Member benefits are one of the main draws for anyone considering joining an association. Associations tend to overcomplicate things, either offering benefits that members aren’t aware of, or providing vague promises such as “professional development” and “networking opportunities” without ever delivering. According to the 2019 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, the top internal challenge to retaining members is communicating value and benefits to them.
In order to retain long-lasting membership and attract new members year after year, benefits need to be clear and exciting — both initially and in the long run. Associations need to place a focus on how their not-for-profit will better not only the industry, but also the individuals that join the cause.
Educational Services and Job Training
Studies show that the top benefits millennials look for when joining associations are career advancement and job opportunities. Knowing this, your association should provide ample educational services and job training to engage these members and allow them to network. When calling for new members, emphasize the career benefits of membership, and consider sharing stories of members who have succeeded in their field since joining.
Your association could also offer member-only classes and industry training courses outside of annual conferences and meetings, using monthly online webinars or virtual conferences to spark engagement regardless of accessibility.
Find out who your target audience is when recruiting new members and create customized discount membership levels. For example, providing discounts for students, those already working in the industry, or locals could attract more interest for your association.
Exclusive Newsletters and Industry Reports
Most individuals who join an association are there because they care about the mission, cause, or industry. Associations should provide exclusive news and the latest developments to their members that they can’t get anywhere else (at least not as quickly). By providing member-only newsletters and industry reports, you’ll make new members feel engaged and important, encouraging loyalty and giving your benefits value.
Not sure which benefits new members would most appreciate? Collect feedback from current and potential members to find out where you can improve, and what benefits your association could provide that would make their membership indispensable.
Contact Dennison & Associates today for help with your association’s membership optimization, organization tactics, operational efficiency, and more.