4 Ways to demonstrate value with your association’s membership levels

Your association’s membership levels can help you recruit and retain members. The trick is to show members what’s in it for them. 

Read on for four ways to demonstrate value around your membership packages.

Caitlin Hustrulid


By Caitlin Hustrulid, Marketing Manager, Community Brands



Your association’s various membership levels have a purpose. They’re meant to offer options that meet a variety of members’ needs and budgets. They can be a powerful tool for attracting new members to your association. They can also encourage members to stick around year after year.  

The trick is to show members (or prospective members) what’s in it for them. Doing so will help you get members and non-members excited enough to open their wallets and hit the “join” or “renew” button. 

Here are four tips for demonstrating value around your membership levels: 

1) Ask your members.
Whether you’re creating new membership models or adjusting existing membership levels, it’s important to confirm what your members need. Be sure to gather feedback from your members. For example, here are some helpful questions to ask in a survey: 

  • Do the new or existing membership packages provide enough value? Why or why not
  • Which benefits do you find most useful? Least useful
  • What one thing could our association add to the member experience that would make it more valuable to you? Why? 

TIP: YourMembership AMS by Community Brands has survey functionality built in, making it easy to build and send targeted surveys and get feedback. 

2) Create value statements.
Creating a value statement for each of your membership levels is similar to developing a value proposition for your association. Your value proposition (sometimes called a positioning statement) explains, in a concise statement, the unique benefits your association has to offer members. It tells current and prospective members:  

  • Why they should join
  • What’s in it for them as a member
  • Why they should continue to renew their membership  

Likewise, it’s important to establish the unique value each of your membership levels provides. Create a value statement that you can use in your messages. It should concisely explain what unique benefits each membership package or level offers.

And just as you use the feedback from your member survey to establish or “edit” your membership levels, you can use the same feedback to develop value statements for each membership level.   

Some questions to address in your value statement include:

  • Who does each membership package help
  • What are the benefits of each membership package
  • Why is each membership offering more desirable than similar ones on the market?

3) Define your target audiences.
Think about which groups of people each of your membership levels will appeal to most: Non-members in general? Renewing members? Specific groups of non-members or members, such as new graduates or those early in their careers? This exercise will help you to develop lists for email communications and determine the best marketing channels and messaging to use to promote each membership level.

4) Develop messaging (and get the word out).
Your value statement should be the core of your messaging for each membership level. It will help to convince your target audience that it’s time to join or renew. Create messages based on your target audiences for each membership level. Be sure to keep messages consistent with your organization’s branding, and be sure to mention your association’s overall value proposition. Then, push your messages out through various marketing channels that are most effective for each of your target audiences. For example, are your target audiences on your online member community? Then you might want to put more emphasis on promoting your new offering there. Are you trying to drive new memberships? Then maybe you want to focus more on your website, email, and social media. 

TIP: YourMembership AMS email campaign management functionality enables you to quickly and easily create targeted email lists based on a variety of member information, including membership status, membership level, and more.  

Learn more 

Discover more key concepts and tips for developing membership packages and pricing that demonstrate value and help you attract and retain members. Sign up to attend the upcoming webinar, The dues and don’ts of association pricing strategies on April 28, 2022. 

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