The Do’s and Don’ts of Creating a Winning Affinity Program at Your Association
Do Determine Your Members’ Needs
There has to be a need for a product/service the external business is offering. It’ll only generate reliable revenue if it’s tailored to the members’ experience and requirements.
A simple way to figure out what will represent value for members is to conduct a survey or poll. These can give you better insight into their interests.
You can go even deeper by discussing the suggested programs with your most active members or hiring a market research firm.
Do Research Potential Partners
Finding the right partner is crucial to ensure that the affinity program will strive forward. The partner’s company should possess values and goals similar to those of your association.
That way, you’ll both be pushing each other in the same direction; whatever benefits the association will benefit the external business and vice versa.
Research potential partners’ experience with affinity programs. Inquire about previous projects, successes, and failures to get a better idea.
Do Highlight How the Program Aligns with the Association’s Mission
To ensure that your members trust the affinity program’s product/service, you need to emphasize how its elements fit the association’s purpose.
Explain how the program’s offerings provide value, how it connects to your industry, and how it enhances member experience.
Don’t Overlook Monitoring the Program
Regular monitoring of the program’s performance and effects is how it stays successful for many years.
Set up in-person meetings with the partners, schedule conference calls, and ask for quarterly reports.
Survey the members on their satisfaction with the affinity program and what they’d change or keep.
Don’t Forget the Importance of Promotion
Launching an affinity program won’t do much good if the members don’t know about it.
You can spread the word about the program via multiple channels, including newsletter announcements, email campaigns, sponsored events, and website features.
Don’t Underestimate the Legal Side
It’s best to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s before jumping into an agreement.
Rushing a program launch can prevent you from setting up a strong agreement, which puts the program and the association in jeopardy.
Responsibilities and expectations must be clear before moving on.
Contacting a legal counsel is the most reliable way to ensure a smooth agreement with an external business.
Your association’s affinity program requires thorough research and nurturing to become a long-lasting revenue stream.
A winning affinity program has to address specific needs and provide legitimate value.
You need to find the right partner, set up a solid agreement, promote the offerings, and monitor performance/results.