How to make your members love your association from day one

Mapping out your member onboarding process goes a long way toward building relationships that last

The new member onboarding process can be just as important to your association’s success as acquiring new members. The first interactions with your organization make a lasting impression on new members and provide the “hook” needed for you to build a relationship that last for years to come.

One of the best ways to ensure you get memberships off to a great start is to map out the new member onboarding process. Here are a few ideas to get you going:

Outline the first 90 days

Create a formal member onboarding process by mapping out their first 90 days of membership — a critical period for making a good first impression with a new member. Look at the first 90 days from their perspective. Think about how you might provide even more value for each member. For example:

  • Thank them for joining.
  • Make sure they know what benefits they receive as a new member.
  • Point out any upcoming events or other activities they might not know about.
  • Let them know what communications they can expect to receive from you.
  • Present them with personalized information and offer them products that correspond to their reason for joining.
  • Ask them for feedback.

Consider ALL of your various member experiences

Members have different reasons for joining your organization, so it’s important to create maps for each of the member experiences after their initial joining period. For example, you might have a 90-day map for the online training experience, one for certification processes, and one for the career center/job search experience.

Most people decide if they’re going to participate in your organization long-term within the first months, days, and even minutes of joining your association. Build a great onboarding experience, and you’ll keep them around for the long haul!

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