No matter what kind of association you are, members are at your core
Though great effort is often put into retaining your members lapses inevitably happen, meaning there’s always a need to find new members.
Member acquisition is more of a challenge than retaining your existing member base, but with the right strategy and the right tools, it’s now easier than ever. Below are our top tips to making your organisation irresistible to new members.
Bringing your offering online is probably the most crucial factor in making you relevant in today’s ultrafast world. Modern members have huge expectations, and have little tolerance for slow service or complicated processes. Internally, if you’re still storing your member data on spreadsheets, then you’re putting yourself at a huge disadvantage, and other organisations using smarter software are going to overtake you.
Optimise your website
In 2015, smartphones overtook desktops as the most popular device for accessing the internet. Since then, mobile use has continued to increase. Make sure you’re considering mobile devices first when designing or planning any new digital platforms or services. Mobile compatibility is also an important search engine ranking factor, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to get your organisation found.
“I don’t know how we would have coped working from home without CRM. As a membership association it’s central to what we do – it’s our main business tool.”
Build a prospective member journey
Do you know what a potential member’s journey with you looks like? Solidify your member touchpoints and goals for current and potential members – what does a successful journey mean for you? A good membership CRM system will allow you to integrate your key buisness platforms such as marketing and finance, meaning you can map out an automated member journey which keeps track of a potential member’s progress in real time. This information will allow you to gather insights to help you make improvements from customer service to marketing.
Make joining as easy as possible
How many steps does it take for someone to become a member? Is it a telephone call, mailout and a week’s wait? Today’s customers have less patience than ever, so making sure your joining process is online and consists of a few clicks will make your association all the more appealing to prospective members.
Ask your existing members!
Don’t be afraid to ask your current members what made them join in the first place, then make sure you keep doing it! You can gather this data using your CRM system, or reaching out to your members through surveys and communications – perhaps offer a prize draw to incentivise them to provide feedback. Your membership base is your most valuable asset, so make sure you use them.
You’ve updated your website and it’s good to go – now think about your digital communications. Social media is a fast, cost effective and simple way to communicate with prospective members, generate traffic to your website and showcase your offers. Consider your member base, and analyse on which platform they will be spending the majority of their time. The most popular platforms tend to be:
- LinkedIn (perfect for professionals)
- Instagram (good if you have a very visual offering)
- Twitter (great for discussions and hopping on the latest trends)
- Facebook (ideal for hosting communities and events)
Remember to encourage members to follow you on social media!
Refresh your emails to non-members
Like many societies, you’ll likely have a list of people that aren’t members but have interacted with your organisation before (newsletter subscribers, attendees of previous events, a one-off purchase). They showed interest once, harness this tentative relationship by re-engaging with them by creating an email campaign (ensuring you follow GDPR guidelines). A personalised offering with a catchy title and to-the-point messaging will give you greater chances of opens, clicks, and ultimately new members.
Create an online member community with teaser content
Create an intriguing members-only area (with tasters and teasers of members-only resources as signposts) to tempt any would-be members within a vibrant and lively community. It’s also another channel you can use to capture data on member behaviour, which enables you to provide better value for members going forward.
Collaborate, don’t compete! Partnerships are fast becoming an essential model for any organisations looking to acquire new business. When you team up with societies with a similar target audience, you’re able to quickly increase your engagement and visibility by tapping into their audience. This benefits both of you, as you can both effectively share a pool of engaged online users.
Feel like you could be doing more to acquire new members?
Book a free health check with one of our experienced membership consultants to receive a score against your fellow associations and ideas for how to improve.