It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and you’re out and about in the festivities, waiting in lines and searching for deals, but gift-giving doesn’t always require wrapping paper. Give a gift to your members that goes beyond tangibility and increases their engagement with your association. Here are six gifts you can give your association members this holiday season, and you’ll get the added benefit of avoiding long lines and the hassle of wrapping.
A Well-Designed Website
Few things are more frustrating than visiting a website that’s difficult to navigate or makes the information you’re looking for difficult to find. If it has been a few years since your last update, your association’s website may need a bit of a facelift. Consider surveying your members about the functionality of your website, as well as other aspects to further enhance the usefulness of your website for viewers. That way, your next upgrade will deliver exactly what your members are looking for in a website.
A Responsive Newsletter
With our increased reliance on smartphones, ensuring fluidity between Internet platforms is crucial, and this includes your association’s newsletter. 90 percent of Americans own a smartphone, and two-thirds (63 percent) of smartphone owners use their mobile devices to access the Internet according to Pew Research Center’s 2014 study. Give the gift of easy reading to your association members by ensuring seamless adaptation of your newsletter layout between small and large screens. Your members won’t have to wait to read your newsletter until accessing a desktop. Engagement with your eNewsletter will likely increase when it is responsively designed.
Fresh, Exciting Content
When I do my weekly check-ins with my favorite websites and blogs, it’s disheartening to find only stale, irrelevant content from previous months. Don’t discourage followers from making frequent visits. Keep your association’s website or blog content fresh by posting daily. You may post three new articles per week, and on the days when a new article isn’t uploaded, post some type of new content to get your viewers to interact. New content could range from a survey or trivia, to a discussion post for members to share insight with one another that fosters community. By maintaining fresh content, you’re likely to increase return visits and gain a competitive advantage over other, similar sources of related information.
Not all members are capable of traveling to your association’s latest event, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be included. With the new year approaching, consider streaming your events online. That way, members who can’t attend due to budgetary limits or schedule conflicts can still experience the excitement, gain insight into industry trends and experience key presentations that take place. In fact, consider recording events for members to watch later. Is your association gearing up to plan 2016 events or conferences? Try surveying members to determine an ideal geographic location for optimum attendance. By doing so, you’ll be able to gauge event attendance while making your members feel a part of the planning process. It’s a great way to connect with members and increase the reach of your event.
Affordable Membership Dues
One gift that’s guaranteed to light up member’s faces is affordable membership dues. Is your association taking the necessary steps to keep membership dues in check? One easy approach to creating affordable membership dues? Evaluate non-dues revenue opportunities, and ensure your association is taking advantage of the available opportunities.
Recognize Your Members
‘Tis the season for recognition. The holiday season is a time for appreciation, especially after a long year of hard work. You show your employees you appreciate them, but what about your members? After all, your association wouldn’t exist without them. Perhaps you have a member dedicated to working long hours on a special project for your association, or maybe another member reached a milestone year as a member of your association. Big or small, we all need a bit of a confidence boost from time to time, and what better time to praise your members than now? Give the gift of recognition. You’ll be surprised at how rewarding it is for your members and for you.
We know gift-giving can put you into a bit a rut, especially with the hustle and bustle of holiday parties and family gatherings. With our six gift giving suggestions, you’re sure to bring a smile to the face of your members and take a load off your holiday to-do list.
Caroline Dumas is a senior at Georgia College and State University studying marketing. She is completing an internship with Naylor’s marketing department.