Membership

Membership Pro Tip: Engage Members From the Get-Go

By / Feb 17, 2021 (ponsulak/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Finding out what a member wants from your association as soon as they join establishes an immediate connection and creates a customized experience—for the member and the association. That’s a win-win.

How does it work?

When a member joins or renews membership with the National Asphalt Paving Association, they immediately receive an email thanking them for joining. In the same email, there is a request to address three quick items: their company listing, whether they’d like to join a committee, and if they would like to be connected with a fellow NAPA member to walk them through their membership. Each action item has a follow-up link for the member to click and add more information.

“The best time to activate a member is at the point of acquisition,” says Steve Shivak, NAPA’s director of membership.

Why is it effective?

This early interaction allows the membership team to learn about the member based on what they select and—just as important—what they do not select, Shivak says. The team introduces members to programs, committees, staff experts, and other topics of interest so they don’t have to search for them.

Online one-on-one orientation sessions give the NAPA team an opportunity to learn more about the member, their company, and their challenges. After the orientations, members are often pleasantly surprised that the team wanted to spend time with them and not sell them something, he says.

What’s the benefit?

Members get an instant connection, and they feel like they have a champion in NAPA. “We’re a national association with a small-town feel,” Shivak says.

NAPA benefits as well: The information members provide guides topics for monthly member briefings, conference sessions, research, and advocacy. “It keeps our fingers on the pulse of what keeps our members awake at night,” he says. The early engagement is also an opportunity to identify the next generation of volunteer leaders.

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

Lisa Boylan

Lisa Boylan is a senior editor of Associations Now. More »

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