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How To Make New Members Feel at Home

Written by Andy Pearson

How To Make New Members Feel at Home

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to new members joining your organisation. The way you welcome and onboard these individuals can make or break their long-term engagement and loyalty. By creating a warm, inviting environment from the very start, you lay the groundwork for building strong, lasting relationships that benefit both the member and your organisation.

In this blog post, we’ll explore 12 of our top strategies to help you make new members feel truly at home within your community. These tactics will ensure your new joiners feel valued, supported, and eager to get involved!

1. Craft a Personalised Welcome Email

The first point of contact with a new member is crucial, so make sure your welcome email sets the right tone. Start by personalising the subject line with their name to grab their attention. Then, open with a clear statement congratulating them on joining your organisation. 

Avoid using a “no-reply” email address, as this can make new members feel like they’re being shut out. Instead, encourage them to reach out with any questions or feedback. You can also include social proof, such as the total number of members, to validate their decision to join.

Most importantly, make sure to provide all the essential information they’ll need to get started, such as login details, subscription info, and links to online resources. This will help them feel prepared and excited to dive in.

2. Create an Engaging Welcome Video

In addition to the written welcome email, consider producing a personalised video to greet your new members. This adds a human touch and helps them put a face to your organisation.

Keep the video conversational and authentic, avoiding a stiff, corporate tone. Introduce yourself, share a bit about your organisation’s values and mission, and highlight the key benefits of membership. You can even include a virtual tour of your facilities or online platforms.

The goal is to make new joiners feel welcomed and give them a clear sense of what to expect as they embark on their journey with you.

3. Showcase New Members in Your Newsletter

If your organisation publishes a regular newsletter, use this as an opportunity to officially welcome new members on board. List their names (using first name and last initial to protect privacy) and consider including a brief bio or fun facts about each individual.

This not only makes the new members feel recognised, but it also helps existing members get to know the fresh faces in your community. Just be sure to obtain consent before sharing any personal details.

4. Prepare a Comprehensive Onboarding Kit

New members likely have a lot of questions about what to expect and how to make the most of their membership. Get ahead of this by assembling a detailed onboarding kit filled with useful resources.

This can include digital materials like ebooks, handbooks, and learning modules, as well as contact information for key staff members. You might also consider including branded swag, such as logo-emblazoned pens, mugs, or tote bags, to make them feel valued.

The goal is to provide everything new joiners need to feel informed, equipped, and excited about their membership from the very start.

5. Highlight Member Milestones

Breaking down the onboarding process into clear milestones can help new members feel a sense of progress and accomplishment. This could include things like creating their online account, downloading the member handbook, or completing their first course module.

Consider creating a visual timeline or infographic to map out these milestones for new joiners. Celebrating each step along the way will keep them motivated and engaged as they get acquainted with your organisation.

6. Send Branded Welcome Gifts

There’s nothing quite like receiving a physical package in the mail to make someone feel special. Surprise your new members with a branded welcome gift, such as a logo-printed mug, t-shirt, or tote bag.

While digital welcome techniques are important, a tangible token demonstrates your willingness to invest time and resources into making them feel valued. Just be mindful to select items that are both useful and reflective of your brand.

7. Offer Gift Card Incentives

In addition to physical gifts, you can also provide new members with digital incentives in the form of gift cards or discount codes. This could be for your own organisation’s products and services, or you might partner with complementary brands to offer exclusive perks.

Tailor the gift cards to align with each new member’s interests or the type of membership they’ve selected. This personal touch will make them feel seen and appreciated right off the bat.

8. Implement a Mentor Program

Pairing new members with more experienced “mentors” is a fantastic way to help them feel welcomed and supported. These seasoned members can reach out with a personal introduction, offer a virtual tour, and make themselves available to answer any questions.

This mentorship model works especially well for online communities and courses, where new joiners might otherwise feel isolated. It fosters a sense of belonging and gives them a friendly, familiar face to connect with.

9. Establish an Online Buddy System

If a full-fledged mentor program isn’t feasible, consider implementing an online “buddy system” instead. Assign each new member to an existing member who can periodically check in, provide guidance, and make introductions within the community.

This buddy relationship helps new joiners feel less alone as they navigate your organisation. It also encourages peer-to-peer bonding and collaboration, which can be particularly valuable in virtual settings.

10. Highlight New Members in Your Facebook Group

If your organisation has an active Facebook group, use this platform to welcome new members and help them feel like part of the community. Create a dedicated post to introduce each newcomer, inviting the group to say hello.

Encourage your admins to comment on these welcome posts, as well. This demonstrates that your team is engaged and invested in making new members feel at home. You can also prompt the new joiners to introduce themselves and share a bit about their interests or reasons for joining.

11. Foster Discussions in Online Forums

For organisations with an online learning component, such as courses or webinars, discussion forums can be a powerful tool for onboarding and community-building.

Use these forums to encourage new members to introduce themselves, share their goals, and interact with their peers. Kick things off by posing thought-provoking questions or icebreakers to get the conversation flowing.

While participation should never be mandatory, an active, welcoming discussion can go a long way in helping new joiners feel comfortable and connected from the start.

12. Continuously Gather Feedback

Your work isn’t done once the initial welcome and onboarding process is complete. Maintain an open line of communication with new members, regularly soliciting their feedback on their experiences.

Send out surveys within the first few months to measure their satisfaction and identify any areas for improvement. Use this valuable input to refine your onboarding approach and ensure you’re meeting the needs of each new cohort.

Continuously improving your welcome and onboarding strategies will demonstrate your commitment to your members’ success and help you retain them for the long haul.


Crafting a warm, personalised welcome experience for new members is essential for building lasting relationships and fostering a thriving community within your organisation. By implementing a strategic mix of digital and physical touchpoints, you can make each newcomer feel valued, supported, and eager to get involved.

At WhiteFuse, our membership management software includes making sure your new members feel welcomed, by making sure to prioritise a personal touch. 

Remember, the first few weeks and months are crucial in shaping new members’ perceptions and loyalty. So go the extra mile to make them feel at home from the very start by getting started with us – we’d love to help your organisation thrive! 

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