Mistakes to Avoid During Membership On-Boarding
With the recent hosting of our Strategic Board Series we have noticed the never-ending problems associated with membership.
- How do we keep people interested?
- How do we attract new members?
We have some handy tips included here to stop your organisation from losing your members as soon as you get them!
1. Stop over-supplying information!
The last thing anyone wants is to transition from a manageable email inbox to having three-hundred unread messages with your organisation being the changing factor. Don’t flood new members with too much information, instead, think about a drip-feed approach to ease them into the community.
How do I do this?
One way is to design a ‘journey’ style email campaign through programs such as Mailchimp. You can customize what information will be sent, the timing of it and much more. It’s a great way to pull new members in rather than adding to the existing email fatigue.
Robert Skrob in his book Retention Point recently and accurately described his approach as an “on-ramping” process in place of “on-boarding” to the full member experience. We think this is a great mindset to have in mind while designing the new members’ journey.
2. Stop assuming members already know
- Does your organisation keep receiving the same questions?
- Tired of answering the same basic requests?
There’s probably a good reason why they keep coming.
New members might be obsessive followers of every legislative change and advocacy move relating to your organisation, but most probably aren’t. Give new members a holistic understanding of your organisation – your goals, values and trajectory. Then start handing them more in-depth content over time.
Oh, and if you keep getting those same questions, address them! Use your newsletter, twitter, Instagram or EDMs to get that information to people! The chances are if you don’t, you might lose them!
3. Solely focusing on membership value
We can’t speak for every new member, but we can assume not everybody wishes to be flooded with emails all labeled ‘101 reasons you should feel great about joining our association’. A lot of people receive emails with all the things associations do for them, but sometimes you should put the member first… emotionally. Now that sounds a little strange but it’s important that your retention strategy be based on a balanced emotional appeal.
Your organisation needs them more than they need you. So let them know sometimes how much you value their continued support, how they are an integral part of your organisation. You can still tell members what you do for them, but solely focusing on membership value can be a contributor to a lack of membership engagement if overdone.
It is about a unionization of people and collective action around a common interest. So start working with and for your members, jump into the community and minimise just broadcasting to them!
“It’s about being part of a movement or feeling connected with something greater than yourself” – Robert Skrob
Do you have some great examples of how you retain members? Email them through to the TAS team and we would be happy to include your experiences in our future pieces!