Finding new members for your association can be a very challenging task, especially if your association is of a smaller size. The integral part of any association is a firm, loyal and engaged membership base. Association consulting can assist in this matter.
In the modern era, members’ needs, and expectations have changed – information is free and available online at any time. Associations, therefore, need to adapt their value offering, as well as their model to suit the current consumer.
So, what is the art behind not only attracting new members but also pampering your current members? We provide a multitude of flexible and integrated solutions to master strategic and logistical challenges for associations. By doing so, we’ve taken the liberty of assembling a few crucial points to consider as to why your association isn’t attracting new members and how to find the turn-around.

Face value

One important aspect of gaining new members and retaining current ones is by increasing networking opportunities. This could be achieved by holding regular conferences and/or local meetings. As an association, one of the most effective ways of preserving and acquiring members is by interacting with them, face to face.
Hosting a meeting takes a considerable amount of effort at first, but in return, the improvement of relationships pays back the invested energy in full measure. Regardless of how technology is shaping the way we communicate and absorb information, one must never underestimate the value of personal interaction.

“Face-to-face communication is the broadest bandwidth communication you can have in professional life.” – Harvard Business Review

Related: Association Membership: Key Guidelines To Attract And Retain Members

Streamline your communication

Nobody likes to be flooded by mailings, so we recommend to carefully planning the frequency of information distribution to your contacts. This can upset interested individuals, causing them to opt-out.
So how do you communicate effectively with members?
Associations should make every effort to streamline their communication with a carefully calculated plan. Including the right ingredients in your planning can dramatically influence your results. The last thing you need is to leave a negative impression on potential members. Send a single email and monitor the reaction and activity after that.

Align your marketing efforts with members’ interests

What are your current members interested in? Chances are potential members will have similar interests. Find out as much as you can about your current members’ interests. What other conferences and exhibits do they attend? What other associations are they a part of? This is where you’ll find potential new members, and this is where you should be building relationships.
Once you have acquired this information, you can get creative with aligning your marketing efforts with these findings. For instance, if you find that your members are interested in a specific online publication such as a blog, then why not try to feature on this publication? This is a powerful form of brand awareness – a great way to urge people to visit your association’s website by offering value through an external platform.

Related: Defining Leadership for Modern Associations

Take your marketing even further

Establishing an effective digital marketing strategy is an essential part of the overall membership experience. A polished digital strategy and content marketing strategy will assist in your association with the following:

  • Reaching broader audiences
  • Become a reference point in professional communities
  • Raise awareness
  • Increase trust

At first, it was only the young, but now over 3.03 billion people are active social media users, which means associations need to have a substantial presence in the digital sphere. Building Relationship Online With Social Media Marketing:

  • Collect demographic data from social media platforms, surveys, focus groups, and customer interviews
  • Seek and identify trends within this data (behaviour, age, occupation)
  • Research and create your audience personas
  • Create a picture of your member – who they are, and who they aspire to be
  • Highlight the real humans that make associations work with employee advocacy schemes on social media

Call to actions in your marketing efforts for obtaining new members should have a sense of urgency to them.  By setting up a “Join Now” call to action with a promotional offer, such as three months free for example, these potential members will sign up faster. Be sure to refrain from bombarding them as pointed out in our second point to avoid alienation.

Related: Digital Marketing Trends: Top Tips for Associations

Consider association consulting

Successful implementation of the above can be a daunting task for inexperienced preoccupied individuals, and that is why we recommend the use of external expertise. For an association to truly flourish, it requires a sophisticated and granular approach, including aspects such as the ever-changing nature of community and affiliation. Our association consulting team at Congrex Switzerland are experts in providing comprehensive assistance. We help to build associations that are equally as influential as they are modern. We enhance the association’s ability to bring about positive change and reach its goals. For more details on our membership management services and association consulting, get in touch today.

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Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.
If you wish to receive additional information about Congrex Switzerland, please feel free to contact us.

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