What better time of year to tell members how much you appreciate them?
We stand at the cusp of the busiest time of year. The joy of loved ones and celebrations will be accented with the stress of obligations and to-do lists. But before we leap too brazenly into the Christmas season, let's take time to bask in the warm and simple glow of Thanksgiving.
Cultural and historical nuances aside, Thanksgiving is an opportunity to count our blessings and directly state what we are thankful for. As an association, it is also the perfect moment to say 'thank you' to your super members for everything that they do. After all, your members are the core of everything that you are. Taking the time and effort to show your thanks lets them know how much you value their commitment to your association and inspires them to continue strengthening that relationship with you. So here are 5 simple and heartfelt ways to say "Thanks".
1. Get cheesy online
Don't be afraid to let your soft side show on social media or in your member community. Your super members are likely highly active online and engage with you on these platforms on a daily basis anyways. What better way to thank them then to dedicate a post to an individual member or to post an awesome picture and tag all of your top users? This will make them feel great as individuals and also send a message to the rest of your following about how much you value and appreciate your members.
2. Recognize them at your next event
This can be done in the form of thanking them in a speech, printing a 'thank you' to them on event merchandise, or even including a shout out in a newsletter. Even better, you can allocate a special portion of an event or section of a newsletter specifically for member appreciation. This shows not only that you care about members, but that you are tuned in to their wants, needs and activities, and you are transparent about it.
3. Offer them perks or discounts
The taxonomy of member features is different in every association, but that doesn't mean you can't get creative with giving away discounts and perks. This might be a badge of recognition in your community if you have gamification features or discounts on continuing education events or credits. The great thing about these types of 'thank yous' is that it offers a gift to your member for their participation and further stokes their involvement in your association. Now that's a win-win.
4. Send a small, thoughtful gift
Whether this is a bottle of wine, a gift card to a great restaurant, or just a funny card, receiving these types of 'thank yous' cements in members minds that this is a meaningful, symbiotic relationship.
5. Write a personal note or email
"Hey - I just wanted to say..." emails are the best emails. Their informality really speaks to their genuineness, and they feel more human and personal than the typical professional script we tend to lean on in emails. Sending your super members an informal and heartfelt thank you email is a free and easy way to solidify your appreciation of them. Even better than an email is sending them a note in the mail. In the digital age, the art of sending handwritten notes is something that carries even more gravity.
Member appreciation should be ever-present at your association, but that's not to say that every organization is good at speaking up and saying 'thanks' as much as they should. So from all of us at rasa.io, this is our nudge for you to tell your members how much they mean to you. And for all of those who will be celebrating, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Written by Christian Britto
We created rasa.io because we fundamentally believe that up to now, the approach most associations take to online community building has been far too narrow. Networking, resource sharing, and Q/A are just a part of the online community experience, so we created a platform the puts member engagement where it should be - at the heart of your association’s community.