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5 Membership Hacks to Jumpstart your Association’s Summer

Membership, Recruiting Audra Hopkins

After long months of cold weather and (for some of us) mountains of snow, it’s almost that time we’ve all been waiting for: Summer.

With Memorial Day right around the corner, almost everyone is buzzing to start their summer plans and get into the good weather. But you don’t want to lose the interest of current and potential members during the summer months.

Keeping membership numbers up year round is a must for any association. If you can keep members engaged and coming back to your association all year, you can see the potential for future growth,-not just in membership, but in revenue as well.

So, what’s the key? Is there a way to get the ball rolling on member attraction, engagement, and retention even in the months of summer?

The answer is: There are multiple ways. If you can get innovative with your association’s membership ideas, there are a variety of options for maximum membership growth.

If your association is looking for ideas to jumpstart its summer membership strategy, we’ve got you covered.

We’re giving you 5 membership hacks you can use to get people engaged and ready for summer fun with your association.

 

1. Summer membership card

If you’re an association that sees a lot of membership from local community members, it might seem like there isn’t enough local support.

Why is this? Well, if you offer events and perks to non-members, community members may feel like they don’t need to become a member to enjoy and support what your association does.

However, you can combat this by offering a summer membership card.

What does this entail? Think of it like a discount pass. Your members can use their membership card to get discounts at local businesses and attractions. This makes becoming a member of your association ultra valuable to the community.

A membership card perk can be used year round, however it’s extremely valuable in the months of summer. With community members looking to get out and have fun in the warm weather, having a card that offers them discounts to their favorite ice cream shops, amusement parks, or any other summer activity is a huge plus.

Team up with local businesses to bring summer discounts that will attract new, local members to your association.

You can offer businesses advertising in your weekly/monthly newsletter. Or, you can also offer them advertisement in your next event handouts. You need to make sure the business you do with local companies is equally beneficial.

With a summer membership card, you can get local members excited about being with your association.

 

2. Pay-what-you-can options

In the summer, many people look to save money in other aspects of their life in order to fund any fun summer activities they may have planned.

But you don’t want one of the cuts your members make to be your association. You want to keep them around and provide value to them, while also staying within their budget.

This is where offering pay-what-you-can membership options could stop some of your members from jumping ship to curb their spending.

Many associations find pay-what-you-can membership options intimidating. It could seem like a loss in revenue,

but it doesn’t have to be. If done right, you can create a brand new option to offer current and potential new members a way to join your association while staying in their budget limits.

Your pay-what-you-can option should be almost like a teaser of a normal membership plan. You want it to have just enough value to make it appealing, but not enough to where you’re giving away your benefits.

For example, you can create a pay-what-you-can membership and offer lower-tiered benefits like free web content or access to informational web forums. You can save things like event discounts, webinars, and access to learning materials for higher-tiered memberships.

With pay-what-you-can membership options, you can bring in potential members looking to save money in the summer months.

 

3. Create a summer social campaign

We all know how powerful social media can be for recruiting new members to your association.

In a national report done by Pew Research Company, 87% of Millennials, adults age 18 to 29, use Facebook, 53% use Instagram, and 37% use Twitter. So, how can your association leverage these sites to attract new members in the summer months?

Creating a fun and engaging social media campaign for your association can bring in new, curious eyes that could turn into potential members.

Get together with your association’s team and brainstorm ideas that could possibly be turned into a social media campaign. This should include enticing hashtags, image and video content, and a serious call to action.

Let’s think back to one of the most successful social media campaigns ever run by an association: The ice bucket challenge.

In just a few weeks, the ALS Association received an astronomical $53 million in donations from all over the country. Their social media campaign made an impact that no one will ever forget.

Your association can create a similar social media campaign that will burn up in the blazing months of summer.

If you can come up with a fun, summer campaign that others can participate in, you can gain attraction to your association that could lead to brand new members (and even revenue opportunities!)

 

4. Summer MVP list

Looking for a way to highlight members that have made a significant impact on your association? Consider creating an “MVP List” to honor them.

This type of idea is great for the summer months. With everyone enjoying summer sports ad getting into the spirit, your members will be excited to strive towards ending up on your MVP list.

But how does this work?

To make an MVP list, you need two things: A standard for members to strive and reach, and incentives when they do.

Let’s start with the standards. What would make a member eligible to join your association’s MVP list? How would they stand out as the “most valuable player”?

You want to look for things that show your members are going the extra mile to support and promote your association. If your members are sharing your association with others and promoting your association through social media, that’s a starting sign to a good MVP candidate.

Other variables to weigh in are: Event attendance, online engagement, content downloads, and any other factor that shows your members are invested in your association.

Now, let’s talk about incentives. You want to push your members towards becoming an MVP, and to do that involves some sort of prize or benefit when they do.

So, what can you offer? Consider giving MVP members discounts on events, free content, or branded merchandise from your association. If you have anything members find value in, you should think about offering it up as an incentive.

With a summer MVP list, you can honor ambitious members and get others engaged enough to strive towards that position.

 

5. Summer website makeover

Looking for a quick and easy way to attract online members? Consider giving your website a makeover that matches the season.

Revamping your website for the summer doesn’t have to be a strenuous task. There are easy steps you can take to give your website a warmer look for the season that will attract more traffic- and hopefully more members.

Consider switching out any image content you have on your website for images with more of a summer theme. Think beaches, fireworks, ice cream, etc. For example, if you have any images from a past summer event, you can add them into your website.

You also want to make sure to highlight any upcoming summer events or activities your association has.

If you can place them somewhere on your website’s home page, you can be sure to get more attention to them. This can lead to a higher attendance rate from potential members.

With a website geared towards a fun summer with your association, you can get the idea in your web traffic’s heads that joining your association is a smart move this season.

 

These 5 membership hacks should take your association’s summer with its members to the next level.

Try out one (or all) of these membership ideas and see how you can jumpstart your membership growth this summer.