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Adrian Sallis

Sep 2, 2022

Top Tips For Onboarding New Members In Professional Associations

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 When it comes to welcoming a new professional association member, there are a few things you need to consider to make sure the onboarding process goes is as smoothly as possible.

After all, if your association member onboarding process is lacking or practically non-existent, then your new members might immediately be dissatisfied with their membership investment. 

In this article we explore a few onboarding tips and see how using onboarding member association software can be a useful in establishing a solid relationship with your members from the get go. Keep reading and learn how to revamp your welcome and onboarding process so that it's more satisfying than ever for your new members. 

Welcome Emails for Your New Members

Many people underestimate the importance of welcome emails. In particular, a welcome email series can be a useful way to introduce your member benefits to new members. 

What is a welcome email anyway? As the name suggests, it makes a new members feel welcome. But there is more to such an email than just that. Without any welcome email at all, your new member might feel unappreciated. 

The new member might also not know how to proceed. The first characteristic of welcome emails is timeliness. As soon as a member joins, they should receive a welcome email within minutes. 

Besides welcoming the new member, the email should also confirm any transactions. For example, if the member paid for their membership, the email should confirm this payment. Or, there may be a payment confirmation email followed by a welcome email. 

The welcome email should also explain that the member's new membership is active. That way, the new member will be ready to access the services and benefits that your association offers. If your association has an online AMS that members can access or a Learning Management System to provide professional development the new member should also be able to log in and explore the platforms from the information you provide in the welcome email. 

Keep in mind that your welcome emails should be somewhat personalised. A generic email doesn't show that you actually care about your new members. To solve this problem, try to add a few personalised features to your welcome emails. For example, referring to the new member by name in the email is very important. 

The Details

This automatically makes the email much more personal. Keep in mind that the welcome email should be informative as well. For example, it should provide instructions as to how the new member should proceed. 

That way, the new member won't be confused or unsure of what to do next. If you need to include a lot of information, try not to include it all in one email. This could be seen as overwhelming for your new members. 

Instead, try to break up the information among several different emails. However, you preferably shouldn't send out all those emails at once. Again, this could be seen as quite overwhelming. 

Instead, plan the welcome emails to be sent out over a few days or a week. That way, the information will be easier for your new members to manage and understand.

Keep in mind that you may need to deal with both digital and physical onboarding materials. If the membership involved is mainly a remote situation, then it is best to keep the onboarding materials digital for the sake of convenience. 

On the other hand, if you and your members need to get together in person, then physical onboarding materials may be helpful. An efficient and helpful way to provide physical materials is to include them in an onboarding welcome package. Such a package can be filled with all sorts of helpful things besides the main onboarding materials, such as new pens, notebooks, or whatever else your new members might appreciate. 

Don't Forget Onboarding Materials for Your New Members

If there is a lot of information associated with the membership, then it is important to provide the new members with a booklet or perhaps a digital pamphlet. Even blog articles and videos can be very helpful for getting the new members more acquainted with your association and member benefits. Again, make sure that you don't bombard your members with too much information at once or it might be seen as overwhelming. 

Try to choose a booklet or a few videos to send out to your new members. That way, there will be a much more manageable number of materials to go through. If you have a lot of information to dish out, then it is best to follow the same steps as you did with the welcome emails and provide the information over a certain period of time. 

Some associations have a member's charter or code of conduct that members need to adhere to. These can be loaded into your learning management system (LMS) with a digital acknowledgement to save on paper and make reporting on member compliance easier. Depending upon your learning management system you may also be able to set up automative annual renewals and printable certificates for members to frame and display on the premise or on their website. 

Track the Onboarding Process 

As long as you use the right onboarding technology and make your new members feel as welcome and comfortable as possible, your onboarding process should be sufficient.

However, it is still important to track the onboarding process. After all, there is always room for improvement even if your onboarding process is already in great shape. 

You can track the onboarding process by seeing what methods of the process work the best. For example, if you find that your series of welcome emails does very well for making the new members feel more acquainted, then it makes sense to continue using those emails in the future.

On the other hand, if you find that certain booklets or other informative materials don't seem to be helping your new members very much, then it may be time to switch out those materials for some other options. 

Using a simple poll or survey from inside your Learning Management System you'll be able to ask your new members to rate their onboarding experience and provide you with feedback on how to improve it in the future.

Improving the Process

As you bring in more new members, you can see how those members react and respond to certain onboarding materials. Over time, you will be able to fine-tune and narrow down your onboarding process. At a certain point, you will have a very effective and streamlined onboarding process

You can keep track of certain metrics such as how often your new members open your welcome emails or any other emails for that matter. You can also track how much (or how little) the new members interact with the rest of the membership community. If the level of engagement is low, then you will need to figure out different ways to increase the level of engagement among the different members.

The rate of attendance, of course, is also very important, whether the attendance is online or in person. To learn more about the effectiveness of your onboarding process, you can always get feedback from different members. Different members should be able to give you plenty of helpful feedback as to what you can do better and what you can avoid in the future. 

Once you do that, you should have the perfect onboarding process for your new members.

All About Professional Association Member Engagement and Onboarding

Professional association member engagement and onboarding are very important for making sure that your new members feel comfortable and acquainted with their new memberships. A good way to start is to send out a series of welcome emails to your new members. That way, they will feel welcome and know how to proceed. 

Providing onboarding materials and keeping track of your onboarding process is important as well. To learn more about how a Learning Management System can help improve your onboarding process, contact us for a free consultation.

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