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New Member Onboarding

Posted By Jason Acord, Membership Specialist, Thursday, July 7, 2016
Updated: Thursday, July 7, 2016

So you just spent the last couple of months preparing materials and strategizing a new member campaign. Now what? Running a successful campaign is just the first step; understanding that the first year of membership is a critical time and can have a strong effect on retention is what follows.

Having a solid new member communication plan is vital and can make or break your chances of retaining a member beyond the first year. Developing key messages that are engaging, effective and actionable and knowing the right time to send them all play a key role in your organization’s success.

When a member joins, respond within 24 hours. A simple email, thanking them for their investment and letting them know an organization leader will be contacting them within the coming day will provide a stronger connection and make the member feel important, because they are. Making sure a new member receives an immediate response will encourage them to open and react to future communications.

Here is a list of best practices for engaging new members throughout the first year:

  • Week one: A welcome email from the membership director or board president.
  • Week two: An email introduction to all membership benefits.
  • Week four: A welcome phone call from a board member or local representative. Use this as an opportunity to encourage them to get involved and attend a local membership networking event or conference.
  • First month: A new member packet describing in detail the membership benefits, local leadership, and upcoming networking and educational opportunities. The packet should also include a welcome letter signed by the board president and vice president.
  • Month Three: A new member survey – two or three questions focused on why they joined.
  • Month Six: Personal invitation to the upcoming conference or other event, highlighting certification (if applicable) and networking opportunities.
  • Month Nine: Reintroduction to member benefits.
  • Month Twelve: New member first year survey — focused on the benefits and opportunities the member took advantage of during the first year and how the organization can enhance the benefits for future members.

During the first few months after joining, new members will determine their level of involvement and decide whether or not an organization is right for them.

For more information regarding new member engagement and developing a new member communication plan, please contact Jason Acord, Membership Specialist for Ewald Consulting at: jasona@ewald.com.

 

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