Are you looking to increase your membership growth? This is a continuous battle that countless organisations around the world are facing, with the challenges of retaining existing members and enticing newcomers only becoming more difficult.
However, while the challenges of increasing your membership have never been more challenging, there are several tips to help you boost your growth rate. To help you, we have taken a closer look at some of the best ways you can maximise your membership:
1) Create a clear vision
When it comes to boosting your membership growth, the first thing that you should do is identify a clear concept of how you want your membership to grow. When outlining your vision, it is vital that you understand who your audience is, how you want them to engage with you, and what they will benefit from by becoming a member.
When you have a holistic overview of who your audience is, you can then start to create targeted growth goals. These goals should focus on both short-term and long-term ambitions, and you should develop a clear action plan and strategy on how you will achieve these.
2) Target the right segment
Of course, when it comes to approaching new members, you need to ensure that you are targeting the right people. While it can be tempting to extend your marketing out to as many people as possible, if they are not interested in your services or products, then they will be significantly less likely to become a member.
Not only does targeting the wrong audience result in fewer new members, but it can also be an incredibly costly process. That is why although it can be a time-consuming process, identifying your market segment is a worthwhile investment.
3) Provide meaningful content
For many organisations, boosting membership growth is predominantly focused on attracting new members. However, retaining existing members is also vital. That is why you should also focus on ensuring that you are providing the most meaningful content and programs possible.
The more value you are offering your members, the more likely they will be to renew when the time comes. This means offering them exclusive content, regular insights, and unique information that they cannot get anywhere else without being a member.
However, providing meaningful content and programs does not only help to increase retention rates. When you are able to demonstrate to interested parties the value that they will receive by becoming members, it makes you a more enticing prospect.
4) Engage your members
Another great way to increase retention and boost membership growth is to ensure that you are regularly engaging with your members. Engaging with members is a multifaceted approach, but one of the primary factors is to ensure you are periodically contacting your subscribers. This can be conducted in a range of different ways, but as the world becomes increasingly more digital, the use of newsletters and social media is becoming increasingly more popular.
However, engagement is not just about talking to your members. You should also be listening to what they have to say. Analysing the activities and messages that they respond to most frequently, and listening to their direct feedback, can help you to develop new strategies to keep your subscribers interacting with your brand.
5) Maximise digital marketing
Digital marketing is an essential tool for anyone looking to maximise their membership growth. There are an estimated 4.48 billion people using some form of social media today, which means these platforms are essential in helping you to reach both existing and new members alike.
Regularly utilising these channels helps you to engage with your audience on a far more personal level. This relaxed informal way of communication helps to build a stronger rapport with members, increasing the likelihood of renewal while also making you appear more personable and interesting to prospective members.
Utilising digital marketing is two fold. Not only is it a great way for your members to access important information with ease, it helps you understand and anayse their social media preferences and tailor your contents to targeted segments.
6) Entice subscribers in
While digital marketing and communication can be a great way to help you showcase all of the benefits that being a member can bring, sometimes potential subscribers still need a little extra encouragement. That is why a great way to boost your membership growth is to entice new subscribers in.
One of the best ways to do this is to offer new members a free trial. This gives them the chance to see all of the benefits that becoming a member provides, making them more likely to sign up for the full package once the trial ends. In fact, one recent study found that 89% of companies that offered a free trial had a 50% conversion rate within 30 days.
Of course, you should not just focus on enticing new subscribers in. You should also look at strategies to help you retain your existing members, and one of the best methods of doing this is to offer discounted prices for renewals or additional extras for long-term members.
7) Build credibility
Credibility is crucial when it comes to boosting membership growth, and testimonials are a great way to showcase positive member experiences. 72% of individuals state that reading positive testimonials from genuine customers makes them significantly more likely to use that brand.
8) Membership software platforms – Benefits
Need support with your membership growth?
Are you looking to grow your membership? These seven strategies can help you on the path to success, but it is a complex and challenging journey. Here at T8 Association Management, we know how difficult it can be, which is why our expert team provides comprehensive turnkey solutions designed to support you every step of the way.
From corporate and business administration services to associations and club management, our highly experienced team specialises in delivering the right solutions for you. Our success is your success, so if you are looking to maximise your membership growth and take your organisation to the next level, get in touch today.
Growing a membership association can be challenging. As more continue to pop up, it’s even more important to create a strategy which differentiates your association and creates long term value. Here are a few tips and tricks to boost your membership and improve the overall membership experience:
- 1. Provide valuable content and stand out on social media
As an association you cater to a certain segment of society and it is important to know who these members are and how you can contribute to their learning and growth expectations. Content and social media interaction are critical components for converting prospects. Ensure specialised information and/or educational content on your website is easily accessible and provides answers while simultaneously stepping up your social media interaction. In today’s digital era, people, youngsters in particular, are increasingly tech savy and expect information at the click of a button. You need to be innovative on how best to harness the power of social media. Find out what platforms your prospects use and devise an association strategy that aligns with your marketing goals and the needs of your prospects and members. As an association you need to be mindful of “information overload” and the more curated and personalised information you offer, the better are your chances of being visible and standing out from your competitiors.
- 2. Streamline the membership process
From the moment someone lands on your homepage or registers for your event, they are a potential member; but the journey to membership needs to be a simple one. Consider how many clicks it takes a member to navigate from the homepage to the membership application process and streamline it as much as possible. Price is another barrier to joining. A tiered membership plan or a budget friendly monthly membership plan allows members flexibility and is more wallet friendly.
- 3. Incentivize potential members
Often you will notice visitors on your website are sitting on the fence in terms of whether to take the plunge or not and sometimes promoting a free event on your webpage, blog or social media is all it takes to get them to take a favorable decision. You need to do the same with your existing members, have a referral program that provides incentives and recognize their contributions on your facebook page or blog.
- 4. Host events
This continues to be the bread and butter for the association industry. The focus however needs to be on innovative high quality or boutique events. Moving away from face-to-face events and expanding into virtual territory is gaining popularity. Associations that have capitalised on this growing trend are seeing better results when faced with economic uncertainities. Online communities, webinars and podcasts offer an interesting mix of virtual platforms that associations can tap into extensively and use to their benefit. This calls for a change in mindset and a forward thinking culture which, once adapted, can reap huge benefits. Such networking opportunities will go a long way to enriching your membership experience.
- 5. Choose association management software carefully
The kind of software you use to manage your database can make all the difference when engaging members and personalizing your communication in the most cost effective, efficient way possible. There are many different software systems available on the market and there is no one-size-fits-all approach anymore. It would be prudent to spend time reading reviews and opting for trial versions to gain a sense of what to expect. Many of the association management software systems provide mobile apps that help members on the go stay connected which in turn leads to better enagagement. We at T8 Consulting use Wild Apricot for managing our clients as we like the easy-to-use approach. The platform provides an integrated suite of tools to handle job boards, financial/website/events management and the ability to design branded email marketing.
- 6. Create welcome packages for new members
This is a great way to engage new members in your community and if you have merchandise embossed with your association logo to distribute to newcomers, this is an instant ‘feel good’ factor and imparts a sense of ownership and belonging to the association. There are a few key steps in designing a successful welcome package:
a. A welcome email which begins all future communication
b. Digital membership cards – always a winner. However, it is worth considering replacing traditional physical cards with cost effective digital ones.
c. Welcome gifts and discount coupons for events (if your marketing budget permits).
d. Free or discounted guest passes – set a time limit and decide if they are to be single or multiple use.
e. New member discounts – they incentivize newly joined members, prompting many to stay on long after the freebies are used up.
f. New member events – new members often feel overwhelmed and disengaged at the start. By hosting an event, even just a coffee, can help them cope better, leading to improved relations.
- 7. Offer career resources
This is one of the best ways to drive membership growth. The career section is one of the top three pages clicked on by visitors to an association’s website. By creating a dedicated career resources page with periodic and relevant job opportunities, your conversion rates will undoubtedly rise. Employees are taking charge of their own career advancement and are investing in associations even if their companies are not willing to sponsor their membership.
- 8. Maximize volunteer opportunities
Volunteers help deepen member relations with other members in the association. This is a win-win situation for the association and volunteers. Associations can run more cost-effective and productive businesses by engaging volunteers and in return, volunteers develop new skills, expand their network and gain more recognition. Micro-volunterring is gaining momentum and successful associations are looking at a range of volunterring opportunities. Here are some examples of where you can use volunteers in your association:
a. Community level – volunteers with specific skills or interests take lead in organizing events and workshops in their regions/communities
b. Blog contributors – having a blog helps widen the reach and generates interest in your association
c. Mentors – long standing members of your association can train younger members to take on key roles and responsibilities.
d. Webinar hosts – using member volunteers to host and/or run webinars leads to better participation and engagement.
If you would like to talk to our team about how we can help grow your association membership, please get in touch via email or call us on +852 2517 8248. For more information on our services you can also visit our website.
- Association, Club and Charity Administration Professionals Organizations pay less for expert staff when they pool their resources together. The overhead cost of other functional services such as organizing annual meetings provided by the association management firm is also less. Organizations with limited resources can have access to facilities and technology through an association management company.
- Best practices – An AMC will keep you informed of the latest member and association management strategies, regulation, corporate structure that will help you grow in numbers and professional reputation. They can introduce the practices that have benefitted another associations or organizations.
- Latest technology – Associations can have access to the most up-to-date association management technology through partnering with an AMC, imagine an automated membership system that provides both the members portal and back ends directly into the accounting software. The AMC can also provide the expertise needed to implement the technology.
- Continuity – As the leadership of an association, club or charity changes, continuity becomes an issue, the team provided by an AMC help mitigate any upheaval and ensure that the members come first.
- Membership management – An association, club or charity is only as strong as its members or supporters. Membership management is key. An AMC has the systems to help collect and validate contact information, aid collection of dues and communicate.
- Event management – Many associations, clubs and charities focus on at least one or two events per year, this may include conferences, seminars and webinars, networking functions, awards and dinners. An AMC can help support the function pre, during and post or as required manage the whole function from inception through to delivery.