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


Here is the most common question we get concerning the YTheyJoin program: “Is it software?” The answer is “No!” The program is actually very low-tech which is refreshing in a counter-culture kind of way.


YTheyJoin is simple to understand, simple to implement, and simple to use. There is no software to buy or large manual to master. Over the years, the goal of Allegiance Research Group (ARG) has been to simplify rather than complicate the lives of its clients. Here is how the program works.


1. Distribute the one-page survey (tagging form) to your members. This form asks one question, “Why did you join the association?” It gives the member 100 points to spend on various assn services to show which they consider the most important.


2. ARG reviews each completed form and summarizes the most important info into a 3-digit code that is written in pencil at the top of the form.


3. YTheyJoin identifies nine categories of members including Mailboxers, Relevant Participants, Shapers, CompShoppers, Cognoscenti, Boosters, Altruistics, Doubters and Non-Relevants. The 3-digit code tells you the member’s primary category, strength of that category, and secondary category. For example, John Smith may be a “367” which means “Shaper-60 Points-Altruistic.”


4. The assn enters these codes into its member database. Now the assn knows what each member wants and can do target marketing and build stronger relationships with the members.


Along with the codes, you also receive a Pie Chart showing the dominant categories for your assn, a Summary of the Implications, and a Workbook with marketing ideas for each category. There is more info in earlier articles on this blog, or visit

Posted By Leah Baker

Are you looking for a cost-effective way to do member segmentation and target marketing? With our program, YTheyJoin™, there is an option for those wanting to do a test drive before implementing it on a larger scale.


YTheyJoin identifies nine types of members based on their professional needs and motivations and it starts with a one-page survey that we call a tagging form that goes to all members. For those wanting to do a test drive, you can distribute the form only to new members.


New members have the least ties to the association and may be the most likely not to renew membership at the end of the year. Intervention is essential! Include the tagging form with the member application or welcome-aboard packet and the new member immediately sees that you want to meet their specific needs. The form asks them to spend 100 points on the various association services that they consider the most important.


With this info we can identify nine types of members including Mailboxers, Relevant Participants, Shapers, CompShoppers, Cognoscenti, Boosters, Altruistics, Doubters, and Non-Relevants. Each new member is identified with a 3-digit code that goes into your data base. You also receive a Pie Chart that shows which member types dominate your association, a Summary of the Implications, and our Workbook with marketing ideas for each member type.


Now you know what each member wants and you can do very effective target marketing and communications!


Call for a quote and more information. 703-772-5263 Or e-mail us at

Posted By Leah Baker

Step 1: Send a one-page survey (I like to call it a tagging form) to all members where you give them 100 points to spend on your various products and services. You can include this in member applications or welcome-aboard packets, send by e-mail, put it in your newsletter or magazine, etc. Member applications are cold and impersonal and this form is a way of saying “We care about you and want to know about your professional needs.” It may be the first and only time that you ask each member why they joined, and you will be pleasantly surprised to see how many members say “thanks for asking!”


Step 2: Look at the places where they spend the most points and summarize this information into a 3-digit code that you write on each form. For example, 573, means this person is a Cognoscenti, spent 70 points on this, and their next choice is Shaper. (Please refer to the previous article to see the list of categories and the corresponding number for each.)


Step 3: Enter the code into each member’s record. All you need is three columns and it is like a Zip Code®.


That is all there is to it. Now you know what each member wants, no more guesswork! In the example, the person who is a 573 is a strong Cognoscenti (wants to read your publications and may buy some of them and may also want to be a speaker or writer for your assn) and has some interest in serving on a committee. This person spent points on no other categories.


I have a free Fact Sheet that explains this program, called YTheyJoin, and if you would like it just send me an e-mail at





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Leah Baker
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