For associations, it’s important to continually bring in new members to backfill those that leave each year due to job loss, job change, retirement, and other reasonsIt’s also important to have an ongoing stream of new members to grow the organization.  

Even (and especially) when times are tough, it’s important keep new members coming inIt’s vitally important to the long-term success of your association. 

Here are four ideas to help you reach your recruitment goals, even in challenging times:

Provide valuable, relevant content. 
Your association is in a unique position to help your industry in times when the economy is up and down, and unemployment spikesIf you provide valuable content – such as industry news and job seeker articles, tips, and recommendations – prospects will begin to think of you as a reliable source of information and a partner who helps them reach their goals. Your content then becomes a stimulus for converting website visitors into prospects (leads), and then converting prospects into new members. 

Community Brands research has found the best time to attract new members is early in their career stage (as a student or between one and five years into their career). So as you develop content, you might want to weigh your content more heavily toward this early career stage segment.

TECH TIP: Aptify AMS includes a full featured marketing application that allows you to create and manage targeted, multi-channel communications and campaigns that help you reach prospective members.

Simplify the path to membership. 
When prospects are ready to join, make sure the process is quick and easy. Start by evaluating and improving your website: 

  • Will first-time visitors know they’re in the right place? 
  • Can they quickly see the value you provide to members? 
  • Is it clear what impact membership will make for them? 
  • Is it easy to figure out how to join? 

Also, lengthy forms might turn off prospective members. So, be sure to ask only for what’s really needed to process their membership. You can ask for more data later.

Break down the price barrier.
Price can be a barrier to joining, especially during challenging times. Consider offering a free trial membership to let them preview the great benefits your association offers. 

Also, make it easier for members to make the decision to join or renew by offering payment help. For example, allow members to pay their membership dues in monthly or quarterly installments.

TECH TIP: With Aptify AMS, you can create an unlimited number of membership types and dues structures, set membership expiration dates for each type, and establish pricing matrices that can be used to calculate membership dues. 

Offer an incentive. 
Sometimes, an attractive incentive will break down the last barrier to joining. For example, offer new members a special discount toward an upcoming virtual event, online learning, or webinar registration. 

Consider offering a mix of incentive options that might appeal to prospective members based on their career stage. Promote the incentive on your home page, in your blog sidebar, in email campaigns, and on social media. 

Another idea: Create a sense of urgency in the incentive you offer. For example, members who join before a specific date get an invitation to a special virtual educational event. 

Learn more tips and strategies for boosting your membership. Read the guide, 50 Ways to Boost Association Membership