining members takes time.
New and existing associations can go thru lulls in attracting new members. It’s ok to have a lull, but don’t let it be your norm.
2. Mass emails sometimes equal “OMG”.
When someone joins a new group, they are usually flooded with emails. Don’t take it personally if they complain to you. Listen to their concerns and ask what communications they would like to receive. If your group doesn’t have a way to opt members out of specific emails, then keep a spread sheet of the members who prefer to receive less emails. Then, when it is time to send certain, emails simply remove their name from the recipient list.
3. You don’t know everything, and that’s ok.
You probably have a lot of great ideas on ways to increase membership. Remember to take time to see what has worked and not worked in the past. You might be surprised that some of your great ideas have been tried before.
4. Work hard to show them why should they join.
What incentives does your group provide for members? Be it discounts on purchases for webinars, conferences, or access to free CE credits, give them a reason to join versus always hanging on the sidelines as a nonmember.
5. Membership forms are incredibly important to get right.
You want to gain knowledge on new members and their background, but remember General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and other US state privacy laws. If you are asking for members for information, have an actual need for why you want it. The information you can garner from their application can be a gold mine for your marketing department. Suggested info to collect is name, address, phone number, email. Depending on the type of group you have, you might consider credentials, primary area of employment, if they are decision makers for their company, and why they joined.
6. Members can ask a lot of questions.
Remember when you were new at your job? You most likely asked tons of questions because you were new to the company and its processes. It’s the same way for new members. Many new members are excited about their new group and want to make sure they are making the most of their membership. Start to take notice of the questions you seem to be asked over and over. Create a welcome email that has tips and tricks that you can send them once they join. It will cut down on your emails and empower your new members.
7. Reports are your best friend.
Membership is picking up, now what? You want to show off your results and the best way to do that is with membership reports. If your database system is capable, create membership reports on a monthly basis. This will allow you to identify trends on when people are joining, who is joining and their reason for joining. The more info you know the better you can be at gaining new members. It takes time to see the trends but it is well worth it.
If you need help growing your membership, then IMI Association Executives can assist you! Contact us today to see how we can help grow your membership and keep your retention rates high.