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Posted By Leah Baker

This blog is dedicated to finding, keeping, and serving members. It helps associations that are interested in learning about member needs and motivations. It is this knowledge and personalized service that leads to stronger bonds and higher retention rates, as well as to the ability to get new members. These are member-driven associations.

 

Other associations prefer to skip this step and simply “churn ‘em and burn ‘em” which means they send mass mailings, sometimes called direct mailings, to thousands of people with the hope of a 1% response rate. They do not care if they lose members because they figure they can find enough new ones to replace them. These are not member-driven associations. They hire companies to find lists, write generic letters, and use junk-mail methods and postage.

 

Today I received a member application from SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. Please note that I did not request an application so this appears to be part of a mass mailing, and it looks it. It uses junk-mail postage and a plain white envelope - and my name and address, along with the SHRM address, look like they were xeroxed onto the envelope.

 

Inside the envelope were a business reply envelope and a member application that looks like an IRS form! There was no letter, simply this cold and intimidating form. At the top it has a “Promotion Code Number” and a statement that says “Reply by December 11, 2009.” I am turned off right away. It does not ask about my professional needs, interests, or motivations at all. It lists some things that are included in the membership like the magazine and government representation. The usual stuff. Nothing that excites me, but then they know nothing about me! It also says that Conferences/Seminars are included but when I read the fine print it says “at discount registration rates.” At the bottom of the form is a portion to tear off and include with your payment – like a phone bill.

 

I turn the form over and in very small print there is a laundry list of services, a Web site address, and some questions that ask about my company, my gender, and my birth year. Are they planning special services for women of a certain age who work in large companies? My feeling is that they request this info so they have demographics for their advertisers.

 

There is a better way! Learn about YTheyJoin™ at www.YTheyJoin.com or call 703-772-5263, or e-mail AllegianceResearch@gmail.com


 
Posted By Leah Baker

The YTheyJoin Workbook serves as a great reference as you implement this member segmentation and target marketing program. The Workbook contains an Introduction that explains the program, then a section that contains marketing ideas for each of the nine member types. It also shows you how to use the codes and while some people like to use all three digits in each code, many are happy just using the first digit. (Previous blog articles explain the codes).

 

The Workbook also has three appendices that contain the following info.

 

Appendix A: Samples of targeted letters for member renewal. There is one letter for each of the nine YTheyJoin member categories (Mailboxers, Relevant Participants, Shapers, CompShoppers, Cognoscenti, Boosters, Altruistics, Doubters, and Non-Relevants). Rather than mailing the same renewal letters to everyone, this program allows you to tailor the letters to individual needs. These letters are followed by samples of targeted meeting letters that were designed by a client of YTheyJoin to promote their annual meeting.

 

Appendix B: Tie-breaking strategy that we sometimes use to assign the 3-digit codes. For example, if Mr. Smith gives 50 points to one service and 50 points to another service, we refer to the tie-breaking strategy.

 

Appendix C: List of all the possible 3-digit codes. Note that each association has a unique mix of YTheyJoin member categories (as shown in their YTheyJoin Pie Chart) and just a few 3-digit codes will dominate your association. Use this list as a guide when selecting which members get which marketing strategy and to communicate with your IT Department.

 

For more info please e-mail AllegianceResearch@gmail.com 


 
Posted By Leah Baker

After the 3-digit YTheyJoin codes go into your member database there are many creative ways you can use them - to find new opportunities for your association, to make your job easier, to engage members, etc. You can cross the codes with any demographics in your database such as city, state, length of membership, certification, education, job title, age group, gender, etc. (The demographics that your assn records most likely come from questions on its member application.)

 

For example, if your next annual meeting is in Chicago, send multiple announcements to the Relevant Participants in Illinois and neighboring states. This category is the most likely to attend, and an extra announcement or mailing to them can bring a very high response rate.

 

If there is a prospect of legislation in a state that would negatively affect assn members, pull the Altruistics in that State and ask them to mobilize or contact their state legislators. We have had great success with this!

 

If you want to start a chapter in a city, let’s say Houston, pull the Shapers in that area and ask them.

 

If you want to start a Speaker’s Bureau or a Wiki with experts in your field, pull the Cognoscenti who went through your association’s certification program.

 

If you want to start an Awards Program that recognizes professional accomplishment pull the Boosters who work in public relations or similar fields for their help.

 

Maybe you want to start a committee of young members to focus on their needs and to communicate in quick, concise ways via hand-held devices, pull the Mailboxers in their twenties.

 

The possibilities are limitless! For more info about YTheyJoin call 703-772-5263 or visit www.YTheyJoin.com


 
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 www.YTheyJoin.com


 
Posted By Leah Baker

Allegiance Research Group has a pre-employment test that enables employers to look at nine attitudes relevant to the workplace and identify possibly warning signals. A person’s attitudes are predictive of good or poor customer relations, and harmonious or disruptive workplace behavior. Our test is “The Workplace Attitudes Test” and it looks at the following attitudes:

 

Judgmental

Vindictive

Adversarial

Egocentric

Entitled

Undisciplined

Insubordinate

Risk-Inclined

Non-Traditional

 

The test includes 45 questions and usually takes about ten minutes, then results are summarized in a bar chart where each of the attitudes is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. The test can be taken on the Internet or by paper. This is a proven tool for organizations and is used by associations, hospital systems, police academies, government agencies, etc.

 

When looking at work-related attitudes it is important to understand your own work environment. For example, a formal organization may desire an employee who is low on “risk-inclined,” while an informal organization may desire an employee who is more “risk-inclined” if they are looking for entrepreneurial ideas or if they reward initiative.

 

Some organizations may prefer a certain combination of attitudes. For example, law enforcement may expect high “judgmental” but it should be coupled with moderate or low “egocentric.” Remember that you are looking for a good match for your organization.

 

The test should be used in conjunction with good interviewing techniques and other good practices related to hiring and promoting. Attending to these results will make you a better interviewer and if you would like more info please visit our Web site at www.WorkplaceAttitudes.com or call 703-772-5263.


 

 

 
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