Inbound marketing is a powerful way to attract qualified traffic to your organization’s website. What exactly is inbound marketing, you ask? Well, rather than pushing information out to people who don’t want it (think advertisements, billboards, direct mail, etc.), inbound marketing focuses on a “pull” marketing approach to tap into existing demand.

Simply put, inbound marketing allows you to provide people with the exact information they’re looking for at the precise time that they need it.

Now I know what you’re thinking: I’m an association professional, not a marketing guru. Why should I care?

Well, as an association professional, you have the expertise that people are actively looking for. Why not use that expertise to attract more people and convert them into members? Inbound marketing is the perfect way to make that happen, not to mention, it’s pretty cheap!

There are four stages of the inbound marketing methodology (attract, convert, close, and delight), and today we’re going to skim the surface. Take a look!


Inbound marketing starts with attraction. The best way to attract qualified traffic to your organization’s website is by creating compelling content. Start by creating one big content piece, such as a white paper or an eBook, then use that content piece to create several smaller pieces, such as a series of blog posts, videos, or infographics.


Once you’ve attracted people to your organization’s website, you’ll want to convert them into leads, or potential members. To do this, you’ll need to gather their contact information, or email addresses at the very least. Remember the big content pieces we were just talking about? Well, this is the perfect opportunity to leverage those pieces in exchange for some basic contact information.


You’re almost there! You’ve attracted the right visitors, converted them into leads, and now you need to transform those leads into members. But how do you make that happen? Well, now that you have people’s contact information, you can send them a few follow-up emails with even more compelling content. A series of well-crafted emails with useful and relevant content can be just enough to get them to join.


Just because someone joins your organization doesn’t mean you can forget about them. You must continue to engage with them and delight them over time – especially if you’re concerned about member retention. That means keeping track of and responding to conversations on social media and other online social communities.

That’s just an overview of inbound marketing for associations. For a more in-depth look at inbound marketing and best practices, download our free inbound marketing guide below!