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How Digital Tools Help Associations Connect with Millennials

July 23rd, 2019 ON24

For associations, retention hurdles are particularly hard to overcome — especially when younger, millennial members are considered. Almost half (43%) of young members claim that there isn’t a strong return on their investment in association membership. More worryingly, one in three are not at all aware of the benefits their membership provides. But digital tools can help associations to overcome these issues and connect with millennials on their terms.

There’s evidence that reaching out to young members and keeping them engaged pays dividends in the long run: associations with increases in their membership levels (both one-year and five-year) are significantly more likely to have a higher percentage of millennial members.

Two Tips to Consider

Run campaigns and events specifically for younger members.

If engagement and retention of members earlier in their careers is a particular challenge for your association, run campaigns aimed specifically at them to address their needs.

Put high-quality training experiences at the heart of your value proposition.

All too often, mandated elearning or certification sessions can appear to be a painful chore for attendees. But it doesn’t have to be that way – by using webinars that blend multimedia content, resources and assessments, your training experiences can add significant value to your members. Always-on sessions help members choose when they want to learn, and they can also save you time by being highly scalable to produce. Read more about how webinars can improve continuing training and certification.

To boost engagement across all demographic groups, it is critical to understand variances by generation, particularly around how they perceive the benefits in their membership package. For example, research has shown that millennials place more weight on learning new skills and gaining access to career advancement, whereas Gen Xers and baby boomers see access to continuing education as the most significant benefit provided by associations.

Another key way of growing the millennial member base is to use more flexible models, such as subscription packages, alongside your traditional annual membership. Using these subscription-based models, members can get access to particular elements of your offering, such as content or events. The consumers’ growing interest in these models means that associations can experiment with alternatives in the non-dues revenue category and at the same time address the needs of young audiences.