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Now Available: 2022 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

Here are some of our top findings on what drives membership growth from the 2022 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report. You can download the full report detailing these and other activities that correlate with membership growth.

Adding more new members
is one of the top drivers of total membership growth. Associations reporting increases in their one-year and five-year membership numbers are significantly more likely to report increases in new member acquisition. Similarly, those reporting declines in the same areas are considerably more likely to report declines in new members.

Providing compelling value to members is another robust and consistent driver of membership growth. Once again, we asked associations, “How compelling is your association’s value proposition?” Demonstrating a continued upswing, 53% of associations believe their value proposition to be compelling or very compelling (up from 52% in 2021 and 48% in 2020). When an association delivers good value, we see a correlation with growth. Associations reporting increases in membership levels and those with a renewal rate of 80% or higher are more likely to believe their value proposition to members is compelling or very compelling.

Focusing on organizational innovation is another vital driver of membership growth. Association executives reporting increases in membership levels are significantly more likely to consider their association extremely or very innovative. Nearly three-quarters of associations have increased virtual professional development opportunities during the past year (73%). Additionally, more than half of associations have developed new products and services (62%), re-evaluated and streamlined internal processes (59%), and expanded their marketing efforts (54%).

Increasing funding for marketing efforts is critical to membership growth. Compared to the last year’s research, a more significant percentage of associations have increased budgets. With these marketing budget increases, there is a correlation to better results. Associations reporting increases in membership over the past year have increased their budgets for awareness, recruitment, and engagement. Conversely, those reporting declines in the same metrics tend to have decreased their budgets in these areas.

For many associations, membership growth continues to be challenging. This report aims to help associations meet these growth challenges by sharing statistically valid insights to build successful programs. Both these statistics and our experience in the marketplace reaffirm this – when associations apply the best practices identified and discussed in this report, they tend to see success in growing their membership.

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