You’ve just rolled out a killer new campaign, and the memberships are rolling in like the tide headed for a sand castle. Your new membership software is working nicely, and all is well in your little corner of Association Land. But look deeper. Member engagement isn’t where it should be, and renewal rates last quarter lacked some of the usual luster. For all the benefits your membership software system brings, it also delivers an equal number of issues to work on. One way to both increase member engagement and boost renewals is to offer more rewards. But what should you offer? Can you afford it? What actually works? We’re so glad you asked…
1. Recognize Their Work Within Your Association
You can’t do it without them, so show them that their efforts really mean something to you. What are you doing to recognize those who’ve gone above and beyond within your organization? This might be something glamorous like serving as the keynote speaker at your last meeting, or it could be relatively trivial, such as helping tidy up after the meeting concluded. Never let even the smallest effort go unrecognized and unrewarded. Rewards can be monetary, or a prize, or a special mention in the association newsletter and on social media, but the recognition is essential. An engagement tracking system can help you spot these accomplishments so that the little things (and, of course, the big ones) don’t go unnoticed.
2. Celebrate what Happens on the Outside
Don’t just pat backs when their efforts are relative to your organization. Keep tabs on the industry at large and be ready with accolades when your members accomplish something within their companies or elsewhere—even in a rival association. Promotions, awards, and efforts toward a worthy cause should earn your members some kind of reward. As with recognition for work inside your association, rewards can consist of prizes, discounts on membership renewals, extra perks within the organization, and/or special mention on social media and in the newsletter.
3. Tack on Some Freebie Benefits
What do your members receive for renewing for the fifth straight year, or the tenth, or the twentieth? What do they get if they attend 10 consecutive meetings or convince a friend to join your association? All of these accomplishments deserve some special reward, which can come in the form of things like free training, discounts on events, or a reduced price on membership renewal or renewal upgrade (say from basic-level membership to a gold membership).
4. Give Members & Prospects New Opportunities
Maybe you’d like to reward all your members, not just specific ones who have made exceptional accomplishments. Good idea! There are lots of ways to make all your members feel special. Use your membership software to set up and manage networking opportunities or a job board. Alternately, you can provide free or discounted training. Consider partnering with a local college or trade school to offer free or discounted classes. Not only does this serve as member rewards, it’s an excellent way to get exposure in the community in order to bring in new members.
5. Listen Carefully to Member Feedback
Members almost always tell you what you need to know if you listen. Use the data analytics features of your membership software to collect member feedback and find the helpful hints you need. Members often ask for certain training or tell you when they need better ways to find qualified employees for their businesses. Give them what they ask for—that’s the best reward you can offer.