Connections drive your feelings towards people and things; the same is true for your members. Emotions are attached to the groups and organizations of which members are a significant part. Involvement with organizations like your association can include attending virtual events, participating in online discussions, reading industry news reports, and contacting association staff. Higher connection leads to higher retention, increased member satisfaction, and membership growth. So, how do you increase those touchpoints and get your members more involved?
Market association member benefits
Highlight the features your members have the most interest in. Professionals join your association for various reasons, including professional growth, connections, news, events, and learning. If you are offering any or all these options through your association membership packages – let people know. People absorb information through different outlets and mediums, be sure to advertise in all of them by creating a strategic marketing plan. Use banner ads on your website and newsletters. Share updates on social media and in emails. Create a Google Ads campaign to recruit new members and be sure to have a LinkedIn profile page of your association and also of your Career Center.
Use metrics to create relevant content
Today’s business landscape is full of data that provides insight on how to connect with current and prospective members. With little effort, you can find page views, ad clicks, and your association’s prime revenue drivers for a bigger picture of member interests. Use the metrics available to assess the content that resonates with your members. You can leverage the areas your members spend the most time with your sponsors, to provide more valuable sponsorship opportunities like ad space on a highly trafficked page, or in an email with high open rates.
Strengthen engagement by strategy
Develop an engagement strategy by identifying what areas are most successful based on the data you collect. Create personalized, relevant, and timely messaging to share the availability of new resources with members based on their interests and feedback. An adequately developed and implemented engagement plan will result in increased member acquisition, retention, revenue, and staff efficiency.
The Association for Women in Science (AWIS) uses an effective engagement strategy to identify sponsorship packages for their business partners. They will periodically test new products to ensure they are offering sponsors the most current and valid avenue to their members. Recently the AWIS Career Center added a virtual career fair to their portfolio, which provided a new benefit for their members, advertisement option for their sponsors, and a non-dues revenue stream for the association. Their marketing plan, which made for a successful event included:
- Dedicated emails to their entire database, including their membership, but also other recruiter contacts they have established.
- Communications to registered job seekers on their career center.
- Their marketing director, wrote a great blog on maximizing your results at a virtual career fair.
- Various social media pushes and invested in ads, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn ads as well as more organic posts targeted to active and passive job seekers.
The result was a very successful event with13 employers exhibiting and over 230 job seeker attendees.