Believe it or not, your online member directory is a unique member acquisition tool. Not only is it a tangible example of membership value, but it can also help identify which prospective members you should consider reaching out to. Here’s how to leverage yours to its fullest:
Start by digging into the backend of your online member directory to find exactly what types of members get the most engagement on their listing.
For example: If you’re a chamber or trade association, members who are a part of specific industries or business categories may stand out; If you’re a professional association, you could see high engagement on members of a specific career level (entry-level, manager, executive level, etc.) or concentration within your industry.
A segment of your membership is bound to stand out...and whatever that segment may be, there are going to be non-members who are a part of it, too. Find those prospects and tell them just how many business leads or industry connections they’re missing by not being a member!
You might also consider letting anyone - member or not - have a basic listing. (Yes, that changes it from an online “member” directory” to just an online directory, but follow me on this.) In doing so, you’ll accomplish a few things:
- Prospects have a refreshing experience, being allowed to take part in what is normally reserved for members.
- You get more data to help prospects understand just how valuable your directory and membership are. (“See what kind of leads you get with just a basic listing? Imagine if you had a full listing as a member!”)
- If all else fails, it’s an opportunity to generate some non-dues revenue by charging them a fee for enhancements - or to stay on your directory all together.
An online directory is pretty standard for most member-based organizations these days. But, as basic as it may seem, yours actually holds a lot of potential for member acquisition and non-dues revenue generation.