5 Ideas to Boost Your Associations Member Engagement

by Legal Associations Management  |  December 3, 2021

Most associations’ strive is to attract new members; however, once they become a member they are often neglected. In order to retain your association’s members, it is extremely important to increase your membership engagement, as membership retention and membership engagement are intertwined. Not only are engaged members more likely to remain in your association but they also act as “brand ambassadors” in the way of spreading the word about your association and its benefits.  

Although getting members more involved is sometimes a hard task to achieve, below are 5 effective ways to get your association’s members more engaged and to keep them around for a long time.

1. Make New Members Feel Welcome

Your first interactions with your association members are going to set the tone for how they will perceive your organization. It is important to make sure that from the start, your members appreciate their membership. The quicker you get them engaged, the easier it will be to get them to stick around for the long haul. 

A good way to instantly get your new members engaged is by sending them a welcome email as soon as they join your organization. Consider sending them an onboarding email series that:

  • Thanks them for joining your association
  • Details the benefits they will receive as a member
  • Provides relevant links for member resources
  • Informs them of important dates
  • Outlines the types of communication they will be receiving from you

In addition to these emails, consider asking new members why they joined and what they aim to achieve so that you can do everything possible to support them in all of their endeavors.

2. Host Events

Meeting in person is invaluable. When members can see association leaders and their fellow members in person, they typically feel like they are really part of a community that is focused on similar benefits and shared goals. Networking increases the value of their membership within your association. The annual event could include a dinner, an awards ceremony, or a conference that your members have exclusive access to. It is also a good idea to give your members exclusive discounts to association-hosted events if they are open to people outside of your association. This often helps members feel valued and clearly shows their membership benefits.

3. Create a Referral Program

Referral programs work great within associations. Associations can create incentives for your current members who refer new members to the association. The good thing about referrals is that the members who are referred by a friend, family member, or colleague tend to be more engaged and stay a member longer. By creating a referral program, current members can help you connect with potential members they believe would be a good fit for your organization.

4. Create Relevant Content

One of the most important things when trying to keep members engaged is always producing fresh and relevant content based on their interests and needs. The key to creating this content is providing meaningful, fresh, and prompt information for each of your members, no matter the stage of their membership. For example, if your organization is a legal professional association, you may want to offer them tools to help them continue their legal education (CLE) or help them grow their vast legal network. By consistently delivering relevant content, your members will get the value they deserve from their membership with your association, and their member engagement will also increase.

5. Communicate Regularly

It is crucial to have many different channels of communication open. If a member has a question or concern, the more ways they can address them, the better. Make sure that you let your members choose their preferred way of contact (email, text, phone, newsletter, etc.). Beyond that, make sure you include all of your social media channels in every form of communication so that your members can connect with you in the most ways possible.

There needs to be a consistent effort from your organization by way of reaching out to members individually in order to actively boost your membership engagement. All of your communication should not be coming from the same source as members may feel they are being spammed. To stay away from this, communicate with your members through each different platform your organization has. 

By using these 5 ideas to boost your member engagement, you will be able to continue focusing on your association’s involvement and investment in the wellbeing of your members. By showing that your association genuinely cares about its members, your members will feel valued and better involve themselves within your organization. These 5 ideas will not only help you boost member engagement but also boost your membership retention.

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