You've done the hard part— you've got people to sign up to be members of your association. So now what? How do you make sure that your members are satisfied with your association and renew their membership when the next year comes around? We've done the research and found 8 membership benefits ideas that your association should be using to keep your members engaged and wanting more!
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To make sure that your members are getting the most out of your association, create ways to increase communication within your association. Members will enjoy the benefits of being able to connect and communicate with their fellow members. This membership benefits idea will allow your members to further grow their network and develop even more as professionals.
For example, a useful application that your association should take advantage of is GroupAhead. This app is customizable to your specific association as it allows you to choose the actual app icon, add your own custom links, and import your events to the apps calendar. Specific to communication though, this app only allows your members to join, so they can easily communicate through messages with one another. Any member can also post pictures to the associations platform for everyone on the app to view, like, and comment on.
Glue Up. This app can also be helpful in encouraging community members to communicate and make connections. This type of technology would be great for your association because it would allow constant communication between your members that would make them want to renew their membership as they have forged meaningful connections with other members.
Strengthening communication between your association and your members is also extremely important. If a member has any questions or concerns about your association or their membership, it would be helpful to have a place where they can reach out and get their questions answered.
Need to learn more about automating your communication at scale? Book a demo and learn more about Glue Up's membership automation solutions.
Career Development Tools Offering a variety of career development tools is a great membership benefits idea that your association should be using. It is easy to offer a few tools to your members, but making sure that there is a variety of these tools and experiences will keep your members coming back.
One career development tool that your members would love is some type of resume service. A resume service could be an online bank of templates that guide your members and allow them to create very professional looking resumes. It could also be a resume workshop where members can attend and learn how to build them a great resume while meeting and networking with fellow members. Some associations offer online resume workshops that are free to their members.
For example, The American Camp Association offers hundreds of online course to their members, one of which is a resume writing and interview skills workshop.
Another career development tool that your members would love is a members-only job board software. This software would bring together major employers and show job postings for members to view and apply for. Members would be allowed the opportunity to see these new job posts and even narrow their searches to their location or job title.
It is important to remember that career development tools should also include events that will encourage members to learn more but also network with other professionals.
One example of an event that your association could put on is a career advancement speaker series. Many of your members could come and learn more about specific topics that all have to do with career advancement and network at the same time. Being that in-person events do connect to sales, your members would appreciate opportunities to meet and talk amongst each other.
Although it is a great membership benefit to have in-person events, with the busy world that we live in, it is not always realistic to do everything in person. A great membership benefits idea for your members that cannot always come to events in person is introducing a webinar.
Webinars are great for providing information and replacing an in-person meeting. The key to creating a quality webinar is first picking a relevant topic to cover. Your members will want to tune in to something that they find interesting or that gives a new perspective that they do not know much about.
For example, the American Chamber of Commerce China is offering a webinar to its members only on May 15, 2019, on the topic of Export Compliance Working Group Meeting with Kevin Kurland. This webinar is only available to AmCham members and has both a relevant topic and an interesting speaker.
Once you have decided on a topic, it is important to make sure that after the actual speech or seminar, you leave time for questions. Oftentimes your members will relate what they have learned in the webinar to their business or line of work, and they will have questions that can help them personally.
If your members feel like they are learning something and getting questions answered that can help their business, they will feel your service is valuable.
An affinity program is when your association teams up with another business or association to allow for mutual benefits. Affinity programs can be a great membership benefits idea because your association will be providing discounts and new opportunities to members through the other business that you team up with.
Together with your partnered business, your association can create benefits that you think your members will enjoy using. When your members get discounts from other businesses, this will improve their overall experience with your association.
For example, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has multiple affinity programs including a partnership with Aventura World, an international travel planning program. Members of ACCE will get discounts and benefits from Aventura World because of ACCE's partnership with Aventura World. For members, this affinity program could be extremely beneficial and make their experience with ACCE very positive.
One of the most important membership benefits is actually one of the most simple ones: frequently release engaging content to your members. If your association is not engaging with your members, they will easily get bored and potentially not renew their subscription the next year. To make sure that your members do not get bored, create varied, engaging content, and put this content out OFTEN.
First, make sure that your association is creating content that can be released in different forms on different platforms. If your association is only creating email newsletters, your members may feel uninterested after a while. There are so many different platforms to release engaging content, and your association should be utilizing them.
Besides newsletters, a few membership benefits ideas could include releasing content via blog posts, webinars, free guides, and even ebooks. By varying the platform on which your content is presented, you will always keep your members on their toes.
Next, and most importantly, make sure your content is engaging. If you are releasing content on different platforms but none of your members want to read it, your content is extremely unsuccessful. To ensure that you are creating content that your members will want to read, think about your audience. On a basic level, think about your members and what that they will be interested in.
You can also get a better idea about what your members want by actually asking them what they would want to learn about. If you involve your members in the content creation process by asking them for ideas, they will be more interested in reading your future content. With this in mind, one way to create engaging content is by including interactive aspects in the content you produce. For example, your association could create a quiz for your members to take and give them the results just after they have taken it.
Lastly, your association should make sure that you are releasing content often. To make sure that you don't lose your members, frequency is key. As much as it is good to keep your members on their toes in terms of what platform you will be releasing information on, they should also feel like there is a consistency in terms of when information is given. There should not be month long gaps in between sending or posting content.
Ultimately, your members want to feel like they are receiving membership benefits that are significant to them. By creating engaging, interactive content and releasing it often, your members will feel heard and important.
Just as it is crucial to vary your associations content, it is also imperative to have variation in the discounts that your association offers. Instead of doing the same discount for an event, try to find fun ways to give members quality discounts.
One membership benefits idea that would help your association would be changing up the products that you have discounts on. Maybe your association could find a monthly product or service to offer a discount on. With this, your members will feel they are getting more from their membership.
Another creative membership discount idea is implementing a discount for big anniversaries such as your associations birthday. Maybe give a discount code that has the actual date of your associations birthday or have the percentage off be a number that is related to the actual birthday.
Lastly, your association should also consider giving special discounts to members that have been with your association for a long period of time. To encourage member loyalty, these discounts could be given after 5, 10, and 20 years of being a member. This allows individual members to feel special and feel rewarded for being a part of your association.
A mentoring program is a great membership benefits idea for your association because it encourages your members to forge relationships with one another. A mentor program can be extremely effective and eventually benefits both the mentor and the mentee.
For a mentor program to work, your association should come up with some guidelines. First, your association should consider how long someone has to be a member of your association before they can be eligible to be a mentor.
Next, your association should make sure that you are pairing people up who have similar interests, industries, and maybe are geographically close to one another. The better your association pairs mentors and mentees together, the more the members will benefit from this program.
Your association could also allow your members to pick who their mentor or mentee is based on who they think will be valuable to their professional development.
The final membership benefit idea that your association can use to get your members to renew their subscription is presenting unique volunteer opportunities. Your members will love the chance to be involved in supporting an important cause while gaining professional experience.
Any volunteer opportunity would allow your members to make a positive impact on a cause. Usually, when someone does something giving and generous, they will feel a sense of fulfillment from being a part of something bigger than themselves. If you as an association are able to give this feeling to your members, they will associate those good memories and feelings with your association.
Your members can also learn new skills depending on the volunteer position that they take on. These new skills can be transferred to their resume which further benefits their professional development.
Engaging the Disengaged Member
As an association, you need your members, and you need them to be engaged. When you're thinking about finding ways to engage members that might be disengaged, consider these 8 membership benefits.
When your members feel like they are getting a plethora of benefits that they could not be getting elsewhere, they will be drawn to stay with your association.
Consider trying some of these membership benefits ideas, and see what your members think. Ask for their opinions and feedback! You may find that your members want benefits that your association can give, but had not even considered yet.
Thinking about ways to automate some of these benefits? Book a demo and see how Glue Up is automating membership benefits and digitizing membership cards.