When marketing to members during a crisis, focus on providing value. Also: how to offer quality customer service when members can’t reach you in person.
In difficult times, what should associations’ marketing strategies look like? Provide members with value and you can still achieve growth right now, says Tony Rossell on the Membership Marketing Blog.
“Today we are aware of some clients seeing the biggest new member months in their history by providing members and prospects with critical information, advocacy, and community during this pandemic,” he says. “Associations that have messages and services to help members’ immediate needs can flourish even in this challenging time.”
Of course, strategies will vary between organizations based on their situation. For associations that are currently offering indispensable services, the plan should be to aggressively market to gain market share, Rossell says. For groups facing membership challenges, do everything you can to hold on to the members you already have.
“Reach out to them with all the tools you have available including email, telephone, texting, and digital media,” Rossell says.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, Rossell argues. He cites data from multiple Membership Marketing Benchmarking reports, which captured the performance of associations after the 2009 recession.
“Following the economic downturn, the proportion of associations reporting increased membership rapidly rose from a low of 36 percent in the 2010 report to nearly 50 percent and higher in the following benchmarking years,” he says.
How to Deliver Quality Customer Service Online
— MemberClicks (@MemberClicks) May 11, 2020
In-person customer service is one thing. It’s another to offer quality service online. Help members by making it as easy as possible to get in touch with you. To do so, offer contact information in all the places they can reach your organization online.
“Check your website and social media sites, in particular. And with your website, don’t just list your contact information exclusively on a ‘Contact Us’ page. Put it at the bottom—as a footer—on every page,” says MemberClicks’ Callie Walker. “That way, people don’t have to search or leave the page they’re currently on to find that information. The name of the game here is convenience.”
Other Links of Note
In a time when many are experiencing job loss, associations can teach members new skills to make them indispensable, says Smooth the Path’s Amanda Kaiser.
Member testimonials can be a powerful membership marketing tool, says Michelle Schweitz on the YourMembership blog. She breaks down how to get them and use them.
The right hashtags can get your organization discovered on social media. Nonprofit Marketing Guide’s Kristina Leroux shares the five types of hashtags she thinks you should use.