Testimonials can be a great membership marketing tool for attracting new members and encouraging current members to get more involved with your association. After all, a peer recommendation for becoming a member of your association or participating in an activity is far more compelling than you simply asking someone to join.

But where do you start? Who do you ask? How do you collect member testimonials? Where do you share them for the greatest marketing impact?

Read on for five effective approaches.

Five tips for collecting and using member testimonials in your membership marketing

1. Determine your goals.

First, think about why you’re collecting member testimonials. Understanding your goals will help you determine what questions to ask members to prompt the type of testimonials you’re seeking.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Are you generally trying to convert prospects into members?
  • Are you attempting to promote specific benefits, such as networking or continuing education opportunities to gain new members?
  • Do you want to drive current members to take advantage of specific offerings, such as your online community or career center?

2. Set up an online survey.

Send a survey to your members asking them to share their experience with your association for your use in membership marketing. You might start by sending the survey only to your most involved members to get the best responses. Using an online survey tool is an efficient and convenient way to collect member testimonials.

As you build your survey, be sure to collect key information, including:

  • The member’s name, job title, and organization
  • How long the member has worked in your industry
  • Why the person chose to become a member
  • What the member’s experience has been with your association (be sure to ask about specifics related to your goals)
  • What has been the most valuable benefit of being a member
  • What the member would say to a peer who is considering joining your association

While your survey should be thorough, make sure it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Ask as few questions as possible while still gathering the information you need for a great testimonial.

TIP: Be sure to include diverse member groups in your survey so that you can gather testimonials from members that represent a range of generations, career stages, and member status.

3. Ask for testimonials at your in-person events.

Your association’s in-person events are a great place to gather member testimonials, too. Attendees are often most excited about the organization while they’re learning new things and networking with other members and association staff, so it’s an ideal time to ask for a quote.

4. Target specific members.

In addition to gathering general member testimonials, you might also target specific members to gather focused testimonials. For example, ask members who are active in your online member community to give you a testimonial about how they’ve benefited from participating in the community. Another example: Ask members who have recently been hired for jobs they found on your online job board to share their experience as a job seeker using your online career center.

These types of testimonials can be helpful to use when you’re marketing specific member benefits.

Share your member testimonials.

Once you’ve collected testimonials, it’s time to share them with prospects and members. Here are some areas to consider:

  • Recruitment email messages and member benefits pages – Be sure to highlight general testimonials in your recruitment email messages and any “become a member” pages on your website.
  • Campaign-specific emails or web pages – As you build out campaigns to promote things like online learning opportunities or career resources, include any testimonials you collected for those specific activities.
  • Your online community – Don’t forget to include testimonials in your online member community to help promote specific member benefits and activities as well as to improve member retention.

Learn more

Member testimonials can be a powerful part of your association’s membership marketing efforts. Discover more tips and best practices for member recruitment and engagement: Read the guide, YourMembership’s Top 10 Greatest Hits for Successful Membership Marketing.

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