How to attract new association members when money and budgets are tight
Attracting new members to your association is always a top priority. Even in normal times, it takes continued, focused effort. But, what do you do in unusual times like these, when many people have become more budget-conscious?
Here are six effective ways to get past the price barrier and encourage more members to join your association:
1. Offer members budget-friendly payment options.
Price can be a barrier to joining – especially for those early in their careers and those between jobs. Consider offering budget-friendly monthly or quarterly payment options to make joining more economical.
2. Provide discounts.
Offer membership levels that make it more affordable to get started as a member. For example, offer discounted memberships for:
- New graduates
- First-year members
- Lapsed members who are returning to your organization
3. Promote a free trial membership.
Offer a free trial membership – such as a one-month trial – that gives potential new members a preview of what it’s like to be a member. Be sure to have a communications plan in place to make these trial members feel welcome and see immediate value so they’ll be more inclined to join when the trial membership expires.
How to personalize the member experience
Find out how to start showing your members that your association understands and is keeping up with their expectations as their life stages change.
4. Offer new membership levels at lower costs.
Consider offering new, less expensive membership level options, in which members receive a subset of typical benefits. One way to approach this is to think about what benefits members might be interested in based on their career stage, and then bundle those benefits into a few new, less expensive membership level offerings.
5. Offer virtual events to save on time and travel
Virtual events are a great alternative to in-person events today, at a time when onsite events are not possible. They also have the added benefit of providing a valuable, yet cost-effective alternative for members who would not normally be able to attend in-person events due to budget constraints.
6. Make membership accessible.
These days, not everyone has access to a computer. But, most people have a smartphone. Make sure your online benefits (website, online community, online learning programs) are mobile-accessible so prospective members know they will be able to take full advantage of their membership benefits.