While I was writing the Most Impactful Article post published earlier this week, I got to thinking about how one big idea emerges from the research data every year. Hmmm… just one idea seems like I am not doing any work so let me clarify. Many great ideas emerge from the data but, usually, there’s one overriding idea. An idea so big, I wish I could personally tell everyone in our association community.
Last year, because of the Association Industry Innovation Study, I was consumed with the continuum of innovation. A seemingly simple concept but, one that offers the answer to many associations who cannot seem to get their innovation engine started.
This year, I am back to scrutinizing membership. We talk a lot about value and rightfully so. The membership has to be of value for members to give their time, money, and attention. But, less often we talk about member experience which is the second key ingredient of the engagement equation. The value may be great but, if their experience is not good members will not renew. Focusing on both value and our member’s experience is a big idea but it is not THE big idea.
The big idea is that we can radically change our member’s perception of the association by carefully curating their experiences upon first joining. Within the first 3 days to 3 weeks of membership new members decide whether they will engage and then whether they will renew. During this window of opportunity future uber-members, industry change-makers, and board members are made. What happens by the 3-week mark determines the level at which members will engage for the life of their membership.
This big idea is, perhaps, the most overlooked but biggest opportunity in our associations. We need to learn much more about our newest members’ experiences. Focus on the first 3 days to 3 weeks. Make sure you have an Association Value Trigger Point. Implement an onboarding program, they work!
Much more information about new members, member engagement, and onboarding programs is coming your way very soon! Stay tuned and learn how focusing on new members, at just the right time, can radically improve member engagement.