When I speak about a way to engage new members early in their membership by using an Association Value Trigger Point (AVTP), association professionals often ask me if their association should have just one AVTP or should we have many for our different members?
I find that association’s that have an AVTP put a lot of time, effort, and resources into their AVTP so funneling new members through one great experience is recommended. However, how your AVTP takes shape does depend very much on how similar or how diverse your new members are.
Content Oriented AVTP for Homogeneous New Members
Your new members may be very similar, for example, they may tend to join at a career milestone i.e. new-to-the-profession, new manager, or new business owner. If they are very similar, likely they are experiencing few common problems that all professionals at that career stage experience. In this case, we can feature or develop an AVTP that addresses the fundamental problem or particular set of challenges that professionals like them have.
Here is an example. New members of one association are new to their role. They are excited about the new role but also filled with apprehension because in this new role they will have a lot of responsibility. This Association’s Value Trigger Point is in-depth training which gives these professionals a framework for success. In the space of a handful of days, new members move from apprehension to confidence.
High Touch AVTP for Diverse New Members
At other associations new members are so diverse they all come with very different problems. Another association is like this. Their new members join at all different career stages, some own small companies, some work for Fortune 500 corporations, members are in at least eight different professions, but all work within one industry. In this case, we can’t identify one or a few common problems to be solved; the new members are just too diverse. Instead, a high touch AVTP may work best. Larger associations may be able to use a very sophisticated marketing automation system to direct new members, based on their demographics, to resources just for them. Smaller organizations may find that phone calls to each new member within days after they join adds value. These calls serve as a welcome and also after asking new members some questions about their interests and challenges we can then direct them to just a couple of resources, or an event, or another member that can help them.
The earlier we can engage new members the better. For many more ideas on how to start forming a relationship with your newest members check out my latest research-based Ebook, Fueling Exceptional New Member Experiences: Strategies for Onboarding, Engagement, and Retention.