Onboarding New Members

The following post is based on a recent webinar I attended sponsored by NXUnite.

The session focused on sharing ideas for your new member onboarding process, based on seven questions they asked.

There are lots of great ideas listed below that you could implement into your onboarding process, in addition to what you're already doing.

1.  How have onboarding best practices changed over the past 5 years?
  • More individual interactions.
  • Elevating engagement – get feedback and be more intentional on finding out why the member joined.
  • The process has been digitalized – hybrid, accommodate to meet your members where they are.
  • Members have a voice in the organization and let them know that.
  • Use the platforms your members are on to connect.
2.  What advice do you have for building an onboarding strategy?
  • Membership and marketing departments should be part of the conversation on the new member experience.
  • Be consistent with your messaging.
  • Think about the user experience – make it easy for them to interact with you.  Again, make it easy!
  • What are your value propositions?  Deliver that message with your communications plan.
  • Don’t overload with too many messages/emails.  Maybe a 5 for 5 strategy?  5 emails with 5 messages in 5 weeks or months.
  • Be consistent with your messaging from all parts of the organization.
  • Don’t make assumptions, use data to find out what your members want and need.
3.  What to do when you want to update your strategy?
  • Ask your colleagues what they are doing, you don’t have to have all the answers.
  • Have you thought about having an onboarding committee?
  • Ask your most active members how they became active.
  • Think about the first experience your member has with your organization.
  • One size does not fit all.
  • Are you doing quarterly webinars for onboarding your new members?  Have some of your most active members be your speakers.
4.  What onboarding mistakes are people making?
  • Not having a formal onboarding process.
  • Not asking for feedback from your onboarding process.
  • Don’t just talk to them but have a two-way conversation to engage your new members.
  • Overloading your new members with too much information too fast.  And, not doing enough.  You need to find the right balance.
  • Not having your board, staff and members make calls.
5.  What small changes can you do to make a big change in your onboarding process?
  • Create an email series campaign that officially welcomes your new members.
  • Ask the new members questions that you can use later for engagement.
  • Describe the onboarding process to your new members and then deliver on that promise.
  • Acknowledgements, let them know you appreciate them.
6.  People are busy, how to onboard successfully without taking up too much of their time?
  • Make your onboarding process self-service.  Use different platforms that they can access with your messaging.
  • Are you texting with your new members as a welcoming touch point?
  • Be creative!
7.  What is the future of onboarding?
  • Automation of the onboarding process and AI.
  • Using online communities to engage with your new members.
  • Make sure you are continuing to invest in resources to make the onboarding process productive – think retention!
Final thought - don’t be afraid to review your onboarding process.  There is no need to blow up your current processes, but you can add or delete new ideas and track how your new members are responding, on a regular basis, to get better results.
For more resources on onboarding go HERE.