Members are the whole reason your association exists – without them, there would be no membership. Because of this, they should be at the heart of your association. This is why you need to take care of your members and give them a reason to sign up in the first place - like offering amazing member benefits.
After you’ve established a membership base, the hard work continues though, as you’ll need to ensure that they want to stick around. According to MemberPress, 76% of associations don’t offer benefits or affinity programs to create returning members. The statistic clearly shows that most associations are missing a trick.
Many associations, especially those just starting out, will at some point struggle to find new members. Then when they do find new members, they find it tough to keep them engaged and active. But we’ll let you in on a little secret…the best way to boost membership acquisition and retain them is by offering member benefits.
In this blog, we will look at some amazing member benefits every association should offer in 2023. So let’s get into it!
1. Engaging content
Creating and sharing engaging content is a simple yet effective benefit that your members can enjoy. Nowadays, in the digital era, most people have access to the internet and as such, many will use social networks. It makes sense to offer benefits where they already spend their time.
Creating engaging content on a regular basis can really help your members stay interested and informed. A large number of members join associations for professional development. Keeping them in the loop with trends, tips and news in their relevant industry will increase member retention rates.
There are a number of different ways an association can create engaging content. At the minimum, every organisation should have social media and email marketing. Other than those engaging content could be in the form of webinars, whitepapers, podcasts…the list goes on!
If you are struggling with ideas and want to read more on this topic, take a look at our blog on 20 Proven Membership Engagement Ideas.
2. Member benefits, perks & discounts
Perks and discounts are the most sought-after member benefits every association should have. In fact, it isn't limited to associations only, this benefit also plays a huge role in jobs and can be the difference between someone taking it or not. The same applies to membership programs.
Before choosing the specifics of the discounts and perks you want to offer your members, it might be worthwhile to plan how you do this. Typically in associations, there are two avenues to go down, as follows:
- Offer all the member benefits to every new member when they join. This tactic is a great way to incentivise new members to join as it is an attractive package.
- Increase the discounts and perks as members make their way up the ranks. For example, when a new member joins they might receive 10% off a certain product. As they go up the ranks in your membership it might increase to 20% then 30%, etc.
Having these amazing benefits help to create a sense of exclusivity and value for members, increasing their loyalty to the association.
3. Free learning & certifications
Providing free learning opportunities and certifications to members is another significant member benefit that associations can offer. Free learning provides personal and professional development and adds value to the association. Also, the fact that it is free will be another incentive for new members to join and old members to stay.
It is recommended to offer the learning course online and to record them to make it more accessible for people that cannot make it in person. This will then allow more members to participate at the time that suits them best.
In 2023 people are more determined than ever to grow personally and progress professionally. 47% of employees say that extra training and education helped them advance within their current company. This is where associations can shine by offering that extra training.
Not only is free training an amazing member benefit, but offering a valid certification is taking that the extra mile. They are physically gaining something from your association, which is a powerful incentive.
4. Member only events
The most common reason why people join associations is for networking purposes. This is especially true when it comes to members joining a professional association. As mentioned, people want to develop professionally and a great way to do that is through networking with like-minded professionals.
A great way to gather all these like-minded people together is to host a members-only event. This is another amazing member benefit that gives the opportunity for networking and building a community. Events and gatherings are a tried and tested method for engagement and morale boost. Not only will this be beneficial for your members, but it will reflect more appealing to potential new ones.
In 2023 face to face meetings is becoming more frequent again. 84% of people say they still prefer in-person meetings in 2022. This being said, that statistic might be more relevant for work meetings. The benefit of virtual meetings is that more people can attend because they don’t have to worry about transportation and time spent on travel.
If a virtual meeting sounds more appealing and relevant for your association, read more on the subject in our blog on How to Organise a Virtual Event.
4. Online membership community
Expanding on the point above, it’s worth asking the question, why do people join associations? The results show that 57% of people say it’s to network with their peers. As well as hosting the occasional event, arguably the best of all suggested member benefits that every association should have in 2023 is an online membership community.
The main struggle that people have with online membership management is streamlining everything into one place. Organisations will have multiple applications such as Slack and WhatsApp which can be frustrating for members and the association itself. This is where Ugenie comes in.
Ugenie is a membership management app that keeps everything all in one place. It is easy to use and a fraction of the price of a custom build. Ugenie takes the hassle out of membership management and operations with a feature-rich and cost-effective AMS solution so you can focus on what matters, your members.
Ugenie is a white-label app that can be customised to your association's brand helping to boost value and credibility. When running an association, getting the right information to the right people without any distractions is key. Why not simplify and improve things with Ugenie?
In summary, to retain members and attract new ones, associations should offer amazing member benefits. Five benefits that every association should have in 2023 are providing engaging content to keep members informed, providing perks and discounts to create a sense of exclusivity, offering free learning opportunities and certifications, hosting member-only events to build a community and facilitate networking and having an online membership community.
These benefits can increase member retention rates, provide personal and professional development opportunities, and create a sense of exclusivity, loyalty, and value for members.
All of the above can be achieved through the use of the Ugenie app.
Interested in engaging and retaining your members for the long run? Book a demo with Ugenie today to find out how.
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