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5 No-Cost Ways to Boost Your Association’s Membership

There are plenty of easy, no-cost ways to get your membership rates through the roof. Try these membership tactics when recruiting new members to your association and see how boosting your membership can become a hassle-free process!

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Your association’s membership could probably use a boost. Let’s be honest, every association’s membership could. Members are the lifeblood of any association, so the more the merrier. Boosting membership ensures a larger, stronger membership base for the future.

But boosting your membership doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, dedication, and a well thought out plan to increase your member retention. Your association might feel overwhelmed by the work that goes into increasing membership rates. But not to worry, we’re here to help you create a foolproof strategy and start boosting your association’s membership.

Let’s go over a few different strategies your association can use to add more members to your core membership. These strategies are free, easy to implement, and adaptable for any type of association .If your association is looking for no-cost ways to boost your membership, here’s what you should know.

1. Tiered membership options

Including tiered-levels of membership within your previously existing membership options could help bring in new members looking for more options within an association. Your association might already have segmented membership options for different types of members. Whether your members are young professionals, mid-level workers, senior executives, or even retired. Each type of member has different wants and needs in a membership, therefore enjoying different member options from associations. But have you ever thought about dividing up those membership levels even further?

Incorporating a tier-level system into your membership options provides interested customers with even more ways to become a member. This is great for those looking for cost effective ways to join your association. Let’s say you have a membership option for your younger demographic of members. By splitting this membership option into two different tiers, you’re giving your members the chance to decide how they want to work with your association. Cost-sensitive members can choose a lower tier, while members looking for the full range of benefits can go for a higher tier.

So how would this work? How you split your membership into tiers is entirely up to your association. You can split up your benefits and ration them between tiers, meaning higher tiered members would get access to more benefits than lower tiers.

Or, you can offer higher discounts to members who sign up for a higher tier membership. This allows higher tier members to gain access to more exclusive offers and discount codes for your association’s content and events. Trying out a tiered membership system could appeal to audiences looking for a more customizable association experience.

2. Create a “membership season”

For associations, there’s a specific season for membership renewal. And of course, there’s event season. But have you ever thought of implementing a membership season? Just like organizing a specific time of year for member renewals, your association can organize a season dedicated to recruiting and obtaining new memberships.

So, how does a membership season work? By creating a membership season and providing special limited-time offers, you’re encouraging your buyers to join your association now instead of waiting until later. This gets indecisive customers off the fence, as well as bringing in brand new eyes to your association. Focusing on driving up membership at a specific time of year has its benefits. For one, it keeps your efforts organized and gives a set schedule and deadline on when to boost membership rates.

Second, it can give you a set time to offer membership discounts and exclusive offers. If you offer these discounts at the same time every year, members and potential buyers will start to look forward to this season, putting your discounts to use and driving up membership sales.

So, when should your membership season begin? Selecting a time of year to drive up membership sales is completely based on your association. It’s best to analyze when your memberships increase during the year and when they tend to dip. Then, schedule your membership season based on your findings. Consider scheduling a time to drive up memberships with a membership season.

3. Member referral program

We’ve written in the past about the value of including a member referral program- and it’s true! According to Nielsen, 89% of consumers will trust a referral if it is given from someone they know. In fact, people are 4 times more likely to make a purchase if referred to it by a friend. Referrals have the power to bring in a brand new audience for your association. So, what better way to boost your membership than by implementing a member referral program?

The member referral program is great because it provides a wide variety of advantages for multiple people. For your members, it both engages them and provides them an incentive to bring new members on board. For your association, it increases your membership rates. And for new members, it provides them an open door into your association’s membership. A membership referral program works exactly how it sounds. Your association provides incentives for current members to recruit new members.

Based on the number of members brought in, you can offer different varieties of incentives. This will encourage members to keep bringing in new prospects for more exclusive offers. With a proper member referral program in place, your association can boost its membership while giving your members the control of actually bringing new members in.

4. Market to potential members

Membership marketing is a strategy used by associations to market towards their current members and keep them engaged- and it’s seen success. But did you know you can take the same strategy and apply it to your potential buyers? Marketing where your target audience is seen is a great way to get more exposure for your association. And it doesn’t have to come at a cost. Content marketing is a no-cost option that can work as a potential buyer marketing tactic. Your association creates content that appeals to its audience, and potential members keep coming back for more.

A great way to implement content marketing to boost membership is to collaborate with similar organizations. What does this mean? Well, if you can find an organization that attracts the same audience you target, you have a prime opportunity to work together and collaborate on a marketing plan. Work on creating a relationship with an organization and see if there are any opportunities to host content on their website or social media platforms. In return, you can offer up your website for any of their content as well.

5. Social media marketing

You can also use your association’s social media platforms to market towards potential new members. According to a survey done by Hootsuite, 48% of Americans have interacted with companies on at least one social media site. This means almost half of America has responded, commented, like, shared or tweeted at companies’ social media pages. On top of that, SproutSocial reported that 30% of Millennials engage with a brand on social media at least once a month.

Using social media as a free marketing platform is great for associations looking to boost membership while also saving money in marketing costs. It’s highly effective and reaches a wide variety of audiences. Research your target audience and find out which social media platforms they use most. Then, meet them where they hang out and deliver interesting content they can engage with. Enough appealing social media content can entice audiences to check out your association’s website, starting their journey as a potential buyer with your association.

Boosting your membership doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of easy, no-cost ways to get your membership rates through the roof. Try out some (or all) of these membership tactics when recruiting new members to your association and see how boosting your membership can become a hassle-free process.