Whether you host a casual book club or are in charge of a major group with hundreds or even thousands of members, recruitment is always a challenge.
Spreading the news about your club, either by word of mouth or through smart, creative marketing is important. But even that won’t be enough to give you a major membership boost.
Instead, keep reading to learn 9 better ways to start getting more club members.
1. Offer an Incentive
The best recruitment ideas for any type of club are those that showcase everything your club has to offer.
For instance, gym membership spending has increased in the UK in recent years because people see the value in getting healthy and in shape.
But the value of other types of clubs is less easy to demonstrate. While booklets, brochures, and tours are great, they aren’t always enough to draw in new members. Instead, many people are looking for a tangible incentive to join.
Joining gifts are a great way to attract larger numbers of new members. How small or large your gifts should depend on the joining and annual fees you’re demanding.
What’s more important is choosing a gift that’s enough to spark a person’s interest in at least learning more about your club. This will help draw in people who may never have heard of your club, and to finally convince those who have been casually considering join but have yet to take the plunge.
2. Keep Recruiting Going All Year Long
Many clubs make the mistake of only recruiting new members at the start of their season.
But the problem with this tactic is that it gives you just a small window for introducing new members to your club and then convincing them to join.
For individuals who need more time to think it through and make the decision about whether or not to join, this won’t be enough time.
Additionally, the leadership in your club are likely at their most busy during this time period. This leaves them with less time for recruitment.
To avoid these issues, continue recruiting members throughout the year.
3. Start a Referral Program
While membership drives and introducing your club to strangers is important, you have access to a huge pool of potential members right at your fingertips; the friends and family of your current members.
Starting a referral program gives your members incentive to invite people they know to join while also giving something back to your members.
4. Rethink Your Dues
If you’ve been struggling to increase your membership for a while, it could be a sign that something is wrong. One common issue is dues that are simply too high.
If potential members feel that the dues aren’t worth what they would get out of your club, or if they can join a similar club for less, they won’t want to join.
Lowering your dues doesn’t have to mean running your club on less. Look for ways you could cut spending in your club to give yourself the extra cash you’ll need to make up for lower dues.
5. Host Open Parties and Events
Hosting parties and events for your members and allowing them to bring non-member guests is another great recruitment idea.
If your event has a gate fee, this is a great way to earn a little extra money (and make up for that due drop!). But it’s also a great way to reach out to potential new customers and show them just how fun your club can be.
6. Give Younger Members Leadership Opportunities
Older members who have been with the club for a while tend to be more loyal. As a result, they have a greater say in how the club is run.
The problem with this is that clubs with members of ages, leaving only older members in charge can sometimes make club events feel outdated. Younger members feel as though they aren’t a priority.
If younger members begin to leave, the club’s lifespan will be short-lived. Older members will eventually leave, and with no younger members to take over, the club will fold.
If you want to continue recruiting and maintaining club members, you need to give younger members leadership opportunities within the club.
Not only will this help to keep them around, but it may also help boost enrolment, as younger generations tend to be more social, with larger friend and acquaintance groups to recruit.
7. Make it Family-Friendly
Just because your club’s main focus isn’t something that families can enjoy together doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include them in some of your events.
If your members have children and spouses at home, they may skip out on events. New members might feel as though the club will keep them away from their family too much.
By making as many events as possible family-friendly, you’ll show your guests that you care and that they won’t be abandoning their family by joining.
8. Encourage Old Members to Return
Old members leave for a number of reasons.
Some lose interest in the club. Others simply get too busy to commit time to the club.
But things change. You never know when an old member might decide to come back. By sending out notices asking them to come back or offering them deals on membership fees, you might just net a few return members.
9. Throw a Big Annual Event
Ideally, your club’s calendar would be full of fun events and get together that members can get excited about. In fact, worrying that a group will be too much work and too little fun is a big reason people choose not to get involved.
But the reality is that regular meetings aren’t always that fun. If new members think that your club is all business, they may lose interest.
Hosting a big annual event that everyone looks forward to, and that you can ever
Getting More Club Members
Implementing just a few of these tips or all of them is sure to help boost your member count.
But none of these will have much of an effect if your club is a mess.
When meetings are disorganised, records get lost, and finances aren’t carefully planned, your club will be more likely to fold rather than grow. Members will lose faith in you and stop renewing their membership. New members will take their money elsewhere.
Start your free 30-day trial today to see how our software can help you manage your memberships, track finances, and more so that you can start getting more club members today!