Thanks to modern marketing, my personal inbox has been filling up with pleas from a host of organizations wanting me to join. (I suspect that one-time donation back in November put me on a list that has triggered an open invitation to my Gmail, but that’s another story.) Some of these emails have even worked, and I’ve joined a few groups in recent months. What I’ve learned is that the groups I’ve become most engaged with are those that not only got me to read their email and join, but who involved me after I hit the “Join Now” button.
While the sign-up and member onboarding process may seem like a minor aspect of the membership journey, poor execution of it can lead to decreased retention and member engagement in the future. Here are some simple tips for improving the sign-up process so that your new members feel excited and eager to join rather than confused and disappointed.
Are you looking for even more ways to bring in new members and delight your current ones?
Check out the complete list in our latest ebook,
“50 Ways to Boost Your Association Membership.”
1. Simplify your sign-up process.
Making the process of joining your association simple and easy makes a great first impression for new members. If new members have to walk through a hundred steps and jump through hoops to join your association, that becomes the precedent for their member experience. You may lose new members before they even finish the sign-up process.
2. Provide a sign-up incentive.
Whether it’s a discount on the yearly membership fee, a free gift (like a some branded merchandise from your association) or a free training, sign-up incentives are a great way to delight your new members.
3. Use email nurturing campaigns.
If you know who has visited your association’s sign-up page but hasn’t actually signed up, create an email nurturing campaign to address common questions that potential new members might have, or offer sign-up incentives to grab their attention.
4. Send a great welcome email to new members.
Put yourself in a new member’s shoes—what information about your association would be beneficial to know? Keep it simple—just the important stuff.
5. Create a welcome email series that explains your association and its benefits.
Instead of including every possible bit of information in your new member welcome email, create multiple emails that your new members will receive incrementally after they sign-up. These emails could include info about your association, explanations of benefits, helpful tips or recent blogs—anything that adds value to new members!
6. Celebrate new members in your email newsletter.
Celebrate your new members for joining, as it’s a great way to welcome them into your community.
7. Use personalization as much as possible.
Whether it’s in emails or on your website, personalization is a great way for new members to feel connected to the community, which will set them up for greater engagement in the future.
8. Help new members acclimate with tools or how-to videos.
Again, put yourself in a new member’s shoes. What tools do they need to become familiar with? What pages on your website will be helpful to them? Make sure new members know where these resources are so they can get the most out of their membership.