Our September 2022 Associations Trends Talk discussed recruiting and retaining members as the pandemic continues. Ewald Consulting Chief Growth Officer Paul Hanscom sat down with Tricia Smith, Jennifer Richards, & Kevin Jacobs for this conversation.
Member recruitment and retainment techniques are at the forefront of association leaders’ minds as the pandemic continues. Thoughts such as “how do we help our members in this trying time?” and “what resources can we provide for our members in this new world?” are likely on your mind, too.
You can watch the full Associations Trends Talk on-demand for free. Here are a few takeaways that stood out:
- Get the right tools: Resources like voicelogic.com (allowing for delivery of a voicemail from a trusted leader), Higher Logic and other online communities, and social media channels are becoming more popular. Consider making a shift to a new technology that encourages more interaction between you and your members — and among your members.
- Think about retention: First-year association members can be the most challenging to retain. Kevin explained that after talking to lapsed members, many said that they simply weren’t aware that the membership wasn’t renewed. Several associations (including Tricia’s) use auto-renewals as a good member retention method. Others create teams to reach out to first-year members by phone during year one to ensure that new people take advantage of valuable member benefits. Find the strategy that is best for you and your members.
- Cater to your member community: Jennifer explained that in her association, the young professionals’ committee has a great amount of energy. Invest in opportunities that provide new, fresh ideas. Another way to do this is by changing your language. Kevin explained that in some cases, dropping association jargon may be more welcoming to new members, which could bring that new energy.
- Get personal: Having current demographic information about members helps an association know how to talk about itself. It also helps in creating segmented and targeted messages that will resonate with every audience from students and young professionals to retired members. One tool mentioned was PropFuel, a platform that allows for more direct messaging based on the needs of members.
Members are the center of your association. Take stock of how you’re communicating with members throughout the year and the membership life cycle, and consider how you can be better for your members.
To learn more about member recruitment and retainment, check out an episode of our podcast, Associations Next: Remember Your Members.