Your members are the lifeblood of your organization. Not only are their dues a primary source of revenue for you, but they’re the ones who bring the life, the drive, and the mission to your association.
That said, it’s no wonder membership recruitment is a top priority at your organization. If you’re looking to get those recruitment rates up, check out these best practices for online member acquisition:
Define your audience
If you’re looking to recruit more members online, you first need to attract the right kinds of people - people who would actually have some interest in joining your association. These “types” of people are what we like to refer to as member personas.
Member personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal members based on market research and real data about your existing members. For tips on how to create member personas, check out our post, 5 Steps to Personas, Prospecting, and Peace of Mind.
Create good content
Once you have your personas built out, you then need to attract them to your organization’s website. The best way to do this is by creating compelling content. To save yourself time, start by creating one big content piece, such as a white paper or an eBook. Then use that content piece to create several smaller pieces, such as a series of blog posts, videos, or infographics. The more content you have, the better. After all, this is what’s going to attract people to your organization’s website.
Now don’t worry, you don’t have to give away all of your good content for free. (Insert sigh of relief here.) Rather, what you should do is put that content behind a form and have people fill out that form before they can access it.
Your forms don’t have to be anything long - and in fact, they shouldn’t be. They can be as simple as asking for someone’s name and email address. But the real benefit here is this: Once you have their name and email address, you can then follow up with them periodically. (More on this later.)
Master the right platforms (and share, share, share!)
Once you have your content built out, it’s important to share it. You can do this via your organization’s website and social media platforms. 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.
Stay in contact with your prospects
We touched a little on this earlier, but it’s worth going into a little more detail here. 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. When that happens, try sending them a series of well-crafted emails. Send them a few valuable content pieces or invite them to an upcoming event. Who knows, this may be the trigger that gets them to join your organization.
As you can tell, this is really just an overview of how to acquire more members online. For more tips and best practices, check out our free Online Member Acquisition Guide below!