5 Ideas to Welcome New Members to Your Organization in 2021

April 24, 2020
When onboarding new members to your group, it’s critical to create a positive and memorable experience. Not only does it set the tone for future interactions, it can encourage a long-term membership and healthy renewal rates. We’ll explore a handful of new member welcome ideas, from time-tested methods to fresh approaches opportuned by the digital age.  Here are 8 ideas on how to welcome new members:

Put Together A Welcome Packet

Branded welcome packets are a common but effective way to orient members. Presenting them with a comprehensive package lets them know that your association is organized and eager to onboard.  A welcome packet should include all necessary documentation and information, including:
  • A warm, personalized welcome letter that congratulates and reinforces their decision to become a member
  • Dues information, including due dates and accepted methods of payment
  • Important member support contact information
  • Web address and set-up information for the member portal, if applicable
  • Overview of benefits they’ll receive
  • Information on downloading your mobile app and all of the features it provides
    • In the event they lose the packet, they can always refer back to the association app to find the same information
Wherever possible, personalize the contents and design of the packet to leave a lasting impression on the member. In a survey, 87% of consumers say that personalized content positively influences their feelings towards a brand. Think about ways you can customize the welcome letter, or even incorporate the member’s name into the design elements of the packet or outer packaging.  

Tour Them Around Your Physical Location

If your organization has a physical office, an excellent way to make a new member feel welcome is to tour them around the facility. Much like a college orientation, a tour serves to get them better acquainted with the space where they may be spending a great deal of time. This way, they’re not left to figure out the space of their own devices. Something as simple as pointing out who sits in what office, where to find the bathrooms, and where every amenity is located, can do wanders to immediately make them feel at home.

Connect Them to a Mentor

There’s no limit to the value a one-on-one mentor provides to a new member of your group or ogranization. More than likely, mentorship was something they implicitly sought when they joined. By actively faciliating this relationship, you help your member form a connection more quickly within the group. College sororities and fraternities have adopted this strategy to great effect, assigning older members to serve as a the “Big” sister/brother of newer member, their “Little” sister/brother. Sometimes members need a push to form connections with one another, and this is a great way to nudge that process along. It helps them extract the most value from their membership.

Send Out a Personalized welcome new membersWelcome Email

Carefully craft a series of welcome emails (yes, plural!) as a more passive approach to welcoming members. Include a first name personalizaiton in the subject line to catch their attention. This is a great space to confirm their membership and all important details related to it. They’ll undoubtedly refer back to it. Reinforce the value propositions of membership, and let them know any next steps they need to take in their onboarding (i.e. meeting for a tour, downloading the group’s mobile app, etc). Finally, include a note and a link to where they can reach out if they have any questions about their membership in the meantime.

Announce and Highlight New Members on Your Mobile App and Social Media 

Give new members a brief spotlight by announcing to the community that they’ve joined. Depending on the volume of members you onboard, you may want to announce them on your:
  • Dedicated association mobile app
  • Social media channels, or
  • Association newsletters
In addition to their name, you may want to include a short bio, picture or blurb on the member and why they chose to join. People often join associations because they want to network within their industry or discover like-minded individuals; they’re looking to make connections. Announcing them on your mobile’s networking interface can expedite this process. Not only does it help  inspire a sense of belonging in newly initiated members, it creates transparency and keeps your existing member base updated on potential new connections.


Learning Opportunity: Find Out How to Build a Manage a Mobile App for Your Members

Tom DeBacco, CEO of MobileUp will host your demo
Association managers shouldn’t let misconceptions hinder good opportunities to grow and engage with their membership. You may be interested in creating a mobile app for your association, or you have dismissed it as too hard. We’re here to dispel that myth and tout the benefits you may not have considered. For more insight, and to answer any questions you may have about creating your very own mobile app, request a demo using the link below. The demo will be hosted by Tom DeBacco, founder and CEO of MobileUp and association app industry veteran. Tom is ready to field all of your questions on launching an association app, the benefits you’ll reap, and much more. If you’re looking to learn more about just how easy it is to build and manage an association app, register today.



Give Them A Gift

Gifts are an obvious choice when you want to create a warm new member welcome experience. The type of items gifted might vary greatly between associations, but there are a few rules of thumb to follow regardless. You’ll want to break away from traditional gifts like discounted membership dues – they aren’t memorable, and won’t help you make an impact. Branded pens, mugs and other association merchandise are not necessarily a bad choice, but are best when coupled with other more original ideas.  Here are some creative offerings that leave a good impression:
  • Signature/famous food items from local eateries (non-perishables)
  • Gift cards from association sponsors
  • A bottle of wine, box of chocolates or gift basket
  • Products that relate to the purpose & theme of the association
    • For example: A tennis-focused association could gift new members with a branded racquet.

Put On A Welcome Event

Your association has likely allotted a portion of your budget to events. With those funds, consider hosting a monthly or bi-monthly welcome event that embraces new members of the community.  These can include:
  • Meet and Greets
  • Happy Hour Networking Events
  • Luncheons
  • Integrate a welcome section into any existing events your association is hosting
Use your association mobile app to send out event notifications and increase member turnout. You can also leverage your app during the event. One way to boost engagement is to have event competitions, then create an in-app leaderboard that members can regularly check.  

Offer 1:1 Membership Set-Up

According to the Harvard Business Review, one-on-one meetings help reduce disengagement levels by as much as 67%. This also establishes a point of contact for the member, whom they can return to with any questions or concerns after initial set up. Use the opportunity to brief them on upcoming events and help them navigate the payment portal for association dues. You can also use this time to introduce them to your association app, an exceptionally useful tool for keeping members engaged long after the meeting ends.  Guide them through the app’s features and benefits, such as: 
  • User-friendly interface for mobile payments and donations
  • Digital membership ID card
  • Association event calendar
  • Sponsorship directory with member-exclusive discounts and perks
  • Discussion boards with fellow members
  • Newsfeed aggregating all the activity of the association
  • Resource library with important member documents and forms
You can also use the meeting to have them fill out forms and surveys on your association mobile app. This allows you to collect their opinions while interacting with them first hand. 

Prioritize Member Engagement with a Mobile App

MobileUp‘s customizable native mobile apps are proven to increase engagement three times over. A native mobile app’s customizable settings also make it a smarter choice than mobile responsive sites Mobile apps play a key role in welcoming new members and enliven their experience with your association. MobileUp’s cloud-based platform and SaaS technology allow you to create a custom-branded app at a much lower price point than custom developers. When you’re ready to enhance all facets of your member experience with a mobile app, let MobileUp lead the way.

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