We’ve received a lot of positive feedback on our most recent blog post 4 Reasons to Focus on Member Retention. But many of you are having trouble with the idea of not actively recruiting. So it is time to start thinking of retention and recruitment as crossroads; I’ve come up with a four ways for your association to focus retaining old members while still recruiting new ones.
1) Use your conference or event
If you already host a conference or an event, why not allow members to bring non-members with them? Your members will be glad to have someone they know beside them to help ease the awkwardness of networking, and it will expose potential new members to the benefits of your organization. You can offer a discounted rate for non-members coming with current members. But make sure you don’t offer this for every conference and event you host; if people can always attend at a discounted rate, there is one less reason to actually become a member.
2) Offer incentives
Just asking your members to recruit for you won’t necessarily move them to action, but offering them an incentive will. Try 10% off next month’s dues for two or more successful referrals. Members will love this new benefit, and you’ll make up the money (and then some) with the new members.
3) Clean up your website
In the past, SEO has required organizations to pack their websites full of keywords. But with the advances in the search engine algorithms, it is now better to have a site written for people, not for robots. Make sure your content speaks to your members and provides them with useful information; the search engines will recognize this and move you up in their results. So a webpage written for your members will actually help potential new members find you!
4) Be clear about membership benefits
Make sure you say upfront, in plain words, for all to see the benefits of being a member in your association. Members will learn how to maximize their experience with your organization, and at the same time, if someone new is led to your site, they will see what they could have if they choose your association.
Don’t get stuck on the recruitment road. These simple, inexpensive tips will keep your current members happy while bringing in new members. With the focus retention your association will not only grow, but thrive.