The secret to growing your association’s membership

What do you do when you need to give your membership a boost, but you don’t have a lot of extra resources available? 

Read on for seven great ideas. 

It’s not always easy to grow your association’s membership. It takes ongoing time and effort. 

So, what do you do when you need to give your membership a boost and you don’t have resources to spare? Here are seven ways to attract new members – even when you don’t have a lot of extra time and budget. 

Free Guide:

50 tips to attract, engage, and retain members.

1. Ask your members to help.

Tap into your current members’ networks to find new prospective members. Offer your members an incentive, even if it’s a small one, to get them out there promoting your organization. This word-of-mouth approach is one of the best ways to gain new members, and it doesn’t take a lot of added work on your part.

2. Use social media ads.

Yes, this does cost something. But with a relatively small investment of time and money, you can get your association in front of prospective members who might not know about you. 

3. Add a job board to your website.

Adding a job board to your website is a great way to attract new members to your organization. According to the 2022 Association Trends Study by Community Brands, job opportunities continue to be among the top reasons members join a professional organization.

Adding a job board might sound like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. YM Careers makes it easy and cost-effective to get started with an online job board. You pay no up-front costs; YM Careers doesn’t start making money until you do. And, the YM Careers team can help you drive employers and job seekers to your job board so you don’t have to do the heavy lifting. 

TIP: YM Careers job board software and NetForum Cloud AMS, both from Community Brands, integrate to give you added benefits of using an online job board connected with an AMS. 

4. Use email nurturing campaigns.

If you know who has visited your association’s sign-up page but hasn’t joined, create an email nurturing campaign to address common questions that potential new members might have. You can make this approach easier by automating the emails so you don’t have to send them manually.

TIP: NetForum AMS can help you simplify and streamline day-to-day processes by automating common tasks using a graphical workflow builder. You can define the automation as a response to an activity, such as sending an email nurture campaign when someone visits your membership page or sending a welcome email when someone joins.

5. Make joining easier.

Making the process of joining your association simple and easy helps to ensure that confusion or difficult navigation doesn’t deter someone from joining your association.

Give your website a quick review to make sure there’s a clear and compelling path for people to become a member:

  • Will first-time visitors know they’re in the right place? 
  • Can they immediately see the value you provide to members? 
  • Is it obvious what impact membership will make on their life? 
  • Is it easy to figure out how to join? 

Once you evaluate your website, if anything is clunky or unclear, then make some adjustments. Next, simplify your online form. Keep in mind that lengthy forms are a turn-off, so be sure to ask for only what’s necessary in your online membership application to process their membership. You can ask for more data later. 

6. Offer an incentive to join.

Whether it’s a discount on an annual membership fee, a free gift (like branded merchandise from your association), or a free training, sign-up incentives are a great way to encourage prospective members to complete the sign-up process. 

7. Celebrate new members.

Celebrate new members by including a new member list in your email newsletter. It’s a great way to welcome new members into your community and start your relationship with them on a positive note.

Learn more 

Discover more great ideas for attracting, engaging, and retaining members: Read the guide, 50 Ways to Boost Association Membership.  

More secrets to boost membership.

Get 50 tips tips to attract, engage, and retain members.

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