With so much energy and resources poured into recruiting new members, doesn’t it make sense to ensure that once they have joined, you make sure they are happy and engaged with your organisation? Welcoming your newest members might seem obvious yet it is something many organisations overlook.
The aim of today’s post is to show you that good membership management begins the second you accept a new member on board.
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Why you should make a fuss of new members
When new members arrive it is tempting to assume they will immediately immerse themselves in your organisation. After all, that’s why they joined, right? Whilst you might be right to think this, it doesn’t hurt to go the extra mile to welcome new members and to help them understand more about your organisation and their membership.
Think of it as orienting your newest members to your organisation and the beginning of building a lasting relationship. I say ‘make a fuss of them’ in the sub-heading, which may imply rolling out the red carpet and welcoming them in the extreme. But if you consider that going that extra mile to make your newest members feel a part of what you do from the outset, they are likely to form good first impressions and feel more empowered to engage with organisation activities from the start.
Essentially, by welcoming your new members, you are introducing them to a new membership community and shoring up their decision to join.
3 ideas for rolling out the red carpet
Of course, I mean rolling out the red carpet in the literal sense – although it is a nice touch to mention new members when you do stage events. Welcoming new members doesn’t need to involve going to great lengths to introduce them to who you are and what you do.
Below are 3 simple ideas which will help provide a warm welcome with minimal effort on your part.
1. Members-only website
Providing members-only areas on your website is a good way to not only encourage people to join but also engage them once they do. These areas need to have value, however. Engage members with interesting content, members-only offers and other benefits that are only accessible after they have joined. A members-only forum will enable newbies to begin connecting with other members and learning more about your organisation.
2. Follow up the welcome email with a phone call
A welcome email is the simplest form of greeting you can set up and most online membership software packages will automate this for you. However, you shouldn’t stop there. Most of us are aware that emails are automated these days and there is a strong likelihood your newest member may simply delete it before reading. Using engaging subject lines to entice recipients to open and discover more, rather than the standard ‘Welcome to…..’ can help.
Follow up this email with a phone call. Not straight away, give it at least 24 hours. Use the call to not only welcome them but to ask if they have any questions, were happy with the registration process, and is there anything else you can help them with. Run through any important information they need to know, let them know of any upcoming organisation events and finally outline when they can expect to receive any benefits connected to their membership.
You might consider phone calls to new members a drain on your resources, but in terms of immediately engaging with them they are invaluable. People appreciate businesses and service providers who go the extra mile to get to know them and provide an element of personal service.
You don’t need to assign people to personally greet new members over the phone but it might be an idea to create some form of community support system or mentorship program so that longstanding members can reach out and connect with new members. They will be well placed to answer their questions, tell them more about your organisation and provide personal insight into how they benefit them being a member – essentially letting them know what’s in it for them.
3. Welcome pack in the post
This can work as a stand-alone welcome tactic or in conjunction with those above. A welcome pack is a great way to introduce new members to your organisation, to tell them about member-only benefits and provide them with anything else applicable to their membership.
If printed welcome packs are not affordable for your organisation, then you can attach them to your welcome email after they sign up. LoveAdmin offers this feature and gives the option of sending different welcome emails and packs to each of your membership categories.
Having a welcome process in place shows that you care about your new members beyond simply receiving their membership fees. Whether it includes an email, call and/or welcome pack, it is all about creating a welcoming community within your organisation. The bottom line? Always make it personalised.
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