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How to Enhance Your Association’s Membership Marketing Success

‍Whether your association is well versed in its strategy or just in the beginning stages, it’s important to stay informed on membership marketing. Here’s what to know if your association is looking to enhance its membership marketing efforts.

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Membership engagement and retention are constantly on the mind of all associations. You want to keep members coming back for your content, your benefits, and your membership renewals. It’s a battle that many organizations go through. Unfortunately, there is no miracle cure for the ultimate membership engagement success. However, there is membership marketing.

Coming up with a strong membership marketing plan can help combat your association’s membership worries. If you know the correct way to market to current and potential members, you can get to the root of membership engagement and retention. Membership marketing umbrellas many ideas of marketing. It can cover brand awareness, community engagement, recruitment strategies, and others. While all those ideas can seem overwhelming when combined, a strong membership marketing strategy will keep things simple and easy to manage.

Whether your association is well versed in its strategy or just in the beginning stages, it’s important to stay informed on membership marketing. You don’t want to slip up and lose member engagement or retention. Here’s what to know if your association is looking to enhance its membership marketing efforts.

Know your members

The first step to any membership marketing, or really any membership strategy in general, is to know your members. What are they looking to see from your association? What needs do they have? A good marketing plan is an answer to a question. Think about it, your members came to your association because they had a problem. Whether they were looking to build up their career skills or utilize a specific benefit, you had the solution for them. And your marketing should reflect that solution to your audiences.

Understand your membership’s personas. You want to know who they are, what problems they have, and how your association can solve their problems. There are a variety of ways to get this information about your members. If your association collects demographic information on its membership application, that’s a great start. Demographic information tells a lot about your membership without asking much from them. Facts like age, location, education level, and even income can show what members think about when applying to your association.

Another way to collect this information is through a membership survey. Running a membership survey is a highly effective way of getting all of the information your association needs for marketing purposes. You can hand out membership surveys at your association’s next event. Or, if you’re looking for a faster way, attach a survey to one of your organization’s emails. Just make sure to explain why the survey is being sent out and what its purposes are. Once you understand all of your member’s traits, targeting your audience will be a lot easier.

Emailing is essential

A 2017 survey conducted by Marketing General Incorporated (MGI) reported one of the top recruitment methods for new members as email. That being said, when it comes to membership marketing, you’d better have a strong email marketing plan. While there are many ways to approach member emails, it’s best to have an email strategy set in place. Sending unplanned emails can result in confusion and maybe even email fatigue in audiences. You want to engage your members, not frustrate them. How do you avoid the frustration? An email schedule is a great way.

Setting up an effective email schedule will ensure your members get the right emails at the right times. It allows your association to plan out important email campaigns and skip the hassle of double scheduling emails. Once you have an email schedule in place, organize which content you’d like members to receive via email. What will get the most attention?

New members and current members should be marketed towards differently, even in email content. Think about new members. These are people who have already decided to have a relationship with your association. Rather than market from a new audience perspective, give them information about your association’s continuing growth. A well thought out newsletter would be good email content for this group.

In the same sense, potential members need to know the basics of your association before they can gain an interest in your association’s continual growth. Marketing content that would be beneficial to new audiences would be things like: Content offers, free guides, and informational handbooks. Email is a great platform to focus on when it comes to membership marketing. Utilize the popularity of email marketing by creating an effective email strategy.

Utilize Social media

Social media is often viewed as a platform for posting fluff content. It’s where users can go to see the latest viral video or cute cat pictures. But did you know social media marketing is a very effective way to engage and attract members? According to Statista, about 22% of the world’s population is a Facebook user. Following Facebook in the leader charts is Instagram with about 600 million active users. There’s an audience of potential members on social media. It’s important to learn how to reach them.

Creating a community on your association’s social media is a great way to attract new members and join current ones. You can create an active learning environment on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in order to jumpstart word-of-mouth marketing. Where should you start? Well, it’s first important to encourage any natural community growth you come across. For example, if you see a topic discussion happening on your association’s page, respond with helpful information. Let your members know you’re listening and ready to participate. This step also adds to your association’s authority.

Social media can also be used to repurpose content from your association’s blog or website. Content repurposing is an effective strategy for smart marketing. It takes old content and upcycles it into a new form of information for audiences. If you’ve got a great article you’d like audiences to see, take a quote from the piece and share it on your social media outlets. Or, you can take your association’s brand and incorporate it into an image for Instagram or Facebook. Don’t think of social media as just a place for light hearted content. Your association can make a real impact and grow its community through its preferred social media platforms.

Create long lasting memberships

While a good part of membership marketing deals with member recruitment, member retention is also an equally important step. You don’t want your members to be ignored once you’ve attracted their attention. Take time to come up with a strong retention plan for current members. You want to make sure they feel valued long after their first membership application is sent in. One way to do this is to keep in contact with them.

You always want to stay on top of their latest problems in order to provide the best solution. What issues have changed for them? What’s stayed the same?

Then, take this feedback and apply it to your current membership offers. Members don’t want to receive the same offer if it has a specific feature they dislike. Keep consistent track of your offers and make any changes that are necessary for current members’ satisfaction.

Members want to know their association is committed to facing any problem they have together, no matter how long they’ve been a member. If your association can provide that promise to its current members, it can ensure an increase in member retention.

While membership marketing has a lot of moving parts to consider, it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Study your members needs, find the solutions for them, and deliver those solutions in an appealing form on the best possible platform. If you focus on your members needs and get down to the basics, developing a successful marketing plan can be an easy task.