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Personalized Onboarding Strategies for New Association Members

Personalized Onboarding Strategies for New Association Members

The CSO Center, a membership group within ASIS International, recognized the need to enhance the onboarding experience for new members in 2022. Despite the ease of joining with a simple online payment, members did not feel a sense of belonging and struggled to understand and access the benefits offered by the organization, according to an article by ASAE. This realization came from anecdotal feedback when members were asked about non-renewal.

In response, the CSO Center implemented two programs to personalize the onboarding process and foster a sense of community:

Volunteer Ambassador Program:

  • Within the first two weeks of joining, new members are paired with a volunteer ambassador.
  • Ambassadors, recruited based on commonalities like industry, location, or language, personally welcome new members and help them understand the organization’s benefits.
  • Ambassadors receive a toolkit with draft messages and a timeline, ensuring consistent and informative communication over six weeks.
  • Personalization is encouraged, creating a unique opportunity for new members to learn from experienced peers.

New Member Open House:

  • New members are invited to attend a quarterly member open house organized by their volunteer ambassadors.
  • The core presentation covers organizational leadership, history, benefits, online resources, and staff contacts, with regular updates to keep the content current.
  • Sessions provide a structured yet interactive platform for members to ask questions, connect with others, and gain insights from board members and staff.
  • Board members attending sessions add a leadership perspective, making the organization more approachable to members.

These initiatives aim to provide a more personalized and engaging experience, fostering connections between new members and the organization. By combining the Volunteer Ambassador Program and the New Member Open House, the CSO Center creates a pathway for new members to feel welcomed, informed, and connected, ultimately contributing to a more satisfied and engaged membership base. This approach recognizes the importance of human interaction and tailored communication in building a sense of community within the association.

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