Top 5 Member Engagement Ideas Proven to Build Loyalty with your Members

Jannan Poppen


Are you feeling lost when it comes to member engagement ideas? Or perhaps you know that membership engagement is important but you aren’t sure what exactly that means or looks like in practice. In order to build loyalty with your members and create enduring member relationships, it comes down to value. Creating value creates loyalty, and if your members don’t feel or see the value in what your association provides, you are missing out on the number one reason why members stick around.

Follow these five proven steps to create high-value, loyal memberships for years to come.

1. Create a Member Engagement Strategy.

First and foremost, if you haven’t created a member engagement plan, start there. A well-thought out strategy will not only enhance the opportunity for success, but it will also mean everyone on the team is on the same page and will prevent stress and confusion about what needs to be done. An effective member engagement strategy is one that is ongoing and continually delivers value but that also allows for adjustments when needed. 

A lot of energy may be put into getting members to join, but what happens next? Think through each step of the membership cycle and create incentives and opportunities for feedback at each phase. 

2. Make Sure your Members Feel Special.

The first opportunity to delight your members comes when they first join. A friendly welcome gift highlighting your association, sets the tone, makes your new member feel recognized, and spreads your brand name and message. Onboarding may be the first opportunity to build loyalty and deliver value, but it is certainly not the only time you need to show your members some love.

Giveaways or contests add some fun to the mix, and a little friendly competition, especially when it’s for a shared cause, can up the ante as well. Of course, adding extra benefits, incentives, or discounts makes your members feel like they’re getting the VIP treatment, and these benefits have the added perk of offsetting membership dues. 

Member Engagement Ideas

3. Highlight your mission.

Shared missions allow for connection on a deep level. Most likely your members joined for this reason to begin with, so if you’re looking for one of the best member engagement ideas to reignite lackluster membership engagement, this idea is for you. Highlighting your mission through the power of a story reminds your members why they joined and allows members to see the greater impact of their membership.

 The following two member engagement ideas provide several ways in which you can effectively highlight your mission and build upon that all-important point of connection. 

4. Stay Connected.

Community Brands 2017 Member Loyalty Study showed that 47 percent of members across those they surveyed said that they didn’t feel that membership content was personalized. Sharing content that is both relevant and personalized helps to again build that connection with your members. Whether the message is delivered through content marketing, email, or social media, the crucial point is that it feels personal.

 Regular touchpoints ensure that members know what’s going on, remain aware of the value the association offers, and are less likely to exit the membership as a result. 

Member Engagement Ideas

5. Create Community.

Whether creating online and in-person events, or creating a membership portal, finding ways to create community encourages a sense of belonging and helps boost engagement. Members want to feel seen and heard and be a part of a group that cares about the same cause. Connecting with other members on a personal level increases satisfaction and retainment, and of course, adds to a thriving association culture that will pay off in dividends. 

 Again, consider how creating community impacts value. Continually identifying and enhancing value at every step of the membership lifecycle ultimately is what will drive loyalty.