officers often complain that when there's work to be done, it's always
the same people doing it. Activation of new members is one of the most
critical elements of guerrilla marketing for associations. In The
Greatest Management Principle in the World, Michael LeBeouf says,
"Any behavior which is rewarded will be repeated." The guerrilla uses
this principle to build membership and participation by lavishing attention
upon guests, and particularly new members.
is one of the most powerful of all rewards. We naturally crave acceptance
and recognition. Some associations reserve certain privileges for members
only, such as making announcements from the floor or distributing literature.
visitors by asking them to stand, introduce themselves, and share some
good news about their businesses or families. Guests can be given a
red rose, a carnation, or even a gold lettered guest ribbon to wear
on their lapel. Every officer should make a point of taking these folks
aside and getting acquainted. Visitors often become bored during the
business session of a meeting because they may not fully understand
the proceedings. Solve this problem by taking guests to a separate room
and conducting a brief orientation before the program. Prepare a "Welcome
Wagon" envelope containing information and a coupon for free lunch at
their first meeting as a member. By showering visitors with attention,
you make them feel welcome and wanted.
Once a visitor has
paid their dues, they should be assigned immediately to a project
or committee. You've heard it before, "what you get out of your membership
depends on what you put into it." No one is more passionate and energetic
than the new convert. If you invite them to contribute, even if it's
only folding newsletters, they'll throw themselves into it full-steam.
Their motivations are primarily social at this point, and they'll usually
say "yes" to whatever is asked of them. Thank them publicly for their
involved also helps build word-of-mouth. People are five times more
likely to tell someone about a new product or service within 30 days
of buying it. It's how we know we've made the "right" choice. By telling
others, we validate the decisions we've made. When we can brag about
our new car, boat, or computer, we're less likely to feel buyer's remorse.
This means that your new members are going to tell the majority of their
friends about the association during the first month after joining.
If all the newcomer
has done is sit through a luncheon or a dinner program, they'll have
little to share with colleagues. However, if they've been invited to
write an article for the newsletter or to work on a fund raiser, they
now have something to crow about. The more invested they are, the more
they tell others and the more invested they become.
Pick any activity.
The more you learn about something, the more interesting it becomes,
and the better you are at it, the more fun it is to participate. It's
a safe bet that you now have practically no interest in crawling into
a cold, dark cave. But when someone shows slides of fantastic formations
of flowstone, and tells stories about discovering rooms encrusted with
rare crystals, the prospect of joining them on a spelunking expedition
becomes much more attractive. By asking new members to contribute, guerrillas
use this "get involved" technique to build interest and motivation.
This cycle reinforces their interest and their commitment to remain