Some brands are so indispensable that it’s hard to imagine life without them. Amazon and Apple, for example, are deeply ingrained in the daily existence of many Americans. Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy that depth of loyalty among your members? To drive this kind of allegiance, you need to make it a priority. And while it doesn’t necessarily require a huge advertising budget or lots of additional staff, it does require the ability to accurately consider your members’ overall experience with your organization.
In this article, we’ve compiled four effective strategies your association can employ to enhance the member experience and drive retention.
1. Foster a sense of belonging with robust online community tools.
Even when it’s business as usual, your members may be too busy or far away to regularly attend in-person events, continuing education courses, and annual conferences. And while you may not have given it much thought before, one of the most appealing benefits of membership in a professional association is the sense of connectedness with others that stands to be gained. Building and maintaining an active online community can ensure that everyone who joins has an opportunity to forge these valuable relationships. For example, a message board provides a forum to ask questions, offer feedback, and share personal experiences with other members. A searchable directory of member-managed profiles can nurture connectedness too by allowing people to easily find others in similar professions or who have common interests. And of course, social media platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook are ideal for creating groups that nurture connectedness for existing members and can attract potential new members too. Use these platforms to host online conversations related to your products and services, respond to inquiries, address issues your members are facing, share behind-the-scenes information, and more.
2. Make renewal a breeze.
How user-friendly is your organization’s renewal process? If it’s too lengthy, complicated, or time-consuming, it may act as a deterrent for some people. Strive to make membership renewal as easy and streamlined as possible. Offering online renewal is one good way to abbreviate the process and reduce the headaches. You might also consider offering a recurring payment option for dues that allows members to submit their payment information once and be automatically charged at specific intervals.
3. Become a go-to source for informative content.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the endless blogs, e-books, and infographics that exist today. When your members know they can count on your organization to be a repository of useful, relevant content from trusted sources, they’ll be more likely to stick around. Keep them informed by making your website the tried-and-true place for expert advice and keen insights. As new resources are added, highlight them by featuring them prominently on your home page, promoting them in emails, and posting links on social media. Round out your quality content with shared articles from popular industry publications and various experts.
4. Offer a rich suite of member benefits.
Exceptional benefits programs are not just exclusive to members but also personalized to their needs. For example, if your members are largely younger and seeking to grow professionally, you might offer discounts on coworking space or free admission to workshops hosted by area graduate schools. The benefits you provide must be substantial and seen as worthwhile to your members, delivering enough value to make them appealing. More importantly, they should be representative of your appreciation for their decision to join your organization.
Your association has much to gain by creating greater member value. Strive to deliver positive experiences for your members that reflect just how much you value them. It never hurts to build an association of loyal, lifetime members and advocates.
Creating rich, appealing member experiences is a smart investment. For more than 20 years, IBC has been helping associations grow their membership through state-of-the-art strategies and innovative iMIS software solutions. Please contact our experts to see how we can help you too.
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.