Five Ways To Welcome New Members

When someone joins your organization, you have a critical window to help shape their overall impression of your association. Here are five ways to help them feel welcomed and valued.

Number 1: Don’t Wait.

Make sure that your new member receives some form of communication from your organization as soon as his or her membership application is submitted. This can be as simple as an automated email thanking them for joining and letting them know someone else will be in touch shortly with more information. Don’t let them wonder if their application is lost somewhere in cyberspace; give them a point of contact for any questions they may have.

Number 2: Make sure they have the information they need.

They’ve joined—so now what? Do they know how to access your member resources? Do they know their log-in to your website? Do they know how to join special interest groups, register for upcoming events, take advantage of programs or services that will help their career or company? Associations often have many offerings, and while long-time members know how to use them, new members don’t know where to start. Provide a quick-and-easy tutorial on how they can immediately start getting an ROI for their membership.

Number 3: Personalize it.

Find unique ways to tell a new member you are thankful that they joined. This could be a handwritten thank you note, a phone call from a volunteer, an email from the membership director, or by tagging them on social media. Little touches will let them know you are there to support them, and that their membership matters.

Number 4: Provide peer support.

Membership offers a unique opportunity to talk to other people who face the same challenges and opportunities that you do. Consider a membership welcoming task force made up of long-time members who are cheerleaders for your organization and are willing to reach out to new members to see how they can help provide resources, knowledge and ideas.

Number 5: Don’t go cold!

Many times, associations offer great onboarding for new members for the first 60 days or so of their membership—and then they seemingly move on to newer members. Remember, to the new member, the entire first year of membership is unfamiliar territory, so make sure you’re reaching out ahead of key milestones for the first year and beyond.

Make sure your new members feel welcomed—and they will ultimately become your long-time members.