Mass marketing is so 1990's! Spend spend/waste wasteThis blog will take you in a different direction. It focuses on association recruitment and retention of members by using targeted methods and communications, and there will be an occasional sojourn into related topics of interest. Rather than discuss the broad, the general, and the "same old," the goal of this blog is to provide useful tools, fact sheets that answer specific questions, and inspiration to those looking to make their jobs more interesting and fun.Thank you for visiting and I welcome your feedback and ideas.

Posted By Leah Baker

Recently a blog reader asked for ways to increase membership at sports clubs. Here are some ideas.


1. A survey by Internet or regular mail where you ask questions about member needs and priorities and also ask about demographics such as age group, gender, location etc. Then you can crosstab and see what different groups want. You can also ask an open-ended question about new activities they might like. For example, boxing has proven popular among both men and women as a new activity at sports clubs.


2. Member-get-a-member campaign where you reward current members for finding a new member. Rewards could include money, extension on their membership, or a coupon for a free class.


3. Appeal to community spirit in an ad campaign and talk about how the sports clubs help save lives. This could include swimming lessons, classes in CPR or First Aid, donations (maybe $1 of each membership) to local charities.


4. The YMCA that I belong to has an activity center for young children which keeps them safe and occupied while their parents use the sports club. This may be something that your sports clubs want to implement.


5. Do your sports clubs have discount programs for seniors? For a couple or family?


6. Issue a challenge – maybe to the city hall where each sports club is located. Let their employees use the club for three months and if they lose a total of ______ pounds, the club will offer (enter idea here).


For more info about increasing member loyalty contact us at 703-772-5263 or e-mail

Posted By Leah Baker

If you are in charge of membership or marketing you may have problems. First, you probably have several bosses. In a sense all of your members are bosses, plus there are the volunteers some of whom head membership or marketing committees. Of course, they all have the direct phone number to your main boss, the Executive Director.


Also, most associations want more: more members; more sales; more people attending seminars; and more people at the convention. Guess what, this is your responsibility and did I mention that we are in the middle of a recession? Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of tools to work with especially if you depend on mass marketing which is cold and impersonal and treats everyone the same.


This is where member-segmentation and target marketing can help. Let’s say your Executive Director wants a ten-percent increase in attendance at the next annual convention. Where is the growth going to come from? Try the following strategy.


Send everyone a notice about the convention (and be sure to mention the most exciting speakers and topics). Then target the people most likely to attend, and for those of you who use the YTheyJoin™ program this would be the Shapers and Relevant Participants. If you do not use the program, this could be those who attended in the past, possibly new members, and people living within 200 miles of the convention city. Send repeated announcements and any expensive color brochures to these people; just send postcards to the others. This type of targeted marketing will save you money and should also result in increased attendance. We know this because our clients have used this strategy with excellent results.


A good strategy for increasing membership is your member application. Take a good look at it. Is it cold and impersonal? Intimidating? Like a laundry list? You can change this by simply allowing a little white space where you ask the person to write about their professional needs and expectations. Better yet, include the YTheyJoin tagging form where they get 100 points to spend on your products and services, etc. to explain what is most important to them. We often get comments like “Thanks for asking!” And a check follows.


Do you have ways to get more members, more sales, etc? If you do not have ideas and good methods, your job may be at risk and a raise or promotion may not materialize. Member segmentation and target marketing can make you look like a star! For more info, call 703-772-5263.

Posted By Leah Baker

YTheyJoin identifies nine types of association members based on their motivations for joining and this article discusses one of them, Boosters™.


Why do they join? What makes them tick? How should you communicate with them effectively? What will they do for the association? Need some members to organize an awards program or to promote your certification program? Just ask Boosters!


Boosters look to the association to enhance their status or that of the industry or profession. This is particularly true of associations that represent specialties, set standards, or provide certification. They want the association to do public relations campaigns or ads, to announce awards, and to have a presence in media of all types. They also like the association to provide them with logo material and brochures. The bottom line is they want help with upward mobility or help with increasing their business.


During recessions, Boosters can be a key to restoring success. Target them to do member-get-a-member campaigns or to give talks about the benefits of membership including the prestige it provides. The general public may not be aware of the many services your association provides and its value to the community, and the Boosters will help get this message out there. If you have a certification program, Boosters may be more likely to buy this service than other members.


Letters or appeals to Boosters should include mention of important press releases by your association, and the various ways that you recognize membership tenure such as certificates or pins. The Booster is one of nine member groups identified by the YTheyJoin Program (see previous blog articles). Like Shapers, they will work hard for the organization and can be a great resource.


To learn more about YTheyJoin, the original member-segmentation and target-marketing program, please visit


You can also call directly 703-772-5263 or e-mail





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Leah Baker
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