Are You Doing All You Can To Keep Your New Members Engaged?

Written by Lucie Robathan on August 15, 2017

It is a consistent and shared concern within our industry: how can associations best engage and retain new members? If you are troubled by low retention of your new association members, you are not alone. The renewal rate among new members is substantially lower than that of the established membership base (every year, up to 30% of first time members are lost), while the behaviour of members in their first year is often frustratingly disengaged.

Amanda Kaiser has long been dedicated to unpacking this problem. What do new members really want? Why do they join? How can we offer them value? When do they make their decision to commit to the association – or to leave? To answer these questions, Amanda conducted 345 interviews with association members about new member engagement, publishing her findings in her e-book; and she led a webinar with us about how to establish value in the new member experience.

Her findings emphasize that an engaged and invested member is formed from the very moment they join. From the start, new members are already analyzing their decision, and considering whether or not to renew. If a member’s first experience is meaningful, welcoming, and valuable, they will create for themselves a positive, long term membership; while a poor first impression can render any later attempts at engagement ineffective and inadequate.

Amanda’s conversations with members all pointed to the same thing: the importance of carefully curated first experiences for new members. What are associations across the space doing to engage members from the beginning? It became clear that an industry-wide search for feedback on this question could help more associations help more members – and help themselves in the process.

That is why we are proud to be research partners for the New Member Engagement Study, created by Dynamic Benchmarking and Kaiser Insights LLC. Together, they have launched a study to collect and disseminate industry best practices in new member engagement, onboarding, orientation and retention. Participants will have exclusive access to a comprehensive and actionable report, presenting comparisons, trends, and insights that emerge from the data, as well as the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the development and progress of the association industry.

Association executives from associations of all sizes, sorts and locations are invited to take part in this study. We are asking you to help define best practices, and to influence the future of our industry, by sharing your knowledge. The study has just gone live, and results will be released in the fall.

If you are interested in participating, please click here to create an account and get started!