Ideas for Chapter Membership


Membership recruitment requires a diversified strategy, including:

  • Direct mail
  • Printed communications
  • Peer-to-peer or personal contact
  • Telephone calls
  • Website, publications and e-mail messages

Try to integrate a combination of strategies to achieve your goal. Also, keep in mind, it takes several contacts with prospective ACEP members before they act. Don't rely on a one-time effort to get you to your new member goal. Try some of these strategies to gain and retain members to your chapter. 


Get your members, staff and leadership excited about recruiting members

Communicate the excitement and vision for a larger, more vibrant membership through every channel you can, especially in person. Membership recruitment and retention has to become an important, ongoing priority within your chapter.

Once you gain involvement, be sure to show your appreciation for your leaders’ and members’ efforts. Consider offering small gift certificates or host a thank you party for the team as a way to say thanks for the volunteers’ efforts.

img_arrow Offer free resources or premiums to new members

Offer a premium for new members who sign up by a certain date, a discount on your annual meeting if they join on-site, or free or discounted courses or meetings important to doctors. In addition, a white paper or other valuable education resource may be appealing to your potential members.

img_arrow Try a peer-to-peer recruitment effort

Recruit a group of ACEP members and leaders to help you personally contact physicians who are not members of your chapter or ACEP. Ask your volunteers to introduce the organization and invite potential members to join. Remember, ACEP has provided you with a prospect list for your region.

Give your leaders and members brochures and applications, a list of contacts by zip code or city, and talking points about ACEP and your chapter. Then, ask these leaders and members to call or meet their colleagues to promote membership.


Recruit members on-site at your annual and chapter meetings

Many chapters host continuing education meetings during March through June. Take advantage of them to recruit potential members. Target and invite emergency physicians in your chapter to come to your next meeting through an e-mail or direct mail invitation. You may want to consider offering a discount on registration fees if emergency physicians join on-site. Train your staff to ask attendees to join ACEP to save on their on-site registration. Once they get to the meeting, they will see the value of your chapter and of ACEP firsthand.

img_arrow Host a new member Welcome Reception and Orientation at your annual meeting

Make the reception or orientation fun and emphasize the opportunity to get to know your chapter’s leaders and colleagues throughout your organization. Provide the attendees with membership benefit information and direct them to the online membership orientation.  

Serve free, light refreshments or lunch, and ask your Chapter president to briefly cover the benefits of belonging to your chapter and ACEP. If you have a membership booth, make sure you promote prize drawings and incentives for visiting your booth, and have strong recruitment leaders in the booth – the person in the booth selling membership is key to membership promotion.

img_arrow Host a Membership Open House with a renowned emergency medicine speaker

Target specific hospitals or universities in your chapter area. Make the hours flexible, and, if possible, go to the hospital or university. Keep your presentation short and on target so doctors may drop by when they have a moment. Choose a hot topic in emergency medicine and ask the speaker to host a discussion forum during the event. Offer free refreshments or food, networking with ACEP and chapter leaders, overviews of chapter and ACEP benefits, or an incentive to join during the Open House. 

img_arrow Start an E-mail campaign

Many emergency physicians have previously been members of ACEP. Therefore, you could consider an e-mail campaign targeted to previous members who have been cancelled for more than 12 months. Include your chapter and ACEP value statement and use the opportunity to invite attendees to your upcoming meetings. Keep your message brief and emphasize any incentives you choose to offer. Direct potential members to our online application. Be sure to ask them to complete the Referred by box on the application form.

Contact Darrin Scheid, CAE, Senior Marketing Manager at 800-798-1822, ext. 3128, for personalized planning of your membership marketing strategy.

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