Membership strategies are as much about the follow-up as they are with the lead-in, and with more and more organizations going digital with membership management. We decided this would be a great chance to come with some welcome package offers that engage and satisfy your new members. By doing so you increase the chances of expanding your membership through referrals, and exciting members to enough to renew their memberships later.
Jump to an Idea
- Welcome Email
- Membership Cards
- Welcome Gifts/Coupons
- Guest Passes
- New Member Discounts
- New Member Events
- Referral Programs
Organizations are going digital
By leveraging membership management software membership-based organizations like associations, chambers, and clubs can now take all of their traditional methods of membership registration, on-boarding, and engagement to a cloud platform that's easy and simple to use. This helps save on the time-cost of dealing with physical paperwork and manual actions like email promotions, event management, and membership renewal notifications.
It's with this new tech that organizations can now offer more benefits, and that also includes introducing some digital goodies to their usual welcome packages. We've got some great ideas to welcome your new members, check it out!
Welcome Emails are a must-have and a no-brainer. Registration processes are the absolute first item on the menu that gets digitized, and it helps feed your list of contacts, in this case, members. Once you have their email and name, it's the perfect time to immediately shoot them an email.
What should be in this email? Absolutely everything they need!
Your welcome email should make your members feel welcome of course, but it should also act as a jumping-off point for members to know what their membership entails in a summary, and offer resources that get them started. It should also point them in a direction they might be interested in.
For instance, a cricket club just got a new member, and he's received the welcome email automatically. The ideal welcome emails should be welcoming, and then provides directly the resources he needs to get started or links to the sources online.
This could be instructions on how to rent equipment, schedule of events or open field time, cost of uniforms and clothing, and so on. Among that there should also be a way to push members to be active from the get-go. In this case of a cricket club, it would be an offer for new players to attend a training session, which instantly gets new members engaged.
Depending on the formality of an organization, the welcome letter might come physically as a sign of quality gratitude, but this still doesn't remove the necessity of digital email deliveries, as it's a great way to keep track of user engagement. A physical letter can be lost, but an email can be found for the foreseeable future.
Membership cards hold a special place in everyone's hearts. It gives the feeling to a member that they hold the key to something important, and it makes them feel exclusive. This should be the second, but equally important function of any welcome package.
Membership cards are not just a symbol of exclusivity either. They're also a functional engagement tool that helps members unlock access to areas of facilities, gain discounts, check in at events, and more.
Depending on the scale, or size of membership markets in an organization, supplying physical cards can be a costly endeavor, and wouldn't you believe it, they're going digital too! How? Membership management software like here at Glue Up, are developing membership cards within smartphone apps that function as a physical card does. This means it can be used to check into events, get discounts, scan and more.
Gifts, coupons, and other swag
Of course, who doesn't like a free gift? It's one of the easiest ways to immediately satisfy a new member and helps to make them feel valued. Gifts can come both physically and digitally too. The most common digital gifts are simply discount codes, or a certain amount of discounts or rebate applied to the member's account with the organizations.
These gifts could arrive in the welcome packet, or at a later time. You can also set up membership goals that let periodic gifts get delivered to members who achieve certain criteria, or just to entice them to stay a member longer. We believe criteria goals are better than time goals as a great technique to use if member turnover is high in an organization.
Criteria goals encourage participation and engagement which is the key to reducing turnover. Gyms are a great example of this, where members who complete a certain routine at the gym can earn gifts like vouchers, water bottles, and more. Whereas professional organizations would reward members who attend events often with items relevant to the industry or cause.
Of course, if the items are physical, make sure they follow 2 great criteria: They're permanent and branded. Don't brand paper cups to give out if they're just going to end up in the trash, and don't give out steel thermoses if they're not branded. For most members, small trinkets give temporary satisfaction, so branding needs to carry on in order to provide long term recognizable impact and helps to spread your organization's name around. Like in our Swag Bag article, we talk about how items can help improve the user experience by adding QR codes that give awesome benefits back.
Guest passes are quite an easy giveaway, and it's quite a great way to leverage your current members into becoming spokespersons bringing new prospect members to your organization's events and facilities. Delivering these guest passes can be both physical or digital, and there can always be a structure of how the guest passes work.
For example, you could limit guest passes to:
- Single-Use: A single guest pass for access to Events, or one-day access to facilities.
- Monthly Usage: A member can bring a guest to 1 event or enter facilities once per week/month.
- Unlimited Use: Guests can access events and facilities so long as they are with the member who invited them.
These strategies are great because it helps encourage new and fresh faces to enjoy your organization's events, services, or facilities, and is very likely a high converting part of any organization's strategy.
Want to improve your events and memberships? Book a demo and we'll show you how.
New Member Discounts
New members are pretty curious about your offers once they join, and prices could be the barrier that keeps them from fully engaging from Day-1 of their onboarding as a member. It's a phenomenal idea to offer new member discounts that last enough time to make them consider purchasing other items or services you offer. This is also a great chance to leverage new member discounts into partnerships with other third party businesses so that you can provide further value outside your organization's walls.
Typically new member discounts should last 1-3 months, and the discounts should be in-line with your strategy. Discounts can also come with free trials of other services, like renting sports gear for instance or offering 1 free meal. This could also be considered as part of the freebies given away in the first email delivery as we said earlier.
The strategy is all about providing early on offers with as little barrier as possible. A member who enjoys meals at your facilities might love your food. But if a new member might potentially stay as a member for this meals, but is not given a discount in their onboarding as a new member, they may actually skip this offering since they just spent money on a membership. These discounts offer less of a cost barrier that gets members engaged early on, and lets them explore enough about their new membership that makes them latch on and stay a member even longer.
New Member Events & Tours
It's an easy gesture and it goes a long way to help new members feel welcome. Throw a monthly event just for new members so they don't feel overwhelmed with your normal events which, at times, can be quite overwhelming if your organization has a lot of moving parts.
For instance, if you run an organization about a certain programming language and you want to encourage new coders to join, a welcome event is a great way to introduce them to your organization's methodologies, events they can expect, and some training.
If your organization is centered around a physical location like a sports club or gym, then maybe there's a need for a tour around the campus. Think of it like orientation. This can make them feel welcome, but more importantly, it gets them up to speed and ready to jump into more intricate activities in your organization's near future.
Tying this in with the Guest passes, you can incentivize your members to bring in others to check out the organization's events. By creating referral programs, you enhance the effectiveness and the longevity of members by offering perks, more gifts, discounts, or premium access to members who can sign up a referral that they bring.
This is a very, very common tactic that seems to work in most cases. Great setups like getting a discount for both the current and the new member will encourage the current member to stay longer and refer more future members, and the new member will feel extra special that they got a discount or reward of some kind.
Here are some cool referral program strategies to consider putting into your program.
- X% off for You & Your Referral or Receive this awesome gift for referring a new member!
- X% off on your next membership renewal.
- Refer X amount of new members and get this amazing gift/discount!
There's plenty of other creative ways to craft a referral program, but most of all, it's important to know which one reaches out to your members.
P.S. you can stretch these programs out to include rewards after a certain period of time if the referral member renews. So, for instance, if someone brought in a referral to become a member, and a year later they renew, you can go back and reward the original member who introduced them. It's a great way to make the referral program strategy into a long term one.
Over to You
It's incredibly lucrative to leverage welcome packages into a long term engagement strategy that keeps member renewing their memberships and bringing in new, fresh faces to your organization. What we have here is a compiled list of great ideas to use. You can use one, or two, or all of them, as they're all meant to give back early value and satisfaction that can help your organization grow.
There's more to managing your members than just giving them a warm welcome. They crave engagement, and one of the best ways is to keep them in the loop on your organization's events, activities, and news. What better way to achieve this than to give your organization a mobile app that keeps your member up to date on real-time communication, promotion, and events with the Glue Up App. Book a Demo and we'll show you how you can turn your organization into the digital space and give your members the engagement they crave.