Your board might have dozens of strategies on how to attract new members but the simplest and cheapest way to grow membership is through your current membership. People are more likely to join your organization if they hear about the positive experience someone else is having in it rather than seeing a list of benefits spelled out on your website.
Don’t get me wrong. Having a clear list of benefits is important, however, word of mouth makes a bigger impact. Word of mouth creates a sense of trust that other methods can not imitate. You might be wondering now how to get your members involved with spreading the word and we’ve got a few options for you!
· Referral program. Offer an incentive for members to reach out to potential members. This could be a discount on their membership, a gift card, or something else creative. Make this program and it’s guidelines clear to all of membership so that you don’t have the same 5 people bringing in all of the new members.
· Surprise your members. Go outside the box and provide members with something that is not already expected. When members get the benefits that they are promised, they do not see it as something worth sharing with others. They are getting what they paid for, however, if you give them something they didn’t see on their radar, it gets them talking! This could come in a variety of forms.
o Send a gift card to someone who comes to the majority of your monthly meetings.
o Do a member spotlight on your website highlighting the member
o Send a card to congratulate a member on a promotion
The options are endless. When doing these special things for members make sure that they are reasonable, repeatable, and relevant. You want to do things that could be done for a variety of members rather than singling out a member. This will create a bigger buzz to potential members. When depending on members to spread the word, it is important that the board is also involved. The board should be setting the example for members. By reaching out to the community and creating incentive, you should see your membership start to grow.