How’s your first-year member retention rate? Not that great? You’re not alone. First year retention is a challenge for most associations, maybe because they spend much more money on acquiring new members than on guiding them into the association. Last week I suggested several onboarding ideas, beginning with the application and welcome touches. The next touch: orientation.

New approaches to orientation

Many associations still run orientations the way the Pennsylvania School Boards Association used to: “We talked at new members — the ‘It’s all about us’ approach.”

Turn the focus around and make the new member reception (more appealing than ‘orientation’) about them. Hold it before an event to encourage participation. Allow plenty of discussion time. Ask veteran members to learn more about the new members, answer questions, show them around the website and advise them on membership paths.

Invite new vendor members to a marketing workshop where a veteran member panel explains how to market and develop business within the association. Send tips on association networking and relationship-building to all new vendor members.

Please read the rest of this post about new member onboarding at the Avectra blog.

association new member onboarding orientation membership

Photo by Global X/Flickr

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