5 Missions to Explore in the Quest to Increase Membership

Eric McDonald

August 19, 2016

    It can be difficult to find new members when your typical resources seem tapped out. Just like in a CrossFit workout, when you feel like all your energy is gone, that isn’t when you give up! In the workout, you dig deeper! For member recruiment, that’s when you go out and find different places to generate new members. Just reading a list like this can spark new ideas and help you brainstorm. Not only do these ideas help you increase membership, many of them can also help you boost the engagement of your current members. increase membershipsIt’s essential to have a solid, modern membership software solution, however, so you can track the metrics and see how lucrative each of these suggestions is when implemented in your association. Let the quest continue!

    1. Leverage Current Members as Recruiting Tools 

    What incentives and rewards do you offer your members who bring your organization other new members? Set up an incentives or rewards program and see how dedicated your members become at helping you fill out the roster. Associations have success with programs like deducting so much off the next renewal for each member you bring in, or establishing a tiered system like platinum level for bringing in 25 new members, gold level for bringing in 20 new members, and so on. When you create clear reward levels, you create a competition, and people love to win! So why not help your members help you while they go on a quest to achieve the highest level or the lowest renewal rate.

    2. Reach Out to Businesses & Organizations in Your Industry

    Have you established partnerships with the businesses and organizations in your industry? These can be natural sources of members who are interested, engaged, and committed to your causes. Don’t forget, we live in a quid-pro-quo world, so it’s better to approach these new relationships with something valuable to them; you can use those organizations as recruiting sources once a relationship is in place.

    3. Learn to Utilize Social Media to Its Fullest

    increase membershipSocial media outreach for the association isn’t limited to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. There are numerous social platforms for connecting with people of all different interests, disciplines, and backgrounds. For example, there are niche social networks for all sorts of interests and occupations, including designers, photographers, auto enthusiasts, cooks, patients (who connect based on similar medical situations), exercise buffs, survivalists, book and film lovers, and architecture buffs.

    Find niche social networks with crossover interests to your organization, and it can be a real score in terms of introducing your association to prospective new members. The latest membership software allows you to manage and track accounts across a wide variety of social networks.

    4. Open Events to Non-Members

    Consider having a few events or meetings that are open to non-members. Of course, the more attractive the event is, the more it will help attract potential new members. Concerts, wine and cheese parties, conferences with truly impressive keynote speakers…all of these are excellent for attracting newbies to the scene. Plus, it’s extra revenue for you, a nice win-win!

    5. Add Content Marketing to Your Website & Other Digital Outreach

    Content marketing is used to get a message out to people who search for or express interest in keywords related to your topics. There is almost an endless list of the types of content marketing that can be effective for you, including YouTube channels, blogs and guest blog posts, posting authoritative articles on social media and online periodicals, infographics, whitepapers and research papers, checklists, and much more. This content can be used to draw new visitors to your association website or to invite them to sign up as a prospect, or simply to get your name distributed more widely. If your website is a treasure-trove of information for your members, it will be the same for non-members, leading to even more conversions.

    All of these ideas serve the end goal of generating new members. Use your membership software to track the metrics so you can do more of what’s working and get rid of any content that leads to high dropout rates.

    Bonus Ideas

    What are some other ways to reach new members to bolster the roster of your association? Try some of these:

    • Reach Out to Recent Graduates in the Industry
    • Open Online Community & Forum Groups
    • Don’t Overlook Traditional Advertising (TV, radio, printed periodicals)
    • Use Existing Business Networks (Chambers of Commerce, Better Business Bureau, Rotary Club, etc.)
    • Include Community Service in Your Outreach Program
    • Add a Job Board to Your Website or Social Platforms
    • Offer Special Spousal Memberships
    • Have Members Speak to Other Organizations or Go on Speaking Circuits
    • Invest in Branded Merchandise for your Members to Wear

    Scoring Member Engagement

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