Every association strives to provide its members with value. One of the best ways to offer that value is through robust member benefits.
How your organization describes these benefits on your website and marketing materials wields more power than you might think. They can go far beyond just informing prospects about the advantages of joining your association. When communicated well and accompanied by savvy promotion, they can have a dramatic impact on new applications and renewals.
Here are five easy-to-follow principles that can transform your membership benefits into effective revenue-generating tools.
- Start by considering your target audience. What desires, needs, and expectations do they have when they join your organization? As professionals in a given industry, they have certain aspirations, such as to grow their business, develop professionally, and make valuable network connections. Their needs might be centered on required certifications and education that they can obtain through membership in your organization, for instance. Jotting these items down will help you create copy that responds to important personal motivators. Do your benefits descriptions specifically touch on the needs, wants, and expectations you’ve identified? If not, revisit them and emphasize these details to improve their effectiveness.
- Say goodbye to organizational jargon. When you fit your message to your members’ needs and expectations rather than to your preferences, it also requires an adjustment in the way you communicate. Hang up your internal terminology and instead focus on sharing your association’s benefits clearly and concisely. Work to mimic the way your potential and current members speak, relate, and seek value.
- Adopt an ‘often and everywhere’ approach. For a message to sink in, people need repeated exposure, so state your member benefits frequently and on various platforms. Don’t make the common mistake of only sharing your member benefits in an introductory new member email and considering your work done. Instead, set up automated marketing emails to send in the future, reminding new members of the many great benefits to which they’re entitled. Avoid burying your membership benefit descriptions deep within your website. Create a member benefits page that is prominently featured in the site hierarchy and sprinkle the benefits throughout the site, too. For example, you could add links on the homepage and site-wide through various calls-to-action. And don’t forget to share these benefits wherever your members hang out virtually. Flaunt your perks on social networks, add taglines to your emails, and highlight them in your newsletters.
- Create tantalizing promotions. What benefits would you like your members to utilize more? Choose one at a time and promote it heavily on your member landing page, in a special email campaign, in your organization’s newsletter, in your social community, and more. Go beyond simply explaining what the benefit is: describe its value and how it can be accessed. Better yet, offer some kind of time-sensitive special. If your chosen member benefit is a reduced rate for educational webinars, for example, consider offering even deeper discounts for a specified period of time. Webinars that are usually $50 for members might be offered at $30 for one month only. Not only does this approach make people aware of lesser-known member benefits, it also boosts the likelihood that they will take advantage of them.
- Leverage career advancement opportunities. Helping your members to further their careers and achieve higher professional standards is a powerful benefit. If people can better themselves professionally through your organization, they’ll line up to join and stick around. A robust career advancement benefit starts with member engagement opportunities that nurture professional connections. Think job boards, credentialing programs, skills assessments, mentee programs, networking opportunities, and more. Whatever tools your organization offers to help members get a leg up in their careers, capitalize on their appeal by positioning them front and center.
Showcase what you have to offer. As an association, you have the ongoing job of retaining existing members and attracting new ones. There’s no better way to accomplish this than by highlighting what’s in it for them.
For more advice on how to make the most of your valuable member benefits, IBC is here to help. Please contact our knowledgeable 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.