Technology is irrevocably integrated into our daily lives. According to research conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social, there are a total of 4.95 billion internet users, with the average user spending nearly seven hours a day online.
Like it or not, in our digital-driven world, non-members will evaluate how your association leverages innovative technologies to determine whether your organization is worth joining. Follow these three tips to embrace modern technology and boost membership at your association:
1. Adopt innovative technology at your association
To deliver a member-centric experience at your organization, you’ll need the right technology. Consider adopting modern association management software (AMS) to drive member recruitment. An AMS is an invaluable tool to optimize your operations and boost member recruitment and retention.
As you consider the best AMS for your association, prioritize the following factors:
- A modern platform. Attract new members to your association with modern technology, configurable to your association’s needs. Engage potential members through branded content and personalized communications. Automate member services with chatbots to guarantee help is always one click away.
TECH TIP: Ensure you select a modern AMS rather than a legacy system. Nimble AMS delivers a highly personalized member experience with the power of AI and predictive analytics, configurable reports and dashboards, and easy integration with career center resources and learning management software (LMS).
- Innovative e-commerce. Make it easy for non-members to join your association with an all-encompassing shopping experience. Embrace innovative e-commerce technology to enable potential members to sign up for a trial membership, enroll in full membership, register for events, purchase merchandise or publications, and make donations.
- AI and predictive analytics. Access your non-member records and use a prediction builder to assess which individuals might attend certain association events or networking opportunities. Use the results to personalize your approach to member recruitment. In your communications with non-members, recap their activity with your organization and promote relevant opportunities based on their previous engagement.
2. Focus on career advancement opportunities
If you haven’t already, it’s crucial to adopt a job board at your association. Career centers drive traffic to your website and attract new members to your organization. Here’s how to boost the effectiveness of your association’s career center:
- Offer career path information. Become a career resource for professionals by mapping career paths for various roles in your industry. “Together with your continuing education program, your best practice sessions, and networking opportunities, you’ll become indispensable to the professionals you serve,” says Tristan Jordan, General Manager of YM Careers. Potential members will value these insightful career resources and turn to your association for their professional development.
- Provide data about different industry positions. When you offer relevant data about jobs within your industry, like average salary, length of the workweek, and level of job satisfaction, non-members will view you as an authority in the field. They’ll seek your continued insights and join your organization for access to more information.
- Utilize a placement service. Another way to drive non-members to your association is by adopting a placement service for members. Employment placement is a true member benefit because the recruiter is on the member’s side. Promote the placement service’s success rate on your association website to encourage potential members to join and receive this valuable resource.
3. Develop education training and certification program
According to the Community Brands Association Trends Study, 67% of organization members must take required professional development courses based on industry standards. Of those respondents, 33% completed required training with their employers and 31% with their association, and 41% of all respondents reported training opportunities as the most important member benefit. The study results show an opportunity for professional organizations to attract new members with a diversified training and certification program.
Here’s how to develop your program:
- Offer various learning mediums. The Community Brands Study found 20% of members turn to YouTube and Google for professional development opportunities. To attract new members to your training program and ensure members return to you for professional development, you’ll need to diversify your educational offerings. Try providing online courses taught through a live webinar, webcast streaming of live events, videos, social learning, and on-demand, self-paced courses.
- Recruit Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to develop learning content. As industry experts, SMEs can take your education program to the next level. When SMEs channel their trade knowledge into relevant and authoritative content, non-members will take note, seeking your learning program for professional development opportunities.
- Offer non-member pricing for training. To recruit new association members, consider
providing a non-member rate for professional development courses or conference events. When potential members see the price differential between member and non-member training opportunities, they’ll have yet another reason to join your organization.
If you’re looking for more ways to recruit members by using innovative technology, check out our guide on adopting AI at your association, How to Use Technology to Improve Membership Engagement.