Membership Hack: Easier Transitions for Student Members

Students can get lost in the membership shuffle, especially as they move from school into careers. Here’s how the Society for Personality and Social Psychology retains young members during that transition.

How to hack it? Many associations struggle to retain students after they graduate from school. At the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, one contributing factor was surprisingly mundane.

“One of the reasons why we lost students after graduation was because they used their university emails with us,” says SPSP’s Chad Rummel, CAE. “Then, after graduation, they switched to another email.”

To remedy this situation, SPSP now asks students to provide their intended graduation date on the membership application. When graduation nears, the team checks in with each student by email, encouraging them to update their member profile and contact information. They also extend a free membership upgrade that advances students to the early-career category at no additional cost.

Why does it work? In a word: simplicity. “They just have to reply to the email, and we make the switch to their membership account,” Rummel says. “That also ensures that future communications are relevant.”

What’s the bonus? SPSP also routinely delivers content tailored to career-stage needs. For members transitioning from school to work, an early-career resources portal helps prepare them for the profession.

(MissTuni/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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