Membership Marketing Tactics Every Association Should Know

Headquartered here in the Washington D.C. area, Ironistic works with a LOT of associations. There’s an association for everything! There’s even an Association for Old Crows (look it up, it’s a thing!). And while the focus of every association is different, their primary goals are almost always the same:

  • Represent and advocate for their members
  • Represent and advocate for their industry
  • Disseminate information and resources to strengthen their members and their industry as a whole

Their primary website-business goals include:

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Grow Membership.
Engage visitors with direct messaging for why potential members should join and develop a concise process of how to join. 

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Educate Current & Potential Members.
Organize access to educational training and events for current and potential members.

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Show members opportunities for advocacy awareness within their membership

Associations that we work with typically have a wealth of information that they are constantly looking to share and promote with their members, potential members, policymakers, media, and the general public. However, many of their members struggle to successfully organize and market that incredible bank of knowledge and resources.

We’re here to help! Check out our top five membership marketing tactics every association should know.  

Top Five Membership Marketing Tactics
for Associations

1. Clean Up Your Website

If you’re like most associations, you just keep adding more and more resources to your website over the years – blog posts, newsletters, industry sheets, white papers, publications, webinars, instructional videos…. the list goes on! 

Eventually, you have more than 4,000 “content items” on your website and it’s out of control. Take a step back and make sure that your content is organized and “tagged” for people to easily search and find. You can tag by any and all of the following:

  • Topic
  • Year
  • Department/committee
  • Author
  • Contributing member/organization
  • Type (i.e. presentation, speech, white paper, etc.)
  • Access (i.e. member vs. non-member)

With this approach, your members can browse your content or simply say, “Show me any webinars covering XYZ topic in the past 3 years.” Check out the resource library we built for IIBEC as a great example of this and our website design tips for associations.

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2. Segment Your Email Outreach

You’re reaching out to your members a lot. Probably too much! They get event announcements, dues notifications, regular newsletters, invitations, new member introductions, and much much more. Let your members segment what they want to hear about from you. The more specific you can make it, the more valuable your email will be to them!

3. Make an IMPACT Through Your Social Platforms

No one knows more about an industry than the association that represents it. You probably have more factoids and influential information about your industry than anyone else on the planet. Leverage that! Create cool infographics and animations that you can post on social (especially LinkedIn and Twitter) that your members will WANT to share and recirculate.  

A rising tide lifts all boats, right? Be the tide that your members can get behind and raise awareness across the Internet.

But don’t just hide behind a simple post. Tag your members, policymakers, and other industry influencers in your posts to spark some conversation and engagement. 

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SEO soup

4. Don’t Forget the Tech Alphabet Soup – SEO and SEM

Again, associations have a TON of content and information to share, and no one loves that more than Google and other search engines. Leverage those platforms to expand your reach. Identify keywords and phrases that align with your users’ search intent and optimize your content accordingly. No one is going to be able to compete with you in terms of volume of content, so let’s make sure you appear on page one for relevant Google searches! 

5. Join the Metaverse

A core purpose for any association is to bring members and industry professionals together. We all know how that turned out over the past two years with this darned pandemic. Most associations have transitioned with various virtual events, but true networking is still a struggle. Hop on the metaverse bandwagon and check out building virtual worlds (not just events!) for your members to gather and engage with each other. 

If your association needs help implementing the above tactics, consider partnering with Ironistic! Contact us to learn more about our marketing and digital strategy services. 


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