A Guest Blog by Amanda Kaiser.
There is a short window of opportunity to engage new members. If we do not reach them while the window is open, it snaps shut, forever.
Most new members join with high hopes. They are curious to see what their membership will do for them because they do not specifically know what it will do for them, yet. They want to learn more because they want assurance they did not make a mistake in joining. During the first few days of their membership, new members are inherently very engaged.
Their excitement is at an all-time high the moment they click join, and they are super receptive, at least, for a while…
- We only have 3 emails to engage some new members.
- We only have 3 days or 3 weeks to engage some new members.
- We may only have 3 touches total to engage some new members.
During the open window of new member engagement, these new members are asking themselves two questions:
- Is my membership worth it (is it worth my time, attention, and money)?
- Do people like me join associations like this?
They need to know the answers to these two questions fast. We usually know these answers for most other purchases within a day, or even within seconds. Is Netflix worth it? Yes! Is this new iPhone of value to me? Sure. Is my Blue Apron or Winc subscription worth it? Right now it is, yes.
The window of new member engagement only stays open for just a few days. If we help then answer yes, their membership is worth it, and yes, people like them join associations like this, we will keep them engaged, very engaged. If we do not help them answer yes to both of those questions within days of joining, we lose them. The window closes. Not even the best renewal process will win them back.
This is one key reason why new members do not renew at the same rate as other members. Take advantage of that window of opportunity. Engage your new members early and engage them for life!
Amanda Kaiser, MBA, is a qualitative member researcher. She writes the blog, Smooth the Path, for association professionals, and is a popular association industry speaker and guest author. Most recently she was director of marketing for the National Association of Colleges and Employers.