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

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

 YTheyJoin™ knows that members have varying needs and expectations. They attend meetings, buy products, read articles, become volunteer leaders, and mobilize for action at varying rates. By understanding their needs and expectations you can segment members into nine types such as Shapers, Cognoscenti, and Altruistics. It starts by asking members or prospects a simple question, “what do you expect from the association?”

 

How is member segmentation and target marketing different from other methods?

 

* It is unlike data mining that is based on past behavior, is time-consuming, and has little or no info on first-year members.

 

* It is unlike mass marketing/direct marketing that is expensive, wasteful, assumes everyone is the same, and achieves very low response rates.

 

* It is unlike membership surveys that just go to a small, random sample and answers are not recorded in member records.

 

* It is unlike membership or renewal applications that are cold and impersonal.

 

YTheyJoin gives you the opportunity to change all this. It may be the only time you ask every member why they wrote the check and what they expect. The one-page form (see May 14 article in this blog) goes to all members and their most important answers are recorded in your member database. Members appreciate being asked about their needs, and a personal relationship can be established. It makes your job easier and personal relationships also lead to increased loyalty to the association. The form can also be given to prospective members and in that case you ask, "why would you join the association?"

 

For more info about the YTheyJoin program, visit www.YTheyJoin.com, e-mail AllegianceResearch@gmail.com or call 703-772-5263 in the U.S. We welcome inquiries from around the world.


 

 

 
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