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3 Essential Things Every Member Looks For in an Association

Members are the lifeblood of any association, so you want to make sure they’re satisfied. Let’s talk about 3 essential traits every member looks for when looking for an association to get behind!

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Members are the lifeblood of any association, so you want to make sure they’re satisfied. But you also want to keep them coming back for more. With member engagement and member satisfaction being two of the most important factors to any association looking to keep their membership rates up, it’s no secret that it all comes down to what your members are looking for out of you.

Yes, a satisfied member is a member that will stick around for the long haul. And on the other hand, an engaged member is one that’s more involved with your association. Both of these factors put together can result in more member renewals in the future. So, what do you need to know about your members in order to keep them around? You need to know what gets them excited. What drives their passions? And most importantly, what are they looking to gain from a membership at your association.

So, let’s talk about 3 essential traits every member looks for when looking for an association to get behind. We’ll show you what your members want, need, and crave in a membership. We’ll also show you ways to capitalize on those wants and needs in order to drive your membership rates up in the long run. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Loyalty

Just like your association looks for loyalty in its members, your members also want that loyalty returned. That’s right, members are looking for your association's loyalty, not only to them, but to their needs, goals, and missions. It’s your job to be a reliable helping hand for the things your members are trying to accomplish. So, what does this consist of? To start, advocacy.

Advocacy for your members is such an important part of being a loyal resource. Your association needs to work hard, taking daily strides forward in order to make a difference for members, the community, and anyone else that matters. There are many ways to do this. One great way is to create a day to gather everyone together and lobby. We’ve talked about the importance of starting an Advocacy Day for your association before.

Looking for another way to spread advocacy? Update your members on important goings on with a helpful blog post. Having a blog for your association is great for spreading advocacy. You can report on important law changes, update your readers on upcoming lobbying dates, and anything in between. With great strides towards advocacy, you can be sure to prove to members that you can be trusted as a loyal resource.

2. Attentiveness

Your members are looking to be listened to. They want an association that’s attentive to their every need. Think about it, who would want to join an association that leaves their members in the dark? Your members don’t want to be forgotten about as soon as they sign on to join your membership. You need to make sure your members feel important and that their voices are being heard. How can you do this? By keeping consistent communication at the forefront of your association’s priorities. Invite them to interact with your association on its various social media platforms. You can invite them to like and follow your social pages and encourage them to comment on any of your posts. Give them the opportunity to voice their opinion, and respond accordingly.

You can also create interactive content that allows them to be apart of the fun. With interactive content, your members have the option to play along with whatever your association is producing. Not only does this make your association’s content more interesting, it shows your members that you’re looking for their input. A third, but certainly not the final, option is to create a consistent email schedule for your association’s newsletters, updates, surveys, and any other useful information.

An email schedule helps your association make sure its emails are timely and engaging. Your members want to see updates from your association, but they don’t want to be overwhelmed in the process. With a set schedule, you can avoid frustrating them and focus on keeping them in the know. If attentiveness is what your members are looking for, make sure your association gives it to them.

3. Value

Members are looking for value in an association. And lucky for you, your association already has a lot to offer its members. When people come to your organization, they’re looking for what you can provide them. Can you help them build their professional development skills? Can you offer them information they can’t find anywhere else? So, your association needs to prove its value. And what better way to do this than through its benefits, events, and content offers.

Does your association offer career services to members? If not, it should. Especially for your younger members, career development opportunities are as good as gold. Chances are, they’re looking to strengthen their professional skills. So, if your association can offer resume workshops, networking opportunities, and other services, your members will see the value. You can also demonstrate your value in your association’s events and conferences.

Your members need to be shown what your events can do for them. They’re looking for brand new information, opportunities, and experiences. And your association can bring that to them. Book new, innovative guest speakers for your events. You want people that are well versed in their respective industry, and that members will be excited to learn from. Book a solid lineup of guest speakers, and your attendance rates are sure to see a boost. You can also provide networking opportunities at your events. Block off an hour or two to host a networking luncheon. Or, you can allow members to network before a keynote speech. There’s a lot to be valued about your association. And if you can prove this to your members, you can win over their member satisfaction.

BONUS: Gratitude

And finally, your members are looking for gratitude. As we said at the start of this article, your members are the lifeblood of your association. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to take on your daily goals and overall mission. So, with that in mind, a thank you can go a long way. Be sure to reach out to members and show appreciation after important events and updates. Thank them for attending your conferences, for renewing their memberships, and for the overall support you gain from them each and every day. You can do this by sending them emails with special content offers. You can send event discounts, free eBooks, or anything members might find exciting to receive.

Want to get even more personal? Send your members a letter. Direct mail adds an extra touch that will really send your message home. Your association has everything members are looking for in order to keep them happy. All it takes it the proper tools to showcase your best features to make members come back for more.