Looking back at the organizations you’ve joined in the past and how you were welcomed as a new or renewing member. Did some journeys begin with a single, impersonal email confirmation—quick and efficient, but lacking a warm welcome. Or were you bombarded with an avalanche of emails, overwhelming you with an abundance of information, attachments, and reminders.

In this article by Bev Moline of MCA, she highlights onboarding practices that miss the mark. It suggests auditing your onboarding or re-boarding journey, to gain valuable insights into why members disengage.

9 wrong ways to onboard new or renewing members:

1. “One-and-Done Email,” a cold and transactional confirmation that leaves new members feeling unappreciated. Create a personalized onboarding email series that not only reaffirms their decision to join but also nurtures and provides valuable information.
2. “Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink Email,” a well-intended attempt to digitize the welcome kit, but one that overwhelms members with information overload. Break it down into a series of digestible emails, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable journey.
3. “Over-boarding” phenomenon, where various teams clamor for attention and bombard new members with disjointed messages. It’s like a chaotic marketplace where everyone is vying for a piece of the action. A period of “quarantine” for the first 30 days for new members, safeguards their experience by carefully controlling who has access to them.
4. “No member Pulse check”. Failing to ask new members about their experience and expectations early on can lead to missed opportunities for improvement.
5. “Assuming renewal means your work is done”. Renewing members also need attention and nurturing. Tailoring the messaging specifically for renewing members is crucial.
6. “Automation without some oversight”. While automation can be convenient, it requires regular monitoring to ensure the content is up to date and engaging.
7. “Talking to members and prospects the same”. Segmentation is essential to tailor communications for different audiences. Sending the same messaging to members and prospects reveals that you aren’t talking to them specifically.
8. “Not giving (and honoring) a way out”. Members should have the ability to opt out or customize their communication preferences to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
9. “Forgetting to show members a little love”. Showing genuine gratitude and appreciation to members is essential to make them feel valued and connected to the organization.

Step into the shoes of your members. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. By understanding your members’ journeys, you can enhance engagement and create an exciting and tailored onboarding experience.