Posted By Leah Baker

When you start a new marketing project you want to work smart, spend money wisely, build member loyalty, and find new members. But before you start spending on hit-or-miss mass marketing or direct marketing, ask the following questions of the companies you are considering or of your staff. Remember, you do not want to start a project that uses guess-work as the strategy, and that is based on most people tossing your brand into the trash!


Q What response rate is expected? With mass marketing/direct marketing it is usually 1% to 2%.


Q How many times does the mailing go out? Some mass marketers say it has to go out nine or ten times.


Q How much of your brand and logo ends up in the trash? Probably over 95% of the mass marketing mail ends up in the trash which means a lot of people are rejecting you. This cannot be good for your assn since your brand is now associated with rejection. And it is not environmentally conscious since it can mean thousands of pieces of paper thrown away.


Q Are gimmicks constantly used? Some discounts here, some new sentences there. I believe mass marketers/direct marketers often rely on gimmicks because they do not know what works best.  


Q Do you have the feeling the project is hit-or-miss? Selecting lists for mass marketing/direct marketing is not based on scientific methods, and they may not be as current as you think.


Q Is there any sophistication to the strategy? It will probably lack any underlying philosophy or innovative methodology.


Q How expensive is it? There is the cost of the project, cost of rejection, cost of lost opportunities, and sometimes you pay the hidden costs of high rent and high salaries. Just how much are you giving away to find a new member?


There is a better way to do assn marketing that is personalized, targeted, cost-efficient, and effective. It is called member segmentation and target marketing or YTheyJoin™. Call 703-772-5263 or e-mail

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Leah Baker
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