When members talk with me about their member experience our conversations often shift back to the beginning. Members of different associations have different new member experiences even members of the same association have different new member experiences. But they all agree when they say it is those first great experiences that draw them in and make them members for life.
Over and over I hear stories about the friendly and helpful staff person that called them right after they joined not to sell, but to ask questions. Or when a board member approached them at their first conference with a warm welcome which gave them the confidence to walk up to anyone and start chatting. I hear about new-to-the-profession courses that help members start their new job with confidence. And I hear about monthly webinars that provide incredible insight and value for professionals trying to learn the industry fast. It is experiences like these, members say, that propel them into engagement early in their membership. Once they engage the first time and receive value, they then take the initiative to engage again and again and again.
Imagine if you could propel every new member into immediate engagement. New member engagement is elusive. It is elusive because new members do not know how to engage. Given a menu of benefit opportunities they do not know what to pick. However, when presented a single simple choice, a solution to their particular problem, or a free offering just for members like them, they try it.
Conversation after conversation with members points to the critical importance of first experiences curated specifically for new members. This has me wondering, what are associations doing to engage members for the first time?
Some associations have successful large programs, and some associations do one thing, and that one thing is super effective for them. You might call this kind of activity an onboarding program, or new member orientation, or new member welcoming. Your association might do one thing or many things. You may have just started a focus on new members or your program may be decades old. You may be in the middle of a refresh or things may be running seamlessly. No matter where your new member engagement program is in its evolution we need your input because your feedback will help more associations help more members (and it will help your association too).
What kind of feedback will advance our association industry?
I have partnered with Dynamic Benchmarking for a first of its kind benchmarking survey on new member engagement. I have already conducted qualitative in-depth interviews. These responses were used to build the quantitative survey, to ask the most important questions and provide the most complete and accurate force choice responses. Additionally, there are many interesting stories in the responses of how associations are engaging their members in some unique ways which we will share in the final report.
While we will be producing a final report, as a respondent, you will also get access to customizable data because of Dynamic Benchmarking’s fantastic platform. Would you like to know what new member engagement practices associations of your size typically offer? Who manages the program, what exactly do they offer, what tools do they use, and how much money do they spend? What are the differences between trade and professional associations?
The survey may take you 15 minutes or 25 minutes. And your responses will not only help other associations, but they will help you too. Learn how to start engaging your new members better and faster. Learn how to grow your existing program. See what other associations just like yours are doing. Pull the levers that matter most to your new members.
Please do join us and take the survey now.
Look for the light purple box on the right side of the page to quickly set up an account (you need to set up an account to get access to the customizable data later) and take the survey. If you have any questions about this study you can reach me through my contact page or if this came to you via email hit reply.
Many thanks to you from me, Amanda and my partner Lisa Vivinetto and the team at Dynamic Benchmarking. Also a big thank you to our research partners!