How often should your association introduce new association membership benefits? This is a critical question as you allocate resources, both financial and staff time.
There are many associations that have been successful over a long period of time with a few core benefits that have changed very little. Often these associations were early innovators in specialized types of insurance or directories. However, even those associations are feeling the pressure to innovate. Here are two reasons you might find it useful to introduce new association member benefits on a regular basis:
- Competitive associations and/or for-profit companies are becoming more aggressive in expanding their reach into traditional association areas. While this may not have affected your association yet, you might want to go on the offensive now to build superior association benefits that will be difficult for others to challenge later.
- New association news can be an excellent catalyst for spiking interest and membership in your association. You have probably noticed that the grocery store shelves are full of “New” and “Improved” statements on their product labels. While those statements may seem trite due to their common use, the simple fact remains that they work – and they can help your association, too.
How often do you need to introduce new association benefits? That will vary by your association’s resources and the magnitude of the benefits, but you should try to introduce a new benefit at least once per year, preferably shortly before association membership renewal time (assuming that your association is not on a rolling renewal period).
Introducing new benefits too frequently can actually have a detrimental effect because each introduction will have less impact and potentially be more confusing due to the large amount of marketing “chatter” coming from your association. Given this, a good rule of thumb would suggest that between one and four new association member benefits per year may work well.