While the gut reaction to the current economic climate is that new member acquisition is going to take an immediate hit, thinking outside the box could help you navigate this time in way that allows you to serve your industry and also engage people and organizations who will stick with you.
One example of this comes from one our professional association customers, the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM). AADOM's mission is to educate, connect, and empower dental office managers and practice leaders across North America. With the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, they realized…
- Dental office managers and practice leaders need support and guidance (both personally and professionally) more than ever before.
- With many non-emergency dental offices temporarily closing, many of their members (and non-members) have more free time, as they’re currently at home “social distancing,” per the CDC’s recommendation. (And more “free time” means more time to focus on professional development opportunities.)
So knowing that, AADOM made a pretty admirable move: They announced they’re now offering a complimentary membership — which includes access to ALL member benefits — for one full year. They’re calling the initiative AADOM CARES.
In fact, on their website, in addition to a video from the President and CEO, you’ll find this note: “In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, AADOM is opening up all member benefits so dental office management teams across the country can have timely access to information, educational resources and community support from our tribe.”
Whether an actual free membership makes sense for your organization, or another variation of an emergency or temporary type of membership that you offer makes more sense, Membership Levels can help you segment that new subset of members.
- Create one or more Membership Levels that reflect your new/temporary category of membership. Keeping the billing for this temporary membership simple, small and flat (no complicated formulas or additional fees) will help both your own efficiency, and reduce friction for your potential new members.
- Create a separate/temporary Join Form that you link from your home page collecting the baseline information for your new member, and asking them to select your newly created Membership Level. You can choose to allow a "Bill Me Later" option here as well if you are charging for the temporary membership type, allowing them to pay at a later date.
- Set up a Recurring Email that sends a note to your new members in the temporary Membership Level each morning, welcoming them and letting them know how to access the membership resources now available to them.