A personal touch is key to effective member acquisition. Actually building a relationship with prospective members will help communicate the value of membership by honing in on what’s important to them, and make it easier to continually engage them once they do become a member.
It can be difficult to focus on creating that personal connection when there are so many other details to keep track of in membership acquisition. However, let your software do some of that heavy lifting - that’s what it’s for, after all! Whether you’re using MemberClicks or WebLink, here are a few ways your database can support your member acquisition initiatives:
Track prospects & prospect activity
Juggling any number of prospects at a time is difficult, let alone trying to juggle that information while creating a personal connection. Use your database to house profiles for your prospects (like you do for members) so you can keep track of important details, like:
- The conversations you’re having (and when) to easily recall information you’ve already talked about or that they showed interest in.
- Their existing engagement with your organization, such as any events they’ve attended as a non-member.
- Any follow-up tasks that will help keep the line of communication open.
Take advantage of custom fields
Assigning custom fields to your prospect profiles (or allowing prospects to self-select information for custom fields through a form) will allow you to really hone in on what matters to your prospects. For example, if you recently uploaded a list of recent college graduates to your database and have marked them as prospects, you could also note that they would likely be interested in networking events, mentorship programs, and job opportunities - and then direct your conversations accordingly!
Automate some emails
Of course, a lot of the emails between yourself and a prospective new members will simply be back and forth conversation, but consider building some automated emails into the acquisition process. These emails could serve as a subtle reminder about membership (and be a break from your normal communications), detail upcoming events they would be able to attend if they joined, highlight success stories and member benefits, etc. Be sure to only send them emails you know they’ll be interested in (based on those custom fields) when possible!
Pro Tip: Use your software’s email performance tracking functionality to identify how responsive prospects are to your mass emails.
What can your reporting tell you?
Reporting options within your database can tell you a lot about your membership. Get creative with how you use that information to the benefit of your organization:
- Was a particular program popular with members? Bet it would resonate with prospects, too - promote it to them!
- Determine who your member advocates are by seeing which members are most engaged with certain benefits, and contact them about referrals.
- Dive into Google Analytics to understand who is coming to your website, how they’re getting to it, how often they spend on certain pages, etc.
Using your website to convert prospects
Speaking of Google Analytics: Your website is likely the first place prospective members will go to find more information about your organization. Is it set up to appeal to prospects, as well as members?
- Make sure that it’s easy to navigate so they can find what they’re looking for quickly, including how to join!
- Is it appealing to the eye? Don’t lose potential members because of an outdated design! If it’s been a while since your website has had a makeover, we can help with that.
- Build forms that will gather specific information relevant to the page they appear on - and then use that information, which is stored in the prospect’s profile! (See how easily it all ties together?)
Your website is a huge part of any online member acquisition initiatives. Take a look at our guide, Best Practices for Online Member Acquisition, to brush up on creating member personas, how to get potential members to your website, and how to convert those visitors into members.