How can you convey a warm welcome in today’s digital world?
For decades, America has been courting a less personal, more virtual business landscape. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to bolster that transformation. The good news? Even online, you can still extend gracious cordiality to make your new members feel engaged from the outset.
Here are five proven techniques that will foster inclusiveness and help your new members appreciate all that your association has to offer.
- Get interactive. If you’re currently relying on new member onboarding via a webinar, swap it out for an interactive Zoom-like call where people can see each other, ask questions, and chat among themselves. Reach out again several weeks into their membership term to gauge how they’re doing and to see if they have any questions.
- Show your appreciation. Expressing gratitude to new members for joining your organization can go a long way toward making them feel welcome. Send a personal email or hand-written note of thanks when someone joins. Consider including an impressive welcome gift, such as some high-quality logo swag or a gift card from an association sponsor.
- Help them get comfortable. New members will feel right at home when they know how your organization works, what to expect next, and where to go for information. How comprehensive and inviting is your welcome packet? If it’s lackluster, now is the time to beef it up and add that wow factor. For example, you could remind people of the value of membership and the many benefits they can now receive. Direct recipients to key online resources, such as the calendar of events, your career center, or your online member community. Make sure your new members know who to contact at your organization or where to go online if they have questions.
- Give them the spotlight. Announce and highlight new members on your association app, social media channels, and newsletter. In addition to their names, you may want to include a photo and short bio. People often join associations because they want to network within their industry or discover like-minded individuals; announcing them to your membership base can facilitate this process.
- Show them the ropes. According to the Harvard Business Review, one-on-one meetings can help reduce new member disengagement levels by as much as 67%. Connect each new member with an online volunteer ambassador to help them get acquainted with your organization. This also establishes a point of contact they can reach out to with any questions or concerns.
Even virtually, it’s still important to make a great first impression.
The initial interactions new members have with your organization hold the power to forging positive, long-lasting relationships. Evaluate your new member welcome process carefully to ensure you’re providing a rich, rewarding experience each and every time.
For more advice on how to welcome new members and keep them engaged with your association, IBC is here to help. Please contact our friendly professionals to learn more.
About IBC: At IBC, we have a deep understanding of the critical business needs and processes specific to associations, non-profits, and unions. We ‘get’ your culture, your goals, and what drives you, too. Focused exclusively on and dedicated to delivering the most effective AMS, LMS, and Virtual Event Solutions for our clients, we’re well-versed in identifying and applying the integration techniques that will save you time and money. Since 2001, our cutting-edge products, unparalleled responsiveness, and award-winning services have helped organizations like yours increase their operational and financial performance by leveraging best practices and proven solutions. For more information about IBC, please visit the website at www.ibconcepts.com or call 443.603.0215.