In this time of uncertainty, it is important now, more than ever, to ensure that member value and engagement do not fall by the wayside. Many associations rely on face-to-face interactions through networking, conferences, and in-person events to encourage member engagement and provide value. However, what happens when there is a worldwide pandemic? With in-person events being prohibited, your members may start to think, “What now?” That’s when an association needs to get creative – whether it’s a digital roundtable (like those that Redstone has been hosting), a virtual town hall, or even a virtual happy hour. These are all different ways to keep your members engaged and in the know about what’s going on in your association and industry and how they can continue to stay involved. But something that may make a world of difference, especially in times like these, can be just as simple as a membership package.
There is something to be said about receiving a physical package in the mail, especially now, when our lives have been almost entirely virtual due to COVID-19. In a time where ‘snail mail’ was seemingly on its way out the door, it now has a way of making one feel like a kid in a candy shop. This is where membership packages come in; they provide the excitement of receiving an item in the mail and the sense of pride that comes with being a part of a community. Membership packages can go a long way in ensuring members feel excited, welcomed, and proud to be a part of your association and could be the differentiating factor in today’s fast-paced, digital environment.
Not only this, but membership packages can be a great way to market your association and attract new members. Whether a member displays their certificate in their office for clients to see, or keeps their keychain attached to their purse when they go out in public, this allows your brand to be seen and to be heard. There is nothing like increasing member engagement by attracting curious members through the grapevine to learn more about what your association has to offer. Additionally, the membership package is an excellent opportunity to engage sponsors and create further revenue opportunities for your partners.
With all of that being said, you may now be thinking, “But what would I include in a package for my membership?”
We’ve got you covered! Below are a few tangible items that can be incorporated into your membership package that will have your members feeling prideful and grateful:
- A wallet sized membership card
- A membership certificate to hang on the wall of their office, business, or home
- A personalized welcome letter from the President or Chair of your association
- A new members booklet offering insight into the history of the association, information on Special Interest Groups that may be available, and further ways they can get involved
- A pin or keychain they can carry with them and/or wear at member events
- A name plate or plaque to place on one’s desk or business front counter
- Branded hand sanitizer, masks, or other COVID-19 safety items
- An item that encourages digital opportunities and increased social media presence (i.e. take a picture with your membership certificate and post it using a hashtag)
Now, let’s talk budget. It’s important to ensure that your association has a budget for these items – perhaps your organization can re-allocate expenditures from a cancelled event to fund the membership packages. Nonetheless, there are a variety of cost effective ways to support membership packages to create a small token of appreciation that ensures your members feel not only pride, but also reward for being involved in your association.
Not only can membership packages help with member engagement throughout a pandemic, but they can also continue to be a timeless and simple way to sustain member engagement once the pandemic is behind us.
Don’t forget to follow Redstone Agency on your social channels, and share how you are staying connected with your members in the comments below! If you are looking for more ways to incorporate physical elements into your digital offerings, check out Redstone’s digital roundtable “Going “Phygital”: Blending the Physical and Digital in Events”.