“Let’s get engaged”
No, not that type of engagement. (I am already married.) I am talking about engagement with our membership and community.
Let's think about our members or potential members as customers. A customer wants to buy something; a member wants to belong to something. You must remember that current and soon-to-be members are our customers who have developed a deeper, ongoing relationship with the ACF and the chapter.
Keep in mind that relationships don’t happen by accident. Some brands can develop deep cult-like followings, just like me and Starbucks, or possibly you and the brand of car you purchase.
To develop this type of engagement start small. If we try to go too big we will fail for many reasons.
Start by adding extra benefits.
This has to be done on a chapter-by-chapter basis
. We are not all the same; what may work in one area may not work in another. These benefits provide highly anticipated rewards that enhance the main attributes of the chapter. And they provide enough value to make someone think twice before leaving.
Studies have shown that people rarely travel more than 20 minutes for everyday purchases. People love connecting online, but their money goes local. That is why we need to concentrate our resources in the very communities in which we live.
Getting our members from our own local area is a common tactic among larger membership organizations. They have regional meetings, local sub-groups, and sometimes events that go on tour. Host a local event for your members or to help garner or hook that new member. Partner up with a local business or charity that your crowd might have a shared interest in. Popular chapter-supported efforts in many areas include food banks, homeless shelters and the like.
Connecting human-to-human makes your chapter very real. It adds a person, a name and sometimes a face to the emotional connection a member forms with you. Find a way to connect your members with at least one person in your organization. It doesn't have to be face-to-face. It could be automated — sending an email from an actual name, for example.
"Align your voice" sounds so 2010, but what I mean is "speak the language of your members."
Taco Bell, for example, does a great job of this. Their ideal customer isn't affluent men in business suits. It's people whose bodies are tired from working all day and other young, broke people. And they mirror how those people talk.