Tips for onboarding emails that make your new members feel welcome and keep them around for years to come

The first interactions with your association make a lasting impression.

Here’s how to create onboarding emails that make your members love your organization right away and stay around for the long haul.

Michelle Schweitz, YourMembership Marketing Manager

By Michelle Schweitz, Marketing Manager, Community Brands


You work hard to bring in new members. The last thing you want is to lose them when it’s time for them to renew.

As with any relationship, the first interactions with your organization make a lasting impression on new members. That’s why the onboarding process is so important.

Here are five tips for creating member onboarding emails that make new members feel welcome and set the stage for a relationship that will last for years to come:

1. Segment your audience.
Making your new members feel welcome starts with letting them know you know them. Plan to send separate emails for members based on who they are. For example, an industry partner will be looking for different benefits and value than an industry professional. Make sure your emails address these different groups of members appropriately.

TECH TIP: YourMembership association management software email campaign management functionality enables you to quickly and easily create email lists based on a variety of member information, including membership level, event registration types, and more.

2. Start simply.
Sending too much information right away can be a turnoff to new members. Start simply by thanking them for their membership. Let them know you’ll be sending more communications soon with additional information about their new membership. Give them a short, simple list of what they can expect next and where to go for information. For example:

    • List what communications they can expect to receive from you.
    • Ask to be added to their “safe sender” list, so they won’t miss any updates from you.
    • Direct them to online resources, such as your calendar of events, career center or online member community.

3. Be clear.
When you need new members to do something, be sure to state clearly what you need them to do and why. For example, if you need new members to complete an online member community profile or set up their communications preferences, send them a specific email communication about that action. Give them a link and ask them exactly what you need them to do. Let them know why you’re asking them to take the action. For example, “Setting up your communications preferences will ensure we send you information the way you want to receive it, so you won’t miss an update or a member benefit.”

TECH TIP: With YourMembership membership management software, you can easily set up and start using a preference center to capture your members’ communication preferences.

4. Get personal.
Personalize the member experience when you can. For example, present your members with content specific to their needs and interests. Mention why the member joined or how the member has engaged with your organization so far. You will win them over by showing you understand them and you’re working to deliver value to them.

TECH TIP: Use YourMembership association management software to collect and analyze data about your members’ career stages, interests, and behaviors to provide them with more personalized communications.

5. Invite them to join in.
Get new members involved right away by asking them to connect with your organization and other members. For example, invite new members to a discussion forum for new members in your online community. Also, include a footer in your onboarding emails that lets members know how to stay in contact with your organization, such as customer support contact information and social media icons.

Take the next step.

The first interactions with your association set the tone for how your new members perceive your organization. Creating a thoughtful series of onboarding emails will make sure your members love their membership right away and help keep them around for the long haul.

Learn more about how to welcome new members and keep them engaged with your association. Watch the webinar on-demand, Top tips to effectively onboard new members.

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