New member onboarding is incredibly important because it builds the foundation of the relationship and sets expectations. A weak onboarding program can make members regret their dues payment so you can’t afford to have an ineffective program. Here are a few suggestions on how you might make your current one stronger.
Ideas for Your Chamber’s New Member Onboarding Checklist
First, personalization is key for the new member. If your member joined electronically, the first contact should also be electronic, especially if they could’ve called your office to join but decided to fill out an online form instead. That says a lot about his/her communication preferences. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t call, it just means reach out first via e-mail and tell him/her what to expect over the next couple of weeks.
Next, don’t overwhelm them. It’s better to share bite-sized communications than send a mega email containing everything they need to know. Consider an onboarding drip campaign with one topic per email. Topics might include:
- ways to increase your marketing reach with the chamber
- understanding the chamber calendar, including how to add your own business events or sign-up for the chamber’s
- learning opportunities with the chamber, etc.
Here are a few ideas you can use for your onboarding program:
- Mentoring: match each of your new members with a loyal member. Bonus if that person is a good fit for the type of business the new member has. This relationship could also be less formal and the chamber “buddy” could be a part of your ambassador’s program.
- Welcome packet.
- Suggest pertinent training or networking events based on their business.
- Welcome breakfast.
- Pass along interesting stats about membership in infographic form, including average number of referrals or training costs saved through membership. This can also be part of your onboarding drip campaign.
- Do a social media announcement. Make it interesting. Include more than the business name and “welcome.”
- Keep an eye out for the new member at the first event. When you see them make a meaningful introduction.
- Touch base after two weeks and a month. Find out if their needs are being met. Listen for what they might need but aren’t saying.
What do you do that isn’t mentioned here? Share it with the Chamber of Commerce Professionals group.
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