Earlier in 2022, Associations Now published an interesting article about how minor tweaks to your association’s membership management could significantly improve membership acquisition and retention.
This article highlighted that associations should focus on growing their membership level to increase profitability rather than ‘simply’ increasing membership fees.
As association management experts, we have identified several additional small changes you can make to your association to increase membership acquisition and retention.
Five small changes you can make to improve membership acquisition and retention in your association
1. Build a community
Allowing membership communities to thrive helps members realise the value of growth and support when going through changes and challenges in their professional lives.
Since COVID, participation has increased in the members-only sections of the association’s websites, as well as in private online communities and in public and private social media communities.
2. Develop referral programmes
Your existing members can be some of your best advocates: they can demonstrate to others that they are happy to pay the membership fees and discuss the benefits they have had first-hand. Membership acquisition campaigns that offer a discount or monetary reward to existing members encourage them to promote your association and actively refer new members.
3. Become more active on social media
Social media can be one of the best places to reach potential and existing members with your association’s messaging. Regardless of your target audience, they will likely be present and active on at least one social media platform.
Increase your association’s activity on social media by frequently posting, engaging in relevant conversations with other brands, and engaging with your followers.
4. Share industry research
One of the main elements that members want from associations is access to the latest industry research.
In an industry such as medicine and healthcare, research can move so quickly that individuals struggle to stay on top of it. Members want associations to do the hard work by finding the latest insights and making them accessible in a single location.
Create a simple way for them to access this research, for example, by:
- Sending a newsletter with weekly updates
- Creating a section on your website with the latest research
- Creating an RSS feed that members can use to access the latest data
5. Host networking events
Networking is crucial for association members. It can help them advance their careers, explore new research, and be inspired by leaders in the field.
Associations can improve membership acquisition and retention by providing regular networking opportunities throughout the year (and not just at your annual conference).
You can host networking events for your members online or in-person – or for a more straightforward approach, associations can include a meet-and-greet at the start of any meeting, even when the main objective is education.
Altering any part of your organisation can be a daunting and resource-draining process. However, these small changes can have an enormous impact on your total membership fees and profit – enabling you to make room for innovation and personalisation that requires more effort.
At Congrex, we are passionate about delivering exceptional member experiences to retain and grow your association memberships.
Get in touch with our team to explore the possibilities for your association to improve membership acquisition and retention.
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 strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations, and corporations.