You want new members to feel confidently that they made the right choice by joining. First impressions are important, especially when it comes to retaining membership and keeping new members feeling happy and valued.
Instead of honing in your focus on the numbers, consider placing an emphasis on a quality onboarding process. Investing in a great member onboarding process can help your organization thrive in the long run. Here are some key factors to think about when creating an outstanding onboarding process for your new members.
Why New Member Onboarding Is Important
So you’re seeing your membership rates increase—that’s great news! But you need to put in some effort in order to retain numbers and keep your members happy. After attracting members to your organization, maintaining their interest and involvement is essential. This can help you keep member retention rates high.
Members will want to feel confident about their decision, learn more, and be a part of the community. New involvement may also bring new ideas to the forefront, which is why creating a solid onboarding process is important.
New Member Onboarding Process
Personalized New Member Onboarding Process Packet or Webinar
The first thing you should give a new member is a welcome packet. The packet should include everything they would initially want to know. Include a warm letter of appreciation thanking them and congratulating them on their new membership. You can also add in essentials such as an event calendar, membership perks, social media links, and contact information.
This is also a great time to talk about paying membership dues or information on different tiers of membership. Don’t forget to emphasize your organization’s mission or goals to encourage an exciting sense of purpose and involvement.
You can also opt for an introduction video, often referred to as a welcome webinar, to get new members acquainted. An online webinar will not only encourage more engagement since members will be able to see people talking about your organization, but you’ll also be “going green” by reducing paper waste. Additionally, members who live far away or cannot attend in person conferences or meetings can feel involved regardless of where they are located.
Social Media Engagement
We know that social media is an important part of growing a successful community around your organization. Over 3.6 billion people use social media (and that number is only going to increase), so new members are going to expect opportunities to engage with your association online.
Add new members to all professional social media forums, and take your time every once in a while to introduce new members to the rest of the online community.
Encourage members to have active discussions and share relevant events and publications via your social media platforms to take your organization’s mission to the next level.
[Related: How to Ensure High Membership Renewal Rates]
New Member Events
Invitations to conferences, large-scale meetings, or even laid-back social events can seem intimidating for a new member at first. Take some of that pressure off by creating a welcome gathering to give new members a chance to mingle with your community and get a sense of who you are. This is also a great way to have all members of your organization, as well as your employees, connect and network with each other. For those that don’t live in the area, consider putting on an online conference, or Zoom meet-and-greet to cater to remote members and help them feel involved.
[Related: How to Find the Best Speaker For Your Association Event]
Once your new members are given their welcome packet and introduced to your organization, frequent communication is essential. Give new members multiple ways to keep in contact with you, such as via email, phone number, or even a monthly check-in (depending on the size of your organization), reach out personally for conversations, and always ask for feedback.
Have more questions about new member onboarding or retaining high membership renewal rates for your organization? Contact Dennison & Associates today for a consultation—we’re always happy to help!