Never forget that you (CEO, your board and staff) know and understand more about your benefits, your offerings and your value than do 90% of your members. It’s the time of year to share that message with your members.
This comment commonly surfaces on association member survey responses when the association asks: “What could <the association> do to support you and your business?
If you’re not intentional and specific about the value of the value you offer, here are a few steps to help you:
1. Agree on three important groups of members you most want to influence today. Read this if you want to learn more about clustering your members into segments. Be specific. List three groups here.
2. Ask this question to yourself, “What value do we deliver to these member groups that we know they need, that they cannot get anywhere else?” If you have a formal value proposition, read it aloud – now. Is it still relevant to each group of members above? Is the explanation – albeit with variations to different audiences – reasonable for a new member to hear on their first day? To a large business owner? A busy operations manager?
3. Ask at least ten members that are part of the three groups you list above (who are not involved as volunteers or elected leaders) this question: “What value does our association offer you that’s valuable to you, that you cannot get anywhere else?”
Once you have the answers, if the responses to these three steps are not in line, you have work to do. But it’s not too late!
TALK ABOUT WHAT’S MISSING. CHOOSE FROM BELOW:
- Refresh your message of value or create one.
- A communications plan helps all of your communicators relay your value messages where your members are, so that they hear it often and in many different ways.
- A refresher of how to write about the benefits of your services and how those services help the member do more, earn more, save more.
- A communications review and specific ideas for making your communications laser focused on the member.
- Link your value message to your strategic plan so that you are strengthening the value you deliver to members every year.
Telling members that you matter is nothing until you: (1) Say it with relevant words, (2) Show them through your actions and (3) Repeat it over and over again.
I suspect your gut will give you the answer. Take a few minutes to make sure your value message is consistent as you deliver it to members across communications platforms. Members especially need a clear and direct reminder at dues renewal season.
LOOK FOR SIGNIFICANT CHANGE
If your audience changes, your offerings or expertise changes, or the market changes, your value proposition could be due for a change. Most of the time, the value message simply needs some attention.
Association Executive Mary Cano (New Jersey) verbalized her priority when talking to her staff about connecting with members.
The most effective dues renewal practices we have seen include:
- A member guide focused on all services and deliverables that are part of the value proposition
- A good old-fashioned oversized postcard that reminds members of what they should expect in return for paying their dues
- A small multi-panel mailer that lays out the value proposition and very simple, clear language
- A drip marketing campaign that includes hard copy, digital, social, website, and office collaterals and signage so that members can’t miss it!