January 17, 2018, by Erik Larson

3 New-fashioned Strategies for Member Recruitment

We talk with dozens of association executives each week here at eImpact, and a thread that unites most, if not all of them, is the worry over meeting member recruitment goals. I'll talk separately about member retention in an upcoming blog post, so this one is centered on strategies for recruitment, exclusively.

It is a busy, noisy world out there and your target members are getting harder and harder to reach. In a recent article outlining the evolution of associations, it is clear that new ways members communicate with each other outside of traditional association circles is disrupting the industry. This trend diminishes the importance of associations as the defacto convener, creating a downward pressure on the value proposition for joining.

The impact of these trends can be counteracted – good news! It just takes some focus, guts and new technology.

3 New-fashioned Strategies

  1. Just-in-time Information. Producing the typical programs and conferences (business as usual) is no longer enough. The growing percentage of milennials within your member ranks are seeking near real-time information and insights into the industry. Provide the intelligence your members need to improve their businesses, and your value proposition dramatically increases.

    As author Jim Carroll puts it:

    the right knowledge at the right time for the right purpose for the right strategy, all revolving around the fact that the knowledge is instant, fast and transitory.

  2. Open Source Collaboration. In an age of crowdsourcing, associations are well poised to steal a page out of this playbook. Instead of rigid planning and agenda-setting, create a member community online where knoweldge and ideas can be gathered, vetted and adopted. This book lays it all out for you.

  3. Tell Better Data Stories. Data storytelling is an essential function of organizations today. Information conveyed in stories is more than 12 times as effective as a means to communicate for maximum recall, influence and engagement. Become the source of your industry's current issues and opportunities, and tell the story!

This is a great example of a data story published by a trade association that has adopted this as a key member strategy.

Associations across numerous industries are using eImpact to tell better stories with data as a central member recruitment strategy. More than that, these associations use eImpact to stay relevant and ahead of the curve.

Recruit more members in 2018.

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