Hopefully your organization sends out - either via email or traditional mail - a new member welcome packet to help onboard your newest (and most eager!) members.
But what do you include in that new member welcome packet? What information is critical? And just as important, what information (at this point in time) is “too much?”
Read on for the four elements that NEED to be a part of your organization’s new member welcome packet:
1. A welcome letter
At the front of your new member welcome packet should be a personalized welcome letter, letting your new member know that you’re thrilled to have them on board. And not only that, but that you’re looking forward to helping them advance professionally. At the very least, this should be a nice introduction to the other materials in your new member welcome packet (which we’ll get to next).
And tip: If you can have this letter come from your President, CEO, Executive Director, or one of the other higher-ups in your organization, that’s even better. Names and titles do carry some weight, so that’s just a nice little touch.
2. A list of member benefits
Following the welcome email, you’ll want to include a comprehensive list of member benefits. Just because a member joined your organization doesn’t mean they’re familiar with all of the benefits you may offer. They may have joined for one or two key benefits, which many people do.
Let them know everything they can take advantage of now that they are, in fact, a member.
3. A list of upcoming meetings and events
Next, you’ll want to include a list of upcoming meetings and events. These are so important for not only member engagement, but member value, in general, so you’ll want to get them on people’s radar as quickly as possible.
And tip: This would cost a little extra money, but if you are physically mailing your new member welcome packets out, consider putting this calendar of upcoming meetings and events on a magnet or something your new members can hang up at their desk. That will keep your events - and organization - top of mind year-round.
4. A quick reference sheet with staff contact information
Last, but not least, be sure to include a quick reference sheet with staff contact information - almost like a “who’s who” of your organization. If a member ever has a question about an event, who can they reach out to? If they ever have a question about dues renewals, who can they reach out?
Sometimes, if people don’t know who to go to, they simply won’t ask their question(s)...meaning they won’t engage with your organization - and that’s the LAST thing you want. To prevent that from happening, include a one-pager in your welcome packet with all the staff contact information your new members may need.
Bonus: An action item
The four elements above are musts, but there’s one extra element you can throw in to spark quick action: Give your new members something specific (but easy) to do. For example, if you’re sending your new member welcome packets out via email, include some kind of image they can download - showing they’re a member - and encourage them to share it on LinkedIn using a certain hashtag. (Think of it like a digital badge, almost.)
Why LinkedIn, you ask? Why not Facebook or Instagram? Well, LinkedIn is the professional social media network. It’s where your members are trying to market themselves professionally. And since being a member of your organization makes them look good (it says they’re committed to advancing professionally), encourage them to post the image on LinkedIn to further market themselves. And add in that by using whatever hashtag you provide, they can then connect with other members who’ve done the same thing...so they can immediately start building their network! (Plus, you can track that hashtag too to see if and how well people are engaging with your new member welcome packet.)
Want more tips for engaging your new members? (After all, engagement directly impacts retention!) Check out our free guide below for onboarding best practices!