Last week we discussed membership with millennials – why it’s important, how to build a successful strategy, and ways to increase engagement. If you missed it, check it out here >> Boost membership with millennials. Similar to my recent post, Associations Now shared an article about the pros and cons of offering student memberships and if it’s the right move for your association. With a decrease in membership rates across the country, reevaluating your membership tiers is essential if you want to stay afloat in this market.

Should you offer student memberships?

The first factor to consider is your ideal member type. If your association targets mid-level executives, a student membership doesn’t really make sense. On the other hand, organizations like the Minnesota Dental Association that primarily works with dental students and new grads, it’s a no-brainer. Especially considering students and postgraduate dentists are managing hefty loans.

To help direct your efforts, Tim Ebner from Associations Now, advises answering these questions first

Where is the opportunity?

Be specific about what kind of students you want to work with. Is it highschoolers? College students? The more you can target, the more successful your student program will be.

What should you offer students?

Now that you’ve determined you’d like to offer membership for students, what benefits will you bring to the table? Remember, just offering the student membership does not guarantee an increase in sign-ups. Give students a specific reason to join. Maybe that’s a student-only newsletter or access to a member-only job board.

What should you charge?

As I mentioned above, students probably can’t afford expensive memberships. Offer discounted programs or maybe even free memberships. You won’t see a huge increase in ROI but the long-term investment is worth it. “If the student graduates and stays on a membership track, you could potentially see a lifetime of value,” says Ebner.

Recruiting young members can be challenging – is offering student memberships the right move for you?

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