I broke down and did it. The “straw” was the question from the hotelier asking if I was a member and eligible therefore for the discount. This was the second time in one day that membership was worth money in my pocket.
So, now I am a card-carrying member of AARP.
And, I am immersed in a first-hand experiment of what connects a new member. Over the next 12 months I will report on my experiment.
Yes, I know what they say – AARP isn’t really a membership organization. It’s more like buyers groups like AAA or Costco where I join to save money. And hey, I did join to save money (see the first paragraph!). But AARP is walking and talking so far like a membership organization.
I joined online and received an immediate acknowledgement followed by a chatty email thanking me for being part of AARP with an offer to help me get the most of out the membership signed by “your fellow member, Clarence Davis, Maryland State President.” Cool, local contact.
I was directed to a welcome site where I watched a short video. There I learned that AARP was “full of activity and opportunity … where you can stay informed, stretch your dollar, live a healthier life, and even give back to …” I was mildly put off by the graphics that felt like the targeted audience was an older version of me but the messaging was pretty on target.
It was here that I learned about the mobile app and /Myaarp – which I’ll have to explore.
The chatty email promised more emails to come (and they did – maybe too many) and a welcome package. I actually received two mailings. My card and list of benefits – way too focused on the affinity partners in my opinion – came first. Then about 30 days into my membership came a gift – sort of a weird thermal pouch with a strap that’s not quite the shape to hold a water bottle. But the messaging again spoke to me. It included a note about Create The Good, a portal for volunteering. Have to check that out next.
Bottom line, I’m still being drawn in – do you work this hard on your new member welcome?