Association Connect

8 Essential Tactics for Attracting Younger Association Members

By Craig Lauer | July 28, 2020

1. Meet Them Where They Are With the Tools They Need

  • Deliver expanded online options (because younger people expect it)
  • Create mobile-optimized content offerings so young members can engage on their smartphone
  • Develop online as well as print publications
  • Engage in relevant social media activity
  • Provide online communities and networking tools and apps 

2. Ask Their Opinion

  • Understand what younger members truly want from an association membership
  • Generate surveys, both among current members and prospective members
  • Create focus groups of younger potential members
  • Audit what other associations are doing
  • Give younger members real opportunities to get involved, making them feel valued while you gain insightful new perspectives
  • Talk to experts who work with a wide range of associations

3. Develop a Member Lifecycle

  • Brainstorm your different member types and place them in categories (four can be an ideal number, being sure to include one category for younger members)
  • Determine what members are looking for at different stages of their career and offer those benefits
  • Consider tiering your pricing so younger members can afford it (and grow with you over time)

4. Actively Invite Them In

  • Show young people how membership will benefit them with a targeted marketing campaign
  • Create a referral program
  • Let younger members know they are needed 
  • Offer young people a free opportunity to attend a virtual conference or other event, or offer a free trial period
  • Connect with colleges and institutions that have relevant programs

5. Have Current Members Share Their Stories

  • Create powerful testimonials from members for marketing pieces
  • Post videos to social media of members speaking about how membership benefited them early in their career
  • Have members explain how membership in your association differs from competing associations

6. Offer Mentorship Programs

  • Enable seasoned pros to offer guidance to emerging professionals
  • Create an online community with relevant areas to connect people
  • Create an under-40 community to allow younger members to network
  • Monitor and assess the mentoring program to evaluate its effectiveness
  • Share mentoring case studies and success stories

7. Create Relevant Events and Content

  • Help young members advance and grow
  • Deliver career development workshops and seminars, particularly online
  • Offer other career resources including, but that go beyond, a job board

8. Once You Get Them, Keep Them

  • Develop a great onboarding experience for new, young members
  • Offer a meaningful welcome package, including custom-branded apparel that young people would want to wear
  • Create a membership card to establish a tangible sense of belonging to a community
  • Provide an automated renewal process to make remaining a member easier
  • Use modern membership management software to understand how your members are engaging and evolve your tactics based on your findings

Connect with YGS to discuss how we can help you create a bigger pipeline of members.

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