3 New Member Onboarding Tips Your Association Must Read

Membership, Recruiting Audra Hopkins

Inviting new members into your association is an exciting time for everyone.

It can feel like a huge success to attract a new audience and get them to join your membership. But you don’t want to let those numbers go to your head- retaining those new members is just as hard as getting them to join in the first place.

According to Growth Zone’s 2018 Associations Trends Survey Report, 54% of surveyed associations reported either no change or decrease of overall membership growth within their association.

Similarly, 48% reported the same decrease or lack of change when it comes to new membership growth. It seems that increasing membership is becoming harder and harder to achieve this year.

Since new members are the backbone to any association, it’s important you provide them with a proper onboarding service.

But what does this mean?

Well, onboarding new members essentially takes them through the ins and outs of your association. It means showing new members the ropes, giving them all the tools required to make the most of their membership.

So, what are the best ways to onboard new members? How do you make sure your newer audiences are prepared to take on your membership benefits?

Let’s go over a few new member tips for your association to incorporate into its member welcoming strategy.

If you’re looking for a better way to welcome new members to your association, here’s what you should know.

 

New member welcome packet

All new members are looking for a warm welcome from their association of choice. Why not start things off on the right foot with a new member welcome packet?

A new member packet is not a new idea for associations, but it is a valuable resource to have. This packet is one of the first impressions new members will have with your association. It’s the first time you’ll be able to engage with any newcomers- so you want to make it count.

Think of a new member packet as a roadmap to your association. It shows new members where they can go with their membership and how to get there. And with that comparison in mind, no one likes a confusing map.

Your member packet should include specific tools and items to get new members moving forward. So, let’s go over a few things all new member welcome packets should have.

To start, you want to include a clear schedule of all association events. This ensures your new members are in the loop and can plan on attending events and conferences that they’ve been looking forward to since checking out your association.

You also want to make sure your new member packet has a list of all available benefits.

If your association works on a tiered-level membership or has different membership models, you need to make sure these benefits line up with the member’s membership package of choice. You don’t want to provide them a list of benefits that they don’t have access to.

Finally, your new member packet should clearly lay out how paying dues and renewing memberships work.

This is important to let new member know the second they join your membership. This way, when it comes time for renewal or a due payment, they won’t be frustrated trying to figure it all out.

A new member welcome packet holds your members hand and leads them through the entire membership process from the first day.

 

New member engagement

Bringing in new members to your association is one thing. But are you keeping them engaged?

According to Forward Together, 38 percent of new members claim that lack of engagement with an organization is the top reason for not renewing their membership. That’s right- you could lose out on a ton of new members by failing to communicate and engage with them.

So, what’s the solution? New member engagement needs to be handled strategically, preferably with an engagement plan.

For new members, you want to make sure they’re engaged from the very start. A great way to do this is to send out a welcome email to new members.

Joining a new association can seem overwhelming, and you don’t want to intimidate new members. Sending a welcome email with relevant information and useful guides is one way to combat this. You can include things like: an FAQ, a booklet on navigating your association, or even past newsletters.

Want another way to score some serious points with new members? Reaching out personally on a phone call can help.

According to a report by Karen Gebhart, President of the AOPA Foundation, research showed that members who communicated with their association’s ‘800’ number showed greater retention rates compared to those who did not.

A phone call is a personal way of letting new members know you’re available for anything they may want or need. It’s also a great way to get to know new members: Who they are, why they joined, and what they want out of your organization.

When onboarding new members, you need to make sure member engagement is at the top of your association’s priority list.

 

Onboarding video

Looking for a way to onboard new members that’s tech-savvy, easy to navigate, and reusable every time? Creating a member onboarding video could be the solution.

Why is a video so influential? Well, with the current state of video content in the marketing world, an onboarding video just makes sense.

In 2016, 60% of marketers used video content in their social media strategy. In addition, 73% of marketers planned on increasing video content in the future. Marketers know the power of successful video content.

Not entirely convinced? 51% of marketers claim video is the form of content with the best ROI. That’s not all- Marketers who create video content for marketing purposes grow revenue 49% faster than marketers without a video strategy.

Incorporating video content into your new member onboarding strategy is a great way to interact with new members, keep them engaged, and teach them all about your association.

So, how should this be done? You want to create a video that is both entertaining and informational.

You can create a walkthrough video on how to use your association’s site. This can be done by recording the screen as you thoroughly go through every feature your website offers. Show new members how to login, where to find special content offers, and what types of benefits they can enjoy online.

You can also create a video that relates more to your association and its mission statement.

This video can be like a “who we are and what we do” type video. You can film around your office, capture company culture, conduct interviews with your association’s team, and many other tactics.

Then, you can compile this footage into a video to send to new members. This will not only inform them on your association’s beliefs, but also introduce them to your association’s office, team, and personality.

Creating a new member onboarding video is a way to welcome members while also staying ahead of technology trends.

 

Attracting and recruiting new members to your association is key for the overall success of your membership. But if you don’t know how to properly board on and welcome these members, it can spell danger for your association.

Take these new member onboarding tips and apply them to your member recruitment strategy. See how welcoming your members the right way can do wonders for your association’s future renewal rates.