How to Effectively Communicate the Benefits of Your Association

How to Effectively Communicate the Benefits of Your Association
By Lisa Moore, Director of Membership, Raybourn Group International

Note: This post is re-published with permission from Raybourn Group International.

You may recall buying a new (or new-to-you) shiny car and having a crash course on using all the new bells and whistles at the dealership. Then you get home to fumble through how to use these bells and whistles and can’t remember how. Member benefits can be similar.

You are excited about the benefits when you first join, however you may still not utilize (or remember) all the benefits throughout the year. It is important for associations to remind members how to use the benefits, explain what the benefits are and when they need to be used. After all, benefits help members stay connected and are a big reason members join.

What are some ways you can communicate benefits to gain members?

It benefits members when associations consistently think of ways to sell themselves, stand out among other associations, and prove their ROI to members.

  • Be creative and think outside the box to create a “value added” benefit to members. Is there a sponsor that would like to offer an exclusive discount to the membership on a product or service?
  • Listen to why members join. For example, networking might be the benefit members value most as they want to hear what is working and not working from their peers in the industry. If this is the case, you can create an online member directory, schedule ways to network with an extra in-person event, pose burning questions on social media platforms or hold an additional virtual session where members can discuss an industry hot topic.
  • Remind members about access to education, training and certifications/licensing and any deadlines approaching where they can take advantage of their membership. Build a timeline of when the benefits with discounts can be used. It is never too early to encourage members to save the date for the next event, conference or training opportunities.

Advocacy news: Many members join associations to make change for the betterment of their industry, their business/company or both.

  • Regularly share the ways the association is being active on its goals and beliefs.
  • Communicate where you are making strides (no matter the level) on regulations or legislation.
  • Share where members can get involved, advocate and stay engaged with efforts.

Who should be involved in this recruitment process and how can they best leverage the benefits of the association to draw in possible new members?

All members are responsible for recruiting for the future of your industry and association. Members have a circle of influence with those they serve and work with.

Here are few marketing ideas for all members to assist with:

  • Ask members to list their membership in professional bios (LinkedIn, company website, email signatures, etc.)
  • Provide event graphics to add to their email signatures and promote their attendance on social media
  • Encourage members to share association articles, events/conference, and newsletters with their circle of influence.

Establish a recruitment committee. Ask members to share who the new colleagues are that have recently joined their company or industry that may not be aware of the organization.

  • If a recruitment committee isn’t needed, create a simple form where members can share newbie’s names. The association staff will appreciate the prospect to reach out to!
  • Establish a newcomers committee to create a top-notch welcoming environment
  • Identify especially engaged members that have a network and would be willing to leverage their relationships among their circle of influence to share the benefits of membership.
  • Personally follow up with prospects/non-members after every event to learn about their connection to the event topic and share the member benefits

Member benefits are why members join your association. Don’t let them become forgotten bells and whistles. Learn why members are joining and then use that information to promote those same benefits. Empower existing members to be advocates for your association to their networks. All these methods combined will help efforts to continually communicate why being a member is valuable.

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