Membership Pro Tip: Offer Bite-Size Engagement

Instead of overwhelming new members with a long list of benefits in a traditional printed brochure, the International Society of Arboriculture uses email to give them a handful of easy first steps to get involved.

How does it work? The International Society of Arboriculture restructured its new-member communications and went from a printed brochure and membership card to an emailed piece. The message offers opportunities for new members to begin to engage with ISA in bite-size ways through its website, online community, social media, publications, certifications, and products.

“A lot of folks didn’t realize we had a Facebook page, and they’ve been members for 20 years,” says Tip Tucker Kendall, ISA’s director of member services.

Instead of making the communication a sales pitch with a list of 40 benefits, the goal is to get members to focus on what they can do in five minutes to get deeper into their profession and become more invested in the community, she says.

Why is it effective? “It is an opportunity to engage in a relationship with the association. And part of that onus is on the member,” she says. By outlining a few ways to show up and get a return on membership, ISA sets up a dynamic where both the association and the member have a role to play. “It’s a contract,” Tucker Kendall says.

What’s the benefit? New members are usually one of the most at-risk groups for not renewing, she says. So, it’s been more effective to push the bite-size engagement pieces upfront rather than taking a sales approach. “Overall, new member engagement is up,” she says.

Do you have a membership pro tip? Please share in the comments or send me an email.

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Lisa Boylan

By Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. MORE

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