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6 Online Engagement Hacks for Association Professionals

6 Online Engagement Hacks for Association Professionals

Member engagement is top-of-mind for most association professionals. But when it comes to actually making that happen, well, roadblocks often occur. Sometimes what we THINK will appeal to members and potential members doesn’t, and we’re left scratching our heads.

Engagement is tough - we get it. So to help you out, we’ve put together six online engagement hacks for association professionals:

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The Ultimate Guide to Membership Management

Posted by Callie Walker

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Membership management is no easy feat. There’s member acquisition, new member onboarding, membership engagement, non-dues revenue, and last but certainly not least, membership renewals and retention.

That’s a LOT to keep track of. To help you out, here are a few tips and best practices for every step of the way:

Member acquisition

  • Create good content - One of the best ways to attract qualified traffic to your organization’s website is by creating compelling content. Think white papers, eBooks, blog posts, etc.
  • Collect information - Now don’t worry, you don’t have to give away all of your good content for free. Rather, what you should do is put that content behind a form and have people fill out that form before they can access it.
  • Stay in contact with your prospects - Once you have someone’s name and email address (after they’ve filled out a form), you then need to stay in touch with them. After all, someone may be interested in your organization, but may not be ready to join just yet.

New member onboarding

  • Send out a warm welcome message - When it comes to onboarding, don’t just send your new members a standard email welcoming them to your organization. Personalize it! Or better yet, have someone give them a call.
  • Create a new member community - Creating a social community page exclusively for new members is a great way to get newcomers involved in your organization. And not only that, but social communities allow new members to get to know each other.
  • Check in - Don’t just welcome new members and send them on their way. Check in with them periodically to make sure everything is ok. That way, if they have any problems, you can fix them upfront rather than losing that member.

Membership engagement

  • Membership websites - Your website is the mothership of online member engagement. That said, make sure yours has an interactive design, a responsive design, fresh content, and built-in forms.
  • Email marketing - If done right, email marketing can be your secret weapon to successful online member engagement. When drafting emails, be sure to include a compelling subject line and one primary call-to-action.
  • Social media - Social media is another great way to generate online member engagement. Now you don’t have to be on every social media site possible, but do focus on two or three that really make sense for your organization. (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are typically the most popular.)

Like what you’re reading so far? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management here!

Non-dues revenue

  • Education - Educational programs come in many forms - webinars, user groups, workshops, etc. - and can be a great source of non-dues revenue for your association.
  • Live events - Association-hosted events are the ultimate win-win - members can network and receive value while associations can generate revenue on the back-end.
  • Advertising - You put a lot of time and energy into your organization’s collateral - your website, your newsletter, your new member packets, etc. - so why not leverage those pieces to generate additional revenue? (That’s right, we’re talking about advertising!)

Membership renewals and retention

  • Begin your renewal efforts early - Put simply, the sooner you begin your renewal efforts, the better. If possible, try shooting for at least three months prior to expiration.
  • Make renewals easy - The more complicated your renewal process, the less likely members are to complete it. For a super easy process, consider utilizing an association management system.
  • Offer a grace period - Members don’t pay dues for a variety of reasons, but sometimes it’s because they’re just plain busy. So before you deny them their benefits altogether, consider offering a grace period of some sort.

Now as we mentioned, these are just a few tips and best practices. For a full breakdown of membership management tactics, check out our Ultimate Guide to Membership Management below!

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Topics: association management, association leadership, membership management, Association Views

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