Why “the first”? Because there are easily double these 22. Groups complain about membership numbers dropping, but are all the tactics being used? (Where to find targets is in our previous blog.)
We’ve used all of these at some time or another for the many charities and business nonprofit associations we’ve worked for over the years. Even for small organizations, enticing new members is a full-time job for staff and for board members.
Email, mail, phone: It’s all about style and substance. Every organization will find ideas here.
- Personalize letters, never use Dear Colleague.
- Get their attention, you have a split second whether using voice or mail. Make it good.
- The email subject line is vital. Test a few.
- Create urgency with time limit of campaign, ‘important to RSVP’ by ….
- Always tell a story – find a problem you solved.
- It’s very okay to use humor. It cuts through boring appeals.
- Devise a special membership campaign logo or “spokesperson” via cartoon.
- Select graphics carefully to tell your core reason for existing.
- Articulate value: Above all, be a source to help them be more successful.
- Consider psychological price points for dues (.98 versus next whole number?).
- Consider a one-time % off membership if 2 yrs. paid.
- Incentivize with offer (discount on future event, etc.).
- Do guest editorials for industry pubs.
- Have board members do a brief talk at their chamber. It’s great PR.
- Learn what platforms your targets use, not what you use.
- If a plus, list all current members to show strength, and foster guilt.
- Blog about values of membership and how a member has benefitted.
- Devise meaningful opportunities for sponsor members (vendors to your members).
- Make your website super simple to navigate: Make sure it’s just one hit to be a member (Idea: Ask for details later, good reason to call them with a personal touch).
- Remind targets that you edit the overload of info and only curate for them.
- Offer mentors, scholarships, discounts, education, CEUs, social opportunities, etc.
- A board member must call the new member in first week to welcome.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves with that last one. Our next blog will be about follow up for membership which looks amazingly like a plan for Member Retention. Remember it’s easier and more cost effective to retain a supporter than to acquire one.