2017 is officially here, and that means new goals and resolutions for your association. But before you dive too heavily into those, take a look at these important reminders (some big, some small) regarding membership management in 2017:
- Keep your membership website clean (and fresh!) - Your membership website is the first point of contact people (your members, prospects, donors, etc.) have with your association. That said, make sure it’s in tip-top shape. Keep it clean (so people can easily browse) and fresh (so people have a reason to return). This is your number one recruitment and engagement tool, so treat it as such.
- Ask your members for feedback (and incorporate that feedback) - If you ever feel like something isn’t up to par at your association (your event attendance, content views/downloads, membership renewals, etc.), remember, you have a huge resource right at your fingertips - your membership! Ask your members for feedback on your association, and more importantly, incorporate that feedback. If you do this early and often, you’re bound to boost membership recruitment, engagement, AND renewal rates.
- Send your dues renewal reminders out early - This likely sneaks up on you every single year. In fact, you might be going through this as we speak. But while it’s fine to procrastinate on some things, dues renewal reminders are not one of those tasks. The earlier you start, the more likely people are to renew. So don’t wait! Make a note to start early on your calendar and stick to it as the year gets going.
- Be mindful of your different generations of members - It’s easy to want to lump your membership into one big group, but if you want to successfully engage your members, it’s important to remember that you have several generations of members, each with different likes and preferences. That said, play around with your association’s messaging and/or events. The more willing you are to cater to people’s likes and preferences, the more willing (and likely) they’ll be to engage with you.
- Spend time onboarding. It WILL pay off - When it comes to new members AND new staff, onboarding is the key to success. Yes, it may require a little more work upfront, but it will pay off TREMENDOUSLY in the long run, particularly in terms of retention. Does your association have a new member onboarding process in place? What about a new hire onboarding process? If not, those should be high on your list of to-dos in 2017.
- Focus on your strength(s) (and don’t stress too much about the rest) - Too often, associations try to be all things to all people. But in 2017, focus on your association’s strength(s). Know what you’re good at and take it to the max. In other words, know your association’s value proposition. This is how you’re going to stay competitive in an ever-changing (and distracting) world.
- Don’t be afraid to fail - Last but not least, when it comes to managing your association, don’t let fear hold you back. Want to try a new meeting format or member benefit? Give it a shot! Worse comes to worst, it doesn’t work and you either resort back to your old method or try something else. As Henry Ford said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Let failure be your association’s path to success.
Want more tips for managing your association in 2017? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below. It’s filled with best practices for membership recruitment, onboarding, engagement, retention, and more!