INBOUND GUIDE FOR MEMBERSHIP-BASED ORGANISATIONS
Table of contents
- Develop buyer personas
- Create content with context
- Convert via your website
- Establish a multi-channel lead nurturing strategy
- Buyer personas for current members
- Segmented email marketing
- Automation & smart content
- Give exclusive access
- Put the spotlight on your members
- Set up referral and/or loyalty programs
About this eBook
There are a variety of membership-based organisations: industry-related like Property Council Australia, health-related like Diabetes Victoria and not-for-profit like World Wildlife Fund Australia. The purpose of these organisations is to bring value to their members - by building a like-minded community and offering useful resources and events to help them connect and grow. In exchange for this value, members invest in the organisations. So, while every membership-based business is different, each has one thing in common: their members are their main source of revenue. In other words, having members and keeping those members happy is critical to their success.
If you’re a member-based organisation, then, you always have to address the following three questions/challenges simultaneously:
How do we recruit new members?
How do we engage current members to keep them happy?
How do we retain current members to ensure they renew their membership?
This is where inbound comes in.
If you’re not familiar, inbound marketing and sales
The following is a fantastic visual capturing the inbound marketing and sales journey, including tactics used along the way.
In this guide, we encourage you to reference this as we outline inbound marketing and sales strategies your
The core of an inbound strategy is creating value for your people, so when it comes to those who are not yet members, how do you determine what is valuable to them and how you can appeal to them enough to become a member of your
Here’s how to start recruiting more new members:
Develop buyer personas
Before you determine what is valuable to your potential members, you first have to understand who exactly you are targeting. What are their main interests, challenges
Give each persona a name and develop their profiles. Note, you can and should create multiple personas, so you’re not missing out on any potential new members. In knowing you who are aiming to reach, you’ll be a better place to set up your content and SEO strategy.
Create content with context
Content is the core of your inbound strategy. Helpful, engaging and relevant content is going to the magnet that attracts new members to you. Yet, how do you determine what content is going to be helpful, engaging and relevant for these prospective members?
Refer back to your buyer personas. What are they interested in? What are they searching for when they hop on Google? What are they hoping to achieve in the future? You’ve already answered these questions through your buyer personas, and those answers are what you’ll want to frame your content around.
Think about it this way: there’s a chance your potential members are not searching for your
When it comes to the type of content to create, diversify! Some people might prefer long-form blog posts, while others might respond better to video. Here’s a list of various types of content you could distribute:
In tandem with developing the right content, you want to make sure you’re doing the following:
Accounting for search engine optimisation (SEO) because your content does little good if no one can find it. Click here for a step-by-step guide for how to do this for your membership-based organisation.
Integrating calls-to-action (CTAs) that drive traffic to your website or get contact information from potential members.
Promoting your content via your social media channels, email and whatever other communication channels you use because once again, content is useless if no one sees it.
Employing these tactics will allow your content to get found, building awareness and credibility for your
Convert via your website
As you are driving your prospective members to your website, you want to make the most of them visiting. Firstly, it should load quickly, be mobile friendly and easy to navigate. If even one of these boxes is not checked, you can’t expect people to spend time on your website.
Once those elements are covered, your priority should be conversions - getting someone to volunteer their information to you - so you can re-engage with them and ultimately convert them to active members and
What other attributes make a good landing page? A clear message, simple design and
Establish a multi-channel lead nurturing strategy
Once someone has given you the means to communicate, your goal is to turn them into a full member. To this, you’ll want to get to know your prospective member better and continue reinforcing your value to them. This is also known as lead nurturing. While one tactic like email marketing could be effective with some prospects, many people these days have email overload, leading to declining open rates. That’s why a multi-channel approach makes so much sense.
Instead of relying on one tactic, you combine multiple approaches like marketing automation, social media, paid retargeting, newsletters,
Managing all these moving pieces is a certified team effort;
Attracting and winning over new members is a tough feat that deserves a pat on the back, but as we noted at the beginning of this guide, your inbound strategy doesn’t end once you convert someone to being a member. As your
In this chapter, we’ll cover how to do just that.
Buyer personas for current members
Customer needs change as they move down your marketing and sales funnel, so you shouldn’t assume that new members want the same as members who have been with you for over five years.
For example: During the attract/convert stage your customer might be looking for networking opportunities. However, once they are members, they might be on the lookout for other benefits like in-depth industry insights or
As a result, you should build unique buyer personas for current members, so you can better tailor content and your communications to them.
Through HubSpot’s CRM, you can gather data on members past purchases or track their interactive journey with your website which can be used to inform your buyer personas and push out relevant,
Segmented email marketing
To keep members engaged, you need to constantly be providing them value, and avoid getting in touch only when you want something, like a donation from them. Email marketing is an effective way to maintain
Make sure to include CTAs pushing them to share content with their network either via email or on social media. Not only are you providing valuable content consistently but you’re earning third-party validation!
Automation & smart content
While a growing
How do you know what content to share? HubSpot’s content management system offers “Smart Content” that essentially assesses what content people would want to see based on statistics of their previous
Just as you have to employ certain tactics to recruit new members and keep current members engaged, there are approaches you should execute to ensure membership renewal. In this final chapter, we will cover strategies for ensuring your members stay active, renew their memberships and become advocates for your organisation, encouraging new members.
Give exclusive access
In addition to
Put the spotlight on your members
Your members are the backbone of your
Set up referral and/or loyalty programs
If possible, try setting up a program where members get benefits for bringing in new members or for maintaining their membership. There are a few different types of programs that work well specifically for membership-based organisations. The key is determine rewards that your members care about, so they are not only incentivised to stay a member of your organisation but also feel like you're giving them ongoing value. Additionally, loyalty programs will help you identify your biggest advocates for the