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  • Writer's pictureSarah Gazi, CAE

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...for Membership Recruitment & Retention

Many associations right now are knee deep in their renewal process, at least those that run their memberships on a calendar year. This is the time of year that you send out those renewal notices and keep your fingers crossed that most of them will come back to you with payment. But in theory, if you have been working on recruitment and retention year-round like you should be, then this is the time that you will see the reward. I think of it as the “most wonderful time of the year” because associations literally see the results of their year-round efforts in the form of renewals.

Where many associations go wrong is that when they send out invoices, they finally take the time to remind the members why they are members in the first place. Wrong! So very wrong! If you are just now telling them why they should remain members, then you have lost 12 months of opportunity.

What you never want is for a member to receive an invoice and then ask themselves, “What am I getting for my dues payment?” Drive home the value all year. Show them. And then show them again.

Recruitment and retention are never-ending processes. From the moment a member joins, an association must welcome them with open arms and stellar communications about how happy they are to have them, the value of membership, and how to take full advantage of all the benefits now available to them. It starts with the onboarding process. But it can’t just stop there.

Members are busy people. They need to be reminded--and often!--that there is so much value to being a member of your fine association;

· Dedicate email messages to the value of membership

· Include a benefit of the month in your eNewsletter

· Highlight the value on social media

· Include articles in your year-round publications

· Call them periodically just to check in

· Give them the recognition they deserve

If you show you care about them, they will care about your association. And if you care and they care, then they will renew, and everyone is happy!

The end of the year is also a great time for recruitment (although any time is a good time to recruit). This is your chance to show prospective members what your association has in store for next year: “Now is the time to join because all this value is coming, and you can’t miss out on it.”

If you don’t have a recruitment and retention plan in place right now while you are reading this, it isn’t too late!

Association Command is offering a year-end special recruitment and retention package that will make the end of 2021 merry and bright.

We will give you the staff you need for three months to develop your plan, develop your messaging (3 utterly persuasive emails and 6 eye-catching social media posts to be exact), and to personally call 150 unpaid, lapsed, or prospective members.

You’ll be surprised/pleased to find out how affordable this service is with the potential for a great return.

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