So you have a membership referral program in place, but the problem is, few people ever take advantage of it. You have it listed on your website, and you include it in your new member welcome packet. What else can you do? What else should you do?

Below are two tactics to try if you’re looking to bump up the effectiveness of your association or chamber’s membership referral program:

1. Remind your members often 

When it comes to your membership referral program, the phrase “out of sight, out of mind,” couldn’t be more applicable. Even if your members are aware of it, they’re likely not actively thinking about it month to month. They’re probably more focused on your programming, which is completely understandable. A reminder here and there would be good for everyone.

But don’t just limit yourself to your website and email. Get creative with the different marketing channels you use. The more ground you can cover, the more eyes you’ll reach.

Try a few of these tactics:

  • Include a blurb about it in your weekly or monthly newsletter (Maybe said blurb includes a member testimonial — from someone who either referred a member or was referred by a member)
  • Post about it on social media (Tip: Include a graphic to make your messaging stand out. Canva is a great — and free! — tool to try.)
  • Mention it at the beginning and/or end of an event you’re hosting (“Know a colleague who might also enjoy and benefit from an event like this? Don’t forget about our membership referral program!”)
  • Promote it in blog form (You could do a short Q&A with one of the referrers and referees you already have)
  • Add it to your email signature (Just remember to keep it short with a link to learn more)

More mentions plus more coverage should (hopefully) yield more membership referrals!

2. Be strategic about your timing 

Timing is everything — especially when trying to get membership referrals. In addition to the general promotional tactics listed above, zero in on some of your members when the time is right.

Here’s what we mean: Let’s say you publish something on social media thanking your members for attending yesterday’s webinar and restating that the recording will be available soon. And let’s say on that post, one of your members comments about how much they enjoyed that webinar. Well, that’s an engaged member who’s getting value from their membership. In other words, they understand the value of a membership with your organization…so they could potentially “sell it” — quite effectively — to someone else. Consider reaching out to that member (via email or phone) and just saying you saw their comment, you’re so glad they enjoyed the event, and if they can think of anyone who might also benefit from a membership, you’d love it if they could help spread the word. (And then, of course, mention the incentives that come along with referring a member.)

An outreach like this will not only make your members feel special, but it’ll make your members feel needed — and we all like to feel needed from time to time. (And hey, it never hurts to ask!)