By Brandon Carter | Updated on Mar 12, 2014 4:06:00 AM
What do people get when they sign up for an association, a union, a club, or any kind of membership organization? We know the benefits, the actual services they'll get for being a member, but what do they receive?
In other words, how is a group tangible?
Here's why this is important: when meeting another person, humans make eleven judgments about them in the first seven seconds, according to a study at NYU. Before you've even finished saying hello, the person opposite you has already judged your education level, trustworthiness, professional desirability, perceived credibility and more.
Customers are doing the same thing every time they make a purchase or join a group. When they commit to an association, they're looking for validation, some sort of return on the "What's in it for you" they were promised when being recruited.
This is why member fulfillment materials are so important. Done properly, they can make a member feel confident about their decision and give them a jumpstart to organizational engagement. When they're done wrong - when membership cards have misspelled names, or the welcome letter paper is cheap and flimsy - then the member is going to question their decision. And bad first impressions can last a long time.
It's not your association's "product," but to your members, fulfillment materials are as much of a product - or a representation of what they're paying for - as they'll ever have. What are the secrets to great fulfillment? How do you get new members off to a positive start?
Great fulfillment materials have these five characteristics in common: