January 6, 2020

Year in Review: Our Top Posts of 2019

Year in Review: Our Top Posts of 2019

Every year, we like to see which posts were most popular with our readers and what that might tell us about the needs and interests of association and membership organization professionals. Fun fact: Our top five posts were also featured in Associations Now’s Daily Buzz column.

ICYMI, here’s a snapshot of what your peers are reading plus our thoughts on why these posts captured everyone’s attention.

#1: 17 Tips for Turning First-Time Attendees into Event Regulars

Three of the posts in our top eight focus on the event attendee experience. In our increasingly online world, associations and chapters understand the value of face-to-face connections and learning experiences provided by events.

First-time attendees deserve special attention because they’re taking a chance on your event. They have high expectations and aren’t likely to come back unless you make them feel welcome and help them get the most out of the experience.

In this post, we share advice on preparing first-timers for your event, providing a welcoming and memorable experience, and following up with them after the event.

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#2: Increase Retention with a New Member Onboarding Campaign

Traditionally, new member onboarding meant one thing: a large manila envelope stuffed full of information and/or a boring PowerPoint presentation. But this approach no longer cuts it. Many associations now use a new member onboarding campaign to introduce members to relevant resources and help them navigate the best membership path for their needs, interests, and preferences.

This post explains what to ask and share with new members during the first few months of an onboarding campaign—a critical time for developing an association habit.

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#3: 5 Must Haves for Your Member Portal

Member portals are hot these days, every association wants one. Members think of them as their personal home page. In this post, we describe five essential elements of a member portal that will help you meet and exceed member expectations. We also explain why association staff love member portals too.

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#4: How to Recruit New Members at Your Events

Nonmember attendees are ‘warm’ membership leads, and some would say ‘low hanging fruit.’ They like and trust you enough to invest time and money in your event, but they haven’t felt compelled to join. Yet.

In this post, we suggest pre-event membership marketing tactics, and ideas for continuing the soft sales process during the event and following up with prospects after the event.

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#5: How to Meet the Needs & Expectations of Attendees Before Your Event

The competition for members’ (and nonmembers’) time and money seems to be growing, especially when it comes to events. Your association must provide an event experience that exceeds attendee expectations, and that starts before they arrive on site.

This post suggests tactics for persuading people to register for your event. It also describes how to prepare attendees for your event by providing advice and information that demystifies the event for first-timers and helps everyone get the most out of their limited time there.

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#6: How to Improve the Membership Experience of Young Professionals

Millennials are the biggest generation in the workplace, but only account for 20% of association members, according to the 2019 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report from Marketing General Inc. (MGI). However, the future of your association depends on appealing to their interests and serving their needs.

In this post, we explain how to reassess the membership value proposition for young professionals, understand the barriers to their participation, and provide opportunities for them to achieve their career goals and make a difference.

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#7: 4 Steps to Defining Your Association’s Value Proposition

Another remarkable stat from the MGI report: only 11% of associations surveyed said their value proposition is “very compelling.” Yikes.

This post reviews the difference between features (ho-hum) and benefits (impact!). It also explains how to define your association’s value proposition, which involves doing your research, getting into your member’s head, thinking about impact (there’s that word again!) and leveraging the emotional benefits of belonging.

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#8: 6 Ways to Onboard & Engage New Members

New member onboarding was a popular topic in 2019 and will most likely remain a popular topic in 2020. While our second most popular post focuses on the elements of a new member onboarding campaign, this post looks at other ways to help a new member get acquainted with your association and take advantage of membership benefits.

We cover new member orientation, membership ambassadors, member portal resources, and other onboarding and engagement strategies

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What do all these posts have in common? In one way or another, they talk about providing valuable experiences that engage members and attendees, and convert first-time attendees, membership prospects, and new members into loyal customers and members. For next year, we predict you’ll see many articles about our nominee for the word of 2020, “Experience.”