Boost Member Engagement and Retention: The Power Of a Personal Connection

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Membership bodies face an ongoing challenge of not only attracting new members but also retaining their existing ones. Boosting Member Engagement and Retaining your members can be made easier with the power of a personal connection. There are lots of ways that you can boost member engagement and retention. There are lots of ways you can add to your engagement strategy.

From member events to exclusive member publications there’s so much you can do to enhance your member engagement strategy. One tool you might not have considered is the introduction of member-exclusive branded merchandise.

Leveraging the power of personalised, sustainable branded gifts helps create a strong bond with your members. Branded merchandise can enhance your member’s sense of belonging, and ultimately increase member retention. In this blog post, we’ll explore how branded merchandise can be a useful and effective tool for gaining and retaining members.

Build a Sense of Belonging

Branded merchandise acts as a tangible representation of the membership and promotes a sense of belonging among your members. By gifting personalised items such as t-shirts, tote bags, or water bottles featuring your membership body’s logo or slogan, members feel an immediate connection.

By gifting useful items that your members will use day to day- like a tote bag they may take to their food shop or a coffee cup they would make good use of on an early morning commute, these items become a part of their daily lives. They serve as a constant reminder of their affiliation and solidify their commitment to their membership body.

Strengthen Emotional Connection

When members receive branded merchandise, it creates a positive emotional connection. Whether it’s a custom notebook or a stylish pin, these items evoke a sense of pride and appreciation. By offering sustainable merchandise, for example, membership bodies can further align with members’ values and promote their commitment to sustainability. This enhances the emotional connection between members and the membership body, making them more likely to stay engaged and loyal.

Enhance Visibility and Create Ambassadors

Branded merchandise serves as a powerful tool for increasing visibility and creating ambassadors for your membership. When members proudly wear or use these items in their day-to-day lives, they become brand ambassadors, promoting the membership body to a wider audience too.

This organic word-of-mouth marketing can attract new members, but more importantly, it reinforces the sense of community and strengthens bonds among existing members. By encouraging members to share their experiences on social media with branded merchandise, you can amplify its reach and engagement.

You’d be amazed by the attention a few posts on LinkedIn or Instagram might get your membership body- we have seen it happen with our clients and it is great to see!

Recognise and Appreciate Members

Recognition plays a crucial role in member retention. Branded merchandise offers an opportunity to recognise and appreciate members for their loyalty and active participation. Consider creating exclusive merchandise for long-standing members or celebrating specific achievements or milestones. By acknowledging and celebrating their contributions, membership bodies reinforce members’ values, making them feel appreciated and motivated to continue their involvement.

Continuous Engagement and Reminders

In my experience working for a membership body, communication is king! If your membership aren’t hearing about your offering, it’s very easy to switch off. Members who receive regular communications are more likely to engage with your events, programs, or exclusive resources.

Personalised merchandise can also serve as a conversation starter during networking events, conferences, or industry gatherings, facilitating interactions and strengthening connections among members.

In the quest to retain members, membership bodies should explore innovative strategies, and branded merchandise stands out as a useful addition. By leveraging the emotional power of personalised and sustainable items, membership bodies can enhance members’ sense of belonging, strengthen their connection, and ultimately increase member retention.

Take a club membership with an annual fee for a season ticket, like some of our valued clients. You get access to events each year of course, but you also get a beautifully presented gift when you sign up. Building that loyalty is a great way to strengthen the relationship with your members and potentially also create brand ambassadors and good PR for the club at the same time. From car stickers to lapel pins, children’s cuddly mascots, or baseball caps and pens, the options are endless!

It’s not just about the merchandise itself, but the underlying message it conveys – a symbol of community, pride, and appreciation. By incorporating branded merchandise into your member retention strategy, you can build a thriving and engaged membership community that continues to grow and thrive over time. To speak to our experts about your own member engagement strategy contact us today.