Do you know the 3 proven tips for member growth?
Your association’s new members are everywhere. Your renewal strategy has worked in the past but now appears to be losing some strength.
When working with member centric organizations, I hear two questions that inevitably surface:
- Why are my members not renewing?
- Where do I go to get new members?
Before you read any further, here is a free gift for you to help you get started right away so you can grow your members.
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There are approximately 1.5 million such organizations ready to serve those who share a common passion, interest or value set.
From experience and research, the most successful member organizations all stayed true to their original vision and mission.
Does your organization hold true to your original vision and mission?
If so, then you too can benefit from the three common characteristics that account for growth. As a result of leveraging these characteristics your organization can be positioned to provide on-going member relevance.
What are the three common characteristics, you ask? but valuable relevance from successful member organizations come from:
- Continually look for ways to innovate and enhance their value proposition.
- Leverage technology to better attract, know and serve their members.
- Promote their brand.
Members Want To Belong
Today, over 57 million people belong to the American Automobile Association (AAA); some 38 million Americans belong to AARP.
The key word here is belong.
For example, motorists and travelers, seniors and retirees, each have a special organization they can join. Each of these groups realize the benefits and value of their dues-paying memberships.
With more members, an organization grows its scale. More members means you have greater buying power and forges the business partnerships it needs to fulfill its mission and message. This article highlights three principles to attract and acquire the members.
1. Review and Calibrate Your Value Proposition
Is your vision and mission today as valid as it was yesterday? There is a strong likelihood it is, but you may need to bolster your value proposition. For example, when you increase the reason why members should join, you can adapt to increased competition.
Striving to provide relevant member value positions your organization to respond to the more demanding consumer.
The more consumers you convert to members, the larger your scale and buying power. Your membership model allows you to leverage size and economies of scale to do more for your members and increase its appeal to potential members.
A large scale and buying power will give you additional benefits like:
- Scale makes you a desirable partner for other organizations.
- Become a pipeline and growth channel for those partners.
- Add value to your membership proposition.
A Valuable Example
For instance, AAA represents a classic study of evolution and innovation in a member-based model. AAA realized it could be more than a tow-truck dispatcher to stranded motorists.
AAA leveraged its scale to build relationships in the travel and hospitability industry. They continued to enhance the value of membership through similar relationships with airlines, insurance companies and providers of financial services. AAA stayed true to its founding mission but discovered additional ways to add value and help for its members.
Click here to listen to how AAA builds relevance and how you can too.
Your association can follow a similar blueprint. The advice here is to free your team to brainstorm and evaluate what is possible under your current model. When you breakdown the silos you will create a team that collaborates across departments. The result will generate true innovation. In return, you will be able to grow scale and do even more to serve and help members.
2. Listen to Your Data
What does your member data tell you?
Companies have been employing analytics for some time. You don’t have to be the one mining the data, you just need to be sure that your data is being minded. You need to be the leader who not only owns the data, but leverages the stories and insights.
Knowing your members will help you to attract more members just like them. Analyzing what services your member’s use will help you to engage them in more relevant offers. Fro example, if a member only attends your annual conferences, you might have a great opportunity to get them to participate in some online learning sessions as well.
Mining For Gold
Associations and member organizations are in the catbird seat when it comes to maximizing member data. You have a gold mine that most companies are willing to partner for to increase their product sales. This is how you can increase your non-dues revenue generating programs.
You have an abundance of valuable data about your current members. You have access to a trove of historical behavioral and publicly available data, or the so-called “big data.” The bigger question for you now is how are you mining this data to increase your relevance?
Remember that a body at rest tends to stay at rest. You need to keep moving if you are going to keep your organization moving forward. Start now by viewing your data as:
- Your fuel to ignite, move forward and grow.
- Your future investment, not a necessary expense.
Working with an association expert who has worked inside associations can jump start your member growth. Association insiders who are now consulting for associations understand what data you should be capturing. They understand how to glean actionable insights from your data.
Sometimes association leaders think that it’s best to have their staff do all the work. But there are areas that require specific skills. There are areas that might be outside the wheelhouse of your team. That’s when you need to consider partnering with an experienced membership marketer can work wonders to optimize your investment in marketing.
Listen here to why you should partner with an association expert.
3. Promote Your Brand
There is truth in the saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” Regardless of how long your association has been serving members, it’s critically important for them to see and experience your brand.
To acquire, retain and engage members, your members and prospects need to be continually reminded of your organization. Your brand is the best picture to help them recall the great work and service your organization delivers.
In addition to the visual reminder from your brand, you need to have the one-word that comes to consumers when they see your brand. What does your brand stand for? Do your employees know and deliver on that brand promise?
Your Brand Has Power
Your brand has the power to drive consumer behavior. People make decisions in two ways, emotional and logical. Since you don’t know which one your target is going to base their decisions on, you need to appeal to both.
- Brand is an emotional connection.
- What is the one-word people use to describe your brand appeal?
- Create a regular cadence of helpful content through social media.
The future of your organization is in your hands. You can decide to hold tight, close your eyes and hope for something good to happen. Or you can seek to innovate, leverage your data and promote your brand. The latter strategy will prove to help you grow your membership.
Remember your new members are everywhere. When you apply these three proven strategies you will know how to grab their attention and grow.
Click here for your FREE consult to see how you can grow your members from the inside out starting today.