When it comes to new member engagement, there’s no one-size-fits-all plan. The 2022 New Member Engagement Study shows that email campaigns, phone calls, and engaging new members at in-person events are the most effective strategies for many associations. However, you might find that implementing these tactics is too much or too little for your association and members. For example:
All volunteer chapters may have the time to create welcoming teams for chapter events where new members are warmly welcomed, shown around, and introduced to others. Committing to this one game-changing strategy might work well for busy volunteer leaders and offer a significant impact on new member retention.
Small associations might be able to draft a welcome letter, make a few calls to the most at-risk new members, and possibly host a few virtual new member orientation events. This small but impactful handful of tactics might be enough for association leaders and members.
Mid-sized associations with more resources and personpower may have even greater abilities. They might try an email series (remember the 3-3-6 model, link to AssociationsNow), a program to call each new member, new member conference buddies, and more. Many mid-and large-sized associations implement their new member onboarding plans over time. So do not stress out the first year and assume you’ve got to do it all. Try one thing, optimize it, and once that’s working, try the next.
While having even more resources, large associations tend to feel the effect of constraints on programs like person-to-person welcoming strategies that don’t scale. These organizations tend to be more sophisticated with systems that scale, like maximizing their web presence, email drip campaigns, and video.
So remember, size does matter when it comes to new member engagement. You do you!