The growth of the union is and always will be a primary goal. It facilitates power in your region and gives you more flexibility and buying power for jobs. Not to mention it directly benefits all the active members. So, let’s go through some strategies you can use online to get the word out about your union and increase conversions on your website. More conversions = more members.
5 Ways to Boost Enrollment Online
- Make Joining as Simple as Possible
- Train your Employees
- Email Segmentation
- Social Media
- Create a Great Onboarding Experience
1. Make Joining as Simple as Possible
It needs to be as easy as possible for potential members to sign up. The quicker, the better. You want to remove any hurdles that could get in the way of a new member signing up to your union. If they must spend 20 minutes filling in all of their information right off the bat, it could scare them away.
Consider having an online sign-up form where a prospect can begin to fill out the basics of the paperwork. Use an easy-to-understand format that makes the entire process very clear and straightforward. Just make sure you capture their basic contact info. That way you know that they are interested and can follow up if they don’t complete the sign-up process.
Once they get to the signing stage, offer e-signature options to ensure they can sign from anywhere, any time. Digital waivers are a great way to help speed up the onboarding process. Anything that saves time and removes any potential blocks from the sign-up process is a bonus.
2. Train your Staff
If you're a business manager, you probably have a team of staff. Train your organizers properly and hold regular meetings to educate them on everything your union has to offer. They should know every feature, benefit, and value-added activities the union has available. Whether an employee is an organizer, manager, or on the front desk, they should understand all parts of the union and be comfortable selling to potential members. Your website should reflect all this knowledge and make it accessible to the world. This makes for a union that sells itself and creates a landing page where you can send all your members and potential members useful information.
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An administrator should be confident in recommending your union to any potential member. While your expert training manager can recommend the latest course offerings you have available. Your team is only as strong as your training, so take the time to educate them on both your union and sales techniques.
Many unions are underusing email as a tool for members. From email blasts to transaction emails, to group-specific emails, this can be an extremely efficient method of communication to your members.
Focus on perfecting your craft by checking open rates and click rates. Some emails will perform better than others based on the headlines you use to grab the members' attention. Once they are reading the email, you need to clearly articulate what you are trying to get them to do. You will quickly learn what works and what doesn’t if you track these metrics with a member management system.
4. Social Media
If you’re looking to better understand your audience, social media should be one of the first places you look. There are two very good reasons for this:
- Data. Social media platforms are an extremely good source for data when it comes to demographics, usage, interests, and much more.
- Social media brings out more of their true self than you would typically get in a work setting. You can learn a lot through their interests on outlets like Facebook as they are much more willing to share.
Facebook has a free tool called Facebook Audience Insights that you can use to analyze your Page Likes. It’s surprisingly simple to use and really addicting! It’s tempting to spend an entire afternoon reading the data on your audience.
There are SO many things you can do with the tool, but a few highlights include:
- Page Likes
- Location and language
- Facebook usage
- Device(s) they are using when they log on
- Purchases activity
Would the answers to those categories help you with your marketing efforts? Probably. This could help you choose what time of day is best to post on social media, where to focus your mobile efforts, what type of products or services resonate with your audience, etc.
And this is only a fraction of the data that Facebook is tracking and will give you access to. The possibilities are virtually endless. Ignore analyzing social media data at your own peril.
5. Create a Great Onboarding Experience
In its 2017 benchmark survey of association marketing, Marketing General reported 81% percent of associations sent a membership confirmation/welcome email, but only 35 percent had a welcome email series that explained their association to new members. Unions need a good onboarding campaign to facilitate strong new relationships by showing the benefits the union provides to the new member. This will also help you figure out how the member wants to engage with you.
Keep in mind, a good onboarding campaign doesn’t have to have a ton of content. In fact, too much content is overwhelming and will get lost in translation. A great onboarding campaign includes a bunch of small pieces of useful information that are personalized to that member. Finally, a good call to action is necessary. If you are sending out forms that a member needs to fill out and send back to the union. Make it easy with a call-to-action button in the email like the one below.
Say a new member signs up. This is great news. He just paid you money for dues, which means he is more willing to give you his attention. The worst thing you can do is to just leave them in the dark. You don’t want to wait until they are about to leave the union to tell them about all the awesome things you do for them. Start with a strong message about some of the key benefits. Then follow up with them consistently, showing them that you are always there to help with anything they may need.
A good onboarding campaign has been proven to create opportunities to:
- Increase volunteerism
- Increase lobbying
- Solicit donations
- Create lasting member engagement
- Improve retention
When your whole team stores data and uses that data to make informed decisions like how to communicate with the member or when to reach out, you will be much more successful in creating a memorable onboarding experience. A platform like Union OS makes all of this not only possible but easy for everyone.