A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend Membership2020, a one-day learning event centered around next-gen recruitment and retention strategies. While the takeaways were boundless (and the insights fascinating), there were a few little hacks (related to Millennial member engagement) that I found particularly interesting. Take a look!
1. Play around with micro-credentialing
If there’s one thing that appeals to both older and younger generations of members, it’s credentials. Why? They make your members look good, and that’s a desire that spans ALL ages.
Now if you already offer credentialing opportunities, but your young members don’t seem to be taking advantage of them, you may want to consider experimenting with micro-credentialing - badges, digital certifications, etc. These are typically based on particular skills/topic areas and don’t take quite as long as standard credentials to obtain, which can be appealing to young professionals who are still trying to figure things out, career-wise. (No sense investing - both time and money - into something you’re not sure you’ll stick with in the long-run.)
Micro-credentialing allows your younger members to get involved (and advance professionally) without having to pay such a high price - both literally and figuratively.
2. Consider a push towards Millennial mentoring
Mentoring is one of those things that sounds great in theory, but can often be difficult to execute. (You can’t force a relationship, after all.) That said, if you CAN get mentoring to work, it can be a great opportunity to engage your younger members.
A few ways to approach a Millennial mentoring program…
- Rather than having one-on-one mentoring, consider creating small groups with about 8 - 10 people who meet over lunch or something. This allows your younger members to meet MORE people and eliminates the common issue of the mentor “flaking out.”
- If you do want to offer one-on-one mentoring, consider doing it on a smaller scale - at a conference, for example. Your mentors/mentees could plan to meet up at that event only (which eliminates the long-term commitment issue). (They could, of course, keep in touch over time, however.)
3. Keep your emails short and simple
This is a best practice for ALL generations, but it applies to your Millennial members, in particular. To get them to actually read your association’s emails, your emails need to be short and simple.
One great idea from Membership2020: Consider titling your newsletter “The Quick 6” or something along those lines. This would give your members only six sections to read (upcoming events, Instagram accounts to follow, etc.), increasing the chances of them ACTUALLY reading your newsletter.
4. Use your ambassadors to “up” email opens
On the topic of email marketing, your members get a lot of emails from your association, and many of them may be pretty generic (which makes them easy to tune out). To prevent that from happening, consider sending your emails to your brand ambassadors first (the people who help market/champion your association), and then having them email a portion of your members.
By having those emails sent to a smaller group (rather than conducting a full database blast), your members might feel a little more special (particularly if they get to know their designated ambassador) and be more inclined to actually read those messages.
5. Push for Millennial representation on your committees
One of the best ways to engage your Millennial members is by having them present and involved in your planning/decision-making processes. That means giving them a seat at the table on committees. Now you can do this one of two ways: You can either push to have at least one Millennial member on each committee or you can push to have a full-fledged young professionals committee. Either way, giving them an opportunity to brainstorm and voice their opinions helps engage not only them, but other Millennial members who may be after and interested in the same things.
6. Create a special track for young professionals at your conference
Last but not least, there’s events, one of the best ways to engage ALL of your members, regardless of age. So how can you attract a younger crowd? Tailor your events to them by creating a special track for young professionals. This would include sessions, networking events, happy hours, etc., all designed to help your younger members reap full ROI. (Remember, the more satisfied they are after attending, the more they’ll want to attend again in the future.)
Want more tips for engaging your Millennial members? Check out our free guide, The March of the Millennials: Tips for Engaging the Next Generation Now!