Win New Members by Knowing What You’ve Got

by Kay Cavender 2. November 2011 06:50

So many associations have struggled with sagging membership rates lately. The economy sure doesn’t help, but there are things an association marketer can do to enhance member recruitment.

First, I recommend knowing your current members better than you know your own mother. What is important to them? What scares them? Where do they get their information? What will help them succeed?

Not all of the answers to these questions would or should be “My association.” Your organization will never be all things to all members, but you must be one of the key resources members seek to improve their professional abilities and enhance career options. Or to meet important social goals. Or to…?

Yes. What is it that they seek from you? Beware. It could be very different from what you’ve composed in your carefully crafted mission statement and value proposition. (You do have a value proposition, right??)

Gather all the info you can about your members, using every interaction the association has with them to collect details. Once you compile the data into your association management software solution, begin to slice and dice the whole into segments that will allow you to reach out to groups of prospective members, offering them the kind of information that will most resonate.

Often the classic “member-get-a-member” campaigns fail to reach the numbers associations hope for, but you can still use members to find new ones. Understanding who they are and what they want will lay the foundation for a successful recruitment campaign.

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