Every association offers similar benefits. Access to special resources, discounts on event tickets, professional networking, a diverse library of documents, a robust membership directory and more. While these items are an important part of your membership strategy, in order to stand out amongst thousands of associations, you have to offer something different.
How To Create Unique Member Benefits
When adding to your list of member benefits, think about what your members truly need. How could a specific benefit enhance their experience, increase the chances of their renewal, or improve their loyalty to your association? If you’re unsure as to what your members want, send out a member survey. Ask for candid feedback on what benefits are missing. Look at your competitors. What kind of benefits do their members receive and does that affect their overall success?
How The American Veterinary Medical Association Used an App to Enhance Member Benefits
Association’s Now, a content platform for associations, membership groups, and more, recently published an article about the American Veterinary Medical Association and their unique membership offerings. In addition to the normal benefits we listed above, AVMA also created a special membership app that offers “access to savings on everything from movie tickets and clothing to insurance and office supplies,” (Associations Now), thus greatly increasing the value of an individual’s membership.
Considering that over 80% of mobile users own a smartphone, AVMA knew this app could help consolidate hundreds of benefits to one easy location. The other advantage of using a mobile app? AVMA could also track mobile analytics to see how successful (or unsuccessful) their offerings were. “AVMA will continue to assess member needs and review metrics along with the overall value of partnerships as the program evolves,” commented AVMA’s program development director, Jodie Tagget.
Segmenting Benefits When Appropriate
While AVMA’s app is primarily used for access to membership benefits, they also used the member engagement as an opportunity to upsell other offerings. For example, when working with younger members who are still in school, they’ll focus on “in-app benefits…like student loan refinancing and practice loan offers,” (Associations Now).
Generate Non-Dues Revenue in the App
Here at AMO, we’re always discussing ways to generate more non-dues revenue for your association. Help your members and your bottom line by offering ad space on your app. To provide the best user experience, keep the featured ads to a minimum. And be sure to prioritize space for your members’ businesses first, then open it up sponsors or other public groups. If done right, your ad revenue could cover the cost of the app itself.
When creating unique member benefits, think outside the box. Research your members’ needs and wants. If you’re still not sure, ask. If you can’t afford to pay for an app, get creative in your financing by offering sponsorship options or ad space in your app. Start small, measure the changes, and you’ll see positive results like better member loyalty and increased member renewal rates.